The Telefile

Justified: The Shot of the Week

by Rachel Stein February 15, 2012 6:00 am
<i>Justified</i>: The Shot of the Week

Hate Valetine's Day? If the first five minutes of "Thick as Mud" didn't get your mind off of anything other than how happy you were to not wake up in a pool of your own blood, (allegedly) without either of your kidneys, then you definitely have a stronger stomach than me. I actually had to push pause and go for a walk when we started to see life without vital organs from Dewey's perspective. And yes, I would qualify this as "getting weird."

If "The Devil You Know" was a Slowly-Building Exposition episode, this was a Nail-Biting Insane Procedural. I frankly prefer the latter because the writers know how to craft a fun Monster of the Week storyline, but both types are the reason why Justified continues to be one of the best, most underappreciated series on television. Well, that and Raylan's ridiculously lame puns -- the best of this episode being "Maybe Lawrence Nightingale really did take him prisoner... get it?" His last-minute decision to not say "Dr. Blowjob" to the matronly (for lack of a better word) nurse was great, too.

Elsewhere in funny "Thick as Mud" moments were the cop who really wanted to bust down doors, and the Dewey-centric POV. Where would you go if you had to find $20k in cash very quickly and would you be dumb enough to ask the people you're robbing that very question? Dewey's adventures made for what was probably the funniest crime spree I've seen on TV, and later, the most I have ever wanted for a character to urinate in my entire life. I love that Dewey still didn't understand what was going on afterwards, and he gave a dumbfounded, "You mean I had four kidneys?!"

Getting to the Shot of the Week, obviously Raylan shooting Nurse Layla through dead Nurse Lance at the last possible second was just plain awesome. I basically say something to this degree ever week, but the chief complaint I have about this show is that you know you can never trust anyone to outdo Raylan or Boyd, which lowers the stakes a bit since we're essentially watching how they'll get out of each jam, rather than actually questioning whether or not they'll survive at all. Even though it was extremely convenient that Lance put Raylan's gun in the perfect spot for half-conscious Raylan to grab it at the exact crucial moment, the way the tension of the scene made up for its predictability.

Another one of my favorite moments of this episode was Ava revealing her bullet wound to Boyd, in a moment of solidarity and unexpected sexiness. As far as Boyd's progress with Quarles, the pacing of their relationship feels so natural, and we know it's just a matter of time before we see some kind of insanity unfold between the two criminals. Obviously, neither Boyd nor any of us trust this psychopath, but the writers do seem to like Quarles enough to let him put Boyd in a seriously bad position. The question, really, is would they ever actually kill him?

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