Okay, I’m back on board. Last week my faith in Justified was slipping a bit, and I was growing weary of Ava. Fortunately, her screen time was kept to a minimum this week. Raylan was busy investigating an apparent suicide, but he also confronts some latent feelings for ex-wife Winona. We are slowly becoming privy to what makes Raylan tick. Spoilers ahead.
‘The Collection’ begins with Raylan visiting Boyd in prison, in hopes of getting a morsel of information that can put Arlo (his father) away for good. Bad break for Raylan, Boyd has found Jesus while locked up in the big house, and he’s more interested in ministering than spilling Arlo’s secrets. Raylan leaves empty handed.
He joins Ava in the motel room, and the next morning they are interrupted by Art, pounding on the door. A shirtless Raylan (Timothy Olyphant has not been missing any workouts) answers the door and is chided for not answering his phone. Art tells him they need to head to Cincinnati to speak with an art dealer that Owen Carns is trying to sell some artwork to. In the car, Art lays into Raylan about sleeping with Ava.
After visiting with the art dealer, the two arrive at the ranch of Carns, whose property and assets are being seized for some type of money crime committed by Owen. He’s allowed to sell his paintings to the art dealer, but the U.S. Marshals keep the proceeds. Art and Raylan are intrigued and disgusted to find out that the paintings that are being sold are “Hitlers”, original works by a one Adolf, to be precise. The art dealer collects “Hitlers.” He proclaims the paintings to be fakes.
Raylan meets Owen’s southern spitfire wife, Caryn (played by Katherine LaNasa), who is openly resentful of her husband and his paintings. She shares a drink with Raylan and recalls her modest beginnings as a riding instructor. She is certain everything is going to be taken out from under her. Greg, a stable hand, shares a history with Caryn.
Tony Hale (Arrested Development) plays David Mortimer, the dealer who actually sold the couple the fake Hitlers. When he is summoned to the house by Caryn, he is horrified to witness Greg shoot Owen in cold blood. Caryn and Greg stage the shooting to look like a suicide, and blackmail Mortimer. As for Caryn’s motive-it’s good old greed, pure and simple. She doesn’t want to lose her cushy lifestyle, and as she puts it, “They can’t put a dead man on trial.” That’s cold.
Of course Raylan figures things out, and has a man to man chat with Greg that is more telling about Raylan’s feelings for Winona. He indicates to Greg that he knows a thing or two about loving someone and watching them go up to the big house every night, while he sleeps in the barn. He also claims he contemplated shooting Winona’s new husband, but where does it end? Would he be forced to kill a witness, or would the crime snowball? This seems to get to Greg, and when Caryn demands he murder Mortimer as well, Greg turns her in.
This show is starting to remind me a bit of one of my old favorites, Moonlighting, sans the male-female sexual tension. Basically, we are getting one mystery per an episode that is wrapped up tidily in the one hour running time. The show also features interesting and eccentric characters each episode, along with some very funny dialogue. In fact, I think it is safe to say that there is a lot of banter between characters on Justified, and so far it is charming.
My favorite quote of the show? When Raylan pontificates on what motivates people to have bizarre hobbies (like collecting Hitler paintings), he says, “People are entitled to their hobbies, and I’m entitled to think those people are creepy.” Perfect.
Other points of interest this episode:
• Winona came to Raylan and asked him to run some names for her, although she knows it is illegal. Later, Raylan visits her realtor husband Gary, and warns him that he better not get Winona involved in any crap. What do you think he found when he ran those names? Gary is definitely up to something.
• Raylan asks Winona why she left him. Seems odd he wouldn’t already know.
• Vasquez is sniffing around quite a bit as he investigates the shooting from the pilot episode that landed Raylan back in his hometown.
• The real motive behind the Hitler acquisitions is revealed.
At the conclusion of the episode, Raylan once again visits Boyd in prison, and Boyd hints to Raylan that he has found out some major information on Arlo, teasing next week.