Justified Recap – Episode 10: No Safe Haven

by Cheryl Collins


The characters in “Weight,” the most recent episode of Justified, put down their guns for once and pick up knives, as so many of the characters end up even further along doomed paths.

Ava must now choose whether to betray the “Mother Superior” — her protector Judith — as demanded by her would-be heroin courier. Judith has done well by Ava, yet Ava has entered the Darwinian environment of the state pen and given up on depending on Boyd. During a visit, behind heavy glass, she breaks up with him, deciding to control of her own destiny. Let’s say he does not take it well; Walton Goggin’s contained fury behind that thick glass speaks volumes about a character who not only cannot control his “woman” and failed his role as protector.

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Dewey, in his effort to take his fate into his hands, also must betray his would-be protector. After speeding away with a tow truck pulling a Gremlin filled with heroin, he decides to run away in search of his “dream”: he’ll sell the dope and flee. He pays a visit to the still-missing-a-screw Dickie Bennett (Jeremy Davies), his “last true friend.” Dickie immediately drops a dime on him the moment he leaves and calls Raylan; meanwhile, as Dewey looks to sell the dope, his connection immediately calls Boyd. Even Dewey’s favorite whores turn on him for a wad of (fake) cash. So he is betrayed and belittled at every turn, and as he drives away in the Gremlin, I wondered how the man who no one takes seriously will seek his revenge.

Kendall seeks protection too, from the wrath of Danny, after Danny’s dog Chelsea — his “chocolate lover” — gets hit by a car. He runs to Alison. She too, betrays him and calls his mom: his two putative protectors both send him back to Harlan County. Which seems mystifying, to tell the truth, but I suspect that is purely to set up the next episode.

Danny Crowe meets his inevitable end — knife in hand, after tripping into Chelsea’s grave. Didn’t he listen to his mother’s admonition about running with knives? Did the end of that unhinged nut job feel anticlimactic to you, too, loyal reader?

Ava finds Judith in the chapel, shiv in hand, but professes that she wants to work with her. Judith knows exactly what she’s up to and lunges. It’s unclear what Ava’s intentions are, but in the end Judith dies as a cross looms over them both. Ava is covered with blood — having committed murder in the chapel — and her path continues its rapid downward trajectory. Hell awaits.

Boyd finds Ava’s accuser, the diminutive prison guard, and he ends up duct taped in Boyd’s office. Boyd, knife in hand, threatens him while trying to get him to recant, but he refuses. Why? Because “I love her, but I don’t have the power to make her mine.” Although the reasoning seems faulty from where I sit, it resonates with Boyd, who turns him loose. No doubt Boyd, too, feels he doesn’t have the power to make Ava his; the light bulb seems to finally go on that she not only does not belong to him but that he can’t control everything (don’t the Buddhists call it “loving with detachment”?).

In the aftermath of Danny’s death, his sister Wendy tells Darrell that he is a pale imitation of his father: he too has failed as protector. He responds by kicking the shit out of her. His fury is brutal. It is still shocking to see a woman beat up on screen.

So the keg is set to blow as we reach the last few episodes of this penultimate season of Justified.

Once again this season, the execution of so much of this episode feels second rate. Danny’s death and Wendy’s beating felt poorly staged, and whole swaths of the dialogue felt uninspired, as best: sparkling zingers like “I gotta take a shit” just do not bring much pleasure. The reliance on crudity is truly a sign of lazy writing.

But it was great to see the tremendous Jeremy Davies back as Dickie Bennett, who does a great job of making you feel that Dickie has lost some gray matter along the way.

Use of the word “pussy”: 0.

All those who have owned and loved a Gremlin, raise your hands.

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Comments (5)

I am saddened by the demise of Judith, but we at least got a minute or two of Dickie Bennett. It’s rare to see someone portray an unhinged white trash hillbilly with such panache. He adds little flourishes to everything he does, like when he picks up the phone. There are tons of GIFs of these:

And yes, poor Dewey. When you list all betrayals against him like that, his hopelessness stands out like a sore thumb. I wish he got at least a hot tub and a singular whore at the end of this season. Or a foot bath and a handjob. Just don’t kill him off.

Alison acted really weird. Why would she, as a CPS worker, send a help-seeking child back to an environment she KNOWS is harmful? As you say, it might be important as a setup for something in the next episode. But if the result is status quo, why bother to show it? Again, this is like the Mexican Adventure.

Danny’s demise: this is exactly what I was saying about subverting ‘Chekov’s Gun’, like Quarles and his railgun. Danny has been bragging about his stupid knife rule the entire season, and died without having gotten to prove his theory. Quarles got his whole gun-arm choppped off as he was about to draw, and then tried pathetically to retrieve it from Raylan, who held it just out of reach. I think it was supposed to be anticlimactic.

Thanks for clueing me in to Boyd’s light bulb moment, I did not pick up on that and it seems completely plausible.

Rewatching it, Albert does not explain why he can’t recant. The “I love her” was an explanation as to why he framed Ava in the first place. I interpreted it as his warped mind trying to keep Ava close to him in jail, where he has power over her.

The Boyd vs. Albert interrogation scene reminds me of the scene in True Blood where Bill is about to execute the amnesiac Eric, who professes that he will gladly go to his true death as Sookie has shown him true love. Overcome with I-know-bro-me-too emotion, Bill sets him free.

I saw the disturbing fight scene between Wendy and Daryl not so much as Daryl’s frustration over having failed as a patriarch (at least initially), but Wendy’s anger over being called out on her motherhood.

Here’s my blow-by-blow analysis of the fight:

Daryl says “Now that’s rich, coming from a woman so ashamed of her own son, she don’t even admit she got one” and gets up to leave the room. Wendy stands up and blocks his way. She punches him hard in the face. He gutpunches her, seemingly on autopilot, then immediately apologizes profusely, apparently realizing what he did was wrong. Wendy picks up a bottle and hits him in the head, drawing blood (props to the fight coordinators for not breaking the bottle). Daryl blocks her next swing and slaps her twice until she falls to the floor and drops the bottle. Up until this point, Daryl hasn’t acted in anger or with excessive force, but Wendy has. One could argue he acted in self defense, as he was being attacked with a bottle. If the scene had ended there, I’d argue Daryl hadn’t done anything irredeemably bad in the eyes of the law.

It is when Wendy is on the floor that Daryl goes from a ‘justified’ level of violence to plain sadism. He drags her by her hair and kicks her in the stomach twice. But then, as Wendy is curled up in pain, Daryl leans in and impotently screams “You crying now, huh, bitch? I HATE YOU!”

I see this not so much as a result of his failings as a patriarch, but more as Daryl reverting to what must have been a constant sibling rivalry. His sister has always been smarter than him, and he is just smart enough to understand and resent this (whereas his brothers probably weren’t). His coup-de-grace “I hate you” is not something a failed patriarch would say, but rather the parting words of a sputtering, frustrated ten-year-old in the playground.

(Just so we’re clear on this, I’m not saying Daryl is a good guy or that violence of any kind against anyone is excusable. I’m just trying to figure out the motivations of the characters in the scene.)

It is in the next scene with Kendal where Daryl goes full Hitler-in-the-bunker, I-can-still-win-this, doubling-down patriarch crazy. He is desperately trying to hang on the the idea that there can be a mighty Crowe clan, even though they are now down to two members. And Kendal doesn’t know his mother just got repeatedly kicked in the stomach by Daryl.

The only thing we don’t know is who is going to shoot Daryl. Right now it’s a dead heat between every character we’ve ever seen.

Wow, that is an extended blow by blow! Obviously, lots of issues between the siblings. “I hate you!” does sound like the cry of a ten year old. My money is on Dewey for offing Darryl. He has a season’s wroth of humiliation and resentment under his belt, the one everyone underestimates (for good reason) who keeps getting checkmated. Maybe he’ll set fire to Audrey’s — it’s time for it to go, anyway — and have a “Made it, Ma! Top of the world!” moment. You are on the money with Danny’s death — all the buildup with the knife, and then, a fall into his dog’s grave. We knew they’d end up together.

I did not realize Jeremy Davies won an Emmy for playing Dickie Bennet — it is very well deserved! Most folks will remember Davies as the cowardly Upham from “Saving Private Ryan” (although nor make the connection). He alos played Daniel Faraday on “Lost.” That guy deserved his own series.

Wow, neither did I, but that was a well-deserved win! His appearance at the Emmys makes me wonder if he IS Dickie Bennet IRL. He looks like he got his tuxedo by robbing random children’s graves. Also note his little Bennetesque happiness-jig at the end. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-F4-mKgzgU

He will be in two episodes of Hannibal this season!

Hilarious reax shots from audience members trying to figure out what to make of him.

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