by Cheryl Collins
In the latest episode of Justified this season, “The Kids Aren’t Alright,” we were introduced to Raylan’s new love interest, watched as the dance between Boyd Crowder and Mara Paxton — she of sharp cheekbones, alluring accent, and murky motives — becomes a bit more complicated, and found Loretta, Raylan’s adolescent proto-daughter, reappearing to plead for Raylan’s help, again.
Like everything else we’ve seen thus far this season, the intro of Alison into Raylan’s life feels forced and a bit joyless. There’s a sorta meet-cute on the jailhouse steps — she’s Loretta’ s new social worker (his actual progeny and her mother is off screen in Miami). Loretta and her dimwit boyfriend have been selling weed and become entangled with murderous thugs from Memphis. Etcetera.
Meanwhile, Raylan has some new digs — the home of a Confederate-loving creep whose property — along with fancy car, wine cellar, and indoor bowling alley — have been seized. As if Raylan needed a chick magnet. For an all-too-brief moment, we spot two fan faves — agents Tim and Rachel — but they quickly disappear so we can meet Boyd’s proportionately unappealing dope distribution network, including a guy who gets his fun aiming BBs at juiced-up crackheads; they’re all wearing flannel, the show’s apparent visual code for “poor white person.”
Boyd tangles with the post–Cold War dame Mara, a twenty-first century version of that stock character from many a spy novel: the mysterious, beautiful woman from behind the Iron Curtain who can twist men’s minds. Mara saw Boyd attack her husband but refuses to nail him because she thinks he might be useful — all while fiancée Ava stews behind bars.
When the action lags, we get fat whore jokes, such as the sparkling “Bring the big bitch back!” We’re at the start of the season, and it already feels like we’re going through the motions.
Use of the word “pussy”: 2