Justified – “Truth and Consequences”: Snakes on a face

Justified: Season 4

Episode 3 – “Truth and Consequences”

Aired: January 22, 2013

Director: Jon Avnet

Writer: Benjamin Cavell

“He does something stupid every day. Can you be more specific?”

- Deputy Tim Gutterson

As the title suggests, this week’s episode featured a variety of characters coming clean and facing the consequences of their admissions.

Lindsey comes clean with Raylan about her criminal past with Randall. Thanks to Boyd, Preacher Billy’s sister is forced to come clean about milking their rattlesnakes to remove the venom. FBI Agent Barnes comes clean about being on the take just in time to save Eve Monro. And Munro comes clean about Drew Thompson’s death, which he faked to save himself from Theo Tonin.

In most cases, the consequences of those actions are dire. While it’s unclear at this point whether or not she went willingly, Lindsey and Randall are both MIA at the end of the episode and Raylan’s room is ransacked. Once Preacher Billy realizes what his sister did, he decides to test his faith by picking up Boyd’s rattlesnake, which ends up biting him. Agent Barnes takes his own life to avoid going to prison. The only person who comes out alright is Eve Monro, but she’s under police protection for the foreseeable future and we’ll have to wait and see whether or not that’s enough to save her from Theo Tonin.

Speaking of Munro, her job as a “certified spiritualist” gives us an interesting insight into the ideology of the show. Between Preacher Billy getting bitten this week and Boyd’s own ill-fated turn as a legit preacher, Justified isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement of the redemptive power of Christianity. However, the show does seem to leave the door open for Munro’s powers to be on the level. The fact that she is able to deduce Raylan’s meeting in the first place, along with her deducing which of the three boxing gyms Raylan would be at, is either proof of her psychic gift or a credit to her extraordinary observation skills.

I wish, for now at least, the show had given Preacher Billy’s “powers” that same ambivalence. I would have liked to see him lift up Boyd’s rattlesnake without getting bitten, which would have added further fuel to their conflict. I like the idea of Billy being a true believer while his sister is a bit more practical and willing to get her hands dirty. Having her turn out to be right to milk the snakes (and Boyd proven right that he’s a “fraud”) really takes his legs out from under him going forward.

That being said, I did like Boyd’s reaction to the snake bite. He took no joy in besting his newfound rival. Most likely because he sees a lot of his old self in Preacher Billy.

Of course, while he momentarily gets the upper hand on the Last Chance Holiness Church, Boyd has another threat looming in the shadows. It seems Johnny is still plotting against him, turning to Wynn Duffy to pick up where the failed Devil coup left off.

Meanwhile, Raylan finds himself with two new missions going forward. He has another lead to follow up in the “Mystery of the Panamanian Diplomatic Bag” and he now has to track down Randall to find out if Lindsey was a willing accomplice and to get back his stolen baby money.

And another thing …

  • When talking to Raylan about the boxing gym owner who sleeps on premises, Randall says he wants to be Cus D’Amato. D’Amato, who trained Mike Tyson, Floyd Patterson, José Torres, and Vinnie Ferguson and is credited with developing the “peek-a-boo” style of boxing, lived at the Empire Sporting Club, which he co-owned.
  • This week’s episode was heavy on the cowboy references. Raylan gets compared to Wyatt Earp and Gary Cooper and we see a Tombstone poster in his room.
  • I like that Rachel is off having her own adventures when we don’t see her on-camera. Although it seems that Raylan has clearly been a bad influence on her. (Still, wouldn’t it be fun – perhaps in a later season – to have an episode starring Rachel where Raylan was almost nonexistent?)
  • I wonder what Agent Barnes and his shady accomplice would have done if Eve hadn’t tried to sneak out the window. Would they have tried to take out Raylan and Tim to get to Eve before she was put under protective custody?

Written by Joel Murphy. If you enjoy his recaps, he also writes a weekly pop culture column called Murphy’s Law, which you can find here. You can contact Joel at murphyslaw@hobotrashcan.com.

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