Justified – “This Bird Has Flown”: A goodly sum

Justified: Season 4

Episode 4 – “This Bird Has Flown”

Aired: January 29, 2013

Director: Bill Johnson

Writer: Taylor Elmore

“The end of the day when it’s all said and done, she’s still kind of worth it, ain’t she?”

– Randall

This week, we see three strong men confronted with their Achilles’ heels.

First there is Raylan, who sets off to track down Lindsey and Randall, who ran off with his nest egg. Deputy Marshal Raylan Givens is a smooth talking bad ass who usually has the upper hand in any given situation. But this week we see him vulnerable. He honestly never saw Lindsey’s betrayal coming. He was prepared for a big showdown with Randall last week and when the two slipped out under his nose, it floored him.

So as much as Raylan wants to get his money back, more than anything he wants to understand why Lindsey did what she did. His blind spot for her causes him to loose the upper hand in his battle with Randall. He has Randall on the ground, thanks to Rachel’s bean bag shotgun, but he spends too much time talking to Lindsey, which allows Randall to recover. Still, that ultimately gives Raylan what he wants, since she ends up choosing him over Randall when she grabs hold of the shotgun. (Though ultimately, she chooses to ride off into the sunset alone over staying with either one of them.)

The second man dealing with an Achilles’ heel is Randall. And, as luck would have it, it’s the same Achilles’ heel. You see in this one episode why their scam never worked. Lindsey does her part effortlessly, flirting with the cashier and distracting him while Randall steals a bottle of champagne. But what was originally a perfect crime quickly goes south as Randall decides she liked the guy’s attention too much and he heads back to kick the cashier’s ass.

It’s Randall’s anger that got him arrested in the first place. And this week, it’s what causes Lindsey to call Raylan from the payphone, giving him and Rachel a lead. I have to assume that it’s that anger that causes Lindsey to ultimately choose repeatedly firing bean bags at Randall in order to subdue him.

Then there’s Colton, Boyd Crowder’s loyal foot solider who turns out to have more of a conscience than he originally seemed to. In his first outing with Boyd, he wasn’t hesitant to pull the trigger and end a man’s life. But this week, he seems quite broken up over the thought of killing Ellen Mae. And it’s his hesitation (and his trip to the bathroom to steel his courage with some coke) that allows her to get away.

Where Ellen Mae ran off to is yet to be seen. I have a sneaking suspicion that there’s a certain preacher’s sister who may have had a hand in Ellen Mae’s escape. If that’s the case, it might actually be Shelby’s talk with her in his office that planted the seed for the idea, which would be Boyd’s plan backfiring on him.

However Ellen Mae escaped, for now she and Lindsey are the two titular birds who have flown. I don’t suspect we’ll see Lindsey again, but Ellen Mae’s whereabouts figure to be an important plot point going forward.

Overall, this was a fun little episode, mostly thanks to the softer, more vulnerable side of Raylan that was on display. I also enjoyed his teaming up with Rachel. The two make a pretty good team and are probably more alike than Rachel would like to admit. Plus, it’s her shotgun that probably kept that final confrontation from getting too out of hand. And, it was nice to see her helping Raylan to realize what a sucker he’d been with Lindsey in that initial scene inside his ransacked room.

And another thing …

  • Am I the only one disappointed we don’t get to see Raylan start a second career as a cock fighting promoter? (I’m picturing it something like “The Little Jerry” episode of Seinfeld.)
  • Only an off-screen death for Preacher Billy? I would have expected them to at least give us a shot of paramedics loading up an ambulance or zipping up a body bag or something. It seemed strange and sort of underwhelming to just hear the news from Ellen Mae.
  • No new developments “Mystery of the Panamanian Diplomatic Bag” this week, although we do see Shelby researching Drew Thompson’s autopsy report on his computer. We’ll have to wait and see if he was just curious or if he’ll play a significant role in the mystery going forward.
  • Speaking of Shelby, he clearly went back on his word this week by helping Boyd Crowder again after saying his debt had been repaid.
  • I really hope the writers can find an excuse to bring back Navi Rawat as Gina. She was fantastic in her one scene with Rachel and Raylan. And I would have loved to see who would have won that wrestling match.

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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