This week’s episode gave me something I didn’t even know I wanted – the amazing buddy cop duo that is Deputy US Marshal Raylan Givens and Sheriff Shelby Parlow.
Every single moment that Timothy Olyphant and Jim Beaver shared on-screen was pure gold. In Shelby’s entrance, he seemed to out-Raylan Raylan by using a snarky comment about Marshal Givens beating up the kid for info, then telling him to get into his police car if he actually wanted to find Roz. From there, the two proved to be a fantastic duo (Shelby taking out “Rapes with a Smile” while Raylan interrogated Roz was particularly nice) and Shelby deflected every suspicion Raylan had by pointing out that he spent his previous years as a cop chasing down Raylan’s father.
The highlight though was when the two men interrogated Boyd in Shelby’s office. Both Raylan and Shelby have found themselves at various times forced to team up with Boyd to achieve a common goal. But both men are now working to bring Boyd down. That added a lot of intrigue and tension into the scene between the three men. Though honestly, they are just three great actors with such great chemistry together that I would have watched an entire hour of them exchanging forced pleasantries and trying to outsnark each other.
Speaking of Boyd, he got to end the episode on an emotional high by proposing to Ava in a very romantic (and very Boyd) fashion. The two obviously have a bizarre relationship – considering that she killed his brother and had a gun aimed at him in the pilot episode of the series – but his speech and her acceptance of Boyd’s proposal was one of the sweetest moments this show has even given us.
Of course, while Boyd is doing great in his personal life, his empire is crumbling around him. Worst of all, he doesn’t even know its happening yet. The only thing he does know is that Shelby is no longer in his pocket. But he doesn’t know that Colton lied to him about killing Ellen May and that Shelby has the girl safely hidden away. He also doesn’t know about the downward spiral of drug use and physical violence Colton is falling into. And he seems unaware that Johnny is conspiring to kill him once again, just waiting for the right opportunity to get his revenge. Even Ava was coming apart at the seams before the wedding proposal, as the stress of the entire Ellen May situation is clearly getting to her. (Worst of all, she has the guilt of “killing” Ellen May weighing on her conscience without realizing that Ellen May is still alive and very much a threat to her and Boyd.)
Then there’s Boyd’s lawyer. She successfully gets him out of Shelby’s custody and she manages to stall Arlo’s deal for another week, but we find out that she was looking to nab Drew Thompson herself to score Theo Tonin’s reward money. Of course, it turns out that Arlo gave her the wrong name, which turns out to be a brilliant move on his part, even though it gets poor Josiah’s foot cut off for nothing.
I’ll have to assume that the lawyer did, at least, manage to stall Arlo’s deal even further as he will presumably now have to find new representation to broker the deal on his behalf.
While Arlo sorts out his legal affairs, the race for Drew Thompson seems poised to heat up. Boyd and Ava secured an invitation to a swinger party full of Clover Hill folks while Raylan and Shelby found out that former sheriff Hunter Mosley may know Drew’s whereabouts. (Hunter was arrested back in season one’s “Blind Spot” after trying to have Raylan killed.)
And another thing …
Tim gets his own subplot this week! It’s been clear that the writers have been making more of an effort to include Tim and Rachel in the show. So far, I’m not sure what to think of this new storyline, but it could be interesting (especially if he keeps running into Colton).
Speaking of Tim’s subplot, did anyone else expect his friend to defuse the situation with the dealer he ripped off by pulling a Twix out of his pocket, taking a bite and then saying something smooth?
Just when I thought I couldn’t love Art any more than I already did, he pops into the episode, throws out a bunch of foot puns and then drops the mic and disappears. Such a perfect cameo.
Is really has been a while since Raylan shot somebody, hasn’t it? Wonder if his talk with Shelby was foreshadowing.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.