Justified – “Money Trap”: Best laid plans

Justified: Season 4

Episode 7 – “Money Trap”

Aired: February 19, 2013

Director: Don Kurt

Writers: Elmore Leonard and Chris Provenzano

“Just because you got a plan, it don’t make it a good one.”

– Raylan Givens

It seems strange that Boyd and Ava Crowder going to a high society sex party would actually end up being a less intriguing (and sexy) story than Raylan’s hunt for a twice-escaped fugitive, but I found myself much more invested in the smoldering chemistry between Raylan and Jackie Nevada than I was watching “Hillbilly Eyes Wide Shut.”

Not that the Boyd-Ava storyline didn’t have it moments. I really liked the nervous Boyd looking all around for his pocket watch and worrying he’d use the wrong fork. As calm, cool and collected he is in any given situation on his home turf, Boyd doesn’t do so well with the Clover Hill folk. All his childhood insecurities come to the surface even though, as he made clear last week in his proposal to Ava, he longs to be accepted as a member of high society.

And, of course the real reason they would invite Boyd to Napier’s party would be to have someone killed. I liked the idea that the reason Boyd has been able to be so successful in Harlan is because the high society cabal has let him. It will be interesting to see how he navigates things going forward. (I also definitely found myself looking at all of those faces in that room – many of whom are accomplished character actors – wondering if any of them would turn out to be Drew Thompson.)

Still, while I liked a lot of the individual moments in the Boyd-Ava storyline, when I look back on this episode, I’m most likely to remember Jackie Nevada. Jackie Nevada comes from Elmore Leonard’s book Raylan, which came out in January 2012. In the book, she is a missing college student suspected in a string of bank robberies who Raylan is hunting down. I liked this version of the character. She definitely felt like a Leonard creation, complete with a rich backstory and an awesome name and the part was well cast.

I was a bit less enthused about the return of Jodie, the easy to catch, but hard to contain fugitive. I thought he worked in a standalone episode, but I don’t know that he was dynamic enough to bring back for round two. He did prove to be effective fodder for Raylan’s whole plan speech to Arlo at the end though and he gave Raylan an excuse to shoot someone again, so I guess his return wasn’t a total loss.

It was a bit odd to realize that only six days had passed since the season premiere. It makes sense given the ticking clock nature of the Drew Thompson storyline, but it still seemed strange to realize all of the action in the past seven episodes has happened in just a few short days. (Raylan is having a hell of a week.)

And another thing …

  • I really hope we see Jackie Nevada return. She was just too charming not to be seen again. And I feel like we barely got below the surface of the onion that is Miss Nevada. (I’m also dying to know whether she gave the money back to Jodie’s wife or kept it for herself.)
  • I had a lot of fun reading the movie posters in Kenny Blank’s apartment, which included such scintillating titles as Reeker, Shadow People, Head Trip and Wedding Slashers.
  • If Art actually does retire, I hope the show can still find a way to have him call Raylan once a week to be snarky.
  • I’m not sure why, but I found Raylan eating an ice cream cone, then throwing it out the window upon the news of his former paramour’s death, to be a really wonderful and sweet visual.
  • At this point, does any bad guy not know that Raylan lives at the High Note Bar? I feel like the owner must hate him.
  • Also, as I predicted last week, Raylan’s comment to Shelby last week that he hadn’t shot anyone in a while was indeed foreshadowing. I love that the writers have made Raylan a bit hesitant to pull his gun as the show has progressed (which is necessary to give the show at least some plausibility), there is something really satisfying about watching him outdraw a villain and pumping the bad guy full of rounds.

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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