Regular readers to the site should already know, my favorite show on Television is Justified. They should know, not because I’ve said it multiple times (even though I have: Justified: A Beacon of Modern Masculinity & Justified: Cottonmouth – Harlan County’s Best of the Season just to site a few), but because it simply embodies the opposite of everything I regularly point out as being wrong with TV.
And last night was no different. For those paying attention to the show they already knew going in last night we’d get to see the Bennett Clan’s ‘Everyone is Invited’ picnic. We knew Mags had something up her sleeve, but we just didn’t know what. We also knew going in that Carol Johnson, the representative of the mining company, who was under Raylan’s protection, had plans to buy out the Bennett land, and mine the mountain.
The episode kicks off with Mags and Loretta, doing what appears to be some ‘Mother-Daughter’ bonding. Mags is gifting Loretta a family heirloom, an antique hairclip when Coover busts in the room. Mags explodes at him about not knocking and proceeds to kick him out.
He doesn’t leave right away though, he stands outside the closed door long enough to hear his mother cruelly badmouth him to her apparent new favorite kid.
Coover is obviously jealous of the attention Loretta is receiving from his mother, as if she is part of the family now.
Shortly after this Boyd and Ava show up to the shin-dig, and are clearly not welcome. Local Police Chief (and Mags’ eldest child) Doyle Bennett threatens to remove them forcibly if they don’t leave, but Boyd persuades him to arrange a sit-down with Mags. At this point we still aren’t sure what Boyd’s endgame is, only that it involves Raylan’s father, and what seems to be the betrayal of his current employer – Black Pine Mines.
This is when Raylan and Ms. Johnson arrive. Carol goes to have her final discussion with Mags, only to find Boyd is also present. Carol is under the impression that Boyd has secured Arlo Givens land for her, when in reality, Boyd secured if for himself. Mags then looks at Black Pine’s offer and demands it be tripled. She also wants a stake in the company as she reveals to Ms. Johnson, with the land now owned by Boyd and the Bennetts, Black Pine cannot build the road they would need to transport the coal. Black Pine agrees to her terms and she sells out the county she’d been so adamant in defending.
After Raylan and Ms. Johnson leave, Loretta is called over to help Coover load some kegs into the truck, as he has only one capable hand now.
This is when Loretta notices Coover’s watch, or rather, her daddy’s watch. She is noticeably frightened enough that Coover comments on it. It is now obvious that he only put the watch on to let her know he killed her dad. She heads back up to the house to remove the dress Mags gave her and switch back into her old clothes. This is her letting the audience in on the fact she now knows that her father is dead, as she attempts to distance herself from the Bennetts. But she wants her father’s watch back.
Loretta shows up at Dickie and Coover’s house sometime later. She brought Coover a gift – a joint laced with formaldehyde. Coover seemingly passes out and Loretta begins to search the house for the watch. She first finds Dickie passed out face down on the ground. She then uncovers the watch and calls in her ‘Knight in shinning armor‘ for help.
This is when Coover enters the room and Dickie wakes up. Enraged she tried to drug him Coover attacks Loretta and little Dickie unsuccessfully tries to stop him.
Dickie’s attempt however does give Loretta time to escape out the front. Coover chases her down in the truck as Raylan, after doing a cell phone trace, arrives to find Dickie unconscious on the floor. Coover takes Loretta to the same mine shaft where her father’s body has been decomposing for some time. Raylan engages Coover again, and is losing again. Loretta picks up Raylan’s dropped gun and gets Coover’s attention long enough for Raylan to reach his backup piece and end Coover.
Upon hearing the news Mags shows up at the mine to see her son’s body being removed and learns that Loretta has been taken into protective custody. In an attempt to persuade Raylan to let her talk to Loretta, she starts to cry. Raylan is not moved, and upon seeing his unwillingness to budge, she abandons the plea and exits. That a Cold-Hearted woman.
While this episode may have, apparently wrapped up both the ‘Loretta’ and the ‘Black Pine’ story lines, Raylan’s killing of Coover is sure to elicit a swift response from the Bennett clan, meaning the last 4 episodes to come should hold a war in the making.
I think we’re due for a crescendo.