Episode Report Card
Couch Baron: A+ | 6 USERS: A+
Shoot 'Em Up

Deputy Enforcer has Browning hold still so he can take his picture, and then, apparently having sent it on to someone, makes a phone call (but not without soothingly shushing Browning when he starts to talk, which is hilarious), whereupon he confirms that Browning is not his target. And I might as well get it out now: Superficial analysis would suggest Boyd or Wynn is on the other end of the phone, but does that make sense? It would have to be someone who could clearly recognize Thompson by sight. If Boyd and Wynn have admitted they're not sure which of the two it is, why would Deputy Enforcer call them? Surely I'm overthinking it, but there's a fair amount of fanwanking in this episode, at least for me. But since that's literally my only criticism, I can live with it.

However, someone who can't live with it is Browning, who starts to babble about mistakes being made and whatever, but when he goes on that he doesn't know what Shelby's game is, Deputy Enforcer cuts him off: "I don't know Shelby." With that, he shoots Browning so he falls to the floor and then puts another one in him for good measure, and I kind of love how he made like he was going on a rampage after Boyd left and yet he never even made it out of his own house.

Shelby returns home to find Ellen May wearing mom jeans and a dowdy cardigan. She apologizes for poking around in Shelby's stuff, but it looks like the only thing she disturbed is a St. Christopher's medallion, which Shelby explains is of "the patron saint of travelers, sailors, pilots... and bachelors." He doesn't include reformed whores in there, but I suppose Christopher could only cover so much ground. Ellen May, who's obviously grown fond of Shelby, asks if the bachelor part is why Shelby has it, but Shelby tells her that it actually belonged to his wife, "Abby" -- to whom the clothes Ellen May is wearing belonged as well. Ellen May asks if Abby is dead, and given her recent narrow escape I can understand why she'd want to avoid even a hint of a bad omen, but Shelby tells her no -- not that he knows of, anyway. She asks for some details, and he confesses that Abby left him, twenty-five years ago, with just a note on top of his TV set to explain herself. Damn, Abby, that's cold, and I don't mean in the wonderful Dairy Queen way. Ellen May reveals that her mother left her family in much the same manner, when she was too young even to remember her to boot, and Shelby remarks on how much Ellen May "favors" his ex-wife. And I have the feeling some people were seeing sexual interest from Shelby here, but I actually get a protective-father vibe from him more than anything else. Ellen May offers that wearing different clothes can make you feel like a different person, and Shelby agrees, offering that it took him a year of wearing his sheriff's clothes before he shrugged off the feeling he was wearing a costume. Ellen May wonders if she might ever become the kind of woman that "belongs" in the clothes she's wearing, and Shelby tells her this: "If you pretend to be somethin' long enough, it's not pretendin'."

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