Justified
Truth and Consequences

Episode Report Card
LuluBates: A | 3 USERS: A-
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Of Carrots and Sticks and Big Ol' Snakes

Boyd is heading back to church, but he hasn't come to pray for the soul of his snake-bitten brethren. While Pastor Billy preaches about how the Lord Almighty loves him and protects him from the terrible bites of serpents, last night evil came into their church and was struck down by the very same snakes. God protects the righteous and the holy from the snakes' poison, but when evil knocks on their church's door, he smites down the wicked with the same snakes. That's when Boyd shows up like the punchline to Billy's speech. Billy knows it was Boyd's men who got their comeuppance last night and he also knows that Boyd tried to bribe his sister into uprooting the congregation from their spot. He calls Boyd out in front of the churchgoers, handily incorporating him into the sermon and Boyd doesn't bother denying it. He does deny something though: That Billy's snakes have any poison in them at all. Boyd presents the congregation with a box and the opportunity for knowledge. He uses the sanctuary-filling voice that he used to use back when he was a preacherman and tells the gathering that inside the box is a rattlesnake that was pulled from a crevice near the Cumberland River this very morning, which is how he knows that the good preacher's sister didn't have time to milk it of poison yet. Someone in the congregation yells, "Blasphemy!" Now, I don't know about you, but any time someone yells "Blasphemy!" I start thinking about the stoning scene in Monty Python's "Life of Brian", so you'll forgive me if I watched the rest of this scene imagining it in John Cleese's voice.

The preacher's sister pretends she has no idea what Boyd is talking about, but calmly tries to talk her brother out of it by claiming that the snakes aren't props and are only handled when the Lord calls them to it. Boyd quotes some scripture about acting in the light and Billy agrees to hold the rattler for the glory of God. That's when his sister stops him. She admits that she milked the venom out of the snakes before he ever handled them. Billy is shocked at his sister's actions, but she tries to explain that she had to. He never saw their daddy suffering and in pain after getting bit by snakes. Boyd picks up his box to leave, because his work is done, although I'm not sure why he brought the snake with him. Why not leave an incredibly dangerous snake for the people you hate to deal with, right? Anyway, Billy stops him and is going to juggle that rattlesnake for Jesus, if it's the last thing he ever does (and it could be!) Cassie tries to talk him out of it, but he ignores her. Then Boyd tries to talk him out of it, because it's not the will of God but sheer hubris on his part. Billy doesn't care and ultimately neither does Boyd. He hands over the snake and Billy gets to preaching. It's all good and everyone's prayers of safety seem to be working, until, you know, they don't. The pissed off rattlesnake sinks its fangs into Reverend Billy. He tucks the snake back into the box and then collapses. Boyd walks off as Cassie screams for someone to call an ambulance.

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Justified

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