Some lowlife comes into the bar and butts heads with Raylan; before long, we learn that he's an MMA fighter. We also find out that he's Lindsey's husband, at least according to him, and Raylan's like, "Greeeeeeeeeeat."
Art is has announced he's retiring (sob), and as such, a "Patrick" from a Marshal's office in a different part of the state shows up sniffing around his job. Art would rather keep it in the family, but is aware that none of his Marshals is an ideal candidate at the moment; for example, he's noticed the weird hours Raylan's been keeping, and reminds Raylan he can't get away with working side jobs. Raylan, in turn, is aware that that Patrick is making a play for Art's job, so each of them, as usual, ends up feeling like he's the smartest guy in the room.
Ellen May comes to Ava and tells her she's converted to Preacher Billy's church, evangelizing that Ava can change her ways too, but Ava doesn't think there's any salvation for their kind. Johnny thinks this is further evidence that Preacher Billy is responsible for the drop in their oxy sales, but Boyd still isn't convinced, and confesses to Ava he doesn't like churches... he likes them even less when a bunch of kids show up to his place singing about the throne of God, and I know it's early, but the look on Walton Goggins' face when this happens might be the highlight of my year. He goes to Shelby about the cult, and Shelby reluctantly hands over a file on Billy and his sister Cassie (the blonde on the stage last time); Boyd realizes that their MO has been to set up shop in a town until the local criminal element has no choice but to pay them off, at which point they move on, much like the guy who sold monorails on The Simpsons.
Ellen May meets Cassie when she comes to talk to Billy and tell him she's not sure she can be part of their church because of all the terrible things she's done. Billy, however, convinces her that the good she'll do will wipe her slate clean, and that anyone who says otherwise is her enemy. Billy then baptizes her in front of his congregation -- and Boyd, who shows up with Colton and Jim. Boyd and Billy have a little verbal showdown about faith, and Boyd proves rather adept in quoting Scripture in casting doubt about Billy's integrity. Billy responds by telling the congregation he won't be accepting any more of their money, and he seems to mean it, but the dark look Cassie sends Boyd's way lets him know that not everyone there is so spiritually pure. Boyd thinks their problems will be solved if they find out what Cassie wants, but Ava is worried that Ellen May, as part of her spiritual awakening, will give Ava up as a murderer, and I'm not sure what solution she's proposing, but it may not exactly involve not murdering someone else.
Speaking of murder, Art breaks the news about Arlo's new crime, and Raylan recognizes the victim as having been lurking when he showed Arlo the (Panamanian diplomat's, we learn) bag, which Raylan now shows Art, along with the license. The Marshals (including Tim, THANK GOD, he's my other favorite) look to use Waldo's disability checks to track him and his extremely felonious sons down, and when they arrive on the property, it's not exactly Bennett Redux, but there is a bunch of disgusting kids and the absolutely wonderful Beth Grant as the matriarch and Waldo's wife. When Waldo arrives, the Marshals question him about the license, and it soon comes out that the guy is faking being Waldo so the family can keep collecting their draw. Beth Grant then lets them know that she hasn't actually seen Waldo in thirty years -- not since a pilot came to offer him a job from which he said he'd never come back. Art recognizes the name of the pilot, "Drew Thompson," as the same guy who flattened himself in that quiet suburb thirty years ago -- it was cocaine he was carrying, by the way -- but, based on the information supplied by Beth Grant, they realize it was actually Waldo who died, so they resolve to ask Arlo where Thompson is. Might want to hurry, as you'll see.
Colton, you'll be surprised to learn, is kind of out of control as an enforcer, which is to say that he's pretty great at it. He captures a dealer in Boyd's territory and uncovers a Dixie Mafia heroin business going on under Boyd's nose, and as a result, who comes out of the woodwork but my other other OTHER favorite on the show -- Wynn Duffy. Boyd tries to use the dealer's life as leverage to become Duffy's Harlan distributor, and Duffy's answer is to blow the guy's brains out in front of a roomful of people. Before he leaves, though, he lets it be known that Arlo's victim last episode was part of the Dixie Mafia, so looks like both Duffy and Boyd just got pulled into the thirty-year-old mystery. Lucky thing for Boyd he's got some muscle he can pretty much trust.
No show does a slow burn quite like this one; two eps in, and without seeming like there's any particular urgency, tons of stuff is happening. Can't wait to see then next one.
Well, we were going to have to talk about this sometime. Obviously, this show is incredibly well-crafted -- I'd go so far as to say it's unmatched at the way it blends slow-burn drama with genuinely funny humor. That said, I think it's fair to say that many people also appreciate Raylan Givens as a, well, a specimen, which is why you can't really fault the show for giving those people, of which I am one, a bit of, as my great friend Joe Reid would call it, some dudesploitation. However, when the opening shot is a shirtless and shaggy-haired (you could tell his hair was longer in the premiere, but he never took his hat off so there was no good look at it) Raylan, along with Lindsey, flopping back onto the bed having just Done It, it is, if you'll permit me, kind of like skipping foreplay. I'm not complaining, but if my syntax seems to abandon me temporarily, you can take that as the reason.
Anyway, between pants, Lindsey says they're getting good at "that," but Raylan predictably thinks "good" was achieved some time ago. They flirt sweatily, and then Raylan tries to demonstrate that he is not selfish that way when his head ducks down out of frame, but Lindsey, while appreciative of the thought, says she's got to get downstairs to field a liquor delivery. Raylan decides to channel his chivalry into an activity that's acceptable on-camera, if barely any more family-friendly, by volunteering to go deal with the booze, and further demonstrates his magnanimity by flashing us the tiniest bit of ass crack as he pulls on his jeans. Putting his shirt on, he tells her to stay there, just like that...
...and then he's downstairs making some notes on a manifest, I assume, as a guy wheels in a keg. Behind him, a dude with a rather strong build enters, and when Raylan tells him they're closed, he's like, that's cool -- and then pours himself a beer. Raylan's like, great, here's me having left my gun upstairs, but does reiterate a couple times that the guy should go, whereupon the guy, after having indicated he's familiar with the waitresses by sight, asks Raylan if he thinks he could make him. Raylan, already sad that this guy has popped the balloon of his post-coital bliss, asks if he's serious, and when the guy repeats the question, diplomatically says he doesn't know and he'd rather not find out. Good read for someone who hasn't even seen the rest of the episode yet. The guy fixes Raylan with a long look, but finally breaks into a smile and says he's messing with Raylan. However, his good humor is belied by him aggressively bumping Raylan's shoulder on his way out. I mean, even giving people a lot of leeway for wanting to touch Raylan, that seemed nefarious.