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Justified: The Shot of the Week

by Rachel Stein February 8, 2012 6:00 am
<i>Justified</i>: The Shot of the Week

FLASHBACK: I'm sitting in front of my TV, watching the scene in "The Devil You Know" where Dickie Bennett is a mere few seconds away from getting shot and killed by two armed idiots, and I find myself uncontrollably sobbing. My caretaker approaches me and asks what's wrong and why I'm crying, but all I can muster through my tears is: "I don't know."

DUN!

Seriously, though, I don't think my love for Dickie stems solely from leftover Lost compassion for Daniel Faraday (if not also for the fact that his cadence is often extremely similar to It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia's Charlie). Justified has built this scrappy fool's character so well, he feels too fragile to root against when he's at the mercy of dumb minor henchman who have little reason not to kill him. We learned last season that a truly major character, such as Mags Bennett, won't go down unless it's by her own accord or the handiwork of our hero, Raylan. I wonder if this show is brave enough to go there, and allow a character to die at the mercy of a random killing. It worked so well on (and don't click through this if you haven't seen The Wire) other shows, and I do hope that at some point, a truly lovable and major character gets offed on this series by no one of importance, just 'cause. For now, Devil will do.

Speaking of, I guess the major lesson we learned from Justified in this outing is that you should never try to outsmart Boyd (the lesson applied to Raylan was taught last episode). In this installment of "Shot of the Week," Boyd took the honors when he first gunned the would-be Harlan Brutus, who will spend the remainder of his days chewed in one of the three mouths of Mags. I found it especially hard to watch Devil pathetically ask for Boyd to put him out of his misery, but at least he's not going to end up the subject of sick medical experimentation, a victim of organ harvesting or whatever the hell is about to go down with Dewey.

Otherwise, we're only four episodes into Season 3 and yet so much has already been established and built up. Quarles now goes by "The Wizard," and his three seconds of screen time made me cringe in despair... though I did laugh at: "Give me a Goddamn AH-MEN!" He couldn't possibly feel more real in this universe -- which is especially impressive given his supervillian characterization thus far -- than when he reduced Devil's then-master plan to a "shitty little project." We also had Brooks convincingly demonstrate her willingness to go wrist-deep in "pig shit," the Limehouse crew adding more trouble to the mix, the return of Loretta (who "couldn't say" much about anything) and Raylan running over the crooked prison guard like a total boss.

I would like to note that "The Devil You Know" was in no way my favorite Justified episode, as the competition is extremely stiff... but I will say that after last night, it's gonna take all week to get my core temp back up.

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