February 19, 2013

Episode Review: JUSTIFIED, "Money Trap"

This week, Justified trimmed the fat on "Money Trap" and gave the viewers an episode that flowed fairly well and was mostly entertaining to boot.

Before Raylan could pay his father a visit to cut him a deal so he'd work with the feds to find Drew Thompson, he was sidetracked by Jody (the bail-jumper from the premiere). As it turned out, Jody recruited a porn director buddy of his to help him get free from the bounty hunters who had him in custody. After killing both of them, Jody and Kenneth made their way to his ex-wife's house so he could get his hands on some money he stashed there. Unfortunately for them, Raylan showed up when he was informed about the aforementioned deaths. While on Jody's trail, Givens met a charming grad student named Jackie Nevada who had a crush on the lawman but got caught up in the mess. It all culminated in a showdown between Raylan and Jody, and of course the hero won. Once the dust settled Raylan realized that Jackie had the money all along, but what he decided to do about it was left unanswered. The next day, he chatted with his father and asked him to play ball, but Arlo refused even after Raylan told him that Boyd was going to betray him.

Speaking of Boyd, he and Ava got their invitation to the high-class swingers party that was frequented by the Harlan County elite. They navigated their way through this new world, and Boyd was befriended by a group of old-timers while Ava had to dodge sleazy horndogs. Boyd started to figure out why he was welcomed with open arms; he figured these men needed him to strong-arm someone to help them get their hands on some EPA funds, but there was a twist. They wanted him to kill a man named Frank Browning, and if he refused to play along then they'd ruin him since they've allowed him to run hookers and drugs in Harlan.

"Money Trap" was one of those Justified episodes that seamlessly combined a strong stand-alone story along with maintaining the larger arcs. I got a kick out of the return on Jody and all of the chaos that he brought along with him, and don't get me started on the crazy chemistry between Raylan and Jackie. It was just a fun, side adventure for the man in the hat to go on while taking a break from the Drew Thompson mystery. That is unless she ends up being Thompson's step daughter, and let's just hope that's not the case.

Getting back to Drew Thompson, I should've liked watching Boyd and Ava fumble their way through the party more than I did. Admittedly, the idea of these two out of their element and dealing with new threats sounds good on paper, but for some reason it didn't quite work for me. Adding a murder plot to the whole thing was also an extra layer on intrigue that felt unnecessary, but we'll have to wait and see where it goes from here.

Other Odds and Ends:
  • Cousin Johnny found out that Colt roughed up his hooker girlfriend during last week's episode.
  • We saw a lot of Jackie (if you get my drift), but I hope we get to see more of her in the future... not like that, you pervs.
  • Art: "She in love with you yet?"
    Raylan: "Art, this girl ain't the least bit interested in an old fart like me."
    Art: "He said, humbly."
So, oddly enough it was the more episodic elements that entertained me the most while the more serialized ones were somewhat of a letdown. Whouda thunk it?


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