Justified - 'The Kids Aren't All Right' recap

By Amanda Jo Scott,

“The Kids Aren’t All Right” saw the return of Loretta, who hasn’t quite changed her ways. Raylan is forced to deal with Loretta’s current pot deal gone wrong, which sets the stage for a possible new nemesis, Hot Rod from Memphis. Meanwhile, Boyd was left to deal with his drug distribution problem, a not-so-dead Paxton, and another drug shipment gone wrong.

Paxton’s wife is demanding money from Boyd or she’ll go to the cops. This may not matter, considering Paxton started to wake from his coma at the end of the episode. Poor Dewey Crowe is settling into his life as a whorehouse owner, only to have that long-lost Florida Crowe family show up. Daryl Crowe has arrived in Harlan County and he’s sure to add to the long list of problems everyone is already facing.

The second episode of the season continued to set the stage for the rest of the season. Past characters were brought back and new characters were set in place to create conflict. I’m quite sure things are going to get more chaotic. With Art looking into the shooting on the tarmac, the past is sure to come into play this season. All of this together, it’s going to be an interesting season with numerous plot lines intertwining.

While the plots for this season are being set up well, I’d like to take a second to discus the well-delivered, superbly-crafted dialogue. The cast and crew of Justified creates such interesting, remarkable characters and the dialogue pushes the envelope. The monologues are intriguing and captivating. At one point Boyd enters the bar just in time to smooth over a volatile conversation between Duffy and drug distributors. In his preacher-like manner, Boyd calms the tense situation with his wit and ability to transform any situation through his poetic-like words. Ending with, “And because talk is cheap and liquor is not, drinks are on the house.”

I get happily lost in Walton Goggins’ dialogue delivery. Raylan, while less theatrical, rarely goes into a long monologue, instead, opting for shorter, straight-to-the-point wit, “You get in the weed business with teenagers and it’s their fault when things go wrong? You the type of fella that walks under a flock of birds and is surprised when he ends up with sh-t on his face?”

He and Boyd are full of that old-school wit. Furthermore, when Raylan does go into a bit of a monologue it serves as more of a straight-to-the-point warning, “You get what I’m sayin’? Even before I went to Glencoe and trained to be a dead shot, I seen people kill one another and I learned to be ready in case they came after me to do me harm. In other words, I’ll get four of ya before you even clear your weapons and I’ll take my chances with the other two. And, you see this star? That’s gonna make it legal. Now do we have an understanding here?” Timothy Olyphant effortlessly owns the part of Raylan Givens. The characters have been formed through the particular use of dialogue and the series sets it apart because of this. In terms of dialogue, each character has a specific uniqueness that sets them and the series apart. This poetic use of one-liners, curse words, and wit coupled with a modern take on the Western is quite close to another commendable series, Deadwood, which just so happens to be another show you should probably check out if you like Justified as I do.

Quite a few shows find it difficult to remain intriguing as focus is placed on establishing plot, but Justified finds a way to introduce new plot while staying true to its characters, its history, and its current plots. Can’t wait to see where the rest of this season heads as each of the characters already have quite a bit with which they must contend. Although, I’m sure hoping Raylan and Boyd’s paths cross soon. I’m surely missing their banter.

image: FX

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