Justified: Season 4, Episode 4: This Bird Has Flown

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Last week on Justified S4 Episode 3, Truth and Consequences, we were introduced to a new character, Drew’s non-widow, Eve the psychic, and Raylan returned home to find his room has been tossed, and his money and his gal, barkeep Lindsey, are nowhere to be found.

Last week snakes, this week roosters. It’s Chinese New Year on Justified.

Tonight’s episode picks up in real time where last week left off: Rachel and Raylan are investigating his ransacked room. “I’m thinking you should’ve seen this coming,” she says, not as unkindly as might be warranted.

Raylan is still clinging to the notion that perhaps Randall has abducted Lindsey — “I kinda thought she liked me”–  but Rachel makes it clear it doesn’t look like the girl was putting down roots. And off they go in search of Bonnie and Clyde and Raylan’s missing ill-gotten bounty-hunting money from his undie drawer.

Meanwhile, Randall and Lindsey have made their way to the den of a few known ne’er do wells with Randall’s stolen money, Hoppus and the fight club ring. They have the money (Raylan’s $20k); they just need the fighters.

At Boyd’s Bar, Ellen May has returned, lamenting the death of Preacher Billy. Boyd does not refuse responsibility, but he does make it clear that Billy made bad choices. More importantly, Ellen May wants to come home. Boyd and Ava confer. Ava is worried. She thinks she should’ve never left witnesses in the first place (to the killing of Delroy), and that as long as Ellen May is around, she’ll be waiting for the other shoe to drop. Still, she wants to believe in second chances. She never got one, but she wants to believe.

Boyd decides he’ll be able to discern how much Ellen May has shot her mouth off by tracking down Preacher Billy’s corrupt sister.

Rachel and Raylan quickly catch up to the Fight Club where Randall has been before. All he wants is a simple “they went thataway” (from more extraneous characters, treading dangerously close to Season 3 territory). The joke is on the marshals. The fighters Randall had set off in search of for his new management stable weren’t MMA pros — he has invested instead, in chickens: cockfighting.

Further down the road, Lindsey is charming the pants off a simple Stop n Go shopkeeper (in the traditional Billy Bob Thornton-ish role), distracting him while Randall quietly loots the place. Later in the car, he is transfixed with glee over his new acquisitions, which include “the Bruce Lee of fighting chickens.” Despite Lindsey’s powers of seduction, his pathological jealousy dictates that they return to the Stop n Go for him to settle the score with the man who was so tawdrily specific with his wife about Kodak vs Fuji film. While he is administering the beating, she steps outside and calls Raylan.

He checks his voicemail and using his marshal superpowers of reverse lookup, tracks their last traces at the stop n go, where the bewildered clerk has figured out the couple’s twisted game in much less time than it took Raylan. “If I didn’t know better, I’d swear that blonde girl set me up to take a beating.” He thinks they were headed to a farm she wanted to photograph.

Back at Boyd’s compound, Ellen May is like that puppy that just keeps piddling on the rug and chewing through the shoes until eventually Mom and Dad — in this case, Boyd and Ava — have no choice but to send her off to that  farm in the country. They hope they can retire her to greener pastures in Alabama, where her unpredictability is less of a threat.

Ellen May wants no part of the Alabama plan.”This is your way out,” Ava says. “You’re gettin’ the chance I never got,” she says. “You get to start over. Make something out of yourself worth being proud of. Tell it all to Whoopi Goldberg one day on The View.”

Ellen May doesn’t understand why she’s being sent off. But Ava characterizes it as Freedom, “next time you give a blow job, it’ll be cause you want to.” Colt will give her a ride to the bus.

Back on the cockfighting trail, Rachel has to go back to official work, while Raylan catches up to Lindsey and Randall on his own. It is inevitable that Raylan and Randall will come to blows — gunplay will be involved (even if it is only beanbag rounds) — and that Lindsey will get off on the whole process, and fire on them both. “What now is, where’s my money?” Raylan asks. She tells him it’s in the van.

Colt is driving Ellen May, in a scene heavily reminiscent of the “Long Term Parking” episode of The Sopranos when Silvio must take Adriana to the woods. Colt is interrupted by a call from Ava. She has changed her mind about the Alabama destination, after Ellen May stupidly told her there was no reason to send her away — she could keep her mouth shut about the killing and all.  That seals it.  Colt stops for gas and a quick drug bump in the restroom, and when he returns to the car, Ellen May is gone. Has she gotten wise and run off? Or has she been abducted? By whom?

Tonight was a “place-holder” episode. Every series has them. Spare characters and plots come and go that we don’t and shouldn’t care about. There was no development of the central mystery (other than the sheriff’s quick glance at a computer screen that verifies Drew isn’t dead). And Raylan and Boyd are no closer to getting in the same room.

Season 4 recaps here:

Episode 1
Episode 2
Episode 3
Episode 4



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