A Memorabilia Collector's World...

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BY SAL NINER

"The Collection" episode Rewatch

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Sunday May 25, 2014 All Day





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PRE-THOUGHTS:

I remember there being a big deal about Hitler paintings...which, is perfectly understandable, as anything regarding Hitler would be a big deal anyway and not in a good way.

INTRODUCTION:

After Owen Carnes, the wealthy owner of a Kentucky horse farm who's under investigation by various agencies, including the U.S. Marshals Service, for embezzlement, supposedly commits suicide, Raylan suspects foul play and endeavors in helping bring the true criminal to justice while resisting his widow Caryn and simultaneously searching for Owen's missing art collection.

PLOT:

Raylan visits Boyd in prison.  Boyd tells Raylan a little bit about his ministry and saving souls.  Raylan wants Boyd to ask around about what Arlo is up to, and in exchange Boyd wants Raylan to think about what will happen to his soul once Raylan has to meet his maker, something likely to happen while Raylan is on-duty.

The next morning, Raylan is in bed and Ava brings him a cup of coffee from a machine.  Ava is looking for an apartment in the classifieds, and not a job as Raylan knows she already has one cutting hair.  Ava and Raylan talk about the demise of their respective marriages, before Raylan relays Johnny's message from "The Lord of War and Thunder" to Ava in that she should leave Kentucky.  Ava refuses to do so as she wants to stay in Lexington where nobody knows her.

Art comes by Raylan's motel room.  Raylan meets Art just outside his motel room door to avoid Art from coming in and finding Ava in his bed.  Art is there to pick him for assistance in an indictment case, much to Raylan's surprise seeing as he didn't turn his cell on to check his messages.  About ten minutes later, they leave for Cincinnati to go to an art dealer because Owen Carnes is getting ready to sell some paintings to that dealer.

On the drive, Art deduces Raylan had Ava in his motel room and reminds him that Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) David Vasquez is still on Raylan's shootings investigation, thus Art warns Raylan to be smart about stopping his involvement with Ava.  Art and Raylan arrive at Karl Hanselman's art gallery.  As Owen will be selling some paintings to Karl, Art wants to make sure that he and Raylan can accompany him to Owen's house for the investigation into embezzlement of money Owens is involved in.

At the Carnes' house, Art presents Owen with an order of assets forfeiture.  Raylan, Art, and Karl enter the house and while Karl is examining the paintings that Owen presents to him, Art and Raylan discover they were painted by Adolf Hitler.  With a false excuse to go to the bathroom, Raylan steps into the living room to find Owen's wife Caryn Carnes coming into the kitchen to wash her hands.  Caryn expresses her distate for the Hitler paintings and hopes they are finally rid of them.  Raylan tries to explain the notice that the Marshals have served Owen, but Caryn doesn't really care to hear it as she can't do anything about it.  Caryn offers Raylan a drink which he accepts.

On the way to the stables with Raylan, Caryn changes her mind and wants to know about the forfeiture order.  Raylan explains that with such an order, all items owned by the defendant, such as the paintings for example, will get seized by the Marshals; and whatever was obtained illegally will get auctioned off.  At the stables, Raylan meets Greg Davis who's in charge of horse training for the Carnes.  Caryn tells of how she met Owen while she was in charge of maintaining the horses and giving lessons to Owen's children at a time when Owen's previous wife wasn't much interested in horses.

Caryn contemplates the fact that she went from a stable hand to the wife of the stables' owner and that she will end up losing her horses.  Caryn bitterly faults Owen for causing the near-complete loss of wealth they've shared from their Kentucky farm.  Raylan comes back to where Art is with Karl and Owen in the den.  Owen finds out from Karl's evaluation that his Hitler paintings are fakes and is furious that he paid $300,000 for them, then demands to see his buyer David Mortimer for an explanation.

Karl, Art, and Raylan leave the Carnes ranch and on the drive, they talk about the Marshals' surprise at not knowing Hitler painted, amazed anyone would collect those paintings.  Raylan, on a related note, recounts the time he met someone who reconstructs model aviation disasters.  Karl offers Raylan to come to the gallery so he can take a look at his collection, but Raylan scoffs at the idea.  As Owen and Caryn are grilling David about the authenticity, or lack, of the Hitler paintings back at the Carnes ranch that night, Greg comes up to Owen's side and shoots him in the temple.  David, Caryn, and Greg prepare Owen's body to make it look like he committed suicide so he cannot be put on trial and therefore his assets, or most of them, can go to Caryn.  Owen takes some time to die as they are preparing him.

Caryn reveals that it was her idea for David to sell Owen the fake Hitlers and David receive half of the money for them (the other went to Caryn herself).  Caryn is willing to burn the paintings so David can't be implicated in the fraud with the condition David tell that right before Owen committed suicide, David had felt Owen was despondent but still alive.  David agrees to the lie.  The next morning, various law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, drive up to the Carnes ranch.  Raylan stops the FBI from breaking down the front door of a house the U.S. Marshals Service now owns.  Caryn opens the door for them and lets the FBI in to serve an arrest warrant for Owen, seeing they finally got the indictment.

When asked where Owen is, Caryn lies and says she doesn't know as he never came to bed and just now as they were driving up to the house, she woke up from the effects of two sleeping pills she took.  On Caryn saying that she last saw Owen meeting with David around 10 p.m. last night in the den with the Hitler paintings, the FBI go in there to find Owen dead.  Caryn fakes grieving shock and runs out of the den, but Raylan looks doubtful.

Back at the Marshals office, the FBI wonders what the IRS will do with the apparent suicide, but Raylan tells them that he doesn't think it's a suicide as the gun was still in Owen's hand and he wouldn't have been able to hold onto it after he shot himself in the temple.  The FBI determines their criminal case on Owen is closed, leaving the Marshals to their forfeiture investigation and to pursue a homicide with local law enforcement if they so wanted to.  At Raylan's desk, AUSA Vasquez finally introduces himself as the one working the case of Raylan's shootings, including Tommy Bucks from "Fire in the Hole", and further wanting to speak with Raylan for the investigation at a later time.

Raylan calls Karl to inquire about the ashes of the burned paintings found in Owen's fireplace as having been done with water-based oils, according to police forensics.  Karl confirms that the ones he evaluated were not water-based and further tells Raylan that a good forger wouldn't use water-based as those paints weren't invented at the time Hitler created his paintings.  Raylan concludes the call as he sees Winona walk up to his desk:  she asks him for a favor into running some names related to her husband Gary Hawkins.  Raylan tells her that it's illegal for him to do a name run for a civilian and considering he has an AUSA on him could get into trouble.  Winona lets him know that she is aware of the AUSA but doesn't go into detail as to how she knows.  Winona convinces him that this favor is really important and with that Raylan agrees, before she leaves him at his desk.

Art gets an alert from Lexington P.D. about Raylan's inquiry into the ashes of the paintings found in Owen's fireplace.  Raylan had expressed to LPD that he was looking into them because they were Marshal-seized assets and he wanted to confirm their condition.  However, LPD felt that this is a homicide investigation in which the Marshals have no jurisdiction.  Raylan gets a hunch that something doesn't add up in Owen's case and he plans to go talk to Caryn while Tim Gutterson brings in David for questioning.  Art authorizes them to do so and gives them one more day to take care of this matter.  Tim asks David to make him a list of all the paintings he sold to Owen and tells him that the ashes discovered in the fireplace were not of the fake Hitlers sold to Owen but of other paintings.

Raylan comes to Gary Hawkins' real estate office with the excuse he wants a house within his price range in the Lexington area.  Raylan apologizes to Gary for entering the Hawkins home unannounced back in "Fire in the Hole".  Raylan tells that Winona had mentioned previously in "Riverbrook" that Gary had been really spooked by the experience, which Gary casually denies.  Raylan asks Gary implicitly whether he's seen any shady dealings with fellow realtors since times for them have been hard; Gary answers he hasn't.  Raylan ends the conversation with threatening to shoot Gary if he drags Winona into any of the shady stuff he's doing now.

At the Carnes ranch, Caryn tells David she's changed her mind about burning the paintings and will keep them as insurance in case David loses his nerve and is in risk of compromising her.  Caryan demands from David the half of the money he received from selling the fake Hitlers to Owen, or else she will turn the fake Hitlers over and expose David for selling them which would cause his career to be ruined.  David threatens to go to the police and expose her and Greg, but Caryn reminds him that he will not get out of serving time anyway.

Afterwards, Caryn comes into the living room to find Raylan and she tells him she does plan to go back to teaching riding.  Caryn had learned to ride at Wichita Falls, TX in Polestar Farms where equine therapy was also being taught.  Caryn plans to partner with Greg, working for his stable.  Raylan recounts of one time he was working a protective security detail for a businessman who was to testify against his partners; after Raylan went around traveling with him in his private jet and getting used to the luxuries of plane travel, he found that going back to a regular airport would make him miss that good life.  Raylan then compares it to Caryn missing her current life once she goes back to teaching.

Caryn pours herself a drink as Raylan asks about the paintings created by Owen's children from his first marriage.  Caryn's wishes to have children of her own went up in smoke after her experiences teaching rich kids to ride and how they would treat their horses.  Caryn confirms that Owen's children are grown and Raylan thinks that they wont miss their paintings which Caryn burned in the fireplace to make them pass off as Owen's fake Hitlers; this is when Caryn realizes that Raylan knows.

Seeing as she can't order Raylan out of a house the Marshals own, Caryn goes to Greg and tells him Raylan knows the fake Hitlers weren't burned.  As they need money to leave, Caryn agrees to sell David the paintings for whatever money he can give them; she then returns to the house.  Left in his stable office, Greg goes behind his desk and draws out a gun, concealing it when Raylan comes in to tell him about his past marriage with Winona and that even though he thought about shooting Gary and having gotten away with it due to his law enforcement background, he wouldn't have done it because he couldn't bring himself to killing Winona or anyone else that might come to witness the incident for the sake of keeping them quiet.  Raylan asks where all that would end and poses the same question to Greg as he suspects him to have a concealed weapon pointed right at Raylan; with a shot Raylan knew he woudln't be able to duck at the distance they were both from each other.  With that, Raylan leaves Greg's stable office.

Later that night, Greg and Caryn are waiting for David to give them the money for the paintings, and as David arrives they check him for a wire before Greg knocks him unconscious.  As Greg points a gun at David, he gets Caryn to confess to Owen's murder, before giving the all-clear for law enforcement to arrest them both.  As the Marshals are taking Greg's wire off of him, Greg further confesses that Caryn wanted before to kill David eventually as well as Owen, confessing to their talks in the days prior.  And as Greg asks if they knew what it felt like to see Caryn go up to the big house while he stayed in the barn, that gets Raylan thinking himself.

Cut to Winona arriving at Raylan's porch.  Raylan asks her why she left him and Winona corrects him by saying he left her when he took the job in Miami.  Winona tries to justify her sleeping with Gary by saying that the marriage with Raylan had gone south long before and that Raylan should have felt relieved it had even ended, if not in the way it did.  Raylan asks Winona what Gary had that he didn't have and he admits losing Winona has eaten at him.  Raylan tells Winona that he didn't find anything out on the names she asked him to run.

The next day at the art gallery, Raylan asks Karl for a written statement that the Hitler paintings are fake.  Raylan suspects Karl is stating this to get them cheap at auction, but Karl confirms with Raylan they are fake by pointing out that the people in them were drawn much better than Hitler would have drawn them.  On account that Karl helped Raylan with his case, he asks him again for the favor to have him take a look at his collection, which Raylan now agrees to.  In a separate room, Karl shows him a collection of ashes in jars and explains these were from authentic Hitler paintings he'd collected over the years that he's burned.  The ashes were a reminder of how Karl hated his father for loving to serve Hitler during the war and how one of his father's greatest pleasures was acquiring Hitler's paintings.

Later that day, Raylan revisits Boyd in prison.  Boyd starts the conversation by sarcastically saying he was on the verge of turning a sinner over to Jesus when Raylan's request to see him interrupted that, thus leaving the sinner to eternal damnation.  Getting a little more serious, Boyd asks Raylan if he did what Boyd asked of him at the beginning of this episode in reflecting on his soul.  Raylan interrupts his musing to say that he takes back his request for Boyd to look into Arlo as he has reflected on how Karl's life was cripped by his own father, and Raylan doesn't want to make that same mistake in his life by allowing himself to be crippled by Arlo.  Raylan decides then to let the inquiry into Arlo go and forgive him so that he can move past it all.  But, this is when Boyd insinuates he has something on Arlo to tell Raylan that he could use to put him away for the rest of his life...and we end on Raylan contemplating on whether he'd like to hear it.

(for a more detailed outline, visit:  http://justified.wikia.com/wiki/The_Collection)

CHARACTERS:

Art.  So glad that our Deputy Chief USM had a more predominant presence in this story.  We've seen Raylan getting to work first with Rachel in "Long in the Tooth" and now more with Art in this episode.  As Art had presence, I think this is why we got to see more of the workings of other LEAs (Law Enforcement Agencies) in conjunction with the U.S. Marshals Service in Lexington.  Also, as boss and subordinate, Art and Raylan have great chemistry together and this episode highlights that real well.

Karl Hanselman.  Cincinnati Art Gallery Dealer.  Evaluator of Owen's fake Hitlers.  Provider of information on art forgeries.  I can understand why Raylan didn't like him (after all, Karl collected Hitler paintings) at first, but I hope that Raylan's view of Karl changed by the end of the episode.  I can see this character coming back to the series, maybe helping Raylan out in another case.  The interaction they had near the end of their time together showed how much Karl really brought Raylan down to Earth on the situation with his own dad; and how Raylan could relate to him.  I can see them ending up being great buddies, if only the story time was given to Karl.

Winona Hawkins.  Raylan's ex-wife.  We could argue that women in general are Raylan's weakness, but I would say that Winona tops that list.  Why?  Because Raylan still loves her and it shows.  At this point, Winona seems to be using him to grant her this favor of looking into Gary's associates.  She still seems to firmly believe that her marriage to Raylan has ended and can't be salvaged.  But when Raylan tells her that losing her was eating away at him, something that she had never heard him say before, I consider this something that will make Winona see Raylan a little differently than the way she's been seeing him up until this point.

VILLAINS:

Caryn Carnes.  Main conspirator to kill Owen and stay with most of his assets.  A widow that was willing to risk herself for the chance not to lose everything she had gained with Owen.  In the end, it was about money for her; but her wrong dealings eventually brought her down.

Greg Davis.  Co-conspirator in Owen's murder.  Caryn's lover.  Because he cared about her, he was willing to do anything to make her happy.  And yet at the end he wasn't able to bring himself to have Owen's blood on his hands.  If it hadn't been for his cooperation with Raylan to catch Caryn in the act, she and Greg would have probably gotten away with living off of Owen's wealth.

David Mortimer.  Owen's art dealer.  Here is someone in a similar profession to Karl but on the other side of the coin as it were.  A man who is motivated by succeeding in his career and professional life, knowing that one in art is difficult to maintain.  And in the end, being blackmailed by one of his co-conspirators.  Did he actually get arrested for Owen's murder too?  I'd think he got at least slapped with a formal charge to commit conspiracy.

Boyd Crowder.  The ONLY reason I'm placing him in this section is because he is still in the process of atoning for the crimes he's commited up until the point of his getting shot in "Fire in the Hole".  Here in this episode, Boyd seems to be reforming himself, turning over a new leaf so to speak.  Therefore, that act alone can also place him up in the characters section.  Ignoring, for now anyway, how Boyd will get sucked back into the criminal part of himself, here he has started his ministry and is on a mission to turn people to God...especially those whose souls need to be saved.  He has pleasant banters with Raylan and those even make me believe that they are good friends joking around with each other.  We can see why the audience would fall in love with the Boyd-Raylan chemistry as that started in this episode.  However, there is ONE little thing that prevents me from seeing Boyd and Raylan be completely good acquaintances and that's the fact that Boyd planted that little seed at the end of his conversation with Raylan.  What seed you might ask?  After Raylan expressed his wishes to forgive Arlo, Boyd dangles information in front of Raylan's face that will drag him into a path which will end up causing Raylan not to forgive Arlo.  Now why didn't Boyd just share whatever information he has with another law enforcement officer and spare Raylan further conflict and grief?  Hmm. Might not look like they're great buddies after all; and only episode time will tell how all of this will come to pass...but my suspicions do start on the last words Boyd exchanged with Raylan at the end of this episode.

FAVORITE MOMENT(S):

The scene where Art comes to visit Raylan at his motel and he still has Ava in his bed, so to hide the fact she's there, Raylan meets Art just outside his room door:









If Art can't keep from staring at Raylan's nipples, then the rest of us don't stand a chance either.  Am I right, ladies (and some gentlemen)?  ;-P  But on a little more serious note, this is a great moment because it highlights Art's and Raylan's character chemistry...they show awkward so, SO very well.

The scene where Art and Raylan meet Karl at his gallery in Cincinnati and Karl is surprised that the Marshals even exist today, making the assumption that he thought they either existed only in (a) old Western movies or (b) back in history in the days of the American Wild West.  Well...newsflash:





And for those of you that thought like Karl did here, may I provide a source of enlightening information to the contrary:  http://www.justice.gov/marshals/ and http://www.usmarshals.gov/ They both lead to the same official website of the real United States Marshals Service, which includes what modern Marshals do today, among other things related to this law enforcement agency.  Of course, there are fictional works like films, television series, and books (other than those about Raylan Givens and Elmore Leonard) which portray Marshals; a list too big to include here but one that can easily be researched (still, this starter one might help: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fictional_U.S._Marshals).

Coming to a little bit of the Infinite Wisdom of Raylan Givens.  This is the scene where he tries to find out from Winona if money was the reason why she left him for Gary Hawkins:









Now I know there are those who would argue that money isn't the most important thing in life...but that's not what I'm trying to point out here with having Raylan say that everyone cares about money.  Money may or may not be the most important thing to you, but that doesn't mean you don't care for it on some level.  I've said before that money is the universal drive, what makes the world go round...and some people need it more than others.  But the point here is, that everyone needs it...however large or small that need is, it is always there in some form or another (and in forms you may not even realize).

And from money, we go to the subject of the human soul.  Thus, Boyd asking Raylan about his at the end of the episode:





Has Raylan really taken a look at his?  Will he ever get the chance to take more than just a peek?  If so, what will he find there?  I'm sure the answers to those, assuming they ever come, will be compelling.

GENERAL REFLECTIONS:

We learn more about general U.S. Marshals Service duties in this episode.  Again, this is something I personally relish learning about.  We go from bringing the Marshals from out of the past into the present to knowing what a forfeiture order is, to other common duties that these LEOS (Law Enforcement Officer types) do in real life.  This is the kind of material I'd like to see more of in Justified, whether or not Raylan is involved with any of that directly or whether it's another Marshal altogether who demonstrates the 'life of a Marshal' and continues to do so.

Notice the hard distaste on Raylan's part when asking to use the bathroom just to get away from being in the same room as paintings done by Adolf Hitler in the scene that has Karl evaluating the paintings with Owen present in the den.  I think this is the first time I've noticed him strongly express a sort of hatred for Hitler without actually saying it.  This is also when we start to see Raylan not liking Karl very much.

Parallel bookends alert:  this episode has Raylan at the beginning visiting Boyd talking about Arlo and again at the end going back to visit Boyd about Arlo.  Both times they have banter and reflect on Raylan's soul.