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I remember the fact that Raylan felt so out of his element in this episode, like he'd lost his way. To me, this felt like a very hopeless time for him, away from the Marshals and away from his hat... Ugh, don't even get me started about him being away from his hat, seriously; it was sad enough remembering this...it'll probably be even sadder on a rewatch...I guess we'll see.
Raylan comes to the aid of his ex-wife Winona when her husband Gary is targeted by Emmitt Arnett, Wynn Duffy, and their men for a land deal that has been unable to produce the money Gary promised them.
Raylan is drinking alone at a bar, telling Joe the bartender he's on a 'well-earned vacation', when he hears two loud, drunk men talking and laughing about a housewife one of them had sex with. Raylan interrupts their boisterous conversation, annoyed that he has to hear them insult the woman and her children, and tells them in so many words that they should stop. The men, of course, refuse and one of them challenges Raylan to a fight, which he accepts. Out behind the bar, Raylan takes them both on and after a good brawl, the two drunks beat him to near unconsciousness when Joe the bartender interrupts them with shotgun in hand. One of the drunks orders Raylan not to come back to that bar again, and takes his hat from the hangnail, before they walk off. Winona comes running out, asking what happened, before she starts helping Raylan up.
A little later that evening, Winona takes Raylan to his motel room, and while she's tending his wounds Raylan shares that Internal Affairs has it out for him so Art suggested he'd take the week off. Upon bringing up the subject of why she wanted to meet him at the bar, Winona tells Raylan about Wynn breaking into her home and her subsequent argument with Gary about it (from the last episode "Blowback"). Winona asks Raylan why he went to threaten Gary about the names (as seen in "The Collection"), especially since he'd told her they were clean; Raylan simply answers that he had 'intuited it'. Winona demands Raylan not to go back and badger Gary again to which Raylan agrees as he instead intends to go talk to Wynn in what he terms a 'peaceful' chat. Winona thanks Raylan before she leaves his motel room.
The next morning, Gary visits Toby Griffin, his wife Amanda and their two daughters at their house. Toby, with his family by the pool, jokes about dressing up his daughters in football pads and his wife too. Soon inside the house in the kitchen over a beer, Gary and Toby catch up on their University of Kentucky (UK) days when Toby was a lead tackler and superbowl champion. Gary offers Toby an opportunity to invest in his shopping center development to start in the fall, but Toby senses that there's something more to the story by Gary's expression. Gary then explains that when he got the land deal, the house-selling market was excellent and so upon believing he could develop the shopping center, he went ahead with the project; however, once he found himself stripped for financing, he'd borrowed money from people he now knew wasn't supposed to. Toby feels that he can't do anything financially for Gary as he himself has the mortage, kids, ex- and current wife to take care of. But at Gary sharing that these private investors threatened Winona and came by his house, Toby offers to go with him to try and talk the investors into giving Gary more time to come up with the money.
Later that day, Raylan drives up to Wynn's office under the excuse he wants to hire them for some security, motioning to his bruised face, and saying he was referred to them by Gary. Wynn tells Raylan that he's been misinformed, and Raylan proceeds to ask what it is they do. Billy orders Raylan to leave to which he responds that they can't have a peaceful chat but they can go into people's homes to threaten them. Billy gets up to challenge Raylan but Raylan backs off on account that he has been beaten up recently and isn't looking for another. Raylan asks Wynn what he has to do with Gary, and when Wynn tells him to go talk about it with Gary, Raylan leaves but not before telling them both not to go anywhere near the Hawkins while Raylan takes a day or so to figure this whole situation out. After Raylan exits, Wynn orders Billy to follow him and find out how he's connected.
Later in the office alone, Wynn is talking with Arnett over speaker phone about the visit Raylan paid him; Arnett, in the middle of his blowjob, orders Wynn to remind Gary of his obligations. Seconds later, Gary and Toby enter Wynn's office. Gary proposes to Wynn that since Arnett has made an investment in the property and it isn't worth half of what it was once, that he wait a few years for the construction project to get underway, so that it can start going up in value and yielding them profit. Wynn interrupts as he feels that he knows Toby from somewhere; this is when Toby intervenes and tells Wynn that Gary doesn't have the money at this time, if he needs to speak to Gary to simply call him, and to stop harrassing Gary and leaving Winona alone. Gary tries to make a deal with Wynn to either get the money by tomorrow or get double that in 24 months, to which Wynn suggests to Toby that he gets himself out of this business with Gary before he gets in too deep himself...sensing the veiled threat, Toby tells Wynn to back off and threatens him otherwise. Toby and Gary leave the office after Wynn says he'll report back to Arnett with what they talked about.
Raylan drives up to the back of the bar we saw him in at the beginning of this episode and notices through his driver's side mirror that Billy has been tailing him. Inside the bar, he meets with Joe, emphasizing he doesn't want another round of what he just had outside the bar, but is there to get his hat back. He leaves Joe his business card to contact him in case those men come back or if his hat turns up otherwise. Raylan leaves the bar and heads straight to the restaurant where Pinter has returned to (last time we saw him was in "Fixer") from Tahiti, who he claims wasn't as expected. Pinter introduces Gale to Raylan and after the waitress leaves, Pinter makes an offhanded sexual joke about her.
Pinter has asked Raylan over because he has information about Wynn who works as a middleman and currently is backing Arnett, a street hustler. Since the economy turned Arnett found that he could take people's money legitimately by loaning them his when they found themselves in a tight spot financially; so naturally, once he saw they couldn't pay him back, he'd take their money and 'more'. Though Arnett is bad, Wynn and Billy are reputed to be worse; Pinter shares an example of a guy's brother that wouldn't pay and whose face they carved off and sewed on to a soccer ball. Gale comes back with the check and Raylan 'tips' her for Pinter's information before he leaves the restaurant.
Later that night, Toby is preparing dinner in his house when Wynn and Billy enter the kitchen uninvited. Wynn tells him he should have left the situation with Gary well enough alone when he was warned to do so and Toby expresses just trying to help out a friend. Wynn allows Billy, who was once a promising featherweight boxer, to beat up Toby until he stomps him to the ground. A little later, Wynn and Billy come to beat up on Gary. Wynn tells him how he remembers Toby, that Arnett didn't take to his idea of getting the money later, before ordering him to have the money by tomorrow morning or, as he hands him Toby's ring, the next ring handed to him will be Winona's.
Billy returns to his apartment and has just unlocked his door, when suddenly Raylan comes up behind him, shoving him inside and taking Billy's gun from out the waist of his pants. Raylan orders Billy to sit on his couch and Raylan takes a seat across from him. Raylan orders Billy to tell him what Wynn has planned for Gary, while pointing Billy's own gun at him. Raylan shoots a couple holes near Billy's legs into the couch when Billy doesn't give him the information he wants. Finally, Billy tells Raylan that Wynn is planning to kidnap Winona that night and hold her in case Gary can't produce the money by tomorrow, having ordered Billy to pick up some trashbags for what Raylan could only imagine they will be used for. Raylan takes Billy's gun apart before he leaves his apartment.
At the Hawkins, Winona is about to leave a message for Gary on his cell when Raylan calls her on hers. As Gary is not there and has taken the gun with him, Raylan tells Winona she's not safe there alone and tries to convince her to leave the house and meet him to be taken somewhere safe. Winona refuses to until she knows what's going on. Meanwhile, Gary goes to Toby's house and his wife Amanda angrily answers, demanding him to leave. Toby in crutches calmly tells Amanda to give Gary and him a moment, which she does. Toby tells Gary he's on his own now. Gary apologizes to Toby for having caused Wynn and Billy to come after him and vows they will never come back to harass Toby again, before handing Toby back his ring.
Back at the Hawkins: Raylan finally arrives. He shares with Winona that Gary is deep in debt with the Dixie Mafia who operate out of Frankfurt. Winona can't believe that Gary, a realtor, would be involved. Raylan tells her that they're not only after him but after her too. Winona tells Raylan that if he cares about her at all, to please just go help Gary but Raylan refuses to leave her alone in the house to do that. Winona agrees to Raylan's suggestion to come with him and take her somewhere safe while he goes out looking for Gary.
On the drive there, Raylan wonders where Gary might be, assuming he isn't foolish enough to go to Wynn. Winona shares that Gary has always been a dreamer, always having grand plans. Raylan only wants to make sure that Gary's choices don't get Winona hurt. Winona finally answers the question Raylan had in "The Collection" about why she chose Gary over Raylan: Gary wants things and is genuinely excited about life. Raylan thought that Winona was a smart pragmatic woman but she throws it back in his face that his negativity and hopelessness in general is exhausting and that she needed more than that when she was with him before. Winona admits that she loves Gary and would really like to continue the good life she's built with him; Raylan assures her he will do everything he can to get him back to her. Winona thanks him and exits his car to go into his motel room.
Raylan finally finds Gary at the development site. Gary has a gun and intends to kill himself with it so that Winona gets the insurance, but Raylan tells him that if he commits suicide Gary will cancel the benefit coverage out for Winona who in general will be worse off without him. Gary feels he's making this worse and worse and in his wallow, Raylan shifts his focus in another direction, forcing Gary to pitch the shopping mall idea to him. Gary enthusiastically describes what he had planned for the development site, pointing out where everything was going to go. Raylan is impressed but feels that it's not something worth dying over. Raylan offers to go with Gary to Wynn's office and they part ways to their cars.
The next morning at Wynn's office, he talks with Arnett about the blowjob he received when they were on the phone and place bets on Gary showing up with the money. Gary and Raylan enter, then Gary hands Arnett over an envelope that contains a notary-signed letter forfeiting the development site over to Arnett and currently appraised at around what Gary owes him. Gary suggests that if Arnett sits on that property a few years, it will be worth a lot more then. Wynn, of course, doesn't like that idea as he was laboring under the impression that Arnett was to pay them with a portion of the money they recovered from Gary.
Raylan tries to usher Gary out of the office, but Wynn stops them with a gun pointed at the two. He yells at Arnett for the decision he's made, demanding that he be given the money right then and there. As Wynn advances, they all shoot at each other and they go down. Gary launches himself after Wynn, trying to pin him but Wynn manages to get Gary off him. Right before Wynn can reach his gun, Raylan kicks it away. Raylan calls 911 asking to be sent squad cars and an ambulance to the location.
Later that morning, Raylan drives Gary to the Hawkins and Winona. Winona runs out to meet Gary and hug him; they both walk inside. Winona looks back at Raylan in a silent 'thank you' before she closes the door. Raylan gets a call from Joe and he drives away from the Hawkins house. The two drunks we saw at the beginning of the episode, now relatively sober themselves, are about to pay for another round of their game with Joe when Raylan comes up to the counter and offers to pay for them. One of them tells Raylan that last time he was the one out of line as they were trying to have fun, but Raylan simply wants his hat back and if he has to, he would take the both of them on again this time sober. The one with possession of the hat finally tosses it over to Raylan. Raylan thanks Joe, turns around, and puts his hat on, walking away from the bar.
Winona Hawkins. Gary's wife. At this point after knowing how much Gary is in danger, she wants him to come home safe. Did she ever actually ask Raylan to go help Gary or did Raylan simply feel like he should because somehow he felt that by extension Winona would be affected? It might actually be a little of both here, as I don't think that it was all Winona asking Raylan. Then again, it is rather convenient she knows someone in law enforcement who also happens to want to stick his neck out for her mostly because he still loves/cares about her.
Gary Hawkins. In big, BIG trouble. Here his secret shady dealings are blown wide open. And all because his ambitions to manage a shopping center fell apart when the economy did, he turned to someone who he wasn't supposed to for help. Gary, in desperation to have his dream realized, didn't measure the extent of the consequences his decision to deal with Arnett would bring. He wanted financing quickly and easily...and quickly and easily don't often come without a price. I'm just glad Gary didn't pay it with his life...this time.
Arnold Pinter. The return of the CI...welcome back to Kentucky. Yes, for now he's not a villain because he's actually helping Raylan out with some information about Gary's antagonizers. But coming back to Pinter: didn't he hate it in Kentucky and just wanted to leave and never come back? How Pinter can come back to the people he once flat-out insulted in "Fixer" is beyond me. Maybe he couldn't find another place besides Tahiti...or maybe there's something in Kentucky he wants. Otherwise, why come back to a place you hate with people you hate? I sure would like to know the answer to that one...and for this, we absolutely need Pinter to come back.
Toby Griffin. A victim of trying to help out a friend. And by extent, his wife Amanda and children are victims too, as they have to go through watching their father heal from his wounds and the stress that all surely brings to the family. But I also think that Toby wasn't completely ignorant in knowing what kind of people Gary was involved with, and could have made the decision to not help his friend. Maybe Toby felt an obligation to do so, however, seeing as he couldn't back Gary up financially...still, he has a family to think about now, and that should come first.
Wynn Duffy and Billy Mac. The former is a middle man for Emmitt Arnett and the latter is the enforcer for Wynn. These three men are part of the Dixie Mafia that we will continue to hear about as the series progresses. The ones Gary is in danger from because of money they want that he simply can't pay Though both Wynn and Billy get shot, I assume that they, along with Arnett, get arrested for something. And considering that they were operating under a 'legitimate business' banner, I wonder what that something is exactly.
Seriously, the following line said by the two drunks to Raylan right before the fight at the beginning of the episode in the bar, should totally be his character tagline...or at least a variation thereof:
It is a sad, and to a certain extent tragic, state of affairs when a man like Raylan, who has so much...ahem...shall we call it 'misdirected passion' (a.k.a. anger), reaches a point in his life when he realizes he doesn't have the luxury to back up that anger with fisticuffs anymore because he's getting up there in age. And I say it's sad, not because he's getting older (after all, the man has managed to age like a fine wine on the outside), but because he can't afford to be losing if internally his body cannot keep up with the losses, especially when Raylan can't help being the way he is. Raylan sharing his revelation with Winona in the motel room at the beginning of the episode as she is tucking him into bed, right before she thanks him and leaves his motel room:
Hopefully, Raylan manages to slow down his anger someday, before it's too late for him. I certainly wouldn't want him getting hurt or worse.
It's nice to see Raylan hasn't lost interest in his hat, as we are shown in the scene where he goes back to the bar and asks Joe the bartender to contact him in case the hat turns up. Joe the bartender poses the question to Raylan about getting himself any other hat, but Raylan wants the one he's had, the one that upon one try it fit his head, the hat that has no doubt 'seen', right along with Raylan, a lot in his law enforcement career, being perched on top of his head all these years...I mean, who would want to part with such a cherished item?
I'm starting to think the hat is like Raylan's 'security blanket', providing him some sort of comfort from...well...from something. Maybe from all the stuff he's seen over the years. But this is just me speculating at this point. And unless we get a concrete explanation from the series creative crew, I wont know if this 'security blanket' analogy will stick; I hope it does, though.
No episode of Justified is complete without Raylan being all...well, what Tim Gutterson in a future episode will call: Raylan "going all Raylan" on the bad guys...but for now, I'm just calling "witty"; so here it is:
I said before that I remember Raylan being out of this element in this episode. The above moment in which Raylan surprises Billy in his apartment, right before getting the information out of him of what Wynn and him plan to do to the Hawkins, was one of the few in which I felt he was actually in his element, so it was nice to see and as such makes it one of my favorites.
Finally, at the end of the episode when Raylan meets up with the two drunks and Joe at the bar to get his hat back, and he walks out of that bar with it on:
Nice to see man and hat reunited...together again...ah, a happy ending for Raylan Givens, if there ever was one. Now let's hope that the end of season six will deliver an even happier ending than this one...let's hope indeed.
Ok, so I must, absolutely MUST, include three moments in which 'big boy' and 'big girl' words were actually used. Someone indeed was consulting the dictionary for this episode, hehe... So without further ado, here are the words "intuited", "extricate", and "mercurial" highlighted by our beloved characters in all their glory...The first comes from Winona and Raylan in his motel room after she brings him home from the fight and Raylan believes that Winona's instincts about Gary being in trouble are right on the money:
Winona used the word "intuited" a few minutes before when she felt that Art is concerned about Raylan and now Raylan uses her word here. The same parallel of word usage, coincidentally, occurs in this second moment when Wynn pulls Toby aside after Gary proposes they'd wait two years for the land to yield profit:
Now there's a creative comeback to a threat if I ever saw one. The third 'big boy' word usage moment comes in the scene where CI Arnold Pinter is providing details about Wynn, Billy, and Arnett to Raylan at his restaurant:
I believe this episode is the second in which Raylan doesn't wear his hat for the majority of it; the first was two episodes ago in "Blind Spot". Is there a connection between him not wearing his hat and the story of the episode itself? All I can see from it, at this point, is that both episodes involve the women in Raylan's life being in some form of danger; the former being Ava, and the latter Winona.
And speaking of Winona, yes indeed we get a little more Winona insight. I had hoped for such insight a few rewatch reviews ago in "Blind Spot"
and thus here we have it:
We get a more concrete answer indeed as to 'why Gary?' When Raylan throws it back to Winona about how Gary's dreams are affecting her and how he thought she was practical and smart, this is when Winona wont take it lying down, as well she shouldn't:
From this entire conversation in the car on the way to Raylan's motel room from the Hawkins' house, Winona insinuates that Raylan doesn't dream, doesn't want things in life, isn't excited about it, feels hopeless, and is negative about life in general. Sound much like Raylan? At least this is what she saw from him. And I now have to wonder, knowing what's coming because I've watched the series once before, how Winona can even go back to Raylan and have a child with him, knowing these things about him. That is now my next question...and hopefully we'll get a more concrete answer down the line as this rewatch continues.