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BY SAL NINER

"Fathers and Sons" episode Rewatch

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Sunday June 15, 2014 All Day





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PRE-THOUGHTS:

I remember this was the start of the Winona-Raylan relationship and the end of the Ava-Raylan relationship.  We knew this moment was coming, people.  All there is left to do now is analyze as to why it did and hope we get the answers in this episode if not eventually...

INTRODUCTION:

Art and Raylan don't see many other choices but to turn to Raylan's father, Arlo Givens, so that they can also start making a case against Boyd's father, Bo Crowder.  Boyd continues his religious quest to war against Bo's drug business.

PLOT:

Immediately picking up from the last events of last episode "Veterans", Arlo and Raylan sit in Art's office that night.  Arlo knows Bo thinks he ripped him off.  Arlo admits to having taken about $100,000 to $150,000; taking his cut and passing the rest to Johnny.  Bo figures Arlo owes him money because the collections fell away; and as the new guys were pushing the old ones out, Arlo couldn't get anything out of them without Bo's mucle.  Arlo will tell Art anything about Bo's operations but there is a statute of limitations as it varies with each crime.  Although Arlo knew Bo was into racketeering, he is unable to provide the Marshals with specifics like names and dates.  Art and Raylan suggest to Arlo that he get back into Bo's good graces so that he can get information about Boyd and Gil's death in the meth lab explosion.  In other words, they want Arlo to be a snitch; Arlo wonders what it pays.

The next morning at the Miami Glades Country Club, Bo meets up with Gio Reyes, Ernesto, and Pilar.  Gio informs Bo that in two days, Ernesto and Pilar will deliver via truck a shipment of ephedrine that Bo requested.  Bo picks up that Gio is threatening him as if Bo himself doesn't understand the full stakes of their business, when Gio tells Bo that he wants to make sure Bo understands the risk delivering this much product on consignment carries.  Gio acknowledges Raylan got his associate Mosley, Bucks, and two Mexicans from the border.  Gio makes a deal to have Bo repay him two million dollars over the next six months by Bo producing/selling the meth to cover that.

At the Hawkins, Gary and Winona argue about Raylan having come back into their lives pretty quickly when Winona comes into the kitchen, interrupting them.  Gary leaves for the gym, and Winona offers Ava coffee.  Ava requests the number to call a taxi as she doesn't want to talk to Raylan since he'll say something she hasn't already heard before; Winona doesn't feel it's her place to intervene as Ava is a grown woman and can do what she likes.

Later that morning in the Lexington Marshals office conference room, AUSA Vasquez asks Arlo of he thinks he can prove himself useful to Bo, but Arlo doesn't feel that anything is being put on his behalf since they have nothing to lose while he has everything to lose.  Arlo wants the money that Bo is asking him for, lying that it's $100,000, but Vasquez offers him only $20,000 and for Arlo to work off the rest; Arlo requests immunity and Vasquez will see what he can get for him.  Raylan wants to send Arlo in with a wire to make sure they have everything on Bo and can stop Boyd and his father from killing any more people, versus spending years building a case against them if they send Arlo in cold.  Vasquez asks for a coffee break to think that over.  Arlo argues with Raylan about him not caring to see him dead while Raylan tells Arlo that the only reason he's turned to the Marshals is because Arlo doesn't have any other way to protect Helen and himself.  Arlo throws it in Raylan's face that he's glad Raylan's mother Frances didn't live to see how it all turned out for them, which strikes a nerve with Raylan.  Arlo refuses to wear a wire, to which then Raylan orders him to leave and tells Arlo to think if Bo's hospitality turns out to be better than the one they are giving him.

Moments later in Art's office, he tells Raylan that even without a wire Arlo could be an asset against Bo, but Raylan believes that if Arlo is in as much trouble as he claims he will have no choice but to go along with wearing a wire.  As Raylan gets ready to pour himself a second drink, Art takes the bottle away from him and tells Raylan that since he's the Chief Deputy and Arlo is his informant, it's Art's call on how it should go down.  Art gives Raylan the ultimatum:  either recuse himself, or suck it up and take himself down to Harlan to convince Arlo to come back, even if Arlo doesn't want to wear a wire.  Since Art already takes responsibility for Raylan, he will also take responsibility for Arlo.  Raylan downs the second glass he'd poured for Art before leaving his office.

As Raylan is driving down, he calls Winona at the house to tell her he will be a little late meeting them.  Since Ava is leaving, Winona passes the phone over to her and Ava tells Raylan that she's going to stay at her friend Jody's in Riverbrook, staying out of Harlan, until things settle down again, finally emphasizing that she needs to get out of the Hawkins house.  Ava's taxi sounds outside, before she and Raylan say goodbye.  The phone is passes back to Winona and she tells RAylan he doesn't have to come down after all, settling on who owes who here.  They end the call and Winona admits it's hard staying mad at Raylan, being civil for being divorced; Ava admits the opposite:  she's just getting started with being mad at Raylan.  Ava thanks Winona and leaves her there in the kitchen.

Bo, Johnny, Hestler, and Ronson are looking at a warehouse location with realtor Martha Simms who informs the men that the location gives them access to two major highways and the Railroad Depot in Pineville.  Ronson lies to Martha and tells her they are into wood furniture manufacturing, and the reason they asked about the neighbors was because the table saws they would use can get loud.  Martha leaves the men with Johnny so she can show him the restroom facilities, while Ronson, Bo, and Hestler stay behind to arrange that Ronson will only take a week to cook the whole shipment they need.  Ronson tells them what he needs and when he expects to have the materials by, as long as Ronson gets everything Bo should receive what they ask him for.

That night, Ava arrives at her house to find Hestler and a couple of his friends watching DVDs in her living room and having beers.  Because Bo feels that Ava's house belongs to the Crowders, he consented Hestler to stay there and watch his DVDs as he had no other place to go; after telling Ava this, Hestler makes an insinuating sexual advance at her, prompting Ava to march right out of her house and back to her jeep.  Meanwhile, in his motel room, Raylan is resting his eyes in bed from having studied the suspect files strewn across him, when he hears a knock at his door.  With gun in hand, Raylan goes to open the door and find Winona there who tells him he can put the gun away.  Raylan asks Winona if there's something wrong with Gary, as Winona takes her wedding ring off before she kisses him on the lips; they soon start undressing each other and have sex.  The contact is brief and Winona puts all her clothes back on, finishing with the wedding ring back on her finger, leaving Raylan there in his bed as she leaves his motel room.  Ava watches Winona from her jeep, looking distraught.

The next morning, Ava drives up to the Givens' house to find Arlo there with his revolver.  Ava asks Arlo how he's been doing after the heart attack (probably the one he suffered in "The Lord of War and Thunder") to which he can't complain, even though Arlo will (per Helen).  Ava comes to see Helen as they talk about ARlo expecting the UPS man who has a bad attitude.  Ava needs a gun from Helen as Bo has been harrassing her, and further admits there's nothing left for her in Lexington (including Raylan).  Since Helen understands the Crowders and takes matters into her own hands, Ava intends to do the same.  Ava trusts Helen not to tell Raylan as he believes she's still laying low; Ava would like to continue making Raylan think this.  Even though Ava went up against Bowman and other Harlan women applauded her for it (to which Ava feels that it was too bad no one did something before it got to killing her husband), Helen asks Ava if she really thinks she can go against Bo.  Ava figures that if Bo watned to kill her, she'd already be dead, but she has to show him she's not scared...and besides that, Ava needs to get Bo's friends out of her house.  Helen asks her for her weapon of choice; Ava preferring the sawed-off shotgun.

In church, the pastor is preaching about righteousness, as Boyd and Bo attend the service.  Boyd volunteers as the witness to tell his story of how he got on the path of righteousness, from being a neo-nazi to being born again by Raylan's hand...or should that be 'gun'.  Boyd tells about Jesus entering a temple to find robbers, and compares that story to never being afraid to strike out against those who practice evil, even if it happens to be their own flesh and blood.  Boyd emphasizes that God is his one true father and no other, getting a silent reaction from Bo who's sitting nearby.  Outside of the church after the service, Bo recounts to Boyd how much he hated coming to mass when he was a kid, but now Bo admires Boyd for the turn-around he's made...so much so that Bo threatens Boyd getting close to meeting his maker.  Boyd still believes Bo not to be an evil man and has it in his heart to change, but does warn Bo that if he brings meth into Harlan, Boyd will make sure to destroy it.  Bo tells Boyd that if he destroys him or any part of his business, it's like destroying himself as he's destroying what's part of the Crowders.

Later that afternoon at the VFW, Raylan arrives to find Kelly Davis, newly-appointed Harlan County Sheriff and successor to Mosley after he got arrested, who's not to fond of Raylan for putting Mosley away.  The female sheriff explains, after Raylan asks several times what's a tag team doing there where supposedly his father is now, that a vet named Lucky is inside with a grenade after finding out that his unit his going to be deployed to Afghanistan.  Lucky sits beside Arlo at the bartable, thinking that Arlo might say something to him but all Arlo wants is to have his drink as he's payed his dues and earned his entry.  As Raylan and one of the tag team snipers look on beside the doorway, Lucky recounts of how he got his nickname, having to do with the death of his soldier buddies in combat in Iraq while he was sent back home to get treated for a respiratory attack that avoided him from joining his squad/unit to meet the same fate.  Lucky had seen the Afghanistan deployment as an opportunity to make it up to his buddies for not being there; however, he's found out that he still isn't able to go because his lungs are still bad.  Arlo recounts a story where half his Vietnam squad got killed and the other captured as he was hiding in a bush nearby watching in silence; one of his buddies who was captured, Blue, was looking at him with a smile as they herded him away and saw Arlo hiding because Arlo managed to get away.  Lucky wonders why him and Arlo asks why not him.  Moments later, Lucky is taken out by the tag team with no incident, but in tears.

Raylan lets himself in as Arlo allows it, by saying to Roy the bartender that he's his guest, also sharing that Raylan has been fighting wars since he was born, when asked if Raylan'd served.  Arlo invites Raylan for a Kentucky drink; and Arlo admits that the story he told Lucky was a lie, despite the fact it worked...Raylan figured as much.  Father and son have their drink, and Arlo finally consents to wearing a wire after what he just went through, as he's not afraid of dying as he thought.  Meanwhile, Ava comes into Johnny's bar with a shotgun and goes straight for Bo who's in the back office with a prostitute on the couch.  After the girl leaves, Ava tells Bo that it's not fair he's harrassing her like he is, just because Bowman beat her and she did something about it.  Bo recognizes that his son Bowman had expectations of himself he never met and took out his disappointment on Ava, a mistake on Bo's part and his mistake in raising him to an extent.  Bo also acknowledges that Bowman more than likely deserved his fate, but Bo wants Ava to leave Kentucky and never come back, to which Ava refuses.  Ava lets herself out with shotgun raised, threatening that she can kill Bo like she did Bowman if his threat on her is realized.

A little later in a van near Johnny's bar, Raylan, Art, and Tim go over with Arlo what he's going to say to Bo.  If Bo asks about the money that Arlo is going to hand over to Bo, Arlo will either say he got it prostituting himself or stole it from Stan Perkins (last seen in "The Lord of War and Thunder").  Having his instructions, Arlo goes up to Johnny's bar.  As Arlo and Bo talk outloud about Arlo coming back to work for him and giving him the money, Arlo writes out to Bo what's really going on and taht he is only pretending to get back into his good graces because the law is monitoring the conversation.  They write out that they should meet tomorrow at noon in Pine Top, and that Arlo should come alone without a wire this time, as they 'agree' outloud to meet tomorrow night where they are now, so that they can throw the Marshals off the scent.  Bo tells Arlo to tell Raylan to sway Ava into getting out of Kentucky, as she came into the bar earlier and pointed a shotgun at him.

Later that night, Raylan comes up to Ava's house and opens the door, flicks on the light in the living room to find her sitting with a shotgun pointed at him.  Raylan scolds Ava for what she did to Bo earlier.  Raylan isn't willing to watch Ava, Boyd, and Arlo all at the same time only to have Ava disobey him; but Ava throws it in Raylan's face that the reason he wants her out is so that he can keep having a sexual relationship with Winona.  Ava admits that she saw Winona coming out of Raylan's motel yesterday.  Ava doesn't really know if Raylan had been with Winona the entire time Raylan and her were together.  Considering that things are now in the open, Raylan is surprised Ava didn't shoot him when he first came in; and Ava finishes their argument with the fact that she's at home and it doesn't make a difference whether she dies there, sooner or later, as it will always be home to her.

Meanwhile, Ernesto and Pilar arrive in the Harlan backwoods with their shipment in a trailer truck when they stop and come upon someone who's truck has a flat tire, blocking their way.  This turns out to be a diversion for a masked Boyd to then come out from behind the truck and shoot his Chinese rocket launcher at the trailer truck shipment, blowing it to smithereens (but after Ernesto and Pilar got out of the truck safely).  Boyd's men seize Ernesto and Pilar, as Boyd suggests they run away and not stop until they saw something familiar.  The men seize the Latino man and woman's I.D.s and cell phones, but leave them with a little walking money.  After his men herd Ernesto and Pilar away, Boyd then takes his ski mask off, looking on at the burning trailer truck.

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

CHARACTERS:

Arlo Givens.  We meet his criminal side.  It's mentioned in "Fixer" when he gets arrested and then later on when we meet him in the flesh in "The Lord of War and Thunder".  First, he steals drugs from Stan Perkins and now we discover he's had history of being into drugs with the Crowders (from last episode "Veterans") from before Raylan showed up in "Fire in the Hole".  Has Arlo ever done drugs himself or is he more into the business side of it, like getting money for them?  In this episode, like the last, we get a little of his military history, having served in Vietnam.  We also get a little insight from Raylan when he mentions that Arlo wasn't willing to work as hard as his father, Raylan's grandfather, who as a result of his work died from black lung in the coal mines.  Arlo was always the rebel of the family, maybe joining the military was his way of getting away from them.  I've also noticed that Arlo uses his family members to eventually get himself out of jams or to get 'easy money':  he steals Helen's saved up money, and then, as a way to visit Bo with protection, eventually consents to wearing a wire.  We are just starting to get a sense for Arlo as a character, as details about him start to come together.  I'm sure as the series goes on and more story time is devoted to him, there will be a more complete picture as to the way he is.

Kelly Davis.  Harlan County Sheriff.  Newly-appointed and successor to Hunter Mosley who was arrested for trying to give Raylan over to the Miami mafia and kidnapping Ava in the process back in "Blindspot".  I really liked the character and would like to see more of her, despite her antagonism towards Raylan; I see Sheriff Davis as only being misinformed and hopefully, if and when she knows the truth of what happened, she'll ease up off Raylan a little.  As I'm rewatching the series, I don't remember how she left that post, since we know that another Sheriff will be appointed sometime in later seasons; but I would like to see what her journey in Justified ends up being.

VILLAINS:

Bo Crowder.  He didn't waste any time getting back into drugs once he got out of prison.  Harlan Drug Mafia Leader.  I have to wonder if old Bo knows how to do anything else besides running drug-related businesses, or if this has been most of this 'working' life.  Maybe his dad before him was also into those businesses and he just simply passed them down to Bo.  And with this comes his lack of caring for his sons, unless they are serving him to run his drug businesses.  I don't think that man sees family or knows what the meaning of the word truly is; he just throws it around to get away with pushing, what Boyd calls, that 'poison', throughout Harlan county.

FAVORITE MOMENT(S):

The morning after Raylan takes Ava to the Hawkins and after Gary leaves, Ava makes an observation about Winona and Raylan:





Now, for anyone who fancies Raylan, the above may be true.  The man has a certain way of charming people, despite his angry nature.  But this moment is also important because it provides us with a sort of 'heads up' that Winona now sees Raylan differently and will do something about that.  And I still don't understand how that can be...maybe Winona thinks Raylan's either changed or she can change him this time around; but, of course, that is a mistake.  I also liked this moment because we have more Ava-Winona interaction.  The first time was in "Blind Spot" where Winona was telling Ava how life with Raylan was and what she can expect, and now here in this episode when they speak again, Ava has already found out for herself, even though her experience with Raylan is different than it was for Winona.  I would have liked for both women to become and remain friends, despite their common denominator being Raylan; they had such great chemistry together and it's going to be sad to see that end now, apparently, with how things turned out in this episode.

I've said it before (in my "Fire in the Hole" review) and I will say it again:  it is cool whenever Raylan flashes his badge to introduce himself or his organization.  Of course, it's even cooler when he does it to the bad guy, but here he's just doing it to one of Sheriff Davis' deputies:



The moment where Lucky has been taken away from the VFW by the tag team of SWATs and Raylan is let in to see his father Arlo.  Upon Roy the bartender asking Raylan:





I like what Arlo answers for Raylan.  Fighting since he came into the world.  Although Arlo has abused Raylan and generally not shown his son much love or caring throughout his life, it was still nice to hear Arlo acknowledge something nice about Raylan.  To me, this didn't feel faked or forced; it really felt genuine.  Maybe deep, deep, DEEP down Arlo does care for Raylan...maybe.  But at least, with these words, Arlo shows he hasn't completely ignored how his son Raylan is.

GENERAL REFLECTIONS:

The Problem with Raylan getting Sent Down to Kentucky, Part Two.  Observations had been made by a fellow rewatcher (http://cdsal99.tumblr.com/post/85955517941/shadowolfhunter-cdsal99-justified-television) with regards to how Raylan's Chief Deputies seemed to be completely unaware by the conflicts of Raylan's presence in Harlan.  And I bring this up because of the scene where Art and Raylan are in his office, after Raylan has run off Arlo for refusing to wear a wire.  We see how Raylan is so intent on getting as much as he can out of Art's bottle of booze:



But Art soon stops him when he's intent on pouring himself a second drink, taking the bottle away and refusing to let him finish the bottle (since, otherwise, Raylan would have on account that Arlo doesn't care for him much and hasn't before).  Art should not have given Raylan the option to recuse himself; what Art should have done, as his boss, is to not give Raylan any option at all.  As Art says:



So if the case is his and not Raylan's, why give Raylan the option at all?  Simply, Raylan will not continue working on the Boyd Crowder case because it has now turned way, WAY too personal for him.  But of course, this being a television show and seeing how the audience practically eats family drama for breakfast, lunch, AND dinner, the creators/writers of the series do not make Art take Raylan from the case.  This is the only logical explanation that occurs to me for why Art would ignore his position to recuse Raylan himself.  Of course, instead, this is what we get when Arlo practically orders Raylan to go to Harlan and do what he can to bring Arlo back to the Lexington Marshals and reform part of the Boyd-Bo case, and Raylan asks:







Whatever it takes to bring Arlo back as a CI for the Lexington Marshals because of how valuable he is in solving the Crowders case, even if it means Arlo may do something to jeopardize the case (Raylan knows Arlo after all, and has reason to suspect this).  Art acting the father figure to Raylan here is interesting to see, and I think that Art saying he's taking responsibility for both father and son is a way to placate Raylan on his instincts about Arlo and desist Raylan's insistence that Arlo wear a wire.  We will see where this eventually leads and how Arlo ends up helping, or jeopardizing, the Marshals because of how Art chose to handle the Raylan-Arlo situation in this episode.

And with those musings, we end another weekend of rewatched Justified episodes.  Up until this point, we've been having rewatches every weekend, but, in taking this opportunity, I remind you that next weekend there will be no rewatches.  We will, however, return with another rewatch and review on this calendar in two weeks, with the next episode in the series "Bulletville" currently scheduled for Saturday, June 28, 2014; so I will see you then to resume our wild ride with Raylan and Company.  Have a great couple of weeks, everyone!  And thank you for continuing to tune in and follow along.