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BY SAL NINER

"Veterans" episode Rewatch

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Saturday June 14, 2014 All Day





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PRE-THOUGHTS:

I remember the lack of a cape and the botching of a perfectly good bible quote...both pretty light-hearted moments.  As for the dark-hearted one?  That would be Arlo slapping Raylan, thus continuing that dysfunctional family drama...

INTRODUCTION:

Well into his investigation to put Boyd Crowder back in prison, Raylan, through Dewey Crowe, tries to put the killing of a meth cooker on Boyd.  Meanwhile, it is discovered that Arlo Givens not only co-ran Bo Crowder's drug business while Bo was in prison but destroyed it in the process, and now there is concern that both his and his wife Helen's lives are in danger.

PLOT:

Led by Raylan and Art, the U.S. Marshals Service and Kentucky State Police (KSP) raid Boyd's camp in search of a parole violator as identified by KSP's Captain Choate.  Back at the Lexington Marshals office, they interview some of their captors and none of them give up the location nor help build a case for law enforcement, instead each quoting from the bible "You strike at the shepherd that they sheep may scatter" again and again.  Raylan, Art, and Kentucky State Police Detective Frank Choate talk to Boyd in the office conference room about the homicide of the CI blown up in Ransom Holler during "The Hammer".  Art tells Boyd they will seize the money found in his camp until such time Boyd can produce evidence that he came by that money through donations as he claims he did.  In Art's office, he, Raylan, and Frank plan their next move:  get Boyd through his father Bo, but since they don't know the extent of Bo's criminal enterprises Raylan offers to help find that out.

A few moments later just outside the Marshals office at the Lexington courthouse elevators, Raylan runs into Winona who asks him to let her know if he finds her hairclip as she might have left it in his motel room when last she was there in "Hatless".  Winona thanks Raylan for what he did for Gary in "Hatless".  Raylan answers that he's happy it turned out how it did, and Winona wonders if that's true, before they part ways.

At Johnny's bar, Mickey with Puller apologizes to Bo with Johnny present, about not taking his offer from before as he sees it now that it was a pretty good deal then.  Bo accepts the apology and tells Mickey he will protect him but will increase the price because he considers him high-risk.  Raylan visits Mosley in prison to find out what he knows about Bo and his drug business.  Mosley shares that when he arrested Bo and stopped him from protecting meth labs, he had cut the production in Harlan by half, recounting a few instances when he had to stop a few.  Bo had been protecting the drugs so that he could get a cut of it to collect; but after Bo was imprisoned, he assigned collection to Raylan's father Arlo.  Arlo had done such a poor job with the assignment that he managed to destroy Bo's drug business.  Mosley suspects Bo isn't happy about it; Raylan suspects the same.

A little later, Bo, Johnny, and Hestler Jones visit Boyd's camp, or as Boyd calls it, The Church of the Last Salvation.  Bo tells Boyd that he came because he wants to apologize for the way he reacted when, at the time he picked up Boyd from prison in "Blowback", his request to have his son Boyd work a few hours for him to rebuild his business was denied.  Bo then gives Boyd some of the money he recieves from those that have thus far asked his protection as a result of Boyd blowing up Ransom Holler.  Boyd doesn't take it right then and there, but Bo tries to convince him it's a donation for his church, which doesn't seem to stick.  As Bo leaves, Boyd tells him that he isn't doing anything on his behalf; but Bo simply replies that Boyd continue doing what he's doing as it's working (in terms of Bo getting protection money).

Later, Raylan and Art visit Helen at the Givens house.  Helen is in her unkempt garden as both men walk up to her.  Art starts the conversation with Helen, wondering how to get rid of snails, but Helen cuts through it by asking him why Raylan and Art are both there.  Art tells Helen they are looking for Arlo to get his advice and Helen informs them that Arlo's down at the VFW where he's been spending most of his time lately.  Raylan tells Helen not to take it personal as the VFW is the only place Arlo can get a drink in town.  Raylan gets right down to the point as Art tries to maintain the politeness with Helen, by telling her that they know about Arlo running protection for Bo while he was in prison and will have to answer for spending away all of Bo's money.

In the backwoods, Mickey and Puller drive up to Bo in their truck with Johnny and Hestler in the back.  As they stop, Johnny and Hestler shoot both men dead before they get out of the truck.  Meanwhile, at the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), Art and Raylan are denied entry by the front doorman who claims that only members and their guests are allowed entry unless they have a search warrant.  On Raylan's request, the doorman goes inside to speak to Arlo but comes back out to tell him he's unable to help him, even though Raylan knows Arlo's in there as his truck is parked nearby.  Art dials his cell for Tim Gutterson to come to the VFW.

It is night and after having spent all afternoon at the VFW, Art and Raylan wait for Tim who finally arrives.  Tim tells them he's been off the clock since five and was intent on getting drunk when they called him.  Tim goes up to the doorman and shows him his military I.D. as he lets all three Marshals inside.  Raylan, Art, and Tim go to Arlo's table, and Raylan tells Arlo that Tim served in Afghanistan as an Army Ranger Sniper.  The Marshals ask Arlo about Boyd and whether he's helping Bo with his business.  Arlo denies it but Raylan tells him they know about that protection and collection business getting destroyed by Arlo; so they give Arlo the option of waiting around to catch a bullet from Bo or accept Marshals protection, including for Helen who is in risk of getting caught in the crossfire.  Arlo denies protection as he doesn't want to get turned against Bo, and tells the Marshals they are no longer welcome at the VFW.  When Arlo asks Raylan if he thought he could turn him against Bo, Raylan tells Arlo that he's there strictly in a law enforcer capacity to make a deal with him (a low life) so they can catch another low life (Bo, who's somehow lower than Arlo).  At the insult, Arlo slaps Raylan across the cheek, while Art stops Tim from intervening.  Raylan tells Arlo to use his words instead of his actions.  After Raylan leaves, Art tells Arlo they are taking down the Crowders and he has the option to go down with them or not.

Moments later after the Marshals exit the VFW, they get calls on their respective cell phones from KSP Detective Frank who summons them to the site where they find Mickey and Puller were dumped after they were shot.  The next morning, Bo visits Arlo at his house.  Bo asks Arlo about Helen not having a welcome care package for him and Arlo not having gone to welcome Bo due to the bad blood that has developed between Bo and Arlo because of Arlo destroying Bo's drug business.  Bo tells Arlo that he picked him instead of Johnny to run the business because Arlo knows his place and wouldn't get ideas about taking it over from Bo, which Bo thought was a good idea until he found out about the money being gone.  Arlo had invited Bo over to tell him about Boyd and that he's out of control, blowing up labs; Bo counter-argues that Raylan is a Marshal who's clearly after them all, but Arlo comes back with the reason that Raylan is even in Kentucky in the first place is because of Boyd.  Bo threatens Arlo to come up $50,000 by same time tomorrow or else and leaves.  All that time, Helen was hiding nearby with a shotgun, overhearing the entire exchange.

Boyd visits Lemuel Becket who flies a red toy helicopter in front of Boyd while Lemuel recounts how he got the Chinese product for his grandson Willy.  Boyd hands Becket enough money to see about getting him a Chinese weapon.  Meanwhile, Dewey Crowe is by the side of the road hitchhiking, when Raylan spots him and stops his Lincoln.  Upon seeing who it is, Dewey decides to wait for another car, but Raylan asks him why he's not with Boyd to which Dewey answers there is too much religion and too many Bible rules to follow.  Dewey finally admits Boyd kicked him out of his Church for being an onanist, before he starts walking away.  Raylan gets out of the car and stops Dewey, declaring him deputized in the name of the USMS and US Government, then pats him down while epxlaining that Dewey's required to assist Raylan or he will violate section 39B of the U.S. Marshals Act for which Dewey can receive up to three years in prison.  Dewey complains that it's an abuse of federal power what Raylan's doing and saying, yet Raylan emphasizes it's the law and forces Dewey to get into his Lincoln.

On the way to Boyd's camp, Raylan tells Dewey he's taking him back there as he was on his way there himself.  Dewey refuses to go back and Raylan brings up that Wyatt Earp deputized men at the time they fought in the O.K. Corral in which afterwards some died heroes.  Raylan asks about why Boyd blew up the meth lab and Dewey tells him that it was before he got into Boyd's church, but Raylan suspects Dewey must have heard something regardless.  Raylan also tells Dewey that Boyd not only killed Gil but seems to have killed Mickey and Puller as well.  Dewey tells Raylan that it wasn't Boyd who killed Mickey and Puller, then under pressure finally admits Boyd blew up Ransom Holler because one of his men, Bobby Joe Packer, used to be a cooker there.

The Marshals and KSP go back to raid Boyd's camp again, this time looking for Bobby Joe with a warrant on hand as he's a witness to murder.  Raylan suspects that not only did Boyd now kill Hale and Gil, but also Mickey and Puller.  Boyd admits to Raylan that the secret he wanted to tell him back in "The Collection" was precisely that Arlo was running collections and protection for Bo and was doing so with Bowman, Ava's dead husband; Boyd thought Ava would have told Raylan this by now.  The law leaves the camp before Boyd and his men get Bobby Joe out from his hidden grave under a campfire site.  Boyd reveals that they knew the law was coming for Bobby Joe because Dewey had contacted him and confessed in confidence.  Since Bobby Joe considers Boyd having saved his soul and will thus do anything for him, Boyd asks Bobby Joe for another favor, a big one.

In the garden, Helen digs out her empty suitcase of stashed cash.  Later that night, Raylan goes to a bar in Corbin to find Ava getting drunk after calling her.  Ava refuses to go with Raylan and tell him about Bowman having worked for Bo, but Raylan points out that no one will get near Ava because Bo has a target on her.  Ava shares that Hestler, who's drinking nearby, did time in a state penitentiary for statutory rape and guesses he's working for Bo because he's been following her around.  Raylan approaches Hestler who denies following Ava, but Hestler admits imagining being with her to which Raylan reacts by slapping Hestler hard across the face.  As Hestler reels from the blow, Raylan pulls a gun off him and points out that carrying the weapon is a violation of his parole.  Hestler threatens with getting another weapon, but Raylan slams a cup down on his trigger finger, breaking it, so that Hestler wont be able to use any firearm with his right hand.  Raylan goes back to Ava, forcing her to leave with him as he wont leave her there with a rapist.  Ava argues that she's been taking care of herself long before Raylan stepped back into her life.

A little bit later that night, Raylan waits for Winona in his car with Ava handcuffed and passed out in the backseat.  Raylan asks Winona for the favor of having Ava stay at her place that night as Ava can't stay in his motel room because he has screwed things up with her.  Raylan assures Winona that the threats on Ava from the Crowders wont put the Hawkins in danger, but he does need to convince Ava to get out of Kentucky.  Winona asks Raylan if he will get out of Kentucky himself, and Raylan tells Winona that he's already tried that, insinuating he wont; Winona doesn't know if she's glad for it or not.

Meanwhile, Helen is grilling Arlo for having taken her saved money from the suitcase she dug up earlier that afternoon, wondering why Arlo didn't just ask before he took it.  Arlo wonders how she could have even saved it up since she hasn't had a job in 20 or so years.  Helen tells him that her saved money would have bought them some time, but Arlo doesn't get the chance to answer her as someone shoots at them through a window.  The couple run out of their house, shooting at the retreating shooter's truck, before Helen tells Arlo they need to pack up and leave; Arlo refuses to do so.  Since Arlo doesn't have $50,000 they either need to run or he needs to kill Bo.

That same night, Boyd sits in front of a fire in his camp as Dewey approaches him.  Boyd thanks Dewey for warning them about the law looking for Bobby Joe.  Dewey shares that Raylan deputized him to try and get him to talk; Boyd suspects Dewey to have wanted to anyway.  Dewey denies having wanted to talk, even after Boyd humiliated him for being an onanist in front of the other Chuch members.  Boyd admits it was out of line and regrets having embarrassed Dewey in front of the others for Dewey self-pleasuring.  That's how Boyd reasons Dewey having wanted to talk to Raylan; and although Boyd forgives Dewey, he pulls out a gun and points it at him.  Boyd tells Dewey that the work the Church is doing is too important and he can't abide to Dewey talking.  As Boyd continues to point the gun at Dewey he stands up, looks at the sky before finally lowering the firearm and turning his back to Dewey then tells him to leave.

At the Lexington Marshals office, Bobby Joe comes in accompanied by two other Marshals to confess to Raylan, Art, tim, and KSP Detective Frank that he was the one and only who set fire to the trailer/Ransom Holler.  To ask forgiveness from Boyd, Boyd had suggested to Bobby Joe that he surrender, which he is doing at that moment.  At Leumier's Boyd gets his chinese product, a military-grade rocket-launcher-type weapon from him.  Raylan walks up to his motel room but finds the door partly ajar.  His hand goes up to his holstered firearm as Raylan kicks the door the rest of the way open to find Arlo sitting there inside in the dark.

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

CHARACTERS:

Dewey Crowe.  Member of Boyd's clan.  Remember that Dewey was there since Boyd's neo-nazi time in the beginning.  In "Fire in the Hole", I didn't like him very much.  But this is the episode when I started to like him...as for the specific  moment in the episode where that happened?  You'll get to find out in my favorite moment(s) section.  I'm not sure I can categorize him as a villain here as I'm starting to see that Dewey just goes along with Boyd instead of having real malice in his heart.  But...who knows, really?  He might still do severely questionable things.  He's very much still an antagonist to Raylan at this point, but he's one of the more 'light-hearted' ones, as we've come to see here in "Veterans".  I know we get to see Dewey again in the series, and this time I am looking forward to his return.

Tim Gutterson.  Something's up with him.  Why was he on his way to getting drunk?  People get drunk for two reasons:  either they're totally happy about something, or they are totally sad about something.  Tim, what's going on?  Talk to us...  Oh, and thank you for coming to save the day again (in that totally "I-didn't-need-to-kill-anyone-way" we love about you so much now) by getting Art and Raylan in there to talk to Arlo...if it hadn't been for that meeting, well, I'm not so sure Arlo would have come to Raylan at the end of the episode.

Helen Givens.  We see how she protects Arlo, even from Raylan.  It's actually strange to see her go against Raylan for being a Marshal and coming after Arlo, but I suppose, if I really think about it, she sees all this from the point of view of not going after family.  Helen sent Raylan away so that he wouldn't grow up in that life; but now he's back and I have to wonder how she feels about that.  I think Helen might be the first person to see how his being in Kentucky creates not only a burden on Raylan but conflicts all around.  If only Raylan wasn't involved with Arlo's case, then she probably wouldn't have this issue with him.  As for her relationship with Arlo, she's not too fond of him dealing with Bo Crowder and with good reason:  she's worried about the well-being of the both of them.

(Since I consider this episode to be part one and the next episode "Fathers and Sons" part two, I'll talk about other key characters in the next rewatch review.)

VILLAINS:

Boyd Crowder.  So we've all heard that saying "two wrongs don't make a right".  Either Boyd hasn't or he's decided such a saying is not really true in his case and doesn't apply to him.  How far will he really go to get meth out of Harlan?  The Shepherd is willing to sacrifice one of his Scattered Sheep (Bobby Joe Packer), so he and his Church aren't found out when it's time to launch a war against drugs.  He had contemplated killing Dewey for talking to Raylan.  He took the money from Bo to get himself that Chinese rocket launcher.  I'm not so sure these means will justify the end...are you?

(Since I consider this episode to be part one and the next episode "Fathers and Sons" part two, I'll talk about other key villains in the next rewatch review.)

FAVORITE MOMENT(S):





Really Boyd?  You're apologizing to Raylan for THAT.

When Art tells a handcuffed Boyd on the first raid of his camp in the episode, that they are there because they are looking for a parole violator and Boyd utters the famous shepherd/sheep quote from the Bible:







The same quote is said by his followers after they are captured and taken to the Lexington Marshals office where they are trying to be persuaded to snitch on Boyd:















The above is the precise moment I started to like Dewey Crowe.  Anyone that can make Raylan do THAT face gets points, haha.  No, but seriously, these two have great chemistry together and we will get to see more of that in this episode.

Tim Gutterson near-drunk...that front doorman was starting to look good to him.  And the banter he has with Art and Raylan, total bonus:













When Raylan finds Dewey hitchhiking on the side of the road and he stops to find out that Dewey has been kicked out of the Church by Boyd because he broke one of the rules of God/the Bible:












Musically, the moments where Bobby Joe confesses to the crime of blowing up Ransom Holler that he didn't commit, Boyd getting his Chinese rocket launcher from Becket, and Raylan coming to his motel room to find Arlo sitting there, to the song "Homesick" by Ryan Kickland:

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GENERAL REFLECTIONS:

The Problem with Raylan getting Sent Down to Kentucky:  it resurfaces this episode.  Though Art tries his best to get information out of Helen by being polite and non-confrontational, Raylan being present doesn't help the matter.  It makes me wonder if Art had even thought of accomplishing this without Helen and Raylan arguing about Arlo.  And Raylan being brought into this case at all?  Well, damn if that's not bad for him.  On the one hand, yes, the Lexington Marshals have the advantage that Raylan knows Harlan and the people in it; and Raylan, to an extent, has that same advantage to be able to do this job while in Harlan effectively.  But on the other hand...and again, I go back to my reflections in my "Fire in the Hole" and "The Lord of War and Thunder" rewatch reviews:  I couldn't help but wonder how much his coming back to Harlan is a burden on him...and here we see it big time.  Apparently, it doesn't stop with Arlo as we find out how he's connected to the Crowders.  So what will we find out next about Arlo?  What more will Raylan get hit with and have to deal with?  No doubt it will get progressively worse as Raylan continues to deal with Arlo.  I'll talk more about this Problem in my next rewatch review of "Fathers and Sons", so stay tuned for tomorrow!