Justified recap – 3×05: ‘Thick as Mud’

Courtesy of FX

Justified goes Crank as we follow Dewey Crowe (Damon Herriman) while he goes on a crime spree to collect $20 grand in four hours before nasty nurse Lance (Clayne Crawford) sells his kidneys to a Chicago businessman. Umm…okay

Let’s bitch it out…

Raylan (Timothy Olpyhant) and Rachel (Erica Tazel) continue to demonstrate palpable partner chemistry as they hunt down Dewey, who clearly is out of his depth trying to find cash. They really just have to follow the chaos (as Rachel complains). First stop: an electronics store, then the strip club. Too bad it’s only 10am and everyone pays with credit! It’s here that they learn of Dewey’s ‘transplant’ (courtesy of the stripper – who Dewey considers a 6.5 – whose aunt “got a transplant from a boy who drowned”). Raylan splits  to speak with Correctional Officer Ash Murphy (Todd Stashwick) at the hospital. In a scene that merely serves to remind us about the troubled relationship they brokered last week (when Raylan ran Ash over – twice), this scene seems out of place and unnecessary. Of course, its only after Dewey (and his four kidneys) are safely rescued from the back of a liquor store he’s holed up in, that the Ash/hospital scene made sense.

Raylan receives word that Ash has died of a stroke, which seems mighty fishy, especially when Raylan discovers that there were no other visitors aside from him. It doesn’t take him long to deduce that Layla (Maggie Lawson) the “cute as a pound of kittens” RN he got a dressing down from (she of the colourful ‘Dr. Blowjob’ story) is the culprit. Tracking her down at her house, he’s drugged by Lance and thrown in the bathtub for kidney removal (seriously…this is their plan? That seems really poorly thought out…even if $20 large is a lot of money for a human organ). In a scene straight from Blood Simple, Layla shoots Lance and is about to kill Raylan until he shoots her through her (ex)boyfriend’s dead body where it lies on top on him (delicious). “I can’t believe you shot me” she mumbles as she collapses. Frankly none of us can!

After getting the all clear from paramedics and a ride home from Art (Nick Searcy), Raylan comes home to an empty house and a note from Winona (Natalie Zea). This was a quick, quiet ending, but powerfully directed as the camera slowly tracks left from a long shot of Rayla, frozen against the counter with the note in hand. I guess even though Winona can’t imagine loving another man the way she does him, she can’t continue to be with him, either. It’s a dour ending considering the lovely chat they had earlier in the episode, made especially sad because they’re one of my favourite TV couples right now. Le boo…

Other Considerations:

  • Quarles (Neal McDonough) and Boyd finally meet after Boyd puts a beat-down on Quarles’ man, Tanner Dodd (Brendan McCarthy). The carpetbagger (Definition: a man who comes to the north to take advantage of the stupid southern folk) suggests a partnership, but Boyd infers Quarles, like other carpetbaggers, will only die-off “like deer flies”. They take turns complimenting each other for their smarts, but this conflict is only heating up – and which of these smart men comes out on top may well depend on…
  • Ellstin Limehouse (Mykelti Williamson). He’s got a mole, Trixie (Valerie Brandy)who is cozying up to Tanner and she got all the inside dirt on the battle of wits between Quarles and Boyd.  The fact that Limehouse continues to fly under the radar should be worrying all of the other players. He’s going to be dangerous when he gets involved. Whether or not Mags’ money factors into his plan is unknown (we learn at the start of the episode that he lied to Dickie about spending it all).
  • Lawrence Nightengale? Fluff and fold? “Your kidneys are for pissing” “You mean I have four kidneys!” There are a hilarious amount of strange and memorable lines in this episode.
  • Justified excels at introducing random characters who appear for a scene or two, deliver entertaining dialogue and then disappear back into the ether. Where other shows struggle to develop their main characters, we regularly see one-off day players from Harlan County making a lasting impression (I’m specifically thinking of the religious liquor store clerk who takes a shot at Dewey).
  • Finally, when Boyd (Walton Goggins) and Ava (Joelle Carter) compare bullet wounds in the wake of Devil’s (Kevin Rankin) death, is this just an excuse to have two attractive people show some cleavage?

What did you think, Justified fans? Did you enjoy the strange, silly tale of Dewey Crowe’s misadventure? Do you wish we had found out more about Lance and Layla’s plan, or do you care? Is anyone convinced Winona is gone for good? And what exactly is Limehouse going to do when he decides to leave the sidelines? Sound off below!

About cinephilactic

cinephilactic is a university contract instructor in Film Studies. He is an avid TV watcher, particularly science-fiction, fantasy and drama series. His favourite shows currently airing on TV include The Good Wife, Breaking Bad, Justified, Hannibal, Game Of Thrones and a smattering of shows on The CW. He has a tendency to "hate-watch" particular shows and likes to think that his sarcastic voice comes through in his reviews, though sometimes he's just being bitchy

3 thoughts on “Justified recap – 3×05: ‘Thick as Mud’

  1. Pingback: Justified recap – 3×07: ‘Watching The Detectives’ « Bitch Stole My Remote

  2. I finally started marathoning this one about three weeks ago. Alas, the first several episodes were tiresome to me. Nevertheless, I like Mr. Deadwood, so I kept watching.

    For me, this is definitely a series that benefits from binge viewing. By the time I powered through the second season, I was hooked. Then again, living in the south/southwest, I can’t help but recognize some of these folk. Makes washing dishes so much easier!

    I definitely enjoyed Dewey’s misadventure. The actor plays sincerely ignorant/stupid so well. If we never find out more about Lance and Layla’s plan, that’s OK. Some plots just need to end in the middle of the season.

    Though I am not convinced Winona is gone for good, I’m feeling a bit disconnected from her journey. Girlfriend can’t just keep shackin’ and leavin’. Especially because every girl/boy knows that these days unprotected sex virtually means that you want to have babies, and not so secretly–especially because of that episode in season two. Honestly, I think that stand alone episode just gave the writers an obvious way to expose Raylan and Winona’s desire for babies RIGHT NOW.

    I’m still not sure about Limehouse and his teeth.


    P. S. If y’all haven’t gone to Deadwood, SD, try to check it out and Mount Rushmore. It was fun!

    • Keep at it – as Quarles and Limehouse get more airtime, things definitely become more complicated.

      As for Natalie Zea (Winona), I think she may have been transitioning over to The Following at this point, so that likely explains some of her absences.