Justified

Episode: Long in the Tooth (Season 1, Episode 4)

Synopsis: Raylan catches up to an ex-money laundering accountant turned dentist that previously embarrassed him after said fugitive performs impromptu dental surgery on a high-powered asshole in the parking lot.  The Marshall then has to get him into protective custody before a couple of cartel hired guns find him first.

Review: Like last week, this episode spends a fair amount of time with Raylan’s prey, though this time around it’s much more enjoyable.  Roland, the renegade account/dentist, is portrayed by the always excellent Alan Ruck, and his receptionist girlfriend Mindy is played by the cute Michele Nordin.  The two have great chemistry on screen and their relationship is relatable and fun to watch.

There is some effort to add more depth to deputy marshal Rachel Dupree, though we don’t get to spend much time there and what we get is pretty superficial “I’m a black woman, you’re a white cowboy” thing.  What makes it interesting though is Raylan refusing to take the bait and go down the normal road.  He uses his swagger and easy charm to defuse the situation immediately.

In terms of the show down gunfight each episode treats us to, we get Givens facing down two men – one a trained killer, the other some local help, a bit on the slow side.  Givens talks tough then delivers the goods.  In terms of acting and what not, everyone is great this episode.  Olyphant has mastered what it is to be Raylan Givens and the supporting cast of Ruck and Nordin are great.

I did have a problem with the end of the episode though.  I never buy into endings where someone has to make a sacrifice.  I guess it’s supposed to show the true heart of the individual, but really it’s just giving up.  A refusal to face the facts and continue the fight.  So the ending didn’t light my fire and I think it actually took away from the character of Roland.  Regardless, a pretty good episode, though I could use a little bit more shooting next week.

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