Justified Season 6 RayActions – Episode 13, “The Promise”

justifiedOn January 20th, FX’s Justified began its sixth and final season. Based on several Elmore Leonard works, Justified follows Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant), a US Marshal who is “exiled” to his hometown of Harlan, Kentucky. Raylan frequently finds himself in conflict with erstwhile mining buddy, now criminal mastermind, Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins), as the two attempt to coexist in a world that seems a little too small for both of them. Justified highlights the local culture and explores numerous themes, such as family, religion, history and the thin line that divides the good guys from the bad.

Join Jeff (of Slazenger1) and me in the coming months as we honor this criminally underrated drama with a series of “RayActions” to each of Justified’s Season 6 episodes. These posts will not be particularly formal, but will give us the chance to make some observations and reflect on each episode, likely culminating in a full Season 6 Dead Season Discussion after the finale.

This week’s RayAction is focused on Justified’s series finale, “The Promise.” It contains SPOILERS for the entire series of Justified. Fire in the Hole!

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Patches
The lead single off the official soundtrack for Dave Grohl’s documentary Sound City is entitled “From Can To Can’t.” It’s got Grohl drumming, Cheap Trick guitarist Rick Nielson, and Slipknot/Stone Sour vocalist Corey Taylor (sorry, Scott Reeder). It’s a great song. The lyrics are bold and evocative, but vague enough to preclude a single meaning. The song itself is organized around “the line.” In the first refrain, Taylor draws the line. In the second, he blurs the line. The in the last, he crosses the line.

Justified is sort of the “From Can to Can’t” of Raylan Givens. By the end of “The Promise,” we know Raylan. That no small thing, as Winona pointed out in “The Hunt.” Raylan is so guarded; so closed off, that it’s hard to get a read on him. But actions speak louder than words and we’ve had six seasons of Justified comparing Raylan to his prey to see where he draws, blurs, and crosses his line.

vlcsnap-2015-04-18-09h44m25s25The best example was in “Ghosts,” the Season 4 finale. Raylan told Nicky Augustine that he had a deal for him, but that he wasn’t optimistic Nicky would take it. When asked why he was so pessimistic, Raylan replied “Yeah, well, it’s been a day.” If that sounds familiar, it’s because Ty Walker uttered a similar line in “The Hunt.” The difference is that when Raylan has “a day,” he ignores a crime. When it’s Walker, Continue reading

Chikara “Out on a Limb” Review

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Pre-Show Notes
-The New Mid-Atlantic Sportatorium. Gibbonville, North Carolina. March 7, 2015.
-Welcome! I’m running behind right now since Chikara took forever to release their March shows and because of other stuff I’ve got going on. “Out on a Limb” was the first official Chikara show since “A New Start” in January. I decided not to review National Pro Wrestling Day 2015 due to its somewhat tenuous connection to Chikara. You can check out Kevin Ford’s excellent review here.
– At NPWD, however, the Osirian Portal picked up their third point, leading to our main event tonight. Anyone else feel like the Campeonatos de Parejas has become a bit of an afterthought since the introduction of the Grand Championship?
-I’m not sure what decade this event occurred in. The commentator audio was either coming through a 1920s radio or they were recording over CB. Breaker, breaker, it might be time to go back to SmartMark, over.
-Challenge of the Immortals, the big Season 15 plotline, begins tonight! Long story short, the roster has been divided into 10 teams of four. All 10 teams will face the others twice in tag, trios, or atomicos action. No match type can be repeated when the two teams face each other the second time. Winners get one point, losers get none. The team with the most points at the end of the season wins. Every member of the winning team gets a title shot of their choosing. More details here from the good people/person at Chikara in 15 Minutes or Less. Overall, it seems like a pretty cool way to keep everyone involved and tell some good stories.
-Lastly, we have a new recurring pre-show section. My friend Jeff (of Slazenger1) will be swinging by to drop a little knowledge on us regarding the Arrested Development episodes from which Chikara takes their event titles. There will be Arrested Development spoilers (indicated with bolded text), which I why I’ll put the spoilery parts last. If you are like me and still need to watch AD, skip to the first match!
-Let’s get it on!

Arrest Development with Jeff
These two episodes of Arrested Development (“Out on a Limb” & “Altar Egos”) aired almost one year apart, but in true AD form, they are filled with references to one another. Watching them back-to-back highlights the fun parallels between season 1 and season 2 of this amazing show.

In their respective seasons, they are each the first of back-to-back episodes featuring guest star Julia Louis-Dreyfuss as attorney Maggie Lizer. They also both feature, or refer to GOB’s wife, “Wife of GOB,” played by Amy Poehler, who happens to be a dealer of trained seals.

These episodes are a great example of AD‘s clever use of foreshadowing and callbacks to create satisfyingly silly long-form storytelling. Of course, Chikara’s season 15 titles switched the order of the episodes, but they are so intertwined that they might almost work as well viewed backward.

Fun Bit: Barry Zuckerkorn’s mirror moment.

For AD Aficionados (Spoilers):
In “Out on a Limb” Buster loses a hand and (we’ll find out in the next episode, “Hand to God”), gets a hook. The episode also introduces Skip’s Scramble, and Buster learns that his uncle Oscar is actually his father.

Bonus Arrested Development with Jeff (from “A New Start”)
“A New Start” is from the 4th season, otherwise known as the one produced by Netflix that “resurrected” the show in 2013 (resurrection seems to be a theme for Chikara too, no?). One character on the show translated the phrase to a vanity license plate reading ANUSTART. So there’s that.

vlcsnap-2015-04-07-22h37m18s42Jervis Cottonbelly & Princess KimberLee defeated Die Bruderschaft des Kreuzes (Jakob Hammermeier & Pinkie Sanchez), the Colony (Fire Ant & Worker Ant), and the Wrecking Crew (Flex Rumblecrunch & Jaka) via Pinfall
Nothing like a four-way elimination tag match to get things kicked off. I had no idea that Princess KimberLee was a wrestler, but now that I’ve seen her in action, I’m a fan. Now all we need is for Jervis to stop doing “chivalrous” things that undermine her toughness. If she ever gets sick of having the ropes held for her and being awkwardly “rescued” in the middle of matches, it’s going to turn into an awesome heel turn.

For real, though, this audio is absolutely reprehensible. You can’t listen and watch the match at the same time. Flex is also growing out his hair and it looks good, but weird. Early shenanigans led to a submission centipede that hilariously ended with Jervis tickling Flex and all the other competitors pointing and laughing. The rudos took advantage of the ensuing breakdown to take control of the match, wearing down Worker Ant for a very long time.

After what seemed like forever, Continue reading

Justified Season 6 RayActions – Episode 12, “Collateral”

justifiedOn January 20th, FX’s Justified began its sixth and final season. Based on several Elmore Leonard works, Justified follows Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant), a US Marshal who is “exiled” to his hometown of Harlan, Kentucky. Raylan frequently finds himself in conflict with erstwhile mining buddy, now criminal mastermind, Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins), as the two attempt to coexist in a world that seems a little too small for both of them. Justified highlights the local culture and explores numerous themes, such as family, religion, history and the thin line that divides the good guys from the bad.

Join Jeff (of Slazenger1) and me in the coming months as we honor this criminally underrated drama with a series of “RayActions” to each of Justified’s Season 6 episodes. These posts will not be particularly formal, but will give us the chance to make some observations and reflect on each episode, likely culminating in a full Season 6 Dead Season Discussion after the finale.

This week’s RayAction is focused on Justified Season 6, Episode 12 – “Collateral.” It contains SPOILERS for the entire series of Justified. Fire in the Hole!

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Patches
Ever since “Alive Day,” Justified has cranked out episode after episode of incredible television. The show has been so consistently amazing that I almost feel disappointed that the series still isn’t improving every week. Of course, the truth is that there’s basically nowhere for Justified to go.

As the series’ penultimate episode, “Collateral” had the responsibility of moving things forward while still setting up for the finale. Needless to say, it delivered on both counts. Avery Markham is on the warpath and now has little left to lose. I expected him to buy the farm, figuratively this time, this week, but Sam Elliott has been so incredible this season that I’m take every Elliott scene I can get. It seems as though the endgame will now include Markham, Boon, and Loretta.

vlcsnap-2015-04-18-09h26m04s49Ava and Zachariah continued to be the weakest thread in the Justified tapestry. They argued. Ava left. Zachariah died. It all had to happen, but nothing about it was particularly interesting. There was a nice thematic moment, however, when Continue reading

Justified Season 6 RayActions – Episode 11, “Fugitive Number One”

justifiedOn January 20th, FX’s Justified began its sixth and final season. Based on several Elmore Leonard works, Justified follows Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant), a US Marshal who is “exiled” to his hometown of Harlan, Kentucky. Raylan frequently finds himself in conflict with erstwhile mining buddy, now criminal mastermind, Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins), as the two attempt to coexist in a world that seems a little too small for both of them. Justified highlights the local culture and explores numerous themes, such as family, religion, history and the thin line that divides the good guys from the bad.

Join Jeff (of Slazenger1) and me in the coming months as we honor this criminally underrated drama with a series of “RayActions” to each of Justified’s Season 6 episodes. These posts will not be particularly formal, but will give us the chance to make some observations and reflect on each episode, likely culminating in a full Season 6 Dead Season Discussion after the finale.

This week’s RayAction is focused on Justified Season 6, Episode 10 – “Fugitive Number One.” It contains SPOILERS for the entire series of Justified. Fire in the Hole!

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Patches
Even during its worst moments (that didn’t involve Winona stealing evidence money, at least), I’ve always enjoyed Justified. It’s made me laugh. It’s shocked me. It’s kept me perched on the edge of my seat. It has never made me cry. Yet, that’s exactly what happened about halfway through “Fugitive Number One” when Mikey (Sorry… It’s “Michael”) ate four bullets in defense of his partner Wynn Duffy.

The writers set it up perfectly. Earlier in the episode, Continue reading

Justified Season 6 RayActions – Episode 10, “Trust”

justifiedOn January 20th, FX’s Justified began its sixth and final season. Based on several Elmore Leonard works, Justified follows Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant), a US Marshal who is “exiled” to his hometown of Harlan, Kentucky. Raylan frequently finds himself in conflict with erstwhile mining buddy, now criminal mastermind, Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins), as the two attempt to coexist in a world that seems a little too small for both of them. Justified highlights the local culture and explores numerous themes, such as family, religion, history and the thin line that divides the good guys from the bad.

Join Jeff (of Slazenger1) and me in the coming months as we honor this criminally underrated drama with a series of “RayActions” to each of Justified’s Season 6 episodes. These posts will not be particularly formal, but will give us the chance to make some observations and reflect on each episode, likely culminating in a full Season 6 Dead Season Discussion after the finale.

This week’s RayAction is focused on Justified Season 6, Episode 10 – “Trust.” It contains SPOILERS for the entire series of Justified. Fire in the Hole!

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Jeff
How is next episode not the series finale?

“Trust” gives us SO MANY CLIFFHANGERS that I can imagine the show needing three episodes to resolve them, but the tension was so high this week that I’m already geared up for an explosive finale. So many things are left up in the air, it’s no wonder this episode clocked in under the 40-minute mark. Still, I’ll take it because by golly, things happen and people take action.

Mikey Cosmatopolis decides that he’s not all talk when it comes to his code. Plus, he’s probably tired of being harassed by Wynn. So he takes matters into his own hands, slamming Wynn’s head onto the table and handcuffing him inside the Wynnebago and removing all four(!) of Wynn’s deadly weapons. Of course, when he tries to call Katherine, he gets voicemail. Also, aren’t many RV tables made to come apart, collapse and fold into the wall? Maybe it’s too obvious by this point, but I kept thinking “I hope Mikey handcuffed him correctly.”

vlcsnap-2015-03-28-15h48m43s141Poor Dewey’s blood-stained gator tooth necklace finally shows up again, hinting to Ava, who passes on to Raylan, that Boyd murdered Dewey Crowe. Raylan doesn’t seem to think there’s enough proof, particularly without a body. Seems to me that Tim picked up someone who just might know where the body is though, and he’s probably not particularly happy with Boyd, or at least he won’t be when he finds out that Boyd set him and Earl up to be arrested (I’m talking about Carl, in case you can’t tell).

Boyd nabs Katherine and uses her to get Markham to finally part with his $10 million. Trouble is, Markham already knows Katherine only cares about his money (if it wasn’t clear from her longing look at the dough), so how certain can we be that those bags are entirely filled with cold, hard cash? Boyd puts the cherry on top by Continue reading

Justified Season 6 RayActions – Episode 9, “Burned”

justifiedOn January 20th, FX’s Justified began its sixth and final season. Based on several Elmore Leonard works, Justified follows Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant), a US Marshal who is “exiled” to his hometown of Harlan, Kentucky. Raylan frequently finds himself in conflict with erstwhile mining buddy, now criminal mastermind, Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins), as the two attempt to coexist in a world that seems a little too small for both of them. Justified highlights the local culture and explores numerous themes, such as family, religion, history and the thin line that divides the good guys from the bad.

Join Jeff (of Slazenger1) and me in the coming months as we honor this criminally underrated drama with a series of “RayActions” to each of Justified’s Season 6 episodes. These posts will not be particularly formal, but will give us the chance to make some observations and reflect on each episode, likely culminating in a full Season 6 Dead Season Discussion after the finale.

This week’s RayAction is focused on Justified Season 6, Episode 9 – “Burned.” It contains SPOILERS for the entire series of Justified. Fire in the Hole!

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Jeff
Justified has comfortably settled into being great again after last season, as we’ve already covered. “Burned” feels like a sort of in-between episode to me. It’s not bad, or by-the-numbers or even “table setting,” but it’s all about escalation. We’re on the uphill climb toward our climax. All of the biggest pieces are still in play and we’re just waiting for them to start falling.

Sounds like Wynn Duffy was the snitch who ratted out Katherine’s husband back in the day. That seems almost like an anti-climax given the weight the rat has had so far. Still, it gave us a wonderful Art/Raylan/Wynn scene, complete with another appearance by the tanning bed. Also, it raises the stakes for Wynn and gives us the tiniest bit of conflict between Wynn and Mikey. Wynn seems safe for now, but Continue reading