My favorite thing about this week’s episode of Justified, “Where’s Waldo?”, was probably its focus on Raylan’s boss Art. He’s usually a pretty understated character, and that works well, but it’s nice to see him come out of the background every once in a while. I loved the scene in which he broke down exactly how dysfunctional his office and agents are, because that’s one of those things that’s easy to forget about watching week to week. We love these characters, and obviously we’re basically on their side, but when you stop and think about it, they would not be easy to deal with in real life. It speaks to their talents (or, you know, the magic of TV) that the office is generally so successful in spite of everyone involved being so messed up.
It was also delightful to see Art out in the field – again, that’s something that I don’t think they should overuse, but I wouldn’t mind it happening slightly more frequently. The group’s trip to see the Truth (of course! what a name) family did a good job of being a one-off scenario that tied into the larger mystery we’re following this season; they didn’t find Waldo, exactly, but they got some much-needed information, and things are eking along. Hopefully the show’s tendency to play out a larger mystery through these small set pieces will save it from some of the inevitable fan objection to things being too drawn out. (Personally, I like the longer mysteries, in general, though I tend to adore this show’s cases of the week.) And the Truth family was so ridiculous and fun that I’m a bit sad we’re not likely to see them again. (Well, maybe. Who knows?)
On the other hand, Preacher Billy and his sister are characters we’re likely to see again, and I’m glad, because the use of religion on this show is always fascinating. Boyd and Billy’s confrontation was probably my favorite single scene of the episode; Boyd’s relationship with religion is so complex and compelling that I’m glad they’ve found a way to work it back into things without rehashing the “Boyd starts a church” story. I am, of course, suspicious of Billy and his sister, but that may be mostly just the show’s (and the actor’s) ability to put me firmly on Boyd’s side even though he’s objectively pretty terrible.
And oh, hey, I realized I’ve barely mentioned Raylan. I love him “working” in the bar; so far this season he seems to be quietly unspooling but somehow he’s lighter and happier than he’s been before at the same time. I don’t have much of an impression of Lindsey yet – she seems fine, I guess? – but of course she has a husband. I’m happy to see how that all plays out, but I also hope we see more about Winona and the baby soon.