Justified, "Cut Ties": lye to me

Quick Take: Justified, "Cut Ties"
"At least you put a smile on my face." - Karen

justified cut ties

Review: Justified, "Cut Ties"
(S0302) How freaking cool is Justified? And how slow am I? The answer for both would be “pretty damn.” But I totally didn’t put two-and- two together that Carla Gugino’s character, Karen (who began her arc in this episode), might be in some way related to the other famous Karen character she played in the last TV series based on Elmore Leonard’s works: Karen Sisco. And lo and behold, it turns out the Karen on Justfied is Karen Sisco all along.

Well, kind of.

The character is named Karen Goodall. But but but, Goodall is her married name (from a very brief marriage apparently) and her name change is surprising to Raylan. She has previously worked with Raylan in Miami (from where Karen Sisco was stationed) as a Deputy Marshal, though she’s since been promoted. Basically, she’s Karen Sisco, but Graham Yost and company probably couldn’t use the name Karen Sisco.

I never watched Karen Sisco while it was on ABC (though I do love Stephen Soderbergh’s Out of Sight, which also features the character, played by Jennifer Lopez in probably her only good role to date), so I don’t have a particular attachment to Gugino’s portrayal of Sisco, but I just love the idea that Elmore Leonard’s universe can somehow cross over between networks, even if it’s unofficially. I don’t expect to see Jack Foley or Chili Palmer or anything on Justified, but hey, maybe that’s me being slow again.

Sisco, er, Goodall wasn’t the only new character we met this week. In the final moments, we also received our first glimpse of this season’s other big bad, Harlan’s scariest criminal, Limehouse. Played by Bubba himself, Mykelti Williamson (who also co-starred with Neal McDonough on Graham Yost’s Boomtown), Limehouse is something of a southern-fried sadist. We don’t know a ton about him yet, but we do know that a past debt to Mags Bennett has forced him to watch over her hidden fortune until Dickie Bennett is released from prison.

It didn’t seem like Dickie was ever going to get out, though, with how Boyd cunningly got to him, even as Dickie entered into solitary confinement. Raylan was on to Boyd and went about having Boyd released in only a day. So with time running out before Boyd was free and unable to get to Dickie, Boyd played the prison system perfectly (as only a career criminal could).

Knowing he still wanted to be released, Boyd had to reach solitary without actually adding any time to his sentence. So he approached a group of black inmates lifting weights in the yard and asked to join in, showing off his swastika tattoo in the process. Boyd thusly has the shit beaten out of him and is taken to the infirmary where the doctor on hand reminds him that Boyd must consent to treatment. If he doesn’t, though, he could face disciplinary actions. Clearly Boyd does not accept treatment and is put into solitary as a result (I’m not sure how legit of a punishment that would be, but I’ve also never been to prison). Finally, once in solitary, Boyd takes the easy way and presumably just pays off a guard to let him into Dickie’s cell. But simple revenge isn’t what’s on Boyd’s mind. He’s far more concerned with missing Bennett fortune that Dickie has access too. After some gentle neck-shank threats, Dickie reveals that Limehouse is guarding the money, but he would only give it up to Dickie himself and nobody else. Dickie isn’t getting out anytime soon, but with how smart Boyd clearly is, I’m guessing he finds a way into Limehouse’s inner circle, swastika tattoo notwithstanding.

Lingering thoughts about "Cut Ties"

  • In all that, I didn't even discuss the main plot of the episode, involving double-crossed protected witnesses and shifting alliances between mobsters and informants. The truth is, it was really good. One of the better case-of-the-week episodes that Justified has pulled off. I just feel like I've been rambling enough above to need to recap it.
  • That being said, Nick Searcy continues to shine. It won't happen, but in a perfect world, he gets an Emmy nomination next summer.
  • By Mike Proper

    About the author

    I work hard.  And I play hard.  

    Actually, I don't work that hard.

    Also I Tweet. Twitter.com/MikeProper

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