Justified 2.2 “The Life Inside” Review

The reason Justified works so well on an episodic level as well as its longer narrative arcs is because no case is ever as simple as it first seems. There are always grey areas. And because we know that, we are always waiting to see what twists and surprises are in store for us even in the simplest of procedurals.

A simple escort of a pregnant inmate to get her ultrasound leaves a rather ugly body count behind, but not before it caused Raylan (Timothy Olyphant) to get a little more serious with his ex-wife. He went from joking about realtors with Winona (Natalie Zea) to talking about baby names after seeing a gun pointed at a child inside the womb. Already in the first two episodes of the season, we’ve seen a wearier Raylan, or perhaps just a more existential one as the darker tone of Season 2 continues.

But “The Life Inside“, with a relatively entertaining main storyline, was really about a multitude of setups. Boyd (Walton Goggins) and Ava (Joelle Carter)! WTF! Okay, so in retrospect it actually makes a kind of sad, twisted sense. They’re both lost and a crossroads with no one else to turn to. But what’s Raylan going to do when he finds out?

And what’s this history Arlo (Raymond J. Barry) was referring to with one Mags Bennett (Margo Martindale)? I’m just grasping at straws here, but something about that creepy scene between Mags and Loretta (Kaityln Dever) tells me that perhaps the young girl will ultimately be the new she-queen’s undoing.

It’s an interesting choice to bring Gary (William Ragsdale) back into the picture to vie for Winona’s affections. It seems a bit of a stretch that she would ever consider going back to such a spineless weasel, but eventually I’m sure he’ll have something on Raylan or put Winona in such a difficult position that she may have no choice but to crawl back to him.

Other random musings:

-Remember that watch Coover (Brad William Henke) stole. This is going to come back to bite him and Mags in the ass.

-I love that Arlo was kicked out of the house while being under house arrest.

-“You smell nice.” Ha.

While 2.2 wasn’t a stellar episode, it was still rock solid. Grade: B

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