Better "The Devil You Know" than the devil you don't. The episode title of Justified's fourth chapter of the year took on a bit of a literal meaning as Boyd's right-hand man, Devil, attempted to make waves within Harlan County corruption before meeting his untimely death.
As is usually the case, the popular idiom also took on its figurative meaning in a couple of fashions over the course of the hour. The most prevalent being Devil himself choosing to side with the devil he didn't know - Mr. Quarles - over the devil he had known forever, Boyd Crowder.
Devil probably would have been better off sticking with the low pay of the Crowder clan. If he just kept on doing what he has done over the years, it is pretty safe to say that Boyd never would have harmed him. He's straightforward that way.
Devil's attempt at defecting to the devil he didn't know was exactly what got him in trouble. Who is to say what would have happened if he had made it out of Boyd's grasps safely, and ended up working for Quarles? Would he have had a similar fate? Most likely, but he didn't know that. Again, he doesn't know Quarles the way we do.
Like last week, Boyd proved that he is nothing if not always prepared for the situation at hand. When Devil stuck that gun in his face, it was as if Boyd knew exactly how the rest of it was going to go down. Johnny pulls his piece, Boyd shoots Devil in the chest, and then he puts the wounded traitorous man out of his misery with a bullet to the brain.
It was simply some ruthless action by Boyd... and some thrilling television for the audience.
The other character that should have thought about sticking with the devil he knew is Dickie Bennett. Prison must be some kind of awful, but now he is a wounded, broke, wanted fugitive with no friends or family to turn to on the outside. I can't imagine he wouldn't have tried harder to stay inside if he knew this was going to be his fate.
All of those decisions aside, what I really loved about "The Devil You Know" was the cross-connections it created between all of our heroes and villains. Through the first three episodes it seemed as if Raylan and Quarles were going to match up on one side of the story, while Boyd and Limehouse would interact on the other.
Here, we were treated to a wonderful Raylan/Limehouse interaction, and while Boyd and Quarles didn't meet in person, they certainly inter-mingled through the likes of the now deceased Devil. The collision of all of these characters might be coming quicker than I expected, and we should all be excited about that.
While all of this Boyd, Devil, and Dickie business was going on, Raylan spent his time trying to figure it all out, and once he got to the prison guard with his buckets of chicken, the Marshal didn't need to use any fancy gun fighting tricks.
As awesome as it is when Raylan pulls on his foe quicker than Brett Maverick, sometimes it is the simplistic wins for Raylan Givens that are the most entertaining. When the guard pulled on Raylan in his car, I laughed out loud at the latter's decision just to run the former over. The idiot pointed the gun again, so Raylan backed over him. It might not have been pretty, but it got the job done, and it was pretty darn hilarious.
It was probably my least favorite of the first four episodes, but "The Devil You Know" also gave us some insight into Rachel's back story, the return of Loretta and that great scene in which Limehouse and his man saved Dickie Bennett and the $46,000.
What did you think of the episode? Would you have jumped ship from Boyd to Quarles? Is $46,000 really all the Limehouse has left of the money? And how creepy was the prison doctor when he was preparing to use his tools on Dewey Crowe's body?!?
Dan Forcella is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.Tags: Justified, Reviews