Justified Review: 2×05 ‘Cottonmouth’ #1

I highly recommend reading the full review of the episode over at HitFix, you can find the link below. It’s definitely worth the read.

And I remain floored by how the show has convincingly pulled off this transformation with Boyd in only a season and a quarter. I knew from “The Shield” what a great, charismatic actor Walton Goggins can be, but the Boyd of the pilot was so loathsome that it should feel like a cheat that he’s now someone we’re cheering for. But it doesn’t. You can’t forget the terrible things Boyd did before – which Kyle brings up in explaining why Boyd should be the one to kill the guard – but he’s trying another path now, his own twisted take on Raylan’s path, and one that’s likely to bring him together with Raylan’s ex, and Goggins and the writers are all making this work. He was so on fire throughout the episode, in fact, that I was willing to overlook just how dumb Kyle was to give so much responsibility – not just planting the explosives, but handling the money, etc. – to Boyd, which was the only way he was able to pull off the triple-cross.

Boyd’s ABC adventure was so compelling, in fact, that it would be easy to overlook how strong the rest of “Cottonmouth” was. But by putting the unrelated standalone stories on hold for a week, we got to spend a whole lot of time on the growing beef between Raylan and the Bennetts(*). And we got another glimpse of the cold, unapologetic ruthlessness of Mags, who barely paused for a moment – more out of fatigue than regret – after hammering Coover’s non-gun hand(**) before returning to talk more business.


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