Justified recap: Truth and Consequences

As Raylan learns more about Lindsey and Drew Thompson, Boyd breaks some news to Billy
Ep. 03 | Aired Jan 22, 2013

RIP, BILLY Boyd (Walton Goggins) tried to stop Billy (Joe Mazzello) from handling the snake that Boyd knew would kill him.

Prashant Gupta/FX

And from one questionable gift that brings people solace to another, we cut to Billy preaching to a packed tent (including Ellen May). He said the reason they handle serpents is because it’s by protecting them from the venom that god shows his glory. He said god had sheltered him from a devil the previous night by using the serpents to cast that devil out. In walked another devil, Boyd, carrying a toolbox containing a snake that he told the congregation Cassie hadn’t had time to milk.

Cassie tried to say Billy only handles snakes when the lord moves him to, but Boyd, preaching as only Walton Goggins can do, insisted that wasn’t good enough for the flock. If you’re in the light, you should be transparent. Billy rolled up his sleeves to do it, the true believer that he is. Boyd told Cassie she’d have to tell him the truth, and she did. He really had no idea. She said she did it because she’d been there and saw their father die that horrible death. Boyd picked up the toolbox and started to leave, satisfied. But Billy was gonna finish this game. Boyd tried to stop him. As Yost put it in our postmortem: "We wanted as a subtext for Boyd throughout this thing that he had a sympathy for Billy, and an understanding of Billy, and almost a wish that he still had the faith that Billy has. So it kinda hurts him to bring down a man of faith. And yet, it then confirms again his dark nihilistic view of the world. So it was just the idea that he offers up the challenge, it’s a test of Billy’s faith, and he’s hoping that Cassie will stop him and that that will be that. The church will then have to pack up and move on. That’s all he wanted. He didn’t want Billy to die....”

Cassie tried to stop Billy, too, to no avail. Someone should have tackled him. Instead, the congregation prayed. He got bit, of course, and had just enough time to put the snake back in the box before he collapsed. Maybe have anti-venom on hand, just in case? No way an ambulance gets there in time. As Boyd walked out of the tent, Raylan was walking into the bar.

He looked surprised to find Rachel on a stool. She told him she’d left her husband, Joe, and Raylan asked if he was supposed to ask if she wanted to talk about it. He was very relieved when she said he wasn’t. Rachel asked about his meeting with Randall -- Tim had told her -- and Raylan said Randall never showed. He would have bet money he’d be there. (Ha.) He asked the bartender if Lindsey was in, and he said last he saw her was a couple of hours ago when she headed upstairs to wait for Raylan. Raylan must have been suspicious if he brought Rachel along for backup. They found that his place had been tossed and the money in his underwear drawer was gone. Judging from the promo for next week, the fun of that story line will really begin -- and come to some kind of end with gunplay.

Your turn. What did you think of the episode? Who’s worried for Ellen May now? You’d think with the church presumably gone without Billy, she might be safe -- but that promo doesn't make it look that way.

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