Justified S4 Ep04 “The Bird Has Flown" Directed By Bill Johnson Written By Taylor Elmore
After a long day of not quite doing Marshal’s work, Raylan Givens resigns himself to the fact that “the universe” (or perhaps a god) just doesn't want him to have that ill gotten money. “The Bird Has Flown” is a surprising emotionally poignant episode of Justified. Going in things looked like they would be a run of the mill Justified episode leading up to the showdown between Raylan and Randall, where Raylan might somehow acquire a hammer to beat Randall down with. No Hammers, just high velocity bean bags. And gamecocks.
Raylan and Rachel are hot on the trail that Lindsey and Randall left in their wake. The first stop is at backyard fight promoter and all around bro douchebag Joe Hoppus’s place. After a wild night of partying, fighting, alcoholic intake, and most likely some other illegal stuff. Raylan and Rachel find themselves walking through something out of a disaster movie. With Raylan’s money a “goodly sum” as he puts it, Randall has gotten into the fighter management business. Only this isn’t MMA or Boxing it’s gamecocks. That is what kept him going in prison the dream of managing roosters. Everyones gotta dream about something.
Joe Hoppus might be a whitetrash backyard promoter but he rightly points out to Raylan that anyone could've seen the kind of trouble Lindsey had coming with her from a mile away. If they didn’t, well, they deserve what’s coming to them for being so blind. Joe Hoppus one part white trash one part soothsayer. Another kindred spirit pops up for Raylan, the clerk Randall beat up for talking about “tasteful boudoir shots and such” with his wife. The clerk is just pathetic and beaten when Raylan gets to him. Lindsey was too good to be true for someone like him. He doesn't meet many people with a common interest.
What part does Lindsey have to play in all this? Is she a willing participant or Princess Peach? Lindsey might have straighten up a bit by running that bar but she likes the attention her conning gets her too much. She just doesn't like it when Randall becomes jealous and nearly kills the person giving her attention. Throughout her time on the show I never was really sold or shown on Lindsey being all that bewitching. Whatever spell she cast it worked well on Raylan and Randall, both of whom are left half conscious in a field. In the end she is still kind of worth it to Randall. She isn’t to Raylan, his spell was lifted after he woke up. That didn’t stop him from looking like a puppy after she shot him, maybe she did actually like him a little bit. Either way he is done with her and the money, none the wiser or richer.
Raylan isn’t ever going to change, at least long term. If we could look two seasons into the future Raylan will still be the charming asshole U.S. Marshall hunting down bad guys and saying something witty. Most likely with a women who will inevitably leave him by his side. He just won’t have that extra cash this time.
Preacher Billy is dead. It is rather anticlimactic to have what appeared to be a major foil for Boyd, since Raylan and him haven’t shared a frame together all season, die off screen. It was probably for the best Justified has a high body count but death is normally quick. Preacher Billy didn’t go so quickly from the little talk of him there is this episode. Boyd is quickly able to absolve himself of any major blame in the mans death, even if he admits to acting as “the tempter”. Preacher Billy made the choice and in the end it’s his own fault he is on a slab or in the ground.
The other half of “This Bird Has Flown” concerns a bird trying to come back home. With Preacher Billy and the church gone Ellen May doesn't have anywhere else to go. Even if she now really does look out of place in Boyd’s House of Iniquity. Ellen May has stuck around more out of a need for a squeaky wheel in the Crowder operation and having her around makes plot movement easier. Ava just doesn't know what to do with her at this point. She can either keep her around, worried that Ellen May said incriminating things about the man they murdered or do something else. Just how much grease is she willing to give Ellen May.
Boyd, always with a play, suggest sending Ellen May to his cousin in Alabama’s crappy hotel to work as a maid. Allowing them to keep tabs on her and give Ellen May the fresh start she wants. Ellen May doesn't see it that way, she feels like she is being kicked out of her home. In an attempt to stay in Harlan Ellen May promises to not speak a word about their killing together. Unfortunately for Ellen May she does the publicly in a crowded room. At least she never asked Colt how her hair looked.
The whole car ride with Colt had the right undercurrent of tension for viewers. It wasn’t obvious either way this would play out. Maybe Colt really is taking her to the bus station. Maybe that call was Boyd telling him to not kill her.Then they cross cut to Boyd reassuring Ava that Ellen May won’t feel a thing. When asked about the phone call Colt lies saying he is to bring her back to Audrey’s. “Bet it’s ‘cause of what I told her!” Ellen May reacts happily - which is more true than she knows.Colt pulls into a gas station obviously nervous about killing her. To calm the nerves he choses to partake in a little heroin. That holds him up just long enough to find Ellen May gone, vanished into thin air.
Justified has never been a show with overly artistic cinematography. The little quarter circle shots in “This Bird Has Flown” added a nice bit of artistry to the episode. Same goes for the singular guitar used in the last quarter of the episode. These little things really pushed this episode over the top.
A - With Lindsey gone I guess it’s time for Raylan to figure out this WaldoTruth/Drew Thompson mystery to rest or get his marshal stiffy looked at.
- Raylan isn’t very good at fist fighting.
- Raylan also probably isn’t good at playing Free For All game types.
- Further proof to
A Spice Girls reference deserves an embed. Also Disney posted the entire Paperman short GO WATCH IT NOW