'Justified' Recap: 'Where's Waldo?'

January 16th, 2013 7:45am EST

Justified Justified may have started slow last week, but with Tuesday's episode, the FX drama has come roaring back.
If you couldn't figure it out from the title, Raylan is looking for Waldo Truth - when he's done sleeping with Lindsey and then volunteering to help her with the bar's impending delivery. When he says "How hard can it be?" you know something is going to go wrong. In this case, a random guy walks into the bar, says a few things that he probably thinks make him sound tough, and wanders back out before Raylan can figure out what his issue is.
Meanwhile, Ella Mae tells Ava about the "salvation" she found at the Last Chance Holiness Church, and how she wants to save her soul. Ava is not impressed and tells Ella Mae that either she'll be back at work, or she'll never be back. And Art - who else missed Art? - is talking with one of his colleagues about how dysfunctional all his employees are. The best line is, of course, about Raylan: "Internal Affairs has him on speed-dial." One has a feeling that this is not the first time Art has had this conversation with someone.

Art's next job is to tell Raylan about the murder Arlo committed at the end of last week's episode. In return, Raylan tells Art about the bag he found in the wall of his father's house and the ID that he found in the bag. Art is not impressed. He and Raylan pick up some mighty big guns while Tim reads a litany of things their next person of interest has done. Road trip! With some apparently great barbecue.
While Ava, Johnny and Boyd confer about Ella Mae's apparent conversion, Ella Mae visits Preacher Billy at the church for some reassurance, then Boyd and Colt go on to pay an unfriendly visit to some other random guy in which Colt rambles more about his messed-up history. This guy clearly needs a therapist to vent to. Random guy number two is revealed to be a heroin dealer, and Boyd would like to have some words with his people. Even with the violence, this whole scene is much less uncomforable than the army of small children from the church that Boyd runs into a minute later. They are far too happy for this show.

After that experience Boyd pays a visit to Shelby the Sheriff (guest star Jim Beaver) and asks what he knows about the church. After a chat about squares and circles, Shelby tells Boyd he can't be part of his business anymore, and Boyd counters that he's a concerned citizen who thinks they have a cult in their midst. Shelby relents and hands over a file about Preacher Billy and his sister. Seems they've been in five other cities before, all of them in similar circumstances as Harlan. This convinces Boyd that they must be up to something.

Meanwhile, check out Josh Close (of The Unusuals) rocking a tracksuit as your thug of the week while Raylan takes a nap in the car during surveillance duty. Art uses their downtime to ask Raylan why he needs a nap. Raylan changes the subject to Art's potential retirement just before they spot a kid picking up mail from a nearby mailbox. They pursue the kid to his house and get confronted by the very definition of 'white trash family.' Raylan tells the matriarch they're looking for Waldo, and she says that her husband isn't there, but once she's threatened with an end to her disability checks, she's happy to start calling around to find him. So ends the most awkward armed standoff that's ever been on TV.

So where's Waldo? He eventually shows up, introduces himself and is all too happy to chat with the Marshals. Raylan questions him about the ID and if he knows Arlo Givens, and then arrests him - which is enough to freak him out and get him to admit that he's not really Waldo. His name is Harold and he's just a guy that's agreed to play along so that those disability checks keep coming. Raylan is not amused by all of this nonsense and threatens to haul the family in for a whole litany of crimes. This makes mom squirm and admit that she hasn't seen her husband in years, and that she doesn't really miss him since he beat her up and she stabbed him. This just cries out for an episode of Jerry Springer.

That evening, Ella Mae gets baptized by Preacher Billy, just as Boyd shows up at the church and chews him out. Boyd knows a thing or two about religion himself, so their back-and-forth is pretty darn entertaining. Walton Goggins certainly can put on a show when you give him some great dialogue. While it seems like Billy's followers are unfazed, his sister looks a little concerned.
Art explains to Tim and Raylan over drinks that he knows Drew Thompson, the guy who was last seen with Waldo Truth. Oh, and thanks to the scar that matches the stab wound inflicted by his wife, that he can say Waldo is the dead guy that fell from the sky last week, so we can stop looking for him.
Boyd, Ava and Johnny have a meeting with Wynn Duffy (guest star Jere Burns) and his latest henchguys about the heroin dealer. One wonders how Duffy hasn't just run away to Hawaii after all the stuff he endured at the hands of the crazy that was Robert Quarles last season, but he hasn't, and he has no interest in partnering with Boyd. However, Duffy does inform Boyd of the murder Arlo Givens committed in prison, since the dead man was a member of Duffy's Dixie Mafia.

Raylan's evening gets ruined by the return of random bar guy, because random bar guy is Lindsey's husband. The episode closes on another one of Raylan's many 'you have got to be kidding me' faces. One wonders if he will ever find a woman who is not somehow a bad idea.

The strong point of 'Where's Waldo' is that it makes 'Hole in the Wall' make more sense. Now the audience can see the plot lines forming and where they're likely headed, and there's some good stuff here. The fact that Boyd's primary adversary is the head of a church, after all the religious stuff he's spouted off over the past three seasons, is a really interesting concept. The show's also helped by the welcome returns of Nick Searcy and Jacob Pitts as Art Mullen and Tim Gutterson. While Raylan is a great character and Timothy Olyphant an even better actor, he can't be the entire show, and his supporting cast makes the series feel much more complete. Certainly, Art's one-liners make the proceedings far more entertaining. 'Where's Waldo' is Justified back in form.

Though I'm still disappointed that we didn't find somebody in a red-and-white striped sweater.

For more from Brittany Frederick, visit my official website and follow me on Twitter (@tvbrittanyf).

(c)2013 Brittany Frederick. Appears at Starpulse with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted.

Related: Justified, Starpulse Exclusives, Recaps, Television, Drama, FX

Photo Credits: FX

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