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The Morning After: All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues

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FX

No time for an elaborate writeup of last night’s Justified, but I was glad to see the show move away from the self-contained stories (albeit very good ones) of the last few weeks to get at some of the reasons that coming home to Harlan County was such an unwelcome idea to Raylan. To wit: Daddy.

We met the tough, criminal cuss who is Raylan’s father, Arlo (played by Raymond J. Barry), the root of Raylan’s simmering anger and the drive that pushes him toward his calling. In the Givens family, it turns out, rectitude is a form of rebellion. Like the earlier episodes, this one had that Elmore Leonard mix of criminality and human comedy, with Raylan’s parents and their tenant each pulling their own self-interested scams, but it also got at the larger theme of this series: a man can react against his past, but he can’t escape it. Your thoughts?

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