Raylan learns that his dad's life is in danger because he ran Bo Crowder's business while Bo was in prison and ran it into the ground. Raylan turns to an unlikely source to pin a meth lab killing on Boyd Crowder.
Raylan is trying to get evidence towards Boyd's involvement in the meth lab bombing that killed a sleeping undercover narc, while also continuing to convince Ava to leave Kentucky. Also included in the plot heavy episode is Arlo's connection to Bo Crowder Arlo was in charge of "collections" while Bo was in prison but all the independent-thinking drug dealers/cookers found him an old man with little authority to thwart their efforts to do whatever they wanted without resistance. Two such meth goons apologize to Bo and agree to his demands for a higher percentage in collections on their dope cooking but he has his guys kill them. Raylan, not knowing this, assumes Boyd is responsible, and is steered towards others. Meanwhile, Boyd has one of his minions take responsibility for the meth lab bombing (he literally walks into the US Marshals' office and cops to it!), allowing the cult to remain out of the hands of the law. The men, except for one kicked out for masturbation (Raylan's scenes with the poor fellow provide much humor in regards to "spanking the monkey"!), are extremely loyal and totally devoted to Boyd. Boyd almost kills the returning member that was excommunicated, even pulling a gun on him for spilling the beans to Raylan about talk in regards to the meth lab bombing. Arlo has raided his wife's "buried suitcase case" for his own purposes and claims he will return it (yeah, right), has Bo arriving at his house wanting to know why he had run his collection process poorly, and is nearly killed when bullets are fired into his home! Boyd has lots of weapons collected at camp, and initiates the build of a rocket launcher for future use. This episode is really a good example of how the first season starting to get all the characters familiar with the show involved instead of "the stories of the US Marshal Service in Kentucky". The US Marshal Service is always an important part of the show, but Boyd, Ava, Arlo, and Bo, among many, all begin to get plenty of story development. The county and towns surrounding Lexington, Kentucky are affected by the drugs produced and infiltrating the scope of their area, and Raylan is the star of the US Marshal Service who isn't afraid to get in people's faces and confront those responsible for the crimes perpetrating mainly Harlen. Bo and Boyd are often in his crosshairs because they're always involved in the crimes that Raylan investigates. Raylan being the son of Arlo, often involved in crime himself, only complicates matters. The appeal of the show to me is that difficulty Raylan goes through as a lawman with friends he grew up with and a father he's so estranged from, so linked to the crimes his law enforcement machine is trying to solve and bring to justice. He's always dodging murder attempts, plans to murder him, and keeping his career from being endangered through complications that develop when Raylan infuses himself in the situations where Harlen crime/criminals present themselves. I think the show is at its best when the entire cast gets equal time for their stories and characters to develop. Raylan is always the central character and star attraction, so his purpose in each season's story arc is essential. He is a thorn in the sides of Harlen criminals and is quite the polarizing figure that keeps them aggravated because of his constant re-appearance. Raylan doesn't go away and isn't above reminding them that he is here to stay. Boyd provides right here in this episode that he is a complex man not devoid of some semblance of humanity...he could have killed that former member and decides to let him go.
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