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‘Justified’ Review: “Money Trap”

Justified Money Trap Review
FX

Justified’ season 4 swings away with its seventh episode of the year “Money Trap,” as Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) finds himself once again tasked with tracking down fugitive Jody Adair (Chris Chalk), while Ava and Boyd attend Napier’s swingers’ party in search of leads to find the ever-elusive Drew Thompson.

Last week’s ‘Justified’ episode “Foot Chase” saw Raylan teaming with Sheriff Shelby Parlow (‘Supernatural‘s Jim Beaver) to find the missing Josiah Cairn, while Boyd made a surprising proposal to Ava, so what will the latest episode of ‘Justified’ bring? Will Raylan be the one to find Drew Thompson or will Boyd Crowder beat him to it?

Read on for your in-depth recap of everything you need to know about ‘Justified’ season 4 episode 7 “Money Trap!”

Flashing back six days earlier, Raylan meets with Sharon Edmunds (Aja Evans) and her bailiff to drop off the parole violator Jody, who listens in as the two exchange pleasantries. Shortly thereafter on the road, the van gets a flat tire, pulling off to the side of the road as Sharon retreats into the woods to relieve herself. A car driven by a helpful passerby (‘Mad Men’s Michael Gladis) pulls up, as the bailiff warns him about getting too close, when all of a sudden Jody ambushes the bailiff out the back of the van. Jody strangles him to death, acknowledging his accomplice Kenny, before finding Sharon out in the woods, and shooting her down.

Back in the present and frustrated by the FBI’s continued stalling on the Drew Thompson files, Raylan reluctantly agrees to take Art’s advice and pay a visit to his father hoping to shake lose some info, and if nothing else meet with incarcerated sheriff Hunter Mosely along the way. Elsewhere, a post-coital Johnny Crowder coaxes Teri into admitting that Colton was the one to attack her, strangely babbling about whether or not Ellen May had returned to the establishment.

Out on the road, Raylan gets a call informing him of Sharon’s death, while Jody continues recuperating in his filmmaker buddy Kenny’s home. Jody explains that he wants only to retrieve the money stashed in his ex-wife Katrina’s home, as Kenny is spooked by his own call asking about the association with the deceased Sharon Edmunds.

Spurred to move up their plans, the pair visit Katrina’s house to see she’s installed an alarm, and observe through the back window that Katrina’s friend Jackie Nevada (Shelley Hennig) has been sitting the house. Raylan arrives, warning Jackie of Jody’s possible arrival, as Jody notes how badly he wishes to kill Raylan. On his way out, Raylan notes the memorable license plate of Kenny’s parked car.

While Raylan exchanges some flirty banter with the curiously-named Jackie Nevada, Boyd and Ava nervously prepare for the swinger’s party at Tillman Napier’s. Upon arrival, Boyd shares a few tense re-introductions with Napier and others, while hostess Deborah Jane takes Ava on a tour of the house. While Deborah Jane explains the rules of the event to Ava, noting that “no” definitively means “no,” Boyd finds himself approached by Harlan power players Lee Paxton (‘LOST’s Sam Anderson) and Gerald Johns (Ned Bellamy). The pair note that Frank Browning is still cross with Boyd for tanking Harlan’s Black Pike oil deal, but continue to show their interest in Boyd.

Denying her offer to come up for a beer, Raylan drops Jackie off at her home, as Jackie finds Jody already waiting inside for her and demanding his ex-wife’s security code. On his way out, Raylan once again notices Kenny’s distinct license plate at the scene, and races back up stairs to find Jody with his hands around Jackie. Jackie surprises Jody by bashing his head with a vase, though Jody leaps out the window and lands on Kenny’s car, speeding off before Raylan can get off a shot.

Jody and Kenny desperately plot their next move, as Raylan vows to keep an eye on Jackie, while back at Napier’s place Ava finds herself cornered while looking for Boyd. Two men look to take advantage of her, but Boyd and Deborah Jane intervene, and Boyd brings his future wife up to speed that Gerald Johns and Lee Evans want him to return to the party later after-hours.

Alone his bathroom, Kenny becomes increasingly manic and higher as he awaits the imminent arrival of Raylan and the police. When they show up minutes later, Kenny directs Raylan toward a bizarre video he made with Jody, wherein Jody warns Raylan of their inevitable confrontation.

Later, Raylan pulls into his home at the High-Note Bar, leaving Jackie in the car as he heads inside and pulls the fire alarm expecting to find Jody somewhere inside. Indeed, Jody appears toward the back as Raylan finds himself alone in the bar with the convict, and the two prepare to draw. Believing Raylan wouldn’t have the nerve to shoot him, Jody finds himself dead wrong, then just plain dead as Raylan quickly unloads multiple shots, putting the man down for good.

Back in Boyd’s bar, Johnny confronts an increasingly agitated Colton about his behavior of late, and subtly presses that he knows of Ellen May’s escape. Meanwhile, Boyd meets with the Harlan power-players after hours, who reveal they’d like Boyd to kill Frank Browning, so that one of his ponds will overflow and the EPA will pump millions of dollars into the town for cleanup. Boyd ponders refusing the men, until they inform him that they’ve been the ones to allow the Crowders to carve out a small piece of their illicit earnings over the years, and can destroy him otherwise.

Raylan leads Jackie into her hotel room, revealing that he’d figured out she carried Jody’s money stash in her purse the whole time. So long as the money finds its way to Katrina and their kids, Raylan promises not to report it, as Art calls to check on his progress. While Jackie strips down in the background, Raylan explains his sidetrack to the boss, before making a decision to head to the prison after all.

As Arlo is brought into the room to meet with Raylan, the Marshal explains to his father how he’d originally planned to con the man into giving up his information about Drew Thompson, but now genuinely wishes they could work together on the matter. Explaining that Theo Tonin hired out Boyd Crowder to find Drew and would likely have Arlo killed in the near future, Raylan offers his father a much better prison transfer, though Arlo flatly refuses. Remarking that he could take the deal to Hunter Mosely, Raylan sees Arlo’s facade drop for a moment, before taunting his father he’ll be glad when Tonin kills him behind bars.

Suffice to say, it wasn’t hard to figure out after season 4 premiere “Hole in the Wall” that we’d be seeing Jody again, though “Money Trap” seems especially self-aware as an episode designed to dance around the Drew Thompson mystery with a side-story. Not only does Raylan find himself literally sidetracked on the way to see his father (albeit one introducing Elmore Leonard’s ‘Raylan’ character Jackie Nevada), but Boyd too finds himself unable to get any answers as the bigwigs of Harlan’s underbelly take him in. And while the central plot thickens on Boyd’s end, “Money Trap” seeks little other than to remind us repeatedly of Raylan’s flawed charm, hopefully delving into something more substantial next week.

What say you?  What did you think about ‘Justified’s latest effort “Money Trap?” Did you buy into the latest outing for Raylan Givens and Boyd Crowder? Join us next week for another all-new ‘Justified’ episode recap of “Outlaw” on FX!

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