Justified: The Devil You Know

One clear theme is emerging in this season’s episodes of Justified: the continuing evolution of Dickie Bennett’s hair—which gets more and more mussed up as the season progresses. By the end of “The Devil You Know,” the most recent episode of the series, Dickie looks like his hair has been licked by a whole herd of cows. “The Devil You Know” is the best of the episodes thus far to focus (at least in part) on the character of Dickie. Part of the reason is that Dickie is becoming a kind of likeable loser who, it turns out, isn’t always a loser, or, at least, is not as weasley as he sometimes appears. Another reason is the decision to pair Dickie with Dewey Crowe, and these two birds of a feather work very effectively as a comic pair. I’m beginning to hope that Jeremy Davies will repeat Margo Martindale’s accomplishments at the Emmy Awards—and that a Bennett will win a best supporting award for the second year in a row. At the very least, he deserves a Special Award for Best Hair Acting.

In this episode, Dickie gets himself beaten up in the prison yard to facilitate a trip to the infirmary. Dewie, not realizing it’s all a set up, jumps in to help out his friend, and ends up getting beat up as badly as Dickie, and for no real reason, although the insiders at the prison assisting the escape decide the only way to keep him quiet about the breakout is to take him along. Best scene: after being sedated and put into a body bag, the confused Dewie wakes up and begins thrashing around desperately inside the bag.

There are a couple of joking allusions to the western genre in the episode. In a motel room where Dewie and Dickie are stashed, we see them watching Gunsmoke on television. When Raylan spots prison guard Ash outside the motel room carrying a bag of food, the scene is shot in the form of a classic western showdown, with a cut to a shot low and behind Ash so that we see the gun on his hip (or in his back pocket). However, the showdown departs from the classic formula when Raylan decides to take Ash out with his car rather than his gun.


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