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Raylan Givens: Quick On The Draw...In More Ways Than One


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#31

VoiceofJoy

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Posted Apr 1, 2013 @ 10:24 AM

I agree, KalEl. While Raylan is certainly has his issues, I'm still sympathetic to him - he's been through some stuff. Having your father not only not be a good father, but actually hate you to the point where he'd kill you is not emotional baggage that is easily sloughed off.

IIRC, he did ask Art about a promotion (which would be necessary to go to Glencoe, right?) and Art told him no. The best I can figure, from what Raylan and Winona have said, is that Winona got tired of Raylan's dangerous job and the fact that he was emotionally unavailable for her. While that is a valid reason for her to want the marriage ended, she had the affair, right? (please correct me if I am wrong, I am a newbie who's just watched these once).

Yes, Raylan did visit her house when he came back to KY, but then she used him to get information on her husband (which he did, even though it was illegal). He also covered for her and helped her make right the fact that she stole all that money from the evidence room, which was a pretty BFD.

While it takes two to make a baby, she clearly came back to him, so to speak, and it wasn't like Raylan said to her, "Oh, Winona, I so want a child, let's make one." I personally cannot blame one of them more than the other. I must admit I never much liked Winona anyway, but he was (and I think still is) in love with her, in his own stoic way. He just can't be the person she wants him to be.

Raylan's story reminds me in many ways of the Rick Bragg autobiolography "All Over but the Shoutin'" (One of the best books I've ever read) The author describes very well what it was like to grow up in poverty in the south with an abusive father, and the ways this impacted him as an adult. Interestingly, one of the things that he felt he did not want to do was become a parent.

Edited by VoiceofJoy, Apr 1, 2013 @ 10:29 AM.

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#32

Leroyiscrazy

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Posted Apr 1, 2013 @ 11:21 AM

IIRC, he did ask Art about a promotion (which would be necessary to go to Glencoe, right?) and Art told him no. The best I can figure, from what Raylan and Winona have said, is that Winona got tired of Raylan's dangerous job and the fact that he was emotionally unavailable for her. While that is a valid reason for her to want the marriage ended, she had the affair, right? (please correct me if I am wrong, I am a newbie who's just watched these once).



He did ask Art about Glynco. Art said he'd think about it but Raylan said if it didn't pan out he'd quit. I don't exactly know why the he felt the need to make that kind of commitment but, Glynco was never Winona's idea in the first place. And Yes, she did cheat on him. Which is a shitty thing to do. But Raylan seems to have gotten over it seeing as how he was ok sleeping with a married woman.

Yes, Raylan did visit her house when he came back to KY, but then she used him to get information on her husband (which he did, even though it was illegal). He also covered for her and helped her make right the fact that she stole all that money from the evidence room, which was a pretty BFD.



And she also went to Art at the end of season two which ultimately saved his life, took care of him after he was shot(bc he doesn't have anyone) and proactively tampered with evidence in a murder investigation to save his ass which to me is an even bigger BFD.

While it takes two to make a baby, she clearly came back to him, so to speak, and it wasn't like Raylan said to her, "Oh, Winona, I so want a child, let's make one." I personally cannot blame one of them more than the other.



This seems contradictory to me. But she clearly wasn't trying to trap Raylan, if that is what you are getting at. As she suggested they take a break from each other days before she even knew she was pregnant.
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#33

MrSarahWalker

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Posted Apr 1, 2013 @ 12:49 PM

I also think it's important to realize that the baby has not been born yet so all of this talk about Raylan being neglectful is a little pre-mature to me. I'll wait to see that on screen before I call him out on it.
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#34

thatguy01

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Posted Apr 1, 2013 @ 1:17 PM

Eh, someone who isn't motivated by a pregnant woman probably isn't a good bet to go up a gear because of an unpregnant woman with a baby.
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#35

DrJoy

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Posted Apr 1, 2013 @ 2:12 PM

[snip] Unfortunately, Winona is a criminally underwritten character (shame on you writers), and her character suffers judgement-sometimes unfairly so- because of it. We do not know the hollow places of her mind, heart and soul. Her life experiences and expectations are blank to us. She is ambivalent and often sends mixed messages. We sense that we know, but we actually do not know how Raylan and Winona see each other. We do not know how each brings out the best and worst in the other, not when they were married and not even now. We cannot even see her in Gary (terrible casting and characterization) nor his character's Not-Raylan contours, in spite of the superficial comparisons when Raylan asked Winona what she saw in Gary.

Raylan and Winona do not share the same language and do not communicate. Each is a clouded and cracked mirror, unable to reflect the other. Both talk and dance around their needs and desires but cannot speak truth to each other. Snark/snipe is not a language of communication. Winona does NOT know Raylan as well as she thinks, probably does not know herself very well. The same can be said for Raylan. It is not for Winona to change him, nor he change her. Couplehood and parenthood alter the reality that makes them change, as do unexpected traumatic and/or life-altering events. The same can be said for the individual, changed by life-altering events.

Beyond the health and well-being and safety of her child and a secure home, Winona does not know what she wants. We are not privy to her secure ground. She is also afraid. Raylan treads on secure ground when he is The Marshal. He knows the rules, whether or not he follows them. Apart from that, especially in matters of fatherhood, Raylan has no imprint, no language, no guide. He is scared. His mother and aunt (his anima reflections) keep a loving light on inside his soul. But they did not teach him fatherhood. He will never be like Arlo, but Arlo still holds a piece of his soul. Frances and Helen taught him survival and escape: Ice cream, games, hide-and-seek, TV, books, love-anger as he experienced it), guns,and eventually money to turn his back on all that he knew. Raylan demonstrates his caring, protectivenss and love in the means and language he knows. If he is not a Marshal, he is not a man; he is not successful; he is not in control. He would be that other raylan-givens-bound-by-Arlo.

Raylan cares deeply about Winona and his child and wants to do the right thing. Forgetting some appointments and missing phone calls is not equivalent to not caring nor to being a terrible parent. Not in his reckoning. Divorce and separation do not de facto make a messed up child. Raylan is not a hopeless cause, and he is not beyond change. There is a saying: There is a board out there to fit everyone's/anyone's ass. That 'board' has yet come along big enough to set Raylan back on his ass and force him to make changes. He is very much capable of change, as we have seen his slow evolution this season. The standoff that we see in the finale preview suggests a huge board is about to land on his ass.

There is no reason for Raylan to quit his job just because Winona wants him to. Raylan's ego-identity is The Marshal. It is not just his job, it is his lifeblood at this point in time, a job he loves and believes he does well. Clearly lacking is that healthy balance between his personal self/life vs. his work. Raylan lets the job take over his life, but he can't see that. The Marshal was/is a protective defense system. His obsession is not healthy. Raylan has sustained recent severe psychological trauma. The other deputies probably know when to go home in the evening beyond the ususal expected over-time, travel, and Marsahl team activity. Other than the business Raylan feels compelled to do beyond wthe call of duty, he is not free to do what he wants if the job demands otherwise, no more than a physician can leave or be late to the hospital, ignore a page, nor not be on-call.

If Raylan is not a Marshal, then he would only be a shadow of the person Winona fell in love with and still loves. He will be unhappy. Winona will be unhappy. In a similar vein, consider that the more Ava gives in to the darker aspects of her soul and engages in criminal activity, the less she is the woman Boyd fell in love with. If Ava had killed Ellen Mae, Boyd may have still respected and loved her, but the balance will have radically changed with ominous consequences for their emotional future together. The darker she becomes, she loses the 'light' that helps Boyd find his balance.

Raylan was a Marshal before Winona; she married a Marshal and knew the demands of his job; Winona cheated on Raylan with Gary even before marrying him. She came to Raylan's room- and he was still a Marshal- of her free will. She was for Glynco before she was against it and is now vague. She left twice without even having a sit-down. We know Raylan's weaknesses already. BOTH of them knew the consequences of not using birth control, so BOTH must have really wanted a baby, what they could not speak of directly. He is still a Marshal. BOTH are responsible for a child on the way. The job is not this real issue..it is Raylan in the job. In the real world, most Marshals (most LEOs) are married. Art is married. Sure it stresses a marriage. Regardless of what set things in motion, we would not have respected Raylan if he did not go to Loretta.

They are BOTH perpetuating a situation that existed years and years before they met and well before there was a baby in the picture. Indeed, I recall a season 2 scene between them that suggested that they had decided not to have a child at some time during their marriage. It is possible they are not meant to be together as a couple- at least not without considerable counseling- but can handle whatever they need to do to raise this child. I believe Raylan will be a good, loving father, and the little dumpling will love him more.

Edited by TWoP Mars, Apr 1, 2013 @ 9:45 PM.
Boards on boards/moved from episode thread

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#36

Dallas Fan

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Posted Apr 1, 2013 @ 2:23 PM

If I remember correctly, Raylan and Winona were house-hunting last year after he'd moved in with her. If simply trying counts a maturity, he's done that already.

IIRC, a red flag for Winona was exactly that he was missing on appointments to take a look at the houses that were offered, and wasn't really into it - a house where his kid was going to live by the way. That's when she said that he found time for things he really wanted to do. He kept saying they'll get to it but there was always something else.
So that's another parallel between Boyd and Raylan clearly put there by writers. It's not even that one is more mature adult per se, IMO, but Boyd is into Ava, into doing things with her and talking to her in a way Raylan just isn't with Winona. He cares about her but he wants to play pocker more than to search for houses with her. Of course Boyd and Ava have more opportunities to be together, but you know he'd like to go for a house hunt with her even without criminal pretext, it would be something that is fun. For Raylan, he has to drag himself there, it's like Boyd and legitimate life, just doesn't work.

Many neglectful parents have excuses, it doesn't change an affect it has on their children. They are still responsible for this behavior. And it really sucks for women because even if Winona had similar issues and ended up being very so-so mother, she'd still be stuck with taking care for the baby, feeding her, putting her to bed, taking her to school, while Raylan has an opportunity to just check out, that a sane, non-sociopathic woman just doesn't. A lot of things we have to do for others are unpleasant and go against our nature. But when it's your child you're failing I have very little sympathy. Some things are very difficult, but going to appointments just isn't.
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#37

VoiceofJoy

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Posted Apr 1, 2013 @ 2:30 PM

It's both their faults.

(You'll accept the contraction as one?)
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#38

thatguy01

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Posted Apr 1, 2013 @ 3:08 PM

Raylan seems to have gotten over it seeing as how he was ok sleeping with a married woman.


Under the circumstances, the Hawkins marriage vows are the ones that I don't think Raylan owes any respect.

And aside from the irregular endings to the legal agreements, I'm actually okay with Winona fucking another fellow a few days or weeks before she files for divorce, instead of a few days or weeks after. She doesn't drag it out.
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#39

KalEl

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Posted Apr 1, 2013 @ 3:10 PM

It's both their faults.

(You'll accept the contraction as one?)


Exactly, it's two flawed people in that relationship, not just one. Raylan is not acting like a teenager and Winona is not acting like an abusive spouse (she's not a spouse first of all).
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#40

MrSarahWalker

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Posted Apr 1, 2013 @ 4:45 PM

Eh, someone who isn't motivated by a pregnant woman probably isn't a good bet to go up a gear because of an unpregnant woman with a baby.


What exactly has he been unmotivated to do? Sign some papers that we have no idea what they actually are? This woman left him. While it would be nice if he attended all of her appointments, I don't think his missing those appointments is predictive of where his relationship with the child will go. When the child is here then I think we will know whether Raylan is a good father or not but from where we stand now he doesn't have much control over the situation since Winona up and left him.

Edited by MrSarahWalker, Apr 1, 2013 @ 4:45 PM.

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#41

thatguy01

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Posted Apr 1, 2013 @ 4:51 PM

Well, yes, signing papers is important. Aside from comforting Winona if she wants him to, and visiting the infant at Winona's place, that's his primary responsibility until his child is old enough to be separated from Winona for visitation.
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#42

mrk63

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Posted Apr 1, 2013 @ 5:50 PM

What exactly has he been unmotivated to do? Sign some papers that we have no idea what they actually are? This woman left him. While it would be nice if he attended all of her appointments, I don't think his missing those appointments is predictive of where his relationship with the child will go. When the child is here then I think we will know whether Raylan is a good father or not but from where we stand now he doesn't have much control over the situation since Winona up and left him



Yes, she left him, but she was upfront about still loving him and wanting him to be a part of the baby's life. She's evidently been notifying him about her appointments and he hasn't made the time to show up, or leaves when he does. Whoever said that he's so scared he's paralyzed has it right, I believe. I don't blame him, but I'd like to see him grow and work past it so that he can become the father he wants to be.
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#43

The Other Daughter

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Posted Apr 1, 2013 @ 7:15 PM

My fear is that the whole thing about 'signing the papers' to protect the kid's interests if something happened to him or Winona, is foreshadowing for the baby living but not Winona-and that Raylan's failure, (understandable though it may be,) to take legal precautions beforehand could cost him custody. I have to say that actually strikes me as especially careless on Raylan's part since he gets a gun pulled on him practically every other day. Given the danger of his job,shoes the minute Winona announced the pregnancy he should have been making sure those affairs were in order. I'm not trying to hate on Raylan-I'm really not, but he's not giving anyone high hopes for his future parenting skills.
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#44

benteen

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Posted Apr 2, 2013 @ 8:04 AM

Raylan is one of my favorite characters and I think one of the best on TV. He's awesome. But that doesn't blind me to his flaws and Season 4 has shown the worst of them.

Arlo did a number on him, no question about it. But it's Raylan, so he's never going to ever deal with that. So he hides behind it to avoid dealing with things. Last season, he had a chance to put Dickie back in jail. All he had to do was tell the judge about Dickie's assault on him but his stupid machoness got in the way. It didn't matter if Dickie went back to robbing and killing. Nope, Raylan just couldn't admit that Dickie hurt him.

He seems to be deliberately distancing himself from his unborn child but he's not even being a good absentee father. Even after knowing what Grifter Barbie was, he decided to hide his money in a sock drawer. So not surprisingly he loses it. That entire storyline made Raylan look as stupid and pathetic as Dewey Crowe. Winona sends Raylan important paperwork to sign but Raylan hasn't even looked at it and it was clear from that phone conversation that he has absolutely no interest in going to sign it. I've said before but his obsession with his job inadvertantly led to the situation Winona is going to find herself in with the Detroit mob.

I don't like Winona. She wasn't a good wife, she's passive aggressive as hell, and not a good person. But I couldn't blame for getting upset at Raylan for withholding information about Gary (which he does a lot). That was patronizing as hell. And I don't blame her for getting annoyed as his self-obsessed crap about meeting the director.

Finally, the idea that he would ever be considered for a promotion is laughable. It was just months ago on the show where he blew the case against Boyd because he couldn't keep his pants up and slept with Ava. Then he gets pissy with Ava when he was the one who should have known better. Like Art said (I love Art but he is a total enabler for Raylan's behavior), Raylan is a lousy marshal but a good lawman. Raylan is a guy who is good in the field but would make a lousy chief. Kind of like how Captain Kirk should be commanding a starship and not riding a desk.

I know this reads like I'm totally dumping on Raylan. I really do love his character and TO does an amazing job with him. But Season 4 has brought out all of his flaws big-time and it's laughable, even for the show, that his character could actually be considered for a promotion. He's had some big-time successes since he's been in Kentucky but he's mixed it in with some serious screw-ups as well. And he has continued and will continue to hide behind his pain.
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#45

VoiceofJoy

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Posted Apr 2, 2013 @ 9:08 AM

That was really well said, benteen.
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#46

mrk63

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Posted Apr 2, 2013 @ 5:56 PM

I don't like Winona. She wasn't a good wife, she's passive aggressive as hell, and not a good person. But I couldn't blame for getting upset at Raylan for withholding information about Gary (which he does a lot). That was patronizing as hell. And I don't blame her for getting annoyed as his self-obsessed crap about meeting the director.



I think you're being awfully harsh toward Winona here. We don't know enough about her to judge, really, and I fault the writers for that. If she's as important to Raylan as she is being made out to be, she should have been more fleshed out.

We have no idea what kind of wife she was, but we know darn well from the behavior we've seen that Raylan was most likely a lousy husband. Sure, she cheated on him...but the marriage was over, from her view, when he went to Miami. She'd probably endured as much of his 'self-obsessive grind' as anyone could expect by that point. In a perfect world, she would've waited for the divorce to be with someone else, but the fact that she didn't doesn't make her a bad person. As to cheating on Gary with Raylan, well, if ANY woman reading this can fault her for that you're a better person than I am.

I can't argue with the passive/aggressiveness. Obviously, that's her way of dealing with him.

I love Raylan. He's sexy as hell, funny, and a great shot. He's just not relationship material, and for someone who loves him as much as Winona does, and who is having his child, that has to be a constant heartbreak.

Edited by mrk63, Apr 2, 2013 @ 6:00 PM.

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#47

DrJoy

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Posted Apr 2, 2013 @ 9:08 PM

I really do love his character and TO does an amazing job with him. But Season 4 has brought out all of his flaws big-time and it's laughable, even for the show, that his character could actually be considered for a promotion. He's had some big-time successes since he's been in Kentucky but he's mixed it in with some serious screw-ups as well. And he has continued and will continue to hide behind his pain.


I am so psyched for the finale (which I can't view until tomorrow evening), but it feels so bittersweet that this is the season finale. Then we have to steel ourselves for the looooong wait until 2014, even for the S4 DVDs and whatever extras they may contain.

We are asked to suspend a lot of belief regarding Raylan's continued employment with the USMS, LOL. OK; Raylan is not fired, not on probation, suspensions/investigations not necessarily a KO if he is not fired. In the real world, nothing prevents Raylan from submitting his package for consideration for promotion. The position is open nation wide and, while there are politics, the Chief and Marshal have a lot of say; the final decision comes from on high and after layers of interviews and review. Art's boss, a character we have not met, is the US Marshal for that judicial district. The US Marshal is a political appointee and has some power, usually proportional to prominence of the district, ie, high in a high profile district.

I'll accept the rules of their world, but the writers have really stretched things here: a Chief does not unilaterally appoint his successor from within the ranks. While in practice it usually happens that the promotion comes from within, it is not a guarantee. Even if it is in the bag, the candidate vetting and review process has to proceed. From an objective standpoint, Raylan has an excess of job qualifications, even without Drewby. It is that other 'stuff' that is troublesome. It is that other stuff: negative reviews, blemishes, and questionable leadership skills that would tank his application.

What bothers me is this from the writers: only a couple of weeks ago Justified-time, Art labeled Raylan a lost cause. Why does Art suddenly reverse course and start pumping-up and promoting Raylan for Chief Raylan, even prior to to the truly phenomenal way Raylan executed the capture, protected his people, and delivered Drewby. Telling Raylan it will mean more money for the baby was a strange thing for Art to say, IMO. Did it all have more to do with Art himself than with Raylan?

Raylan never had any interest in that position and, while frankly he'd be a disaster with the administrative and paperwork aspects, he is capable of the tactical and field operational aspects. He is a boots to the ground Deputy. It is telling that, after 20+ years, he is still a regular deputy, although at the highest pay grade possible before management. It is strange that Art skipped over supporting Raylan's promotion to Inspector or Supervisory DUSM first. Marshals in those positions surely have the managerial experience to have a better package than Raylan's even if his record were otherwise spotless. All these years and not even an Inspector? This is why Art's initial musings about Rachel succeeding him made absolutely no sense, not because of her competence, but because of less time in the service. If Raylan was an Inspector in Miami, we were not given that information.

I love that Justified is more character driven, with its phenomenal characters and dialogue, focusing on human values and struggles. But the writers do gloss over a lot and challenge us to suspend a lot of belief for these higher truths. Sometimes reality is more powerful than fiction: having Raylan face the state of his service record/conduct against other qualified candidates rather than Art making him believe that he can slip into Art's chair without having faced any tough consequences. The writers miss many opportunities by not utilizing the wide ranging scope of the job of the USMS to tell stories AND enrich our understanding of the heart, mind and souls of our characters, alone and together. Only one episode (Long in the Tooth) took place outside of KY. A stand-alone does not mean it can't reflect/mirror the character-driven themes or larger arc.

Edited by DrJoy, Apr 2, 2013 @ 9:10 PM.

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#48

Ezebel

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Posted Apr 8, 2013 @ 12:10 PM

We'll have to disagree about Winona being an abusive narcissist (and my mother qualifies, so I do have some experience).


MrK63, I'm sorry you had to go through that. I was referring to a parental relationship too. Everyone's personal experiences of abuse are valid. There are many forms of it.

She is not an extreme example of a narcissist but I see narcissistic qualities in her. She's never wrong, never sorry, can't take even the slightest criticism but is constantly handing it out, always blames someone else. Also lacks boundaries (the infidelities). Most importantly, she lacks empathy for Raylan. It's not that Raylan is perfect, but she is just as flawed as he is - but constantly acts as if it's ALL him, which is in itself an abusive behaviour.

Arlo could also be described as a narcissist. I actually think Winona and Arlo have a lot in common. Not trying to be dramatic, that's just what I see. Raylan repeats something of that relationship dynamic with her, with the key difference that he didn't put up with any shit from Arlo, but I think he would put up with anything from her if she would only stay with him. He has blinkers on when it comes to women.

How people respond to characters is very individual in the end. This is how I experience her character - as consistently unpleasant. There's a meanness about her that just makes me recoil. (Although she was a bit nicer in this last episode.)

It's interesting to me how she divides the fans so strongly. It seems like half of them are like "What? I don't see it, she seems nice enough," and the other half hate her intensely because they sense something about her and react to it but but can't quite put a finger on it. That she is abusive in subtle ways is my theory as to why. Emotional abuse can be incredibly subtle, but just as damaging as any other kind.

Unfortunately, Winona is a criminally underwritten character


Good point by DrJoy, perhaps we would have more sympathy for her if we knew more about her, but it still wouldn't make her behaviour healthy or right.
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#49

SuzyBoo

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Posted Apr 8, 2013 @ 5:36 PM

She is not an extreme example of a narcissist but I see narcissistic qualities in her. She's never wrong, never sorry, can't take even the slightest criticism but is constantly handing it out, always blames someone else. Also lacks boundaries (the infidelities). Most importantly, she lacks empathy for Raylan. It's not that Raylan is perfect, but she is just as flawed as he is - but constantly acts as if it's ALL him, which is in itself an abusive behaviour.


Ezebel,

I'm one of the non haters & just don't see that. Can you cite some examples of her doing or not doing those things?

I think some viewers have a problem with her being a strong woman who is not willing to weakly cling to Raylan and blind herself to his faults. He most definetly has faults - at least where marriage and women are concerned. Given his childhood that's not too surprising.
As far as her 'infidelities' ....when it's over it's over. Separation or divorce proceedings are just a technicality. There is also the fact that Raylan is just as 'guilty' - he did have sex with a married woman, even if she was his ex she was still married to someone else.
She is a bit underhanded when she breaks up/leaves but considering Raylan and Gary's tendency to shut her out of thier world it doesn't seem inappropriate .
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#50

mrk63

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Posted Apr 9, 2013 @ 5:09 AM

There probably ought to be a Winona thread, since this one is about Raylan and the last few posts here have addressed her, but I'm not sure how to start one.We just don't have enough evidence on Winona to pronounce a verdict on what kind of person she is.;I happen to think that from everything we've seen she's a kind and loving person, smart, witty, with a sharp tongue, who finds herself in love with a man she can't live with. I would imagine the frustration of that would get to a person from time to time and make them react in ways that under ordinary circumstances they wouldn't. She and Raylan have a verbal short-hand with each other, which can sound 'mean' at times, but I think is just their way of communicating around their issues. That may not be healthy, but it certainly isn't sociopathic.;Nor is it all Winona's fault.

She is not an extreme example of a narcissist but I see narcissistic qualities in her. She's never wrong, never sorry, can't take even the slightest criticism but is constantly handing it out, always blames someone else. Also lacks boundaries (the infidelities). Most importantly, she lacks empathy for Raylan. It's not that Raylan is perfect, but she is just as flawed as he is - but constantly acts as if it's ALL him, which is in itself an abusive behaviour.

.

I have to go with SuzyBoo here, and I would love to hear some specifics about when she has done these things because I just don't see it.She admitted she was wrong and sorry when she took the money. She wanted to return it herself. HE is the one who insisted on helping her. Now, she may have known on some level that he would offer, and of course, when he explained the difficulties she was terrified of getting caught and accepted his help, but I don't think she manipulated him to offer. I don't think she blames it all on Raylan...in fact, she tells him as much in 'Debts and Accounts' in S2, when she suggests they should take a break: "It's not you, it's me." ;(Of course, Raylan counters with the great line "When someone says 'it's not you, it's me, they always mean 'it's you." But...I think she was trying to be honest with him...he just didn't want to hear it, because Raylan's answer to problems is to pretend they aren't there, unless they're shooting at him.

She has also shown empathy for Raylan. In 'The Life Inside' when she asked about his day, she made it clear she wanted to hear it, wanted him to unburden himself....it's Raylan who has such a difficult time doing that...accepting empathy; from anyone, not just her. In all likelihood, however, his inability to share his pain and burden was one of the things that collapsed their marriage the first time around. Again in 'Cut Ties' in S3, she comes to see him and make sure he's okay after the other marshal (Art's old friend) is killed.

The scenes between them in the last two episodes seem to show a softening between them with the impending birth of their child. I particularly loved the last one with the kiss shared in the nursery before Winona leaves to go to her mother's. They love each other, which has always been obvious to me, but they also trust one another to do what's best for this child. Here's hoping Yost gets the wish he expressed in several post-finale interviews and has the opportunity to show us 'a lot more of them together' in the next season. I, for one, am very interested in this part of Raylan's journey and I hope the writer's can show us a bit more of Winona's character so her motivations become clearer.

Edited by mrk63, Apr 9, 2013 @ 5:26 AM.

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#51

Atomic Clock

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Posted Apr 10, 2013 @ 3:41 PM

I think some viewers have a problem with her being a strong woman who is not willing to weakly cling to Raylan and blind herself to his faults.


I think the gender card is inappropriate where Winona is concerned. Winona is not always a strong woman, or smart for that matter. She may resent Raylan for placing his job above her needs both pre and post pregnancy, but she's used his job as a marshal when it suits her. She had Raylan run the list of names for her in Season 1. She ran to Raylan to save Gary after Wynn Duffy threatened her. In Season 2, she used Raylan to help her put the stolen money back. Yes, Raylan was a willing participant, but she knew damn good and well he'd pull her ass out of the fire. Her line, "I think you're gonna save me," was filled with confidence and tinged wih smugness that Raylan would have her back.

I can see why Raylan loves her. Hell, I'd take her over Ava anyday. There's only one instance in which I thought she was an abject bitch. She very casually dropped the bombshell of her pregnancy on Raylan in the S2 finale. I don't care how long you've been married. I don't care what you've been through. When you experience your first pregnancy, there's a better way to inform the father.

I think the truth of Winona's character lies somewhere in between the perspectives of Mrk63 and Ezebel. I don't think she's an abusive narcicist. Yes, she's passive-aggressive, but that just makes her human. Nor do I think she's a kind, loving and compassionate woman who is a constant victim of Raylan's neglect. I think she made her own bed where Raylan is concerned and is doing her best to lie comfortably in it.

As for Raylan spending more time with Winona next season, I don't think it's practical. Fatherhood is a terminal illness for most male characters in a show like this. Love her or hate her, Winona's relationship with Raylan is not the central premise of the show. That honor belongs to Boyd Crowder. We have no idea what kind of a father Raylan will make, but I'll reserve judgment until we see it. I'm hoping the baby will be born near or at the end of the series and that Raylan will settle down and be a good dad. But then...that kind of television would be boring as hell, wouldn't it? It's not what I signed up for and, if you'll forgive the presumption, not what most people wanna see when they tune in for Justified.


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#52

Atomic Clock

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Posted Apr 10, 2013 @ 3:41 PM

Sorry. Double post.


Edited by Atomic Clock, Apr 10, 2013 @ 3:44 PM.

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#53

mrk63

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Posted Apr 10, 2013 @ 6:02 PM

I never saw Winona as smug when she said "I think you're going to save me." I just thought she sounded trusting.

While I am well aware that Justified is not a romantic comedy, I still think there is room for their relationship to grow in the show, especially with Arlo gone. Winona and the baby are his only family now. When he's with her we see a side of Raylan that we don't see with any of the other characters. I'm encouraged by the fact that Yost sees it too, and I hope they find a way to do something with it next season.

Edited by mrk63, Apr 10, 2013 @ 6:03 PM.

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#54

clawdette

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Posted Jun 17, 2013 @ 8:40 PM

I think the final scene in Season 3 is one of the most powerful scenes I've witnessed on TV.  Raylan finally reveals just enough that Winona realizes that Arlo meant to him instead of the other officer.  Timothy Olyphant's face in that scene broke my heart.


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#55

virgo79

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Posted Jul 7, 2013 @ 9:25 AM

I hope this is an appropriate choice of location for this post; it seems like the right one.

 

I've been watching S1 on DVD, and while I've kept up with the show since then, I missed most of S1 after the pilot, which at the time a friend had downloaded while we were out of the country. I caught a couple of S1 eps here and there, but for the most part, S2 was where I came in as a steady viewer.

 

Anyway, the point of that rambling is to lead up to Raylan and Arlo's interaction in this show, which, I've been realizing, might actually top Raylan and Boyd's and *possibly* even Raylan and Art's for me (or at least, with the latter, tie) in terms of rich, kickass performances. TO and RJB did such a phenomenal job with the nuances they brought to the dynamic between those characters, and as much as I wanted Arlo to reap his karma and meet an ugly end one day, part of me is really disappointed that that element of the show is over and done.

 

I just watched "The Lord of War and Thunder" for the first time a couple days ago, and  I was *really* struck by the scenes in the jail and the hospital, where twice Raylan hears Arlo's voice before seeing him, and is permitted a somewhat unguarded reaction to the sound. There's this hesitation or slowing down to his movement, like he has to force himself to keep going forward, and the slightest look of dread on his face. And TO does such an awesome job of making it look visceral and almost like a natural reflex to the sound of Arlo's voice. Without Raylan saying a single word, there's this sense of that all that time falling away, and for a few seconds, he's back in hell. I think it was such a masterful, understated way of giving the audience a glimpse of that part of Raylan's life was like, helping to explain why he tried so hard to put Harlan behind him, and to set the stage for all the Ralyan/Arlo interaction to come.


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#56

Atomic Clock

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Posted Jul 19, 2013 @ 11:29 AM

I am introducing a friend to Justified and we just watched that episode the other day. Her comment was, "That's the first time Raylan has seemed like a real human being."

Wait till you see "Bulletville," Virgo79. There are some interactions between Raylan and Arlo that are just heartbreaking.


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#57

Inquisitionist

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Posted Jan 8, 2014 @ 12:59 PM

You know who Raylan reminds me of? Jim Rockford. I think Raylan Givens is the 21st century equivalent to Jim. He's got that manly charm and the right amount of cool to pull it off, even when he gets screwed.

 

 

Finally watched S1 courtesy of amazon Prime and liked it quite a bit.  The observation above should help me get my husband, a big Rockford fan, to try it as well.  Thanks!


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#58

Ezebel

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Posted Jan 21, 2014 @ 10:54 AM

 

I just watched "The Lord of War and Thunder" for the first time a couple days ago, and  I was *really* struck by the scenes in the jail and the hospital, where twice Raylan hears Arlo's voice before seeing him, and is permitted a somewhat unguarded reaction to the sound. There's this hesitation or slowing down to his movement, like he has to force himself to keep going forward, and the slightest look of dread on his face. And TO does such an awesome job of making it look visceral and almost like a natural reflex to the sound of Arlo's voice. Without Raylan saying a single word, there's this sense of that all that time falling away, and for a few seconds, he's back in hell. I think it was such a masterful, understated way of giving the audience a glimpse of that part of Raylan's life was like, helping to explain why he tried so hard to put Harlan behind him, and to set the stage for all the Ralyan/Arlo interaction to come.

 

I love your analysis virgo79. This episode is one of my favourites too. I love it when people highlight things like this that I didn't see before, and you're right - the unguarded reactions in those two scenes are so important because they are so rare with Raylan. He always had to be so guarded face to face with Arlo. 

 

My favourite scene might be the very first one, where Art tells him that Arlo has been arrested. Raylan's reaction to the news is so low key, but it's there and Tim Olyphant plays it so subtly. I loved Art obviously being curious about Raylan's father - maybe Art was seeing Raylan as a real human being for the first time here too, getting just a peek under the mask of cool he always wears. Then when Raylan walks out the door and into Tim, and he's asked 'did Art tell you about the phone calls?', he instantly assumes that he's talking about Arlo, even though it makes no sense that Art would tell Tim that Arlo had been arrested before Raylan. It's such a great subtle way to show that although he was so careful not to show any reaction to the mention of his father, it was obviously at the forefront of his mind after, and probably rattled him.

 

Your friend is dead right, Atomic Clock. Raylan would not be the great character that he is if he was always just the cool, collected badass who always wins. He has vulnerabilities, and flaws, weaknesses. He's complex and I love that the writers have woven in such a rich, complicated personal history that has made him who he is.

 

The little tantalising glimpses into his past we get sometimes are fascinating, like what he told Loretta this last episode about getting arrested for smashing mailboxes. I've wondered what Raylan was like as a teenager. Ever since he didn't answer when Tom Bergen asked him in Season 2. And stuff like Limehouse talking about his mother, and giving us the reveal of how he and Raylan met, when Limehouse nearly beat Arlo to death in front of him.

 

I would love to hear more of that stuff, especially about Raylan's mother.


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#59

Atomic Clock

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Posted Feb 1, 2014 @ 11:40 PM

I have a theory as to why this season isn't particularly clicking for me and this seems like the best thread in which to share it.

I know the 'more Tim and Rachel' crowd will disagree, but this show has always been Raylan-centric. More than that, it operates at it's best when things are personal for him.

IN the first season, Raylan was transferred to his home state (the last place he wanted to go) as punishment for his extreme actions with Tommy Bucks. So the obvious, looming question is, why did he leave home?

The first two seasons did a great job of answering that question. He was running from an abusive father. He was running from the shame of not being able to protect his mother. He was running from the betrayal of an aunt who protected him at first, but who subsequently shared a bed with the monster who terrorized him as a child. He was running from a buddy with whom he dug coal, but who ultimately became the same kind of monster whom his father was. He was running from a family feud with a neighboring clan. He was running from an ex wife who ultimately went back to the place he swore to leave forever.

Flash forward to the fifth season. Arlo? Dead. Aunt Helen? Dead. The Bennetts? Dead (or possibly in prison.) Winona and his newborn daughter? Gone. His one-time high school crush Ava? In the arms of the man who probably bears more of a similarity to Arlo than Raylan wants to admit.

I wonder if the reason that Justified feels like a pale immitation of itself lately is due to the fact that the personal history that made Harlan such a rich backdrop of drama as filtered through Raylan has slowly been torn asunder. Boyd is really the only connection left, but the moment when Arlo chose Boyd as the favored son over Raylan changed the dynamic of their relationship. They are no longer frenemies, but now they are absolute adversaries. The only really compelling story this series may have yet to tell is how the Raylan/Boyd relationship will finally resolve itself. Is that enough to keep this show going for a season and a half? I don't know.

As for Winona, I think DrJoy hit the nail on the head in another thread. I don't believe that Raylan is a "deadbeat dad" for a second. I don't believe he is scared to visit his daughter for fear that more criminals will seek him out. I think shame is keeping him from his daughter. I think he wants to help her to avoid the dark and bloody stain of his family. It's misguided, but in his own way, I think he's trying to be noble. Raylan is drowning in the shattered world that Arlo created for him and he can't see that his daughter is his salvation.


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#60

benteen

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Posted Feb 2, 2014 @ 3:31 PM

 

I know the 'more Tim and Rachel' crowd will disagree, but this show has always been Raylan-centric. More than that, it operates at it's best when things are personal for him.

 

I hesitate to call this show more Raylan-centered.  He often seems like just another supporting character on this show as the writers focus more on the criminals of Harlan.  I think TO once said (I don't think it was jokingly) that one of the things he tries to figure out is how to give himself less to do.


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