[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