Season 2, Episode 5
89f02 justified cottonmouth
Air date March 9, 2011
Written by Taylor Elmore
Directed by Michael Watkins
U.S. Viewers 2.71 million
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"Cottonmouth" is the fifth episode of the second season, and the 18th episode in the series overall. It was written by co-producer Taylor Elmore and directed by Michael Watkins. It first aired on March 9, 2011.



Boyd reluctantly joins a payroll heist, but can he trust his new partners? Meanwhile, Raylan's investigation into a forged signature on a dead man's government check leads back to the Bennett clan.


Dewey Crowe is dragged his cell by a masked guard, who claims Dewey needs to be quarantined for TB. It is a ruse however, as Raylan is waiting in the prison infirmary. Apparently, Dewey requested to speak to the marshal, claiming that he had valuable information in exchange for assistance getting out of the joint and into a halfway house. Dewey announces that Doyle Crowder is a dirty cop. "You to tell me something I don't know," Raylan says. Dewey says the incarcerated sex pervert that had kidnapped Loretta told him that "the Bennetts are up to something big ... it might have something to do with the daddy whose daughter he was sweet on." Raylan considers the information, but tells Dewey it's not enough to merit a transfer to a halfway house.

At Mags' store, Loretta is minding the register while the matriarch is away running errands. A petulant Coover enters. "Mama never left me in charge," Coover says before helping himself to sweets. Loretta reminds the big lug that he is supposed to leave money for what he takes. Coover reacts angrily to the girl's sass.

At the marshals' office, Sheriff Tom from Harlan enters with news: the signatures on Walt McCready's state-benefit checks are inconsistent to say the least. Interesting. Art then gets a call: Arlo is in the building. Sure enough, Raylan's papa storms into the office and slaps $6,000 on his son's desk. It is well short of the $20,000 that Arlo owes. Raylan suggests receiving $14,000 in information instead, asking about check forging in Harlan. Arlo pleads ignorance, but Ellen gives a name: Bowman Crowder, Boyd's dead brother.

Boyd, meanwhile, sits quietly at his kitchen table while Kyle explains the details of a planned robbery. Boyd is surprised to learn that it involves killing the foreman who works at the mine — and then framing him for the robbery. "You've killed men for far less," Kyle says. "Let's keep our eyes on the prize." Suddenly, the phone rings. Boyd walks to the kitchen and answers it, pretending to speak to Ava. The truth is that Boyd has called himself from his cell phone, which has been left hidden in his chair in the living room. Using this ruse, Boyd can listen in on the conversation in the living room. A whispering Kyle quickly reveals that the plan is to kill Boyd during the robbery — or beforehand if Boyd decides not to go along with the plan. Boyd hangs up, returns to the living room and tells Kyle that he is "in," assuming Kyle and company follows his instructions.

Just then, Raylan pulls up outside. Kyle doesn't like it and confronts the marshal, who kindly asks him to step aside. Raylan then asks Boyd, privately, about Bowman's involvement with check scams. "My brother Bowman didn't deal directly in paper," says Boyd, explaining that he handed off the materials to a "Jesus freak" named Winston. Raylan heads out to see Winston, who runs a church/off-road vehicle business. Raylan asks about Walt McCready and produces both the checks as well as a sample of his handwriting from his first trip upstate (to prison). Winston says that he needs to put on his glasses, but instead grabs a Taser and fires it into Raylan's belly. The marshal manages to get the upper hand, however, and forces the live Taser into Winston's unmentionables. Both men go down in twitching heaps. Raylan recovers first — and threatens to apply the Taser to Winston's mouth if he doesn't give up information on Walt McCready. "Do your worst," Winston gasps. "I ain't telling you shit."

At the mine, Boyd, Kyle and cronies are readying for their big heist. Boyd pulls the gang aside and demands their cell phones, explaining that he is about to set an explosive charge and can't risk someone's phone interfering with the signal. The crooks reluctantly hand them over. Meanwhile, Ava returns home to find Boyd's note on the fridge. It reads: "Call this number at exactly 6:05 p.m. Don't tell anyone." Back at the mine, the gang bursts into the crew trailer and forces the man behind the desk, Shelby, to open the safe. "We got the jackpot!" Kyle yells upon seeing the stacks of cash recently delivered by an armored truck. Suddenly — exactly at 6:05 p.m. — Kyle's cell phone goes off. Kyle swears he turned it off. "You trying to get us all killed?" Boyd asks and makes his three cohorts go outside while he tends to his business.

Boyd then leads Shelby into the mine to set the explosives. The plan is to make it look like Shelby robbed the trailer and then accidentally blew himself up in the mine. Their real plan is to blow up Shelby and Boyd in the mine — and Boyd, of course, knows it. What Kyle and his gang of idiots don't know is that Boyd has placed charges in the truck outside. So when Kyle presses the button to blow up the mine, the truck explodes instead. Goodbye Kyle and Co.

Afterward, Boyd and Shelby emerge from the mine to see the burning truck. One of Kyle's conspirators is still alive — and Boyd unhesitatingly dispatches him with a double coup de grâce. Shelby then acknowledges that Boyd saved his life — and agrees to tell the cops that Boyd was called home due to an emergency. They shake hands.

Raylan, in the meantime, pays a visit to Coover, who sits in front of his trailer smoking a bowl. Raylan asks about Walt McCready's state-issued checks — and the dull-witted and stoned Bennett boy looks more nervous than usual. Raylan, knowing something is up, asks that Coover let Walt know that he needs to speak with him "about the business with the perv. Just dotting the 'i's, you know."

Later that night, Coover and Dickie pulls up to Winston's place to find it empty. They then notice that Raylan is parked nearby. The marshal smiles at the Bennett boys, who get back into their pickup truck and drive off.

At Ava's house, she demands to know why her housemate left such a strange note. "Saving my life — nothing else," Boyd promises. He then confesses the truth to Ava. "The way I see it Ava, they killed themselves," Boyd finishes. Asks Ava: "Why did you agree to rob that mine in the first place?" Good question. Answers Boyd: "It's what I do. All this time, I've been pretending to be something different, while everybody but me knew what I really am." Boyd then tells Ava that he knows 'they' are after the house, and then hands Ava a bag containing $20,000 — a portion of the payroll from the mine. Suddenly, cop cars pull up in front of Ava's place.

Boyd then says he has a question to ask Ava, and he will understand if she says either yes or no. Before the question can be asked, the camera cuts away to:

Mags and Doyle paying a visit to Coover and Dickie, the next morning. She accuses them of screwing up. Coover tries to blame it on 'that Federal', but Mags says the first mistake was hiring the pederast. And now they cashed Walt McCready's checks after he had been killed. Doyle knocks Coover to his knees and then holds his hand against a stump. Mags then produces a ball-peen hammer, tells Coover that she is sparing his gun hand, and when Dickie tries to intervene, yells at him "the only reason you're not the one down there is that you're already a cripple!" She then beats her son's hand to pulp with a hammer. Afterwards, a crying Coover begs for forgiveness.

At a gas station, Loretta is selling weed to her classmates. Raylan approaches and Loretta's clients scatter. Raylan doesn't care about the pot, though. He hands the teenager a cell phone. "I kicked a hornet's nest last night," Raylan says. "If you find yourself in trouble at any time, you can call me ... I'll drop whatever I'm doing and I will come from you." Loretta takes the phone — and looks disquieted.

Appearances Edit

First Appearances Edit

  1. Winston Baines
  2. Shelby Parlow - security guard at Black Pike forced to open up the safe
  3. Marcus - miner who takes part in the Black Pike heist

Deaths Edit

  1. Marcus - Shot by Boyd.
  2. Pruitt - Killed when the car next to him explodes.
  3. Kyle Easterly - Killed when the car next to him explodes.


Starring cast

Guest stars


Screenshot GalleryEdit