"The Moonshine War"
Season 2, Episode 1
Air date February 9, 2011
Written by Graham Yost
Directed by Adam Arkin
U.S. Viewers 3.47 million
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"The Moonshine War" is the premiere (first) episode of the second season, and the 14th episode in the series overall. It was written by executive producer Graham Yost and directed by Adam Arkin. It first aired on February 9, 2011.



Raylan tangles with a ruthless Harlan County crime family while hunting for a fugitive sex offender.


We pick up mere minutes after the shootout that ended the first season. Bo Crowder is dead. Art rolls over the old man's body just to be sure. The end of crime in Harlan? We doubt it. Sure enough, Miami gunrunner Pilar, who is on the run, holds a gun to a trucker's head. She forces the good ol' boy to drive her to the airport. As Pilar is about to shoot the driver, she is pulled from the car by Boyd, who points his gun at the woman. Suddenly, Raylan appears — gun drawn — and tells Boyd to put down his weapon. "She killed my daddy," Boyd explains. Just then, Raylan notices movement and opens fire. Another gun runner — armed with an automatic weapon — is waiting for Pilar in a private plane. The man goes down in a heap. Dead. A totally justified killing, by the way.

Raylan takes advantage of the distraction and knocks out Boyd. He then grabs the wounded Pilar and pulls her inside the jet. Cut to Miami, where mob boss Gio watches TV in his modern apartment. Raylan, carrying Pilar, enters. "This ends right here, right now," says Raylan, referring to the fact that the Miami criminals have been trying to kill him for the better part of a year. "You give me your word in 10 seconds or I shoot you in the head." Sounds like a fair deal. Suddenly, U.S. Marshal Dan Grant of the Miami office bursts in the door. "We're going to talk," Grant says. "The three of us." Grant's deal: if Gio harms a hair on Raylan's head, then the Miami marshal will personally execute the crime boss.

Later, Grant and Raylan exit the house (Gio apparently took the deal). "I'm trying to offer your old job back," Grant says. "I thought that's what you wanted." Nope. Raylan is heading back to Kentucky. CUT to Kentucky. Art warns Raylan that he will be investigated for the standoff with Boyd at his side. The pair share a drink as Raylan relinquishes his official firearm. Thus begins a montage of official types quizzing Raylan, especially about the $20,000 the government gave to Arlo to give to Bo. Alas, Raylan pleads ignorance. Later, Rachel asks Raylan if he'd like to go out on a case — and he happily agrees to leave the office. The two will be looking for Jimmy Earl Dean, a sex offender who was released two weeks ago and immediately propositioned a teenage girl.

CUT to Jimmy, who approaches Loretta, a young girl who tends to a sizable marijuana crop. "Right now you're talking to a 14-year-old girl you have no reason to be talking to," she says to the pervert. The girl then punches Jimmy in the face. She runs and escapes. Later, the girl explains that Jimmy admitted to working for the Bennett boys. This bit of news scares dad, who says he anonymously called the cops earlier in the day about Jimmy's advances. Moments later, Raylan and Rachel show up at dad's door with a picture of Jimmy — and explain that the tip line is not anonymous (caller ID and all). "Would you please leave?" dad says before closing the door. A deputy then explains that dad is nervous because Jimmy works for the Bennetts. Raylan has a pained expression.

Two of the Bennett boys then pay a visit to dad. "When I called that line, I didn't know he worked for you," dad says to Doyle Bennett. He is immediately shot in the leg by Dickie Bennett, who accuses the man of planting marijuana on Bennett land. "I'm just trying to make a living!" dad screams. Dickie then pulls out a bear trap. He forces the terrified "farmer" to put his foot in the trap. It snaps closed. Daddy screams. Loretta, meanwhile, is at the corner store, which is run by Mags Bennett. She expresses concern for the girl, especially after hearing about Jimmy. "As far as the pervert, you don't need to worry about him anymore," matriarch Mags promises. As Loretta exits, Raylan and Rachel enter. Mags greets Raylan like a long lost friend, explaining to Loretta that the marshal used to be a "big" baseball player in high school. Raylan and Mags then share some apple pie moonshine. It's a friendly relationship — for the time being. Rachel asks about Jimmy. Mags face turns sour. She denies that a sex pervert works for the family. "We're reefer farmers, Raylan," Mags says. "We don't consort with sexual deviants." Doyle then enters the store and shakes hands with Raylan. They chit chat before it's revealed that Doyle is actually a police officer in the tiny burg. Raylan just smiles. It's all old hat to him. The line between criminal and cop is fine, indeed.

Raylan then drives to Dickie's shack. "Jimmy Earl Dean — is he here?" Raylan asks. Dickie, who says he didn't know Jimmy was a sex offender, explains that the fugitive skipped town. Before Raylan can answer, the third Bennett brother, Coover, emerges from the house. He has been busy shooting rats — and tosses one at Raylan's car. Coover, who holds a gun at his side, then makes a racially derogative remark to Rachel. Dickie manages to talk his brother down before violence erupts. "Good to see you, Raylan," Dickie says. "You and your hat." Raylan just smiles — and turns to leave.

CUT to Loretta, who tends to her father's leg wound when Jimmy suddenly appears. He hold a gun to Loretta's head and announces that it is "time for a road trip." Jimmy drags her outside and puts her in the trunk of his car. Later, Raylan gets a call from a deputy: Jimmy's car has been spotted driving out of town. Time to give chase. Raylan and Rachel catch up to Jimmy at a gas station. While Jimmy is inside the station, Raylan approaches the trunk and hears noises. "Loretta, right now I need you to make yourself as small as possible," he whispers. Jimmy emerges from the station — and Raylan douses the man in gas with the pump hose. Raylan then patiently explains that Jimmy shouldn't fire his gun because it will immediately ignite him. "Can't we end this without you trying to turn yourself into the human torch?" Raylan asks. Jimmy turns to see Rachel pointing a gun at his head. The sex offender drops his weapon — and is immediately handcuffed.

Raylan then frees Loretta, who asks if Jimmy really wouldn't have caught fire. "Oh, I don't know," Raylan says. "It sounded good." Later, Mags and Dickie pay a visit to Loretta's father, who explains that his daughter is spending a night at a friend's home. Mags gives the man a drink of apple pie moonshine as a "peace offering." He quickly doubles over. The glass was poisoned. "You never go outside," says Mags, referring to the father calling the cops about Jimmy. Mags then promises to raise Loretta as her own. "All the troubles of your hard life — it's all gone now," she whispers as the man expires.

CUT to Raylan's hotel room. Winona visits — and two quickly end up back in bed together. Just like old times. Deputy Tom calls with news: Boyd has been found. To be continued ...


First AppearancesEdit

  1. Mags Bennett - Matriarch of the Bennett family who runs a General store in Harlan
  2. Doyle Bennett - Oldest son of Mags Bennett, working as a Chief of Police for Harlan
  3. Dickie Bennett - Second oldest son of Mags Bennett, former baseball rival of Raylan Givens
  4. Coover Bennett - The dimwitted, youngest son of Mags Bennett
  5. Loretta McCready - Young daughter of Walt McCready who helps her father out with his marijuana farm
  6. James Earl Dean - Local pedophile working for the Bennetts that holds Loretta hostage
  7. Tom Bergen - Kentucky State Trooper helping the Marshals out with the James Earl Dean case


  1. Reyes' pilot - Shot by Raylan Givens and Boyd Crowder.
  2. Walt McCready - Father of Loretta McCready and marijuana farmer. Poisoned by Mags Bennett.


Starring cast

Guest stars



  • Bo Crowder's lifeless body has a brief appearance at the start of the episode.

Screenshot GalleryEdit