This week's episode of FX's Justified, "Money Trap," is mostly a break from the season-long hunt for Drew Thompson. Raylan (Timothy Olyphant) sets out to talk to his father, Arlo (Raymond J. Barry), in prison to see if he can convince Arlo to give him a new lead on Drew. But since it's a task Raylan doesn't want to do anyway, he jumps at the first distraction that will take him away from the task.
Despite minimizing the large arcs, "Money Trap" is more than just a case-of-the-week installment. It puts Raylan back up against a foe we see in the season premiere, Jody Adair (Chris Chalk, The Newsroom, Homeland). It's cool that Justified continually builds up a cast of recurring players and pulls them out from time to time to keep the story interesting, rather than reduce itself to a typical crime drama.
Justified has never been suited to a formula. Each season is entirely different from the last, and each twist can spin the plot in unexpected directions from week to week. It's really a setting-driven piece, fleshing out a specific world in Kentucky that lies outside of the big city. Each character is a panel of fabric, some bigger than others, but sewn together in an intriguing patchwork.
Which means that often connections that are not obvious suddenly emerge. "Money Trap" has several of those, as the characters move around, encountering a number of people, including Raylan seeing a former lover. Justified never leaves its world, just revealing unseen corners as it goes instead, so there's an overarching sense of continuity throughout the entire series.
The side trip with Jody this week is a dangerous game between Raylan and a very hardened criminal, one who will not hesitate to kill Raylan given an opportunity. Most bad guys aren't this bad, matching wits and trying to get away with stolen goods or money, rather than committing murder. Sure, people are killed all the time on the show. But it's not usually the intent or stated mission of the shooter to take someone out permanently. Jody is different.