|Season 2, Episode 8|
|Air date||March 30, 2011|
|Written by||Graham Yost|
|Directed by||Michael Watkins|
|U.S. Viewers||2.64 million|
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"The Spoil" is the eighth episode of the second season, and the 21st episode in the series overall. It was written by executive producer Graham Yost and directed by Michael Watkins. It first aired on March 30, 2011.
Raylan is assigned to protect a local coal mine executive as she tries to buy up land for the company but faces opposition from the Bennett clan.
Coover and Dickie play a visit to Reggie, who looks wary at best. He appears downright fearful when Coover holds up a bag filled with unidentified, squirming and squeaking creatures. Asks Reggie: "What's in the bag?" Responds Dickie: "You do the right thing, you won't have to find out." Suddenly, Boyd steps out of Reggie's house. The pair have apparently been discussing the sale of Reggie's land — exactly what Coover and Dickie want to discuss. The Bennett boys then tell Reggie that they'll be back tomorrow — and expect a signature. Boyd, who is working for Carol, offers Reggie protection. "I'm sure you'll make the right decision," Boyd says before disappearing into the night.
Raylan, meanwhile, is working off his stress drinking Jim Bean and hitting balls at the batting cage. Art, who tracked the unresponsive Raylan via his cell phone, arrives with an assignment: take Carol to a town meeting in Harlan. She'll need the protection as the suspect in the attempted courthouse bombing is still on the run. Raylan is less than enthused. Art is curt. Later, the marshal returns "home" to his motel room to find Winona in bed. "He knows. Art. He knows," says Raylan, referring to the money Winona stole from the evidence locker. Not good. Not good at all. "Is he going to turn us is?" she asks. "I would if I was him," Raylan says.
The next morning, Carol drives while a hungover Raylan attempts to sleep. She turns on the radio just to annoy him — and then gets a call. "What?!" Carol yells into the phone. She then announces a new destination: the local jail, where Boyd needs to be bailed out. Turns out Boyd was taken in by the cops under the orders of chief Doyle Bennett, who probably heard about Boyd's standoff with Coover and Dickie. Carol arrives at the police station and rips into Doyle, turning to Raylan for help. "As far as I'm concerned, y'all deserve each other," a dismissive Raylan says. Later, Carol pulls aside Boyd, telling her employee that he must get Reggie's signature. Boyd wants assurances that he'll be taken care of by Carol's company if certain "lines" need to be crossed. She understands.
Later, Carol announces another unexpected stop — this time to Mags Bennett at her general store. Mags is nice as first — as always — then turns mean, telling the mining executive that she isn't about to let some company "rape" the hills of her hometown. Coover and Dickie then enter, looking for trouble — as always. "You whoring for the mines now, too — like your buddy Boyd?" says Coover, who lightly shoves Raylan in the shoulder. Raylan then makes a show of putting away his badge. This is personal. Coover takes the first swing and a full-fledged brawl breaks out. Raylan gets in his share of blows, but it's Coover who ends up with the advantage, punching the marshal in the face until Mags steps in with a shovel to break up the fight. Raylan is a bloody mess.
That evening, Raylan convalesces in Carol's hotel room while she prepares for the big meeting. He explains the "bad blood" between the Raylan and Bennett clans: during prohibition, the Bennett family was busted and believed it came about on a tip from a Raylan. Raylan's uncle was shot as a result. When the marshal was in high school, he played against Dickie when a fight broke out. Raylan picked up a bat and bashed Dickie in the shin, giving the Bennett boy his limp. So bad blood all around.
CUT to Helen and Arlo's place. Boyd sits with the couple at the kitchen table and presents an offer for their land. "We're not signing that land over to anyone," Arlo barks. Arlo then tells Boyd that his daddy wouldn't think kindly about his boy working for the mining company. Boyd doesn't disagree. Later, the town of Harlan meets at a local church for the big meeting. Carol takes the podium and tries to make a point about how miners are well compensated by pointing out that they make as much as a decorated marshal like Raylan Raylan. Raylan turns the tables by explaining that, while mining and marshal money are similar, marshals don't get fired if they take a sick day. The crowd applauds. Boyd then stands up to defend Carol and the company, saying that he was given "a second chance." "What we need right now is jobs," Boyd says. More applause.
Mags then stands up and delivers a impassioned plea to the crowd — against the company. She explains that it's just the same old story: a conglomerate coming into town to destroy the land, take advantage of its people and then leave. The town has never seen the kind of money that these companies always promise. She then points out that Reggie has already "sold out" to the mining company — even though she offered to buy his land first. Mags then invites everybody to a party at the Bennett homestead. "I want you to see just what it is we're all fighting for down here," Mags tells Carol. HUGE applause — and then — BANG, BANG, BANG! Raylan pulls his weapon. The crowd runs for the exits.
Only they're not gunshots. Somebody lit off firecrackers. Later, Raylan suggests to Carol that she had something to do with it — as the bangs shut up Mags in mid-speech. "I admit it was a well-timed prank, but I had nothing to do with it," Carol says. "My hearts still pounding. Want to feel?" Raylan ignores the obvious come on.
CUT to Ava's house, where Boyd returns home to find Coover and Dickie waiting. Coover savagely beats Boyd before Ava enters the room with a shotgun. "Back off!" she warns the Bennett boys. Ava then notices the squirming, squeaking bag on the floor. She shoots it. Coover screams. "You killed Charlie!" he moans before exiting, furious.
Back at Carol's hotel room, the mining executive continues to get cozy with Raylan, who politely declines her offer to share the bed. She attributes the refusal to Raylan not wanting to get into trouble at work. Raylan, who has been drinking, alludes to the fact that he is already in trouble with his boss. The next morning, Carol and Raylan pay a visit to Arlo and Helen. While Carol explains her offer to a typically disgruntled Arlo, Helen pulls Raylan aside. She offers to give the marshal the $20,000 stolen from the marshals if Raylan agrees to leave town and cut all ties. "You want the money, you leave it all behind," Helen says. Raylan is rightfully confused, but doesn't get a chance to ask a follow-up question because shooting suddenly erupts. Somebody is taking pot shots at the house. Raylan fires back while ushering everybody inside. Arlo is shot in the leg.
Raylan checks his phone: no service. The house line, meanwhile, hasn't worked for months, Helen explains. So Raylan takes a knife and cuts off his father's ankle bracelet. That ought to bring the cops in about 10 minutes. Raylan then heads outside and races up a nearby hill toward the unidentified shooter. He is able to sneak up on the shooter, who is the sister of the man who tried to bomb the courthouse. Raylan twists her arm behind her back and cuffs her. Later, Raylan tells Carol that the man who bombed the courthouse is now in custody — he was waiting outside the judge's house with a rifle. Helen then hands Raylan an envelope containing the $20,000. Raylan walks away, announcing that he is going to Mags' party. "The whole reason I gave you that money is that you agreed to stay away from the Bennetts!" Helen explodes. Responds a deadpan Raylan: "I lied."
- No deaths in this episode.
- Timothy Olyphant as Raylan Givens
- Nick Searcy as Art Mullen
- Joelle Carter as Ava Crowder
- Jacob Pitts as Tim Gutterson (credit only)
- Erica Tazel as Rachel Brooks
- Natalie Zea as Winona Hawkins
- Walton Goggins as Boyd Crowder
- Rebecca Creskoff as Carol Johnson
- Margo Martindale as Mags Bennett
- Jeremy Davies as Dickie Bennett
- Tara Buck as Sally Peener
- Kaitlyn Dever as Loretta McCready
- Linda Gehringer as Helen Givens
- Brad William Henke as Coover Bennett
- Peter Murnik as Tom Bergen
- Joseph Lyle Taylor as Doyle Bennett
- Raymond J. Barry as Arlo Givens