To say that Raylan is “conflicted” about his criminal father is to give their relationship far too much credit. Raylan hates his daddy. Whether this hate is a cause or effect of the shame he feels from his daddy’s actions remains unclear throughout the show, but it’s almost incidental, as what matters most is that Raylan’s father is the predominant source of the anger he carries with him.
Before the introduction of Arlo, he is alluded to in a manner that makes him out to be comparable to the devil himself. Upon revelation, Arlo may not be the most sinister of the bads on Justified, but he’s a screw-up that manages to drag others into his mess, indirectly causing the death of his wife Helen, fanning the flames of Raylan’s hatred towards him. Arlo is reckless in his pursuits, the toll of which seems to weigh more on his son than it does on himself.
Before meeting Arlo, Art, Raylan’s boss, asks Raylan, “Is he a knucklehead, your daddy, or a real bad dude?”
Two seasons into the show, the Dixie Mafia has been hinted at, but we really don’t know what they’re capable of. They’ve served as a boogieman throughout, their presence so far comprised of rumor, innuendo, and allegations. It can only be a matter of time before we find out who they are and the extent of their reach. Though their reach isn’t immediately clear, that they scared Mags Bennett should be reason enough to suggest they’re some unpleasant fellows.
Our introduction to this group has only been via the appearances of “security expert” Wynn Duffy. Duffy is back this season in a larger role, leading us to believe that the Dixie Mafia will return as well. Justified quickly established itself with a purposeful pacing that forces the viewer to keep up, rather than dwell. However, the festering notion of the Dixie Mafia has loomed long enough. Here’s hoping that they put their Dixie fingerprints all over season three.