Wow, that was a great turn of events, wasn’t it? “Brother’s Keeper” makes full use of Mags’s villainy, and Margo Martindale sure as hell can act. The episode begins with Mags being gentle with Loretta, helping her get ready for the party, and it’s shocking to think she could have treated Coover so badly just a few weeks ago. But Coover, through his stupidity, realizes that Loretta is basically a replacement for him and Dickie, the child Mags wanted to have, which plays into his later actions. Later, after Coover is killed, Mags is in tears and you want to feel for her.
These events alone might make us sympathetic towards her, but we also see another side of her, the businesswoman whose cutthroat style is both devious and sinister. She outmaneuvers Carol, telling her that the company only wants Arlo’s property because it wants to build a road to transport the coal. Somehow, Carol had no knowledge of this (why did the company not tell her?), and the company is forced to cave to her demands. At the end of the day, no one looks great in the situation. Carol kind of gets what was coming, after underestimating these people and turning out to be ignorant of the whole situation, while Mags and Boyd turn out to be looking for a quick buck.
Just when Boyd isn’t looking too much like a bad guy, he turns around and joins Mag to make a quick buck. While it was expected that Mags would have something up her sleeves, seeing as her duplicity is overflowing, Boyd has been behaving quite well this season and this latest move doesn’t seem to fit in. Still, there is nothing malicious about his actions, only economic interest which happens to coincide with Mags’s.
Looking ahead, there four episodes left and plenty to work with. Winona isn’t picking up Raylan’s calls, which isn’t a good sign, Carol continues to flirt with Raylan, and, of course, Mags will want retribution for her son’s death. I’m sure Raylan will be in her crosshairs, but what about Loretta?