Immediately following Tuesday night’s episode of “Justified,” I tweeted that I could easily write 1500 words about Dickie Bennett’s hair. I was being facetious at the time, but the more I thought about it, I started to realize that I probably could discuss that mangled bird’s nest atop actor Jeremy Davies’ head at great length. It delights me every time I look at it, which has resulted in me looking at pictures of it off and on (mostly on) for over 36 hours now, which led to me developing some serious opinions about it all. Opinions I will now share with you. The Internet is cool.
First and foremost, let’s discuss what his hair looks like. In the "Justified" recap/open thread I do at Warming Glow, I described it as “like a blind person took a handheld blender to the head of a 7-year-old who hasn’t bathed in a week and just woke up.” I feel this is pretty accurate, as it explains both the mysterious bald spots on the sides of his head as well as the violent angles the greasy, unmolested strands take from his scalp. It’s almost like his hair is trying to run away — which, for the record, I don’t believe we can rule out at this point.
But WHY, you ask. Why does the man’s hair look like that? How did it end up this way? These are perfectly natural questions to ask. Throughout history, human beings have always been curious about things that are difficult to understand — the sun and stars, aliens, the afterlife, etc. — and Dickie Bennett’s hair is no exception. His entire head is such an unnatural state of affairs that it cries for an explanation. While no man can possibly do this with any degree of certainty, my best guesses are as follows.
On the greasy, stringy nature of his hair:
- He didn’t shower much, if at all, while in prison. Dickie is a small, physically weak man with a bad leg and a big mouth. When you combine that with his new status as a loner after last season (I’m not counting Dewey Crowe, because no one should ever count Dewey Crowe, for anything, ever), it’s reasonable to assume that he’d want to avoid situations that left him vulnerable. Like, for example, large rooms that are full of violent naked people who may have been wronged by his mother’s crime family at one point or another.
- He didn’t shower much once he got out, either. I attribute this equally to (a) him being on the run and (b) him being kind of a dirtball in general. Whatever the reason, the takeaway of these first two bullet points is that maybe he should peel a ten spot out of the partial loot that Limehouse has been offering him and go grab a bottle of Pert Plus.
- Also, maybe, since he wore a hat for almost all of Season Two (and presumably the years before), he just forgot you’re supposed to comb your hair.
On the random bald spots shaved into the sides of his head:
- He tried giving himself a haircut in jail, but the guards took the electric razor away from him right after he started for safety reasons.
- He thought about becoming a skinhead, but realized 30 seconds into it that judging groups of people based on nothing but their skin color, religion, or national origin is just plain wrong, and decided against it.
- Someone held him down and did that to him as a joke.
- He has a horrible skin condition or ringworm or something.
- He did it on purpose because he is trying to be aerodynamic.
These lists are far from complete, because there are almost limitless possibilities, and I only have a finite amount of time to discuss them. Dickie Bennett is a mystery wrapped in a limping enigma with a handful of poop-colored Easter basket grass piled on top of his head. Spending all day pondering his reasons is a fool’s errand.
One final note in conclusion: One of the running gags I like to do is the Boyd Crowder Hair Threat Level, which is based on a theory someone came up with (I can’t recall who this genius was at the moment) that the more unruly Boyd’s hair looks at the beginning of a scene, the more likely he is to do something crazy by the end of it. (Sample: “ALERT: In light of last week’s events, the Boyd Crowder Hair Threat Level has been temporarily elevated from ‘Child Using a Balloon to Produce Static Electricity’ to ‘Cartoon Electrocution.’”) Please know that after the last two episodes, if I ever set the Boyd Crowder Hair Threat Level at “Full Dickie Bennett,” it is imperative that you and your family retreat to a safe place — preferably underground — until things settle down. I’m not saying Boyd Crowder will physically crawl out of your television like the girl in The Ring and commit acts of fraud and violence against you and yours, but I’m also not not saying it. All bets are off in this scenario.
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