With Ava (Joelle Carter) on the run, we’ve got a new titular ‘Fugitive Number One.’
Let’s bitch it out…
With only two episodes remaining, the bodies are starting to fall and the plot is heating up. There are no more power plays – every move now is life and death on Justified, as represented by the three (!) fatalities this week. And while only one can be called unexpected (that would be the demise of a certain lady of prestige), the high number of fatalities makes it clear that this is a series that is unafraid to ride out its final days on a tidal wave of blood and revenge.
Despite being the figure at the center of the action, Ava – and Zachariah (Jeff Fahey) – spend the majority of the episode offscreen. Aside from the brief sojourn to the cabin in the woods and the discovery that the man who would lead them over the mountains is dead, the pair are noticeably absent. That’s less of an issue than it might seem because everyone else is fixated on them and the bounty they’re carrying.
After losing $10 million dollars to Boyd (Walton Goggins), Markham (Sam Elliott) predictably puts his muscle to good use, making Carl (Justin Welborn) and Earl (Ryan Dorsey) an offer they can’t refuse: help or die. Avery doesn’t know that there was a second round of betrayal, so he thinks that Boyd, laid up in the hospital, still has the money. Unfortunately, like most Harlan County interlopers, Markham doesn’t have a firm grip on who he is dealing with and he underestimates Boyd’s capabilities. The punishment for that error falls on Carl, who confirms that Boyd has no loyalty to himself when Boyd shoots him in order to make a daring hospital escape. Poor Carl – he was basically dead the moment that he decided to believe a word Boyd says.
Boyd’s turn as a fugitive ends up determining Raylan’s (Timothy Olyphant) fate, as well (the pair truly are always connected). Raylan plays nice for the first half of the episode, but once Art (Nick Searcy) calls him back to Lexington on the advice of smarmy ADA Vasquez (Rick Gomez), Raylan effectively goes rogue. As soon as he knows that Boyd is gone, Raylan is acting of his own volition – which isn’t really a new development, except for the fact that Art is no longer willing to extend the long leash so long as Raylan delivers results. The understanding relationship that once defined these two men has come and gone.
By the end of the hour Raylan has warned off Avery, who may just take the advice now that Katherine (Mary Steenburgen) is dead. More significantly Raylan is on his own. With the Marshal’s service spread so thin, Raylan knows he won’t merit a great deal of attention, except from Art, who confidently tells Raylan that he will find him. It’s another logical development that pays off the frosty relationship that has developed between the pair since the Nicky Augustine affair, but one I almost wish hadn’t happened. Art vs Raylan is destined to make for great TV, but it’s hard not to feel as though Raylan is giving up everything – his law enforcement future, Winona and his daughter – in the moment that he walks down the middle of that dark, deserted street. It’s another beautifully composed image, evocative of a lone gunmen figure that Boon (Jonathan Tucker) is so desperate to embody in his dress-up clothes. Raylan truly is alone as he embarks on one last ride.
Two episodes left to wrap this all up. Damn I’ll miss this series.
- If you need an easy diagram of what’s going on, here you go: Art -> Raylan -> Boyd -> Ava
- Mikey (Jonathan Kowalsky) holds Wynn (Jere Burns) prisoner for much of the episode waiting for Katherine to arrive. Unfortunately the beefy henchman underestimates his feelings for his boss when he sees Katherine go in for the kill. What results is tough to watch: a big, bloody skirmish as Katherine shoots Mikey multiple times before he ultimately kills her with a rough blow to the neck. And so Justified‘s living cockroach, Wynn Duffy, survives to live another day, but not before he cradles the head of the man he’s spent the last several years in an RV with. It’s almost sweet.
- Just in case Ava’s actions haven’t caused enough ripples for everyone else, we learn that both Vasquez and Rachel (Erica Pitts) will likely go down for using her as a CI. Side Note: Vasquez has become increasingly unlikable as the series has progressed – he’s not always wrong, but he’s really become a major dick.
- Boon pays Loretta (Kaitlyn Dever) a brief visit, seemingly just to f*ck with her in anticipation of Avery’s inevitable attempt to take-over. My bold prediction: Loretta will kill Boon (and possibly Avery) and inherit all of Harlan just as she suggested a few episodes back.
- Side Note: I love that Raylan recognizes Boon’s new hat (he remembers the line cook wearing it). It’s further proof that nothing gets past Raylan.
- Raylan (when Boyd complains Raylan left him shot and handcuffed): “You could hear the sirens coming. Must have given you some solace.”
- Jacob Pitts’ Tim (when Raylan asks if he’s ever been through the mines): “I’ve been to Mordor, but not through the mines.”
- Mikey (punching Wynn): “And I hate being called Mikey” The proof is when Katherine calls him Michael!
- Earl (when Carl asks him to recall the old saying about crime): “Crime doesn’t pay?”
- Raylan (after Art voices Vasquez’s complaint to him): “Raised a concern or levelled an accusation?”
- Raylan (after Tim repeatedly tells him to go to Lexington): “Tim can we stop pretending that there’s any version of this conversation that ends with a trip to the office?”
- Raylan (collecting Earl from custody): “Earl, step away from the dirty cop and come with me nice and slow.”
- Wynn (after the 911 operator asks what his emergency is after the RV fight): “I’m not sure where to start.”
Your turn: which death makes you saddest? Do you think Avery underestimated Boyd’s connection to Carl or did he just not care if Carl died? Who will find Ava first: Boyd or Raylan? Will Art take Raylan down? And will Loretta inherit everything? Sound off below.
Justified airs Tuesday at 10pm EST on FX