Raylan finally has a sense of purpose again, and so — maybe — does Justified.
As we head into the final episode of this series’ penultimate season, we at last get what we’ve been waiting for: Raylan and Boyd teaming up to get rid of Darryl Crowe. It’s taken a while — through many weak story lines, much lousy writing and uninspired direction, and a number of dead-end characters — to get here.
Raylan was wearing his hat, so we can guess he’s ready to kick some ass as he seeks the guy who shot Art, the “only man he ever cared about,” after he’s drifted aimlessly through much of the season in his own moral purgatory.
Maybe we just needed to get Wynn Duffy back into his RV for the world to begin to kind of feel right again.
In the last episode, it was Daryl Crowe walking into the lion’s den of the marshal’s office looking to make a deal — and offering up the 12-year-old Randall as a sacrifice. This week it was Boyd making the same trek, looking to help get rid of Crowe in exchange for a “clean slate.” Boyd never mentions Ava’s fate as part of the deal, in effect sacrificing her, too (or so it seems).
Raylan tries to nail Crowe by playing hardball, threatening to make life harder for Ava if she doesn’t help, and risking a life sentence for Kendall in a game of chicken with Darryl and Wendy, as well. This all made me hate Raylan a bit.
Meanwhile, back in the state pen — yes, this story line never ends — Ava finds herself unwittingly at the top of the food chain after she got the best of Judith, and the white supremacists want to knock her off that perch. They go after Penny — the thin young women with perfect skin and fabulous hair, which is very typical of female prisoners — and shank her in the bathroom. Ava then reaches out to Raylan, in desperation and fearing for her life, but it turns out he is just another guy making empty promises to get what he wants; by this time, Boyd has already agreed to cooperate, without her, and he has nothing to offer. She is now on her own, and it is life or death.
Raylan had told Boyd “you are who you are,” an echo of a line used against him earlier this season: a reminder that he can’t escape his own character. Now we will find out who Ava is, as will Boyd.
(As an aside: this shows seems to be obsessing on bathrooms and bathroom functions of late. “Mind if I take a shit?” call out Dewey to the old woman, who then aims her shotgun at him. None of it is funny or interesting or even real sounding. Just crudity for crudity’s sake.)
Wendy Crowe is managing the guilt of her failures as a parent and her misplaced loyalty to Darryl with pills and beer. Her pre-teen son Kendall too has been left to his own devices while locked away, betrayed and seemingly forgotten by the folks who are supposed to protect him.
And Dewey. He returns to Audrey’s in search of money or drugs with a plan to hit the road and find his “dream,” and storms into Boyd’s meet with Darryl, guns raised high. (This was after he showed up to find that his two favorite whores had given away his prized “family heirlooms” and then committed the ultimate act of betrayal: given them to a buff black guy. Dewey bests him, pretty unrealistically. Lesson: don’t get in between a guy with a “Heil Hitler” tattoo and his gator-tooth necklace.) Dewey then admits to killing Messer on tape. Oops! Dewey’s story line ends with a whimper.
Just as the Crowe family is disintegrating, so is Boyd’s “family”: his “woman” has left him, and his “son” Jimmy betrayed him with a gun held to the back of his head by the drug cartel guys. Hey, is that camera still on at the barn where the dope is?
As everyone seemingly agrees, this show works best when there is a lot more interaction between Boyd and Raylan (which we’ve had little of this season) as well as more face time with Rachel and Tim — and a bit of Wynn and his RV on the side. And we got all of that this time. It feels a bit too little, too late, but I’ll take it.
This episode is called “Starvation.” Last week’s episode was “The Toll.” I’m still looking for suggestions on what the significance of these titles is.
Has anyone else noticed that the state pen seems now void of black prisoners? The black-white tension that was so interesting and ripe for interesting subplots was perhaps more than Justified could bear.
Wynn Duffy seems to get pretty up close and personal with Boyd on that couch in the RV. What was that about?
Did everyone catch the “American Hustle” reference? (You know, the “science oven.”) Weird in that I just happened to watch that flick this week, and did not catch the ref the first time I watched the show.
Use of the word “pussy”: 0.