Justified 6.1: “The bullet finds you”
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Justified Season 6, Episode 1 recap
It’s the beginning of the end and I am not remotely ready. As anxious as I always get for Justified to come back, this time it’s bittersweet, because this is the final season. Last season was a mixed bag—not as bad as some people said, but not as good seasons 2 or 4. A lot of what went on last season was necessary though, like Ava’s less than fascinating sub-plot in jail. Ava had to go to jail to get toughened up—she’s in a tight spot this season, forced into informing on Boyd to Raylan.
So let’s do a quick status check: Raylan is working with Rachel and US Attorney Vasquez to take down Boyd, thus recruiting Ava as an informant; Boyd has been recruited by mob widow Katherine Hale—who’s in cahoots with Wynn Duffy—to rob banks. Catching Boyd is Raylan’s “one last job” before transferring to Florida to be with Winona and the baby, and Art has no f*cks left to give, re: Raylan Givens. The Theo Tonin/Detroit mob mess is resolved (as far we know), and it looks like Duffy and the mysterious Katherine Hale are positioning to finally fill the power vacuum left after Mags Bennett’s death. It’s the final showdown, going back to where it all began: Raylan vs. Boyd, with Ava caught in the middle.
Winona wonders what could be worth missing time with their daughter, and we cut to Raylan in Mexico, looking into that night of murdering last season when Boyd and the Crowes wiped out a fair chunk of a cartel. It’s pretty much back to business as usual with Raylan, what with the exotic threats and then the carrying out of said exotic threats. This time he transports a corrupt Mexican cop to the US to get him to talk about what happened in the desert. But it’s also clear that is ISN’T business as usual. Rachel is still in charge of the Marshal’s office as Art is on medical leave, and she and Vasquez are sticklers for the process. So, as Raylan says to Art, things aren’t moving as quickly as he’d like.
But that doesn’t mean things aren’t happening. Raylan and Gutterson set up at the Givens farm to surveil Boyd. While there, a mysterious bearded stranger (played by the most excellent Garrett Dillahunt) offers to buy Raylan’s crappy farm. The guy is obviously up to no good and Raylan’s like, That’s fishy, but that’s all we see of the newcomer for now. Raylan is more immediately concerned with Ava, who hasn’t been a useful informant thus far. He needs Ava on his side but the best he can muster is a pep talk that basically reminds her she’s capable of being a stone cold bitch. It’s hard to tell if Ava is genuinely such a wreck or if she’s just kind of stalling. Despite Raylan’s words that he “knows her”, Ava is NOT the same person he reconnected with when he returned to Harlan County (two-ish years ago). He shouldn’t take her cooperation or honesty for granted.
Boyd, meanwhile, wants to run away with Ava. Harlan is dying—the mines are gone, the businesses are going, and being a drug kingpin turned out to be really hard work. This is as close to defeated as we’ve ever seen Boyd. He’s fixing up Ava’s house but he doesn’t want to stay there. He’s got a semblance of a crew to plan a bank heist, but he doesn’t seem to trust, or even like, any of them (RIP Snakebite Jimmy). All the fun has gone out of criminal enterprising for Boyd.
Which is a point belabored by Dewey. Newly sprung from prison and thinking that a restraining order against Raylan means that all law enforcement has to leave him alone—poor, dumb Dewey Crowe—Dewey just wants things to be like they were at the beginning. But all the old places are dead or dying. Audrey’s cathouse has been seized by the government, and his favorite hooker has straightened out her life and wants nothing to do with him. Boyd barely tolerates him, and in the end, it’s Dewey’s pining for the good ole days that does him in. Boyd kills him because he couldn’t trust him (in a scene staged to echo Jesse James’s murder), just like he did that neo-Nazi in the pilot episode.
Justified is back and already Harlan County has claimed another victim. I have a feeling that Dewey is just the first in a long line of casualties we’ll see this season. Raylan is confident he can take down Boyd and escape Kentucky (relatively) unscathed, but Art’s warning lingers—sometimes, the bullet finds you.
Raylan’s final body count: 0/19
Attached – Timothy Olyphant at the TCAs this weekend.