Justified 6.13: “We dug coal together”

April 15, 2015 13:51:00 Posted at April 15, 2015 13:51:00
Sarah Posted by Sarah
Photos:
WENN

Justified Season 6, Episode 13 recap

SPOILERS

I started recapping Justified in season 3, and it turns out I miscounted Raylan’s body count, missing some unnamed henchmen from season one. I’ve had it at twenty-one, but it’s actually twenty-seven. Well, twenty-eight, by the end.

GET TO THE CUT LINE
GET TO THE CUT LINE
GET TO THE CUT LINE
GET TO THE CUT LINE
GET TO THE CUT LINE
GET TO THE CUT LINE
GET TO THE CUT LINE
GET TO THE CUT LINE
GET TO THE CUT LINE
GET TO THE CUT LINE
GET TO THE CUT LINE
GET TO THE CUT LINE
GET TO THE CUT LINE
GET TO THE CUT LINE

RIP Boone.

The timeline of Justified is roughly two years. In two years, Raylan has killed twenty-eight people—more than Boyd Crowder, the show’s main antagonist. In Harlan County, it’s a thin line between good and bad.

This finale was so nerve-racking, wondering who would live and who would die. There’s a lot packed into the last hour of Justified, and the show wastes no time getting to the point. Ava’s buried nine million dollars in the hills, and Avery Markham wants it back, but so does Boyd. In the end, Avery is yet another would-be overlord whom Harlan County swallows whole. Boyd’s plans never quite worked out, but he had no trouble f*cking sh*t up for everyone else, too, and ultimately, Avery falls victim to Boyd’s wounded fury. And he would have killed Ava, too, but he spent all his bullets on Avery and his dirty cops.

Raylan has toed that thin Harlan County line for his entire life, and he once wondered what he would have done if Tommy Bucks hadn’t drawn on him on that Miami hotel rooftop. Staring down the barrel of his gun at Boyd, this time he doesn’t pull the trigger. They have multiple murders to pin on Boyd, and with Dewey Crowe’s necklace in law enforcement hands, I assume they’ll get him for that, too. It took longer than Art expected, but Raylan eventually got his man, and this time, he did it right.

But Boone is still in the wind, with Loretta McCready in tow. While transporting Ava, Boone forces the confrontation he wanted so badly and he and Raylan have a good old-fashioned gun fight. I’m not exaggerating—I almost threw up when Raylan’s hat flew off and he collapsed. And the look on Loretta McCready’s face as she approached Raylan was an entire lifetime. He was the closest thing she’s had to a father since her own died, and for all her tough-talking, Loretta is still a kid. She has the guts to stand up to men like Avery Markham and Boyd Crowder, and to ensure Boone’s death, but she’s all little kid when she looks down on Raylan.

Who isn’t dead, merely wounded, thank god. Ava gets away, though, using Raylan’s general distraction to flee in his car. But with Boyd in custody, even though Ava is still missing, Raylan says goodbye to the Eastern Kentucky Marshal’s Office. At heart, Justified is a Western, and Raylan is the archetypal drifter who rides into town, cleans up the local bad element, and rides out again with no more fuss than when he appeared. Raylan arrived and had a drink with Art while deputies argued. Two years later, he had a drink with Art and left while deputies argued. Nothing changes, but everything has changed.

Four years later finds Raylan in Miami, hanging out with his daughter. He’s not with Winona, but they’re getting along at least, and he’s doing his deputy thing in the Miami office when a California newspaper photo reveals Ava Crowder. (The implication is that Rachel, now in the Seattle office, sent Raylan the lead.) In California Raylan finds Ava, who is hiding Boyd’s son. He wouldn’t bend his ethics to murder Boyd, but he does flex them enough to cover for Ava, helping her bury her past by faking her death for Boyd’s benefit, guaranteeing he can’t ruin the kid’s life.

The final scene of Justified plays like a remix of Boyd and Raylan’s meeting in the church when Raylan first returned to Kentucky. Boyd is preaching again, but when he and Raylan sit together this time, it’s divided by a layer of bullet-proof glass. Boyd seems to accept that Ava is dead, but he wants to know why Raylan bothered to tell him in person. Because they dug coal together—that thing that linked them across twenty-five years of conflict and bloodshed. In Harlan County all that matters is blood and history, and for Raylan Givens and Boyd Crowder, linked inextricably by their fathers, their legacies, blood feuds, and personal vendettas, the thing that bound them most tightly was the bond forged in the bottom of a coal mine. With the next generations of Givens and Crowders growing up outside Harlan County, that particular legacy ends with Raylan and Boyd, who never did manage to get out of Harlan. And as long as Boyd Crowder is alive, a piece of Raylan Givens will always be there, too.

Raylan’s final body count: 28

Attached - the cast of Justified at the series finale event in Los Angeles on Monday.
 

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