Justified Season 4, Episode 12 recap.

Penultimate Justified.

Last week’s episode was so crazy good I’m not sure how the remaining two episodes can top it. Season 4 started slow but has become the best season after season 2. While season 2 is still the most cohesive effort from Justified, with the strongest antagonist and supporting characters (although Colton Rhodes is the gift that keeps on giving), there is a lot to be said for the re-watchability of season 4. At least half these episodes stand up to multiple viewings and actually get better the second time around.

And now, to clean up the Ellen Mae mess.

If I’m a publicist at FX, I’m putting together an Emmy reel for Abby Miller, the actress that plays Ellen Mae. She’s an unsung hero of Justified.

When Winona says it’s important for Raylan to sign some papers about the baby, to “protect” it, and that he has to do it before the kid is born…I get a horrible sinking feeling. Anyone else?

Awww, they’re having a girl.

Oh god. This dialogue. Already. I think this is the winner, though:
Art: Congratulations, you’re suspended.
Raylan: Remind me why again?
Art: You want the whole list or just the good stuff that I underlined?

Drew Thompson wants Marshal protection for Ellen Mae but they’re all, no, screw you.

Poor Ellen Mae. She’s totally convinced of her future demise.

Boyd is back to “being a crime boss is SO HARD, YA’LL”. He’s got trouble on three fronts—Theo Tonin/Nicky Augustine and their retribution for losing Drew Thompson, Ellen Mae, and now Johnny being a backstabber.

Snake Bite Boy is back. I guess having a snake chew your face off is no big deal. Because by my calculation, this entire season has occurred over about two weeks, max.

Boyd is going after Johnny.

I love how all the Marshals are so blasé about the fact that The Tonin is totally going to have someone murder Drew in prison. They’re just like, “Yeah, that is totally gonna happen.”

Raylan is clearly avoiding Winona/the baby by pursuing Ellen Mae.

And now Johnny is going to try and get to her, too, because Theo Tonin said so.

As per usual, Limehouse knows everything and plays dumb anyway. He is not dealing with Johnny.

Interesting: Limehouse references Quarles, but says “a man lost his arm”. Not “a man died”. So…Quarles is still alive?

Boyd is planning on raiding Noble’s Holler for Ellen Mae, but Nicky Augustine offers him the money to, well basically buy Ellen Mae and get Johnny in the bargain to boot. Is Nicky maybe in trouble with Theo for losing Drew?

Justified takes some criticism for its level of violence, so what is Boyd’s response to walking into a room and having everyone draw down? “Now why would you want to legislate gun control?” said sarcastically.

I love that Nicky apologizes to Ava. For a show that has a lot of disposable prostitute characters and is very liberal with the use of the word “whore”, Justified is consistently respectful of its female characters.

Nicky Augustine (to Boyd): I’m going to need Google Translate on my phone if I keep talking to you.

Ava’s on her way to get Ellen Mae, but Raylan is already there, with Brooks and Gutterson in tow.

Limehouse and Brooks going to toe to toe is kind of awesome. Brooks has been shortchanged this season (even more so than usual) but man, when she gets fired up, she is. The. Best.

Which is why Raylan takes her to Harlan with him while Gutterson gets stuck on sentry detail. Because Gutterson can be trusted to hold his sh*t together on his own (unless Colton Rhodes shows up), while Rachel has been a little bit off the rails.

Did Limehouse seriously let Ellen Mae go?

Limehouse seems subdued after his misadventures with Quarles in season 3. He still has the potential to do anything—as Ava says, he’s already double-crossed her and Boyd once—but now he’s got a contemplative edge that fits better with overall tone of the show. Sure these people will get into fights and shoot at one another, but the bulk of Justified is just everybody trying to outthink everyone else.

Ellen Mae is gone, and is back at Nicky Cush’s place. We’ve only seen this guy once but I dig his vibe. He’s tweaky but he’s also a CRAZY CONSPIRACY THEORIST.

Nicky Cush: Hear that?
Ellen Mae: Hear what?
Nicky Cush: Exactly! They fly drones now!

See what I mean about how the writers make these background characters pop?

Nicky Cush gets the drop on Boyd et al wearing body armor and—a gas mask?—but Boyd shots him in the foot, which was not protected. During this whole confrontation, they’re discussing reading the same news article about robbers who used body armor. SEE?

Snake Bite Boy: Why you gotta be such a dick?
Raylan: It’s my job, being a dick. It’d be weird if you liked me.

Ellen Mae is with Cassie St. Cyr. So we’re tying up this church thing, too. And she tells Cassie about Delroy. So now Cassie is totally f*cked. Ava and/or Boyd is going to kill them both. Even though, technically, she doesn’t mention Ava.

Ava gets there first. And for the first time, I have no idea what Ava is really capable of. Remember when she was just a battered housewife?

So Colt shows up, Ava can’t pull the trigger, Boyd orders Colt to do it, and then…


Colt comes clean about Gutterson’s junkie buddy. This is only going to end one way.

And, well, Gutterson never misses.

But he…takes Colt’s sunglasses? Weird…?

Gutterson is looking a little shocky, which is unusual for him. And I cannot tell how sincere Cassie St. Cyr is—she seems like maybe she’s actually going to leave the grifting behind, but…she is a con artist.

No no no—that ominous piano theme starts up as Boyd and Ava talk.

Get rid of Delroy’s body…? Didn’t they already dump him in a toxic chemical pool? What’s left?

LEGIT TERRIFYING—Winona gets a mysterious new rocking chair and who is assembling it? Detroit thug Picker. Nooooooooo…

Gutterson’s body count so far: Four? I think it’s four.
Raylan’s body count so far: 2/17