Justified Season 5, Episode 11 recap.

Three episodes left. As always, it’s never enough when it comes to Justified.

Why weren’t you where you needed to be? That’s the question Mrs. Mullen asks Raylan as he drives her to the hospital. It’s not a simple question and it doesn’t have a simple answer. At this point, the rift between Art and Raylan is not only very wide but it goes back almost to the beginning of Raylan’s tenure in the Eastern Kentucky District’s office. The seeds of Art’s mistrust were planted when Raylan bailed Winona out by returning money she stole from the evidence locker and those seeds have sprouted and grown through all Raylan’s many misadventures with the Detroit mob and Boyd Crowder, culminating with the murder of Nicky Augustine on the tarmac. Art can’t come clean, Raylan can’t come clean, or else they’ll burn the whole office, and it’s destroyed their relationship.

Art is shot, caught up while trying to remove Allison to a safer location at Raylan’s behest and it’s the thing we always kind of knew would happen—Art being seriously injured because of Raylan’s bullsh*t. With Art in bad shape in the hospital, the Marshal’s office turns to finding his shooter. Gutterson is all set to go out and hunt down Daryl Crowe—the obvious suspect—because Raylan has been a horrible influence on him, but for once Raylan toes the line and stays in the office, running down suspects related to Theo Tonin, as directed.

Which means arresting Picker, who happens to be in a meeting with Boyd, Wynn Duffy and the mysterious Catherine. Raylan sees through Tonin’s confession of hiring Picker to kill Art—it’s just Tonin entertaining himself and getting payback on the guy who killed his son. Raylan is convinced Daryl Crowe shot Art, and he did, but that isn’t how it plays out. Because the Crowes ruin everything, Daryl must ruin Kendall’s life. It’s not clear how Daryl convinced Kendall to confess for him, but the end result is that Kendall—who is a CHILD—is going down for Art’s attempted murder. I can’t imagine Wendy will just let that go, and Raylan has never been more menacing then when promising to destroy Daryl’s world.

Meanwhile Boyd has to get out of the jam he’s in with Duffy and Picker, and he does so by going back to his sh*tkicker roots and blowing stuff up. Boyd has been pushed and pushed all season, but as always happens when he’s backed into a corner, he comes out swinging, and man, does he ever take a swing here. He doesn’t just murder Picker, he blows Picker up in an occupied hotel room. It’s one of the most chilling deaths doled out on Justified, period. And what, pray tell, does Catherine hope to accomplish by locking the hotel room door after Boyd has left? Surely someone else in the hotel just heard the small explosion, plus they’re now locked in with the BLOWN UP MAN on the sofa.

Ava’s jailhouse plot feels incidental to the larger action going on in this episode, but she does, for the time being, seem to get away with Judith’s murder. And more, her place as jail drug queenpin seems secure when Judith’s gang gives her an ice cream cup tribute in the cafeteria. Ava is one of the only people for whom things are working out this episode, the other being Brooks. She’s named interim chief deputy while Art is out of commission. Art getting shot wasn’t unexpected by this point, but if anything happens to Rachel because of Raylan’s hillbilly vendetta, I will riot. There are two episodes left and Raylan is gunning for Daryl Crowe. Plenty of time for him to ruin Rachel’s life, too. Raylan, you really should have gone to Florida.

Raylan’s body count so far: 2/19