Justified Season 6, Episode 5 recap.

After last week’s most excellent episode, this week we take a slight step back. It’s not a bad episode at all, it just doesn’t have the same urgency as last week’s. The main things that happen, plot-wise, are that Ava attempts to bail—again—and Boyd thinks he has a way into the pizza vault that involves Ava’s uncle and a methane deposit. Also, two people are severely electrocuted, one person is exploded, and Choo Choo pokes Calhoun to death; Justified’s “ludicrous deaths” streak remains alive. And Wynn Duffy’s dum-dum bodyguard/boy toy, Mikey, thinks “aplex” is a word. You know, as in, the current events are so aplexing. Really, it’s these little flourishes that make Justified so special.

Ava suffers another attack of nerves and while I understand that her situation is tenuous and Raylan is not a comforting presence, I’m going to need her to sh*t or get off the pot. If she spends all season vacillating between trying to help Raylan bring down Boyd, thus buying her own freedom, or throwing in with Boyd’s last best hope at a life free of Dixie Mafia overlords, then I am going to get very tired of Ava. I do appreciate that Ava calls Raylan out on his still being in Kentucky, though. People need to keep reminding him that he doesn’t HAVE to stick around to see Boyd finished off. The only one pushing Raylan to “finish the job” is Raylan. And I’m sure it’s supposed to feel like we’re coming full circle by invoking Ava and Raylan’s previous romantic relationship at the end of the episode, but they’ve come so far from that moment that it feels like forcing a dynamic the show has organically grown past.

Since Ava’s flown the coop, Raylan has to call in reinforcements to track her down. He knows where she’s going—Ava only has one flight response, and that’s to run to Limehouse—but he doesn’t want to be seen chasing after her for fear of blowing her cover. So he calls his old buddy CONSTABLE BOB. Patton Oswalt is a terrific actor; the look on Bob’s face when he sees Raylan calling him is an entire lifetime unto itself. In the timeline of the show, it’s only been a few months since the events of season four, and in a single look, Oswalt tells us that Bob is craving more Adventuretime with Raylan Givens. Also, he’s now sporting a Raylan-esque goatee, so his hero-worship has reached new and terrifying heights.

Limehouse remains a cunning and frightening presence, and he’s not really buying into Ava’s escape plan. His speech about not being able to outrun the law is particularly disheartening—he’s basically saying that she’ll never outrun Raylan and he pretty much breaks Ava’s spirit. He forces her to take his lackey, Errol, on a wild goose chase for money to fuel Ava’s flight, which plot point only exists so that Raylan can nab Ava, and Constable Bob gets to enact a funny scene that ends with Errol getting tazered in the nuts. The whole Limehouse story feels kind of weird, like it might just be a one-off goodbye to Limehouse, Noble’s Holler, and Constable Bob. Hope not, it’s not a fitting end for any of them.

An emerging and intriguing development is the difference in the crews surrounding Boyd and Avery Markham. Boyd has long been plagued by a series of disappointing henchmen—except for Snakebite Jimmy, but even he was more heart than brains—but this season he actually has a competent crew around him. Markham, meanwhile, has Ty Walker and his moronic compatriots. Did I mention that Choo Choo POKED A MAN TO DEATH? This prevented them from getting crucial information. And Avery didn’t listen when Ty wanted to “speak freely”—this is the hubris that has tripped up every crime boss who’s come before him. Avery’s been away from Harlan for a long time, and if five seasons of Justified have taught us anything, it’s that it’s always the thing you don’t know—the advice you didn’t heed—that gets you in the end.

Raylan’s body count so far: 0/19