Justified Season 6, Episode 6 recap

Well that escalated quickly. In that way that it has, just when you think you’ve figured out how Justified is zigging, it zags and the board changes. Following Ava’s attempt to run away, she, Raylan, and Boyd have a tense confrontation at her house. The scene is staged to call back to the pilot episode when Raylan ambushed Boyd at dinner at Ava’s—fried chicken was on the menu then, too—but this time, everyone walks away from the meeting. At times throughout Justified Boyd and Raylan have operated quite far apart, but this season has done a great job of bringing them together more. This scene has echoes of the past, sure, but it also feels like a warm-up for things to come. It all started with Boyd, Raylan, and Ava, and that’s where it will end, too.

Ava manages to convince Boyd that Raylan just dropped by for a social call and buys herself another day, but Limehouse ruins her effort. He calls Boyd, offering to give him information about Ava’s flight attempt, planting a seed of doubt in Boyd’s mind. Like Raylan said previously, he probably knows deep down that Ava’s release from prison was too good to be true, but he doesn’t want to face that reality. But now Limehouse is forcing it out. Ava stiffed him on that money she dangled to buy her freedom, so he’s throwing her to the wolves. Limehouse is 100% done with everyone in Harlan County’s bullsh*t. Limehouse has always felt like a wild card character, as likely to help as hurt. He’s definitely out to hurt Ava right now.

And there’s a mystery about the person who turned on Katherine Hale’s husband and got him sent to prison. Katherine thinks it’s Avery, Avery thinks it was Katherine, and Brooks, who actually worked the case as a rookie, wasn’t aware of an informant. So who ratted out Hale? Undoubtedly the answer will matter. Speaking of Avery, his potential Kentucky pot empire is already in jeopardy. Choo Choo does not do a good job disposing of Calhoun’s body, which leads to the authorities discovering it, which leads to a stand-off in the woods. Also, Gutterson is DETERMINED to make sure that Avery hates his guts. I think it’s because Avery called him Raylan’s sidekick to his face.

The stand-off puts a sizeable dent in Tigerhawk Securities. Ty Walker is wounded, two of the grunts are dead at the scene, and in one of the all-time saddest Justified send-offs, Choo Choo tries to kill himself on the train tracks, but he parks in front of a slow-moving freight train that stops before hitting him, so he succumbs to his bullet wounds (I’m adding him to Gutterson’s body count, since he got two shots to Raylan’s one). Poor Choo Choo, his Army ties to Ty brought him into Avery Markham’s path, but as Raylan says, he just doesn’t know crime. He didn’t kill Calhoun’s mistress, so now the Marshals have a witness that can put Ty and the Tigerhawk guys at Calhoun’s office the night he died. The ground is shifting under Avery’s feet.

And it’s literally shifting under Boyd’s. He’s still digging through the old mine with Ava’s uncle, Zachariah. Uncle Z saves Boyd from a floor collapse, but he ends up tossing one of Boyd’s henchmen to his death at the end of the episode. Dammit, Zachariah, don’t you know Boyd has had a really hard time recruiting talent to his organization? He can’t afford to lose his good lackeys. So Zachariah is working some angle against Boyd, but it’s not clear yet what his endgame is. With Avery’s crew gutted, Boyd’s being thinned out by Zachariah, and Limehouse throwing a spanner into the works, it feels like alliances are about to shift. The only real question is whether Raylan is still standing at the end or not.

Raylan’s body count so far: 1/20