Justified Season 6, Episode 7 recap

We’re officially halfway through the final season. IT’S NOT ENOUGH.

So much of Justified has been defined by allegiances and legacy, and now more than ever a person’s loyalty is what matters most. Ty Walker is injured and on the run, and his Tigerhawk crew is no more. He’s got no backup and few resources, but he proves incredibly dangerous and wily. Avery undercut his support, and as long as Ty is in the wind, I have to wonder if he’ll be gunning for Avery now. Avery cut him loose because the Marshals are mounting a manhunt, and he woos Ty’s last loyal soldier with money and a promise of freedom. Like you could ever really be free of a man like Avery Markham—just ask Katherine Hale.

Art continues prodding the bruise that is Grady Hale’s death and who did or did not rat him out. Ostensibly, this season is about the final takedown of Boyd Crowder, but the fifteen-year-old death of Grady Hale is the real mystery. It’s a side plot, like discovering who Waldo Truth really was on the way to Drew Thompson, but I think what really happened to Grady Hale is going matter much more than Waldo Truth ever did. After all, Avery Markham and Katherine Hale are the forces pushing and pulling Boyd and Ava around, and they also each think the other is the one who turned on Grady. When that situation comes to a head, the fallout will be nuclear.

Speaking of Boyd and Ava, The Boyd and Ava Sh*tshow is rapidly gaining momentum and spiraling out of control. They are the most f*cked up couple. Boyd drags Ava out to his cabin in Bulletville—scene of the shootout with Bo Crowder at the end of season one—and they spend the world’s least romantic night not talking about the elephant in the room. But then, in a standoff that is as tense as anything Justified has ever done, they finally have it out, and Ava confesses that she’s been snitching to Raylan. Boyd forgives her—he DID abandon her in prison, after all—and Ava promises to tell him everything she’s shared with Raylan, and they reassure each other of their trustworthiness, but can they truly trust each other? Ava may well screw Raylan over—it was inevitable that she would break—but will Boyd really let it go and not second-guess her constantly? Especially since he seemed more upset about the prospect of Ava sleeping with Raylan than her actually informing on him. Jealousy and Boyd Crowder is a bad mix.

Another complicating factor for Boyd and Ava is whatever Uncle Zachariah is up to in the old mine shaft. He convinces Boyd’s remaining henchman to leave him alone in the mineshaft so that he can go tell Boyd in person about the guy who just died down there, but it’s still not clear what Zachariah is up to. Is he trying to help Ava in some way? He’s not fond of the Crowders. Or is he trying to turn the situation to his own advantage for some reason? Like Grady Hale’s death, Zachariah’s plans feel like a crucial piece to a larger puzzle.

And then there’s Raylan, finally meeting his baby daughter. She’s named Willa—I’m surprised she’s not named like, Rae Ann—and she has a heart murmur that may or may not be a big deal. For the first time, Raylan’s loyalties are shifting from the US Marshals. He leaves during the manhunt for Ty Walker, and while he doesn’t stay out of the loop entirely, you can practically see his priorities shifting throughout the episode. And with Winona finally accepting that Raylan is a lawman first and foremost, Raylan is on the cusp of having it all—the woman he’s always wanted, the daughter he just fell in love with, and the career he can’t give up. Maybe that’s why it felt so portentous when Raylan told Winona that of course she would see him again. We’re in “one last job” territory, and the show’s refrain has always been “you’ll never leave Harlan alive”. Boyd and Raylan both want to leave Harlan County, but only one of them has a chance of making it, most likely at the other’s expense.

Raylan’s body count so far: 1/20