Justified Season 6, Episode 3 recap.

The dialogue on Justified is always good, but this episode was SPECTACULAR. This episode includes the line, “I’m going to shoot your dick off,” which has to be one of the top-five Justified one-liners of all time, although Ava telling the Marshals she had to puke was also golden. As entertaining as Raylan’s threats always are, Ty Walker is also a source of verbal joy. He’s every bit as loquacious as Boyd, who does not appreciate it when someone turns his thing against him. This episode is full of wonderful moments, including a Wynn Duffy classic involving a tanning bed, and Choo Choo is proving delightful. So far the final season is off to a great start.

Sam Elliott without a mustache is freaking me out. But let’s say this upfront—Avery Markham is SCARY. He’s setting up to be a Mags Bennett-level threat, with a dash of Ellstin Limehouse, just to be extra terrifying. Now that we know who all the players are, this episodes starts pitting people against each other. Vasquez and Rachel rattle Ava’s cage, Ava stirs up Ty Walker, Avery warns off Boyd and Ava, and Boyd point-blank tells Katherine Hale that he’s going to kill Avery. And Raylan is pissing in everyone’s corn flakes, naturally.

The Marshals’ case against Boyd isn’t coming together quickly enough, so Ava and Raylan are both under pressure to deliver. Ava has to get some worthwhile information from Boyd, and Raylan and Rachel spend a day driving around Harlan, trying to find someone to turn on him. Everything is undercut with nerves and tension, and it seems like Raylan is acutely aware of how high the stakes are. When Rachel asks if he really thinks he can do his usual white knight routine, he attempts to play it off cavalierly, but for the first time, Raylan Givens is clearly nervous. He doesn’t know how this is going to end, and now he has something to lose.

Boyd, too, has a lot on the line. Avery Markham is apparently some kind of Harlan County boogeyman based on the way Boyd reacts to his presence in Ava’s house—equal parts obsequious and snaky. None of Boyd’s plans to take over Harlan County have ever panned out and now he’s back to robbing banks for other people and he seems particularly galled by that. He’s getting yanked around by Katherine Hale and threatened by Avery Markham, he’s not sure if can trust Ava, and now there’s a guy who does his whole smooth-talking criminal thing—it’s a rough start for Boyd. Just as you can sense Raylan’s nerves, you can feel Boyd’s desperation. Not necessarily to come out on top, just to be done with these people. Boyd has never felt more dangerous than he did vowing to kill Avery. Suddenly, he’s playing like he doesn’t care about the outcome just as Raylan seems to be losing some of his swagger.

And caught in the middle is Ava, who is not as hard as Avery warns her she has to be in order to survive. Oh, she’s tougher than she was, but Avery isn’t wrong—Boyd is just pretending, and by extension, so is Ava. They make all these plans, they keep trying to be the king and queen of Harlan County’s criminal homecoming court, but it never works out. Boyd, especially, seems like he can’t take it any longer. Ava just doesn’t want to go back to jail, but Boyd is taking being a pawn really hard. He hates Avery, he LOATHES Katherine Hale. I don’t know how it will play out, but Boyd will do a lot of damage before it’s over. He’s most dangerous when cornered, and he is well and truly cornered.

Raylan’s body count so far: 0/19