Justified: Cash Game Review

Justified needs to up its game for the final season. Here's Kendall's review of "Cash Game."

Ava’s torn between her freedom at the hands of Raylan, and Boyd perhaps injuring or killing her. What’s a forgotten fiancé to do? Who should she trust? Will the thrill of betraying Boyd outweigh the risk of one of Boyd’s lackeys running her off the road or shooting her in the middle of the night as she returns from her new job at the beauty parlor?

Ava knows Boyd almost as well as he knows himself. Her time in prison and possible return haunts her. If for no other reason than Boyd’s failed promises, and her feeling abandoned by him while incarcerated, she might enjoy seeing Boyd sent to prison.

I like the new office dynamic of Rachel as interim boss while Art recuperates from gunshot wounds. Raylan isn’t management material. He’s better suited as a one-man wrecking crew in the classic Western genre. He’s an evolved cowboy who believes in equal opportunities for all, but don’t expect him to admit that to anyone.

A new villain in this last season is Ty Walker, a man with a paramilitary background with someone else pulling his puppet strings. His slick suit, gray Mercedes, and unkempt beard makes his face stick out like a peacock in the rolling Kentucky dust.

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Boyd’s still in cahoots with Katherine Hale and Wynn Duffy, his recent bank robbery the central focus of their current scheme. We’ll wait and see if there’s honor among these thieves, but one thing is for sure, Katherine better keep Ava’s name out of her mouth in Boyd’s presence. Ava’s his true weakness. If there’s a reckoning, it will be at his urging or hands.

The three-ring circus comes into better view in the real estate office of Calhoun Schrier, when Raylan and Ty meet again. We discover that Ty’s blackmailing Calhoun for the ledger and documents stolen from the safe deposit box from an unlikely source later in the episode. Ty dispatches Choo-Choo, a wall of a man with shrapnel rolling about his head, to follow Raylan in hopes of finding the bank robber.

Katherine’s paramour Avery Markham, a criminal businessman, might be the puppet master she and Wynn are trying to rob. It would be fitting in their criminal universe because I suspect he had something to do with her husband’s death. Hell hath no fury like a grieving widow in bed with the devil who murdered her husband. There’s something about Mary Steenburgen as a cold suburban lady boss who seems out of place in Harlan. She’s never been sinister enough for my tastes.

Dewey hasn’t been missed yet, let’s see how long it takes for Rachel and Raylan to notice. One of Boyd’s employees finds his blood-soaked crocodile teeth necklace, puts it on briefly, and then hangs it on a stuffed squirrel. This might be an eventual clue, or a red herring to keep Dewey’s memory alive.

Boyd’s tightening his grip on what he suspects is Ava’s betrayal with planted stolen loot. Raylan gives her a figurative pat on the shoulders and sends her back on her undercover mission. Boyd’s world is becoming more frightening and lonely as those once loyal to him are choosing sides based on their own self-preservation. No more taking one for the team.

Are we getting closer to discovering the connective tissue to the ledger and property deeds? Is the missing money buried beneath Pizza Portal that at one time was a bank?

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3 out of 5