Justified: Dark As a Dungeon Review

Raylan's cleaning house literally and figuratively on this week's episode of Justified. Here's our review...

“What’s your rate? You’re a whore. What do you charge? I’m just curious.”  – Raylan Givens 

Last week’s episode of Justifed, “The Hunt,” dealt with a variety of emotional, spiritual and physical pursuits. This week’s “Dark As A Dungeon” is in part a continuation and its opposite.

Raylan’s purging and burning mementos from his past, although painful on some level, is necessary for him to move on as person and federal agent. Holding onto trinkets at this point in the show would only weigh him down as he wants to take an active role as Willa’s father and provider to Winona.                                                                                     

Raylan’s cleaning house literally and figuratively, perhaps with idea of fitting the downsized contents of his new life into the trunk of his car. He’s making peace with the dead while continuing to hunt for the crooked and rotten among the living. No need to look back from across the state or across the country in Florida with unfinished business.

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Ty Walker has wiggled his way inside a safe haven while trying to remain alive and plot against his former boss. Boyd thinks he’s making inroads with his flawed criminal scheme, but there’s a reptile coiling around his ankles and likely to cause him to stumble, if not fall flat on his face.

No good deed goes unpunished, or at least this applies to Zachariah. Katherine and Wynn aren’t faring much better as Avery’s past shady dealings have returned to haunt them. It must be a cold day in Hades when criminals enlist the help of law enforcement officers.

Raylan’s going about town doing his best snake charmer impression, magical flute at the ready, as loose serpents peer out from the weeds as he tunes his instrument. When finesse doesn’t work, there are rakes, hoes and shotguns to exterminate unwanted creepy crawlers.

Ava’s attracted to Raylan, but he has a daughter and ex-wife who complicate matters. Raylan tried to stoke the embers of their previous entanglement, however he lost to Boyd’s hold over Ava. Boyd’s searching for available cash and door prizes, and the person or persons blocking his path best be warned he’ll plow through using his tricks and tools.

The secrets we keep can sometimes grow roots and become more formidable even when we think ignoring will cause them to wither away and die; the opposite tends to happen. Our dark dungeons feed off our fear until we learn to combat and overcome the whispers and hidden corners of the imagination. All we have to do is stand still and face what we think will swallow us whole. 

Raylan’s an honorable man who had been plagued by his father’s illegal dealing and backstabbing. The emotional tug-of-war at the beginning of tonight’s episode was quite different than the end once he faced his father’s ghost that had haunted since his death. 

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The trip down memory lane of his childhood and past military service helped Raylan put things into perspective. The foot locker, though out of sight, was occupying mental space and had to be sacrificed in the ceremonial fire. The charred remains on the front lawn of his former home symbolized a door that can’t be reopened. That dark dungeon has been burned out of existence. Emptying out those dark places ought to allow for a future with baby Willa and Winona as the series ends. Let’s hope Raylan gets the closure he’s been yearning for without regrets before heading to parts unknown or Florida as a family man.

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3.5 out of 5