“God himself couldn’t save your daddy on that day. It’s why I stopped praying.” – Zachariah Randolph
The manhunt has expanded, and Art is back in the big leather chair, replacing Rachel as the point person for the RICO case. If they don’t get things under control before too long, it will certainly tarnish their professional reputations. Art’s a confident boss, and Rachel could’ve done a good job if she’d been immune to Raylan’s charm and wry smile. I don’t think Rachel has any romantic feelings for Raylan, however I do believe she didn’t have enough experience before her being interim boss. Art’s better at handling what Raylan likes to dish out as a modern-day John Wayne.
All hasn’t been lost during Rachel’s spin in the big chair. Boyd’s been shot, caught and handcuffed to a hospital bed nursing his wounds. Raylan’s quick to poke his finger in both his physical and emotional wounds as it relates to Ava.
Ava didn’t blink twice before shooting Boyd last week, and perhaps relied too heavily on her previous tryst with Raylan in his not shooting her in return. He stood still like a lovesick puppy while she escaped. Everyone knows he could’ve given her a flesh wound or startled her with a bullet at her feet. Well, that’s not the storyline the writers wanted to extend these last few episodes before the series finale.
It seems we’re continuing with the theme of trust, and this week, additional focus includes couples, partnerships and loyalty. Katherine and Avery are the most dangerous of the lot because they’d just as soon shoot each other from a perceived or real threat to their person or business. Boyd’s always thought of himself as an outlaw, and wanted Ava to be Bonnie to his Clyde. She’s always had different goals in mind that didn’t include delusions of national bank robberies and high-speed chases. With no one else to turn to, Ava reaches out to uncle Zachariah, lugging ten million dollars behind them high into the Kentucky backcountry.
The most unexpected partnership is between Wynn and Mickey, a bromance if there ever was one. Wynn and Mickey are a good example of a dysfunctional couple that has grown apart over the years because they’ve taken each other for granted. The secrets they share both bind and could destroy.
The devil, Avery Markham, and his mistress, Katherine Hale, square off in tonight’s episode as both their camps have diminished along with fear they once transmitted. Choo Choo, Ty, and Sergeant are dead and buried. Katherine’s never had a right-hand man, and she’d never trust a woman with her secrets. What’s the devil and his mistress to do when all else is failing? They cling to each other in a dance macabre, each with a hidden weapon should there be last minute doubts.
Avery’s remaining foot soldier, Boone, is a caricature, and I’m waiting for him to meet the other end of Raylan’s pistol. He’s watched one too many Westerns and tried to pattern himself after the villains traditionally dressed in dark or black clothes.
I wonder where we’re headed in the final episodes. Puzzle pieces are in short supply, and tensions are high at the FBI office. Boyd’s still rotten to the core, and his crew members are dropping like veritable flies. Earl and Carl are too gullible for their own good, but if they were smarter, Boyd wouldn’t have been able to manipulate them over successive seasons. Criminal masterminds, if not always the brightest in the room, are the most unpredictable and ruthless.
The bodies are piling up, not surprising, given the plotline. What is surprising is the manner in which they’re being stacked in a corner. To trade on a cliché, there is no honor among thieves. On Justified, loyalty and love trumps honor. Unfortunate for Mickey, he realized this too late. Never second-guess your friends and loved ones because they’ll be the ones who gather around your deathbed.
Raylan’s still cleaning up the county because it’s what he does. Those who built temporary tents in Harlan ought to have checked and balanced his professional record with his personal mantra of good eventually prevailing over evil. Most didn’t, and suffered the consequences of their undercooked plans and from the man in the Stetson hat. Raylan has to fix what’s broken or it’ll kill him on the inside. Hopefully, he’ll be left alive in the final episode to join Winona and baby Willa.