Justified: Noblesse Oblige Review

Things are about to erupt on Justified. Here is our review of the latest episode, "Noblesse Oblige!"

The next chapter in the recent bank robbery escapade began with Boyd and Ava reminiscing about their youth, and trying to cast an eye toward the future — if they could see through their drunken haze.

This episode is about secrets, lies. and self-interest. Raylan’s trying to maintain the law from Kentucky, when most of the trouble and action takes place in Harlan. Katherine Hale’s out for vengeance, and likely will topple nearby dominoes Wynn, Boyd and Ava.

Everyone and everything seems far removed from each other. If one seeks privacy to hatch and implement misdeeds once thought clever, then that’s great. However, when an unprotected woman, Ava, lives on the outskirts of town and the devil comes to visit, the silence and isolation could be deadly.

Ava’s trying to do her best as a criminal informant, spying on Boyd with pressure from Raylan, Rachel, and the FBI. It’s a dangerous game with a digital clock attached to explosives, and Ava’s running out of time. She’s being squeezed into the middle with unflattering options of betrayal, jail time, or death.

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Boyd and his crew have been exposed and can’t proceed with the next phase of their scheme. Boyd is clever and driven by greed. His lackeys follow him because they’ve nothing better to do. Ava was the obvious replacement to scout out the pizza parlor that was previously a bank. In Boyd’s world, something usually happens to push his back against the wall, and that came in the form of Choo Choo, who interrupted Ava’s covert reconnaissance mission. What happened next was to be expected – Boyd was kidnapped as a second warning, with the express purpose of convincing him to back off. No such thing will happen in Boyd’s mind.

The three-ring circus with Raylan as ringmaster travels throughout Harlan chasing after an assortment of local and out of town bad guys of varying intelligence. Pull the camera back to a wide shot and it feels like a waltz. Characters tend to philosophize, ping-pong witty down-home barbs, and wait for the next guy to make his move.

Boyd is a local bogeyman, but Avery seems to be a more treacherous villain. Viewers will have to wait and see which monster will remain standing after the smoke clears, after the last bullet has been fired, or the last stick of dynamite explodes. The terms have been set, the players identified, and the battle will take place.

This episode had good tension. The slower than normal pace allowed viewers to crawl inside the story. We saw Ava sitting in that chair, sweating, unsure if her charm would work, or if playing dumb or helpless would insult Avery. Avery enjoys emotional and mental torture as an initial threat. The removal of limbs, gouging of eyes, or death a next-level lesson to be taught.

Who will you bet on? My money’s on Raylan and Boyd squaring off after the others have fallen on their face in the Kentucky dust.

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3.5 out of 5