In the latest Justified recap, Boyd tests Raylan to see if he’s willing to cross the line between cop and criminal to finally end him, Ava tries to make her great escape and Markham proves he’s not finished just yet…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
For six seasons now, Raylan Givens has been a man driven by the hunt.
It didn’t really matter who he was hunting down or for what — once he got on someone’s trail, there was no giving up until they were dead or in jail. For a U.S. Marshal, whose entire job is predicated on seeking out fugitives, it seemed like a job Raylan was built to do.
But at what point does the hunt consume you and justice becomes vengeance?
For those same six seasons while Raylan has been putting all manner of criminal behind bars, Boyd Crowder has been Harlan County’s biggest criminal who barely ever saw the inside of a jail cell. He’s murdered people, stolen, kidnapped, coerced, blackmailed, sold drugs, and probably a few more felonies and yet even now as a fugitive following a $10 million dollar heist and after being shot by his own fiancée, Boyd has once again managed to wiggle free of the long arm of the law.
So Raylan’s had enough of the hunt and now it’s about kill or be killed because by the time ‘Justified’ comes to an end next week, he’s resolved in one of them not actually leaving Harlan alive. He put down his badge because Raylan knows what he’s doing isn’t legal and the last thing he wanted to do was drag his friends and colleagues down with him. He’s no longer worried about Ava or the money she stole. Finding her is just about finding Boyd.
By the end of the penultimate episode of ‘Justified’ titled ‘Collateral’ — Boyd knows it, too. And he’s loving every minute of it.
With that let’s recap the latest episode of ‘Justified’:
I Know These Hills
Raylan heads up into the mountains to kick off the episode this week as he hunts for a cabin owned by a man named Grubes, who he believes is the contact Ava will use to escape Kentucky and it’s the same guy Boyd planned to employ to help Ty Walker get out of town after his dust up with the cops. Raylan runs into Cope, a mountain man who first appeared in season 4 who also had dealings with his father Arlo for many years. Raylan doesn’t seem to interested in walking down memory lane, only that Cope lead him to Grubes’ cabin, but once he hears about his story and the way his father manipulated these people for his own gain after also finding out that his mother’s cousin Mary died recently, he decides to give something back.
Raylan signs over his house and his property to Cope for him and his family to use. It’s time to cut ties to Kentucky and giving back to the very people Arlo robbed for years seems like a good start.
While Raylan is stomping through the hills of Kentucky, Avery Markham is saying his final goodbyes to his fiancée Katherine after she was killed a week ago by Wynn Duffy’s driver Mikey. Markham has a solemn farewell with the woman he’s loved for the past 30 years, but also gives a very powerful speech about his constant standing as a practical man. Every bone in his body is screaming for him to disembowel Wynn Duffy and leave his insides outside, but he knows that gutting a rat will only bring more eyeballs on the business he’s trying to conduct in Harlan so he opts for a strategic attack instead of one build on rage and anger.
Instead of exacting revenge, Markham keeps his eye on the prize and he’s had his heart set on Harlan County all season long. So he sends Boon after Loretta McCready for one final attempt to procure her land before he burns her down just like he has everybody else so Harlan’s weed business will belong solely to him. When Markham arrives, he’s more than prepared to put a bullet into Loretta to finally put an end to this rivalry, but he gives her the chance to explain why he should keep her alive.
Loretta proposes that they become partners in this new weed venture. She will be his grower and get him on the land he’s been killing to buy and in return, Loretta will vouch for him to the people of Harlan, which will make his drug dealing that much easier to swallow. Markham smirks and says just how much Loretta reminds him of Mags Bennett and it seems she rubbed off on Loretta in more ways than just teaching her how to make some apple pie moonshine.
Up in the mountain, Zachariah has given up on running away from the cabin and instead tells Ava that they should just wait it out because with Boyd in jail, no one is going to find this place and after a couple of weeks the cops will be searching in Virginia or Tennessee and no longer looking in Kentucky anyways. Ava does not want to comply and when she hears over the police scanner that Boyd broke free and is considered ‘armed and dangerous’ she knows it’s time to get moving. Zachariah sends her packing back down the mountain with a sack full of cash while he sits in the cabin with a double-barrel shotgun pointed directly at the door just waiting for Boyd to arrive.
And with everything else going on, Art has to personally handle the man hunt for Raylan before he gets into even deeper shit than he’s already in. They found Raylan’s car along with Earl in the backseat not to mention his badge and ID. Art tries to send out an SOS to find Raylan by issuing a bulletin statewide that a Marshal is believed to be injured or in danger and if anyone finds him, they are to assist and bring him in.
Unfortunately, USADA Vasquez gets wind of this and shuts it down immediately. He not only cancels the bulletin, but he calls the FBI and gets a BOLO (be on the lookout) for Raylan with plans to indict him the minute he crawls out from whatever rock he’s hiding.
Dog Grooming Getaway Car
Thanks to his “assist” after calling in Katherine Hale’s murder, Wynn Duffy has struck a deal with the government and he will be placed in protective custody much to the chagrin of Vazquez, who would like nothing more than to bite the mustache off his smug face. Duffy collects his personal belongings and even though he’s a rat, he’s not stupid because when Vazquez tries one final time — off the record even — to get Wynn to admit who killed his old boss Simon Poole, he rebuffs and says he has no idea who did it. (Wynn did it in case you need a memory jog).
Instead of leaving town, Wynn meets up with his local ‘fixer’ who he pays to get new identification as well as a getaway car. He asks for a used dog grooming van because one can assume his new business will involve brushing puppies? The best part of the scene is how Wynn pays for the services.
The government has frozen all of his bank accounts and his assets, but before the police arrived on the scene at his motor-home, Wynn robbed Katherine Hale of everything she had from ears to toes including that expensive tennis bracelet she kept flaunting after stealing it earlier in the season. Wynn hands it over as payment because he’s not sticking around with hopes that the Federal government will protect him.
No, Wynn has designs on finding that $10 million dollars and taking it for himself.
The Driver and the Outlaw
The most intriguing parts of tonight’s episode of ‘Justified’ involved Boyd Crowder, which was a nice change from last week where he nearly disappeared off the canvas outside of his daring escape from police custody (thanks to Carl). First up was his encounter with a local Harlan Man (played by ‘Boardwalk Empire’ star Shea Whigham) named Hagan, who he kidnaps at gun point so he can use his truck after abandoning the cop car he used to escape the hospital.
Back at the Hagan’s place, Boyd is readying his escape after getting some new clothes, but he can’t just drive off in his truck no matter how much he’d like to take the keys and pull away.
The authorities are looking for Boyd Crowder, but they aren’t searching for this random Harlan resident so the safest way for him to escape is to ride low while his new friend drives him out of town. Hagan knows if he gets in the truck with Boyd, chances are he’s never making it home again. So he does everything in his power to avoid that ride including some heavy-handed flattery, which appears to work at least on some level as Boyd let’s his steely gaze slip in favor of a pearly white smile.
“You the nearest thing we’ve got to Billy the Kid we got around here”
As much as Boyd enjoys having smoke blown up his ass, he still needs Hagan to take him out to the hills where he intends on slipping up the mountain so he can find Ava and maybe more importantly find his $10 million. Once Hagan knows he’s not getting away, he finally comes clean with Boyd although he promises that his words about this famous criminal from Harlan were all true.
“I knew the minute you stepped into my cab, I was going to be staring down the black hole of your gun. Cut me down like the plague you are”
Hagan tries as best he can to talk his way out of the situation by reminding Boyd that the greatest outlaws of all time all had a story worth telling, but they weren’t told by the people who got murdered and left in shallow graves. Boyd isn’t concerned about a lasting legacy or having his name etched in the minds of school children like some kind of Kentucky boogieman.
“Well, I don’t give a shit about the ballad of Boyd Crowder. I’ll be dead and gone when that song gets sung.”
Hagan realizing that he’s out of options throws out one more name to try and either save his life or invoke some kind of feeling in Boyd. He asks if he remembers ‘Hut McKean’ and while that name may mean something to somebody at ‘Justified’, it clearly doesn’t ring a bell with Boyd. He doesn’t give a shit about Hut McKean or this hostage who is trying to play philosophical head games with him.
“You think you’re better than me cause you play by the rules? Whose rules? My life is my own. I don’t give a shit about what you said. I’m an outlaw”
One bullet later, Hagan is dead and Boyd has another person to add to his legendary body count. The entire scene was painted as one big picture to color the lines about who Boyd Crowder really is at the end of the day. Yes, he loved Ava, there’s no doubt about that. He probably cared for Carl, Earl and all his boys at some point in time. Hell, Boyd may have even loved his cousin Johnny before he put a bullet in him. But at the end of the day, through it all, Boyd Crowder is, was and always will be an outlaw.
Outlaws aren’t built for happy endings. Outlaws are built to be cold blooded and single minded of purpose. Boyd wants one thing more than anything else right now — the $10 million dollars he stole from Markham and no one — not Ava, not Raylan and certainly not some shit kicking, ass kissing redneck is going to stop him from attaining that goal.
He’s going to get it or like many outlaws before him, die trying.
When Raylan finally arrives at Grube’s cabin, he finds Zachariah there waiting on him but thankfully he doesn’t catch a bullet for his trouble. Zachariah tells Raylan that Ava already left and he has no idea where she’s gone and that’s the truth because he didn’t want there to be anyway Boyd could somehow torture it out of him. He also throws a few insults Raylan’s way after he and Boyd tore Ava apart all for the sake of one upping each other, while she was pulled at the seams until there was nothing left. The speech may have hit home to some degree, but it also doesn’t take Raylan long to figure out that Ava is carrying at least part of that fortune she stole, which means she’s going back down the mountain.
Sure enough, Ava is trying to old end around while Raylan and Boyd go up the mountain, she’s coming down. Ava makes a call while tumbling down the grassy hill side, but who was she talking to? What she doesn’t account for is Constable Bob hot on Raylan’s trail after his old Marshal buddy ‘borrowed’ his new Crown Victoria and he had to go searching for him with his trusted Gremlin. Bob doesn’t find Raylan, but he finds Ava and he manages to subdue her and tie her to one of his security handles in the Gremlin while he waits on Raylan to arrive.
A car pulling up and a gunshot in the distance force Bob to go look to see what’s happening, but Ava already knows all too well. A few more shots ring out and Ava knows that Boyd has arrived, Bob surely got shot and she needs to run for dear life.
The beat up Gremlin is no match for her strength, but after escaping the frying pan, Ava jumps right into the fire because after making it out of the hills and all the way back to the infamous Harlan bridge where she first struck her deal with Raylan all those weeks ago, she runs into a pair of crooked cops under the employ of Avery Markham. They aren’t interested in Ava’s payoff money because Markham is giving them plenty.
They are going to hand deliver her to Markham, which spells almost certain doom for poor Ava. She does manage to leave a small calling card behind — Dewey Crowe’s gator tooth necklace and that just means somebody is guaranteed to find it in the finale.
Evil Has Won
In the search for Ava and the money, Raylan and Boyd cross paths and as the gun fire ensues, the two old mining pals engage in one of the most enthralling conversations in the history of ‘Justified’.
Boyd realizes at that moment that Raylan is no longer after him as a man of the law. This is just a dog with a bone who can’t let it go. This is Captain Ahab and he is Moby Dick.
“You’ve given up everything you are so that you can murder me.”
~ Boyd to Raylan
The back and forth continues as Boyd tests Raylan’s resolve and each time the U.S. Marshal passes, the outlaw knows the line between cop and criminal is fading away. He pokes and prods at Raylan and even tempts him with the chance to save Constable Bob, who can be heard moaning at the bottom of the hill. Boyd tells Raylan that he had to shoot Bob and here’s his chance to run down and save him. When Raylan hesitates and says that Bob can take care of himself, Boyd knows he’s finally pushed his old foe over the proverbial edge.
“Why, hell, Raylan. Then I have already won.”
Finally realizing just what he’s doing, Raylan abandons his pursuit to put a bullet into Boyd and instead runs down to help tend to Bob, who has been shot in the gut and in the shoulder. With Raylan gone, Boyd finally arrives at Grubes’ cabin where he shoots Zachariah and demands to know Ava’s location as well as the place she’s hidden his stolen cash. Zachariah declines and takes his final shot to kill Boyd when he reveals a dynamite vest hidden under his jacket. He throws the switch, but Boyd gets away in time. He might have to clean some Zachariah off his clothing, but Boyd is safe and sound and on his way to find the money.
Finally, Raylan rushes Bob to the hospital after calling ahead to give them the warning that an officer was shot. Raylan making the call also alerts the authorities to his presence and when he arrives and hands Bob over to the paremedics, he soon finds himself staring down the barrel of two guns pointed directly at him.
His desire to end Boyd Crowder nearly cost Bob his life, but because he did the right thing, now Raylan has to stand tall before the man after he went rogue. Ava’s on her way to Avery Markham to answer for what she’s done and Boyd Crowder is determined to either escape with his ultimate prize or end up in a pine box where he will be immortalized as Harlan’s greatest outlaw.
Best Lines of the Week:
A criminal rap sheet on Boyd Crowder that reads like a live album. A double live album!
Hagan: “They put out your greatest hits it’d be a double album”
Boyd: “Shit, double live, man. From Japan!”
Hagan: “Hell yeah, all killer, no filler”
Boyd: “Konnichiwa, bitches”
Something tells me quick draw Boon will have one final chance to introduce Jenny to Raylan next week.
“Good news — Jenny here you’ve got to leave her firing chamber empty, avoid an accidental discharge. Bad news — her chamber’s full of promise now”
Art is out looking for Raylan aka dumb ass
“Oh you know, scouring the countryside for dumb ass”
He’s got balls as big as Death Stars but you can’t bribe him with sex
“Before you try to seduce me, know it’s been tried before”
The tale of Raylan Givens?
“You sure you don’t want me to kill you, Raylan? Keep you a hero. Makes for a hell of a bedtime story.”
It all comes down to next week — the series finale of ‘Justified’. Make sure to tune in at 10pm ET on FX and come back here for the last ever recap for the series.