In the latest Justified recap, Raylan searches for Ava, Markham guns for revenge and the body count rises higher than ever before with only two episodes to go in the series….
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
One of the most brilliant aspects about ‘Justified’ over the six seasons the show has been on the air is the inclusion of so many appealing and colorful side characters. From the Bennett family in season two to Dewey Crowe to any number of cops, criminals and big bads, the casting and writing department at ‘Justified’ have worked overtime to make sure to fill in the edges rather acutely to surround Raylan Givens and Boyd Crowder with the right kinds of pawns to move around the board while they quietly stalk each other as the kings of Harlan County.
The final season has been no exception whether we’re talking about Sam Elliott returning to television to play Colorado weed kingpin Avery Markham, Mary Steenburgen as mafia wife Katherine Hale, Garrett Dillahunt as ex-commando Ty Walker or Jonathan Tucker as Bizarro Raylan Givens aka Boon. But in the end, ‘Justified’ always boils down to Raylan versus Boyd and so many of the people who surround them end up as casualties and the latest episode titled ‘Fugitive Number 1’ was just another not so subtle reminder that rarely does anyone leave Harlan alive.
Three characters we’ve gotten to know over the past couple of seasons expired, which sets the stage for a fiery final two episodes to close out Elmore Leonard’s classic tale of a U.S. Marshal who returns home to find his old coal mining buddy as the central criminal now running the town.
With that, let’s recap the latest episode of ‘Justified’ titled ‘Fugitive Number One’:
On the Hunt
Following Ava’s daring escape by putting a bullet in Boyd’s shoulder while daring Raylan to draw down on her, the man hunt going on in Kentucky is still centered around a Crowder but no longer the person who the U.S. Marshals have been gunning for all season long. With Ava now as the primary person of interest, dominoes are beginning to fall all over Lexington for the shit storm that’s been stirred up after since she was pulled out of prison and turned into a confidential informant with her ex-lover made to be her handler.
Art is back in charge of the office as Rachel has to sadly pull away her name plate from his desk and heads are certainly going to roll once everybody who needs to be put in jail is either dead or behind bars. Raylan visits Boyd in the hospital after surgery to remove the bullet that splintered into his collarbone after his fiancée pumped a round into his shoulder and ran off with $10 million of Avery Markham’s money.
Boyd is naturally hurt both physically and emotionally after the woman he loved not only made off with the money that was supposed to help them start a new life, but she exited by shooting him unprovoked. Raylan isn’t exactly wiping up Boyd’s tears either and instead wants to focus on finding where Ava ran to.
“Raylan, if we’re going to play it that simple let’s talk about your disappointments. What disappoints you, Raylan Givens? The fact that you weren’t the one who got to shoot me?”
While Boyd postures that he’s after Ava and the money and doesn’t seem to blink when Raylan suggests that Markham could just as easily find her and do any number of horrible things to her when he does, he finally caves and says that if she’s on the run the person most likely helping her is Zachariah Randolph. Rarely has anyone pointed a gun at Boyd and lived (stay tuned for that again later) much less shot him and survived, but deep down he still loves Ava and while he will never trust her again, he still can’t bear the thought of seeing her harmed.
Just like Boyd predicted, Ava is on the run with Zachariah and after a brief stop at an abandoned mine outpost, the uncle and niece pair decide to travel even further up the mountain to find a man named Grubes — if that name sounds familiar it should. He’s the same guy Boyd once thought about using to help Ty Walker escape before Raylan showed up and put an end to their plans. Now Ava is counting on his expertise of the moonshine trails to help her get out of Kentucky with her fortune in tact.
Back in Harlan, Avery and Katherine come to an agreement about the nature of their relationship after he found out that she’s been gunning for him since the beginning because it was believed that he ratted out Grady Hale all those years ago. Now that it’s been confirmed that it was in fact Wynn Duffy, Katherine says all is forgiven and she wants nothing more than to pay him a visit and repay the favor for what he did to Grady. As much as Avery can play it smart with every other aspect of his business, he can’t deny that deep down he loves Katherine, always has and always will.
They agree that this is a marriage built on love and whether they trust each other or not isn’t consequential to the long term happiness and success they can have as the new criminals in charge of the drug business in Harlan. Avery even offers to serve up Wynn Duffy’s head on platter as a wedding present. He’s such a charmer.
Honor Among Thieves
In jail, Carl and Earl argue about how Boyd would never sell them out and they believe either Markham or Katherine Hale are responsible for their current living situations. Unfortunately before they can come to a conclusion on the theory, Markham and his hired gun Boon show up in the jail thanks to some corrupt cops who were just waiting to get their palms greased.
Carl, ever the soldier, promises that they may be out gunned but they won’t go down without a fight. Boon and his six-shooter named Jenny have other ideas.
“Jenny here says you would. And she’s had the last word in many such a disagreement.”
Markham lays it out for the two stooges — Carl gets out of jail while one of the crooked cops keeps a gun pointed at Earl. Carl gets in to see Boyd because he’s one of the few people who can get that close and then he gets the answers and the results Markham requires or Earl never leaves the inside of that jail cell.
“Boyd knows you. Ask him where my money is. If he knows, put a bullet between his eyes. If he doesn’t know — put a bullet between his eyes anyways.”
Carl gets released and with a diversion by one of the local cops on Markham’s payroll, he’s able to get in Boyd’s room where he points a gun directly at his former boss’s head. Boyd promises that he had nothing to do with getting Carl and Earl captured when they took down the fake armored truck and if he gets free, he’ll help his former henchman free his brother and take out Markham before he knows what hit him.
Carl complies because despite his grandiose standing that he was a soldier in Boyd’s army, Markham was right all along — he was just a pawn. Boyd creates the distraction he needs to escape by putting a bullet into Carl’s chest and runs out of the hospital amidst all the confusion. Goodbye Carl, you will be missed.
End of the Line
Raylan closes in on Ava’s location in the hills after finding the abandoned outpost by mine where her uncle Zachariah used to work. He’s got helicopters and dogs ready to comb the hills to search for her when he gets a call from Art demanding that he come back into the office. You see USADA Vazquez along with former chief Rachel Brooks are on the hook for a whole lot of shit, but not the least of which is getting Ava Crowder released only to see her betray her confidential informant agreement, shoot Boyd Crowder and make off with $10 million dollars stolen from Avery Markham. In addition to all these crimes, Vazquez is convinced that Raylan was sleeping with Ava this entire time and was somehow involved in the scheme to help her steal the money so they could rendezvous at some point down the road.
Whether the allegations hold water or not, the mere mention of the possibility that this could be happening means Raylan has to get pulled from the case and report back to Lexington. Begrudgingly, Raylan complies until he hears about Boyd’s daring daytime escape and he decides against Tim’s best suggestion to go back on the man hunt to finally put his old foe in jail once and for all.
Raylan goes to the local police department where he demands that Earl be turned over to him so he can hopefully find at least one person left alive who is willing to help him capture Boyd or find Ava or both. The dirty cops try to keep Earl from being turned over to Raylan and well that just annoys him something fierce.
“It don’t bother me much running into a cop in this town who’s bent to shit. I grew up around here, I kind of expect it now and then. What irritates me is when you call em on it and they give you this look like ‘how dare you insinuate I’m a piece of shit tarnishing my badge’. I see you doing the math. Whether or not you can tolerate the insult.”
Eventually, Earl is turned over to Raylan and while he tries to avoid turning rat, he knows that his options are extremely limited. With his brother dead and Boyd leaving him twisting in the wind, Earl has nowhere to turn except to Raylan. He gives him the only piece of information that might help — Ava and/or Boyd might be headed to find a mountain main named Grubes who could help them navigate the hills so they can escape the law and get out of Kentucky.
Motorhome of Horror
Despite Avery’s promises to deliver Wynn Duffy’s head to her as a wedding present, Katherine Hale can’t resist but to do the deed herself and exterminate the man responsible for putting her husband in the ground. Sure, she was banging Markham during the entire tenure of her marriage to Grady, but they were partners and if partners don’t look out for each other then there really is no honor among thieves.
Katherine goes into a long preamble about her plans to kill Duffy when Mikey finally realizes that no matter how much he despises his boss for turning informant, he still doesn’t want to see him dead. So Mikey stands in the way and asks Katherine to let him go but put the word out on the street that Wynn is a rat, which means he’s all alone and no one will go near him again.
Katherine doesn’t agree and she puts a bullet in Mikey instead, but he doesn’t die right away and the two of them engage in a gruesome battle all over the close quarters and confines of the motorhome. Eventually, Katherine puts enough bullets into Mikey to slow him down, but he returns the favor by choking the life out of her as well. Katherine is dead, Mikey joins her shortly thereafter and Wynn Duffy is left in the aftermath of a bloodbath. Goodbye Mikey and goodbye Katherine.
Who Blinks First
Raylan shows up at the Pizza Portal where he’s greeted by his alter ego and bad mirror image Boon, who now sports a very nice cowboy hat to go along with his holstered six-shooter. He’s already in a good mood after spending some unarranged time with his beloved Loretta while imploring her one more time that throwing in with Markham is the best thing for her long term health.
When Raylan walks through the door, Boon is just itching to see who has the faster trigger finger, but Markham backs him down so he can talk to the Marshal.
While things haven’t gone his way much at all since he returned to Harlan, Markham believes he’s finally getting the upper hand with Boyd either dead or on the run and Loretta scared out of her mind about going up against him. He grand stands to Raylan about how he’s going to run this town including the streets he grew up on alongside his queen. The sad news is Markham doesn’t know.
Raylan has to break it to him that Katherine was killed inside Wynn Duffy’s motorhome just 30-minutes ago. The news blows through Markham like a tornado and he’s taken back so hard that he can’t respond much when Raylan finally leaves after issuing one final warning about putting Earl on the stand to testify against all of them.
In another part of town, Boyd finally pops up to hijack a truck and a driver (his name is Hagan and he’s played by ‘Boardwalk Empire’ and ‘Agent Carter’ star Shea Whigham), which pretty much means he’s going to play a bigger part in the final two episodes. You don’t get an actor of that caliber just to play a kidnapped getaway driver.
Up in the hills, Ava and Zachariah arrive at Grubes’ cabin ready to find the savior who can lead them to safety. There’s a rotten smell inside and a quick look around finds that Grubes had been dead for sometime and no one found. There goes plan A and plan B and where Ava goes from here is anybody’s guess.
Finally, Raylan calls back into Art to let him know that he won’t be making it back into the office tonight or any other night before Boyd Crowder is captured or dead and he has Ava back in custody with the $10 million dollars in tow. He leaves his badge inside his car along with a handcuffed Earl, who has agreed to testify against everybody. Art saw this coming the moment he called Raylan and he balked at coming back into the office in the first place.
Raylan knows he can’t leave before he gets his man. He also knows he’s now operating outside the law and that means there’s going to be somebody coming for him as well.
“You’ve got too high an opinion of yourself, of course you always have. Everybody’s out looking for Boyd. I’ll be the one coming after you.”
Raylan has now pit himself against his friend and mentor in the ultimate game of cat and mouse in his obsession to finally finish what he started with Boyd Crowder all those years ago when he sat across a dinner table from him, put a bullet in his chest and he refused to die. Raylan wants to get his man and he’s willing to do so at any cost.
A few episodes back I could have swore it would have been Raylan’s life he paid with. Now it might just be his freedom.
Best Lines of the Week:
Don’t call him Mikey. Oh and he really digs classical music.
“I believed in you, Wynn. I knew the day you were a rat and rats get exterminated. Period. And I hate being called Mikey!”
Almost a final ‘Fire in the hole!!’
“We got a shooter on the floor!”
Operator: “911, what is your emergency?”
Wynn: “I’m not sure where to start”
Boon has been on the show for three episodes and I can’t get enough of him
Raylan: “Nice hat. You take that off the dude at the diner?”
Boon: “That one didn’t appeal to me. Smelled like patchouli and scared hipster.”
“This is my favorite part. I just love this part. You can hear a goddamn pin drop. Check my balls right now. Be purple they so blue.”
Only one more episode to go until the series finale of ‘Justified’. Don’t miss next week’s episode which will serve as the set up for the last ever episode airing on April 14.