In the latest Justified recap, Boyd finally makes his play for Markham’s money and Raylan is going at break neck speed to bust him but the two of them together couldn’t possibly predict what happened next…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
If the entire set up for the final season of ‘Justified’ was predicated on Raylan Givens ending up in one last showdown with Boyd Crowder you’d be two-thirds correct. See, the missing aspect that’s been caught in the middle of the irresistible force and the immovable object all year long as been Ava Crowder.
She ended up in prison as a direct result of being involved with Boyd and the only way she got out again was to become a slave to the system by ratting on him to Raylan. All season long, Ava has been pulled in two directions and like any good game of tug of war, eventually one side or the other has to give. Except in the case when you’re dealing with people. Here, it’s Ava who has been torn apart from one side or the other all season.
Whether it was Boyd trying to find a way to get out of Harlan with a boatload of cash no matter the cost to his fiancée or if it was Raylan demanding more and more information from his confidential informant with the threat constantly looming overhead that if she didn’t cooperate, jail was just a few miles up the road.
So on the latest episode of ‘Justified’, Ava’s loyalty finally came to a head and she made the most logical choice that any person should probably make in the end, given the kind of strenuous circumstances she’s been faced with this season.
Before we get to Ava’s big move, let’s find out how we got there by recapping tonight’s episode of ‘Justified’ titled ‘Trust’.
Following a botched explosion that Zachariah intended to kill Boyd and Boyd hoped would land him Markham’s millions, everybody is scrambling for a way to get their hands on the cash to either get rich or put somebody in prison.
Raylan starts the cycle by suggesting to Avery Markham that he test his fiancee’s loyalty by telling her that he plans on moving his money to Charlotte. He knows Katherine Hale is actually working against him so Raylan wants to feed her the bait so it eventually gets back to Boyd. Markham is trying his hardest not to believe it’s true until he finally calls his beloved and she immediately starts fishing for information about where he’s headed with the cash. Deep down, Markham knows he’s been burned but still can’t quite accept it.
Raylan is also using Wynn Duffy against Boyd by having him set up the plans for the truck hijacking, which once again doesn’t sit well with his bodyguard Mikey. Wynn already turned rat once before when he put Grady Hale behind bars and now he’s doing it again to drop dime on Boyd, Katherine and anybody else that will keep him tanned up and out of jail.
Wynn sets things in motion by going to Boyd and plotting out a route where they will hit the money truck right outside of the border between Kentucky and Virginia. Boyd knows this area very well because he used to make liquor runs out there when he was a teenager. It’s all smiles and good feelings as Boyd puts the finishing touches on a plan that he hopes will end with him $10 million dollars richer.
“Like my good friend Ray always says ‘you never give up before the miracle happens’. Well the miracle is going to happen right there.”
Boyd secures an escape route for himself and Ava thanks to Ellstin Limehouse, who comes calling this episode with an offer of help. Boyd pays him the $100,000 reward he received for turning in Walker and in exchange for new identities, a getaway car and passports but he has to give something up besides his pile of cash. Limehouse wants Boyd gone from Harlan County once and for all and when he’s gone he stays gone or he’ll be gone. Boyd has no problem with that arrangement because once he steals Markham’s cash, he wants to leave Kentucky and never look back again.
The plans are set and Boyd is ready to hit the truck or is he?
So Smart He’s Stupid
Despite his best efforts to set up a fake money truck and putting all the pieces into play, Raylan is convinced Boyd already figured out that this is a setup. Not sure why he didn’t allow for these variations to come into play when he first came up with this idea in the first place but that’s neither here nor there. Raylan knows Boyd is too smart to go for the obvious target, which is the money truck bound for Charlotte. Tim on other hand sees Boyd’s man Earl sitting a few feet away playing lookout and he’s quite sure the robbery is going to happen.
“He’s so smart he’s stupid”
~ Tim on Boyd
It seems all these years chasing the man has led Raylan to a better understanding of his prey because sure enough Boyd is too smart to fall for the obvious target. Raylan knows no matter which way this thing goes — whether Boyd hits the money truck or they go after him some other way, this isn’t going to end with a pair of handcuffs getting slapped on his wrists and he’s hauled off to jail. It’s going to get bloody and somebody isn’t going to walk out at all.
“You really think Boyd’s going to let us take him in instead of going out in a blaze like the outlaw he’s spent his whole life trying to be?”
Unfortunately to keep Raylan guessing he has to send Carl and Earl on a fool’s errand to take down the truck while he’s miles away plotting the real way he plans on taking down Markham’s money. It’s a sad way for Carl and Earl’s loyalty to be repaid, but at the end of the day this was always about Boyd and Ava’s escape. Too bad for him he could trust Carl and Earl — as far as Ava goes, well not so much.
Ava has quietly been planning a double cross all day long. First she discovered Dewey Crowe’s alligator tooth necklace hanging on a stuffed squirrel in Boyd’s bar, which led her to believe that was where Harlan’s most dimwitted criminal must have met his end. Second, she called Raylan to let him know that Boyd was wise to his fake money moving and was already planning a different scheme to get to Markham’s cash. She’s starting to believe there will be an exit from this that involves her ultimate freedom, but little does she know that if things keep going this direction, Ava’s got one foot back in prison.
It appears USADA Vasquez is tired of dealing with Ava playing both ends against the middle while trying to keep herself out of prison. He decides that no matter how this whole thing plays out, Ava is going back to jail because she already didn’t honor her confidential informant agreement so they are no longer under any obligation to honor their end either. Raylan is clearly not happy to hear this news and things aren’t going to get any better when he has to deliver word to Ava that her freedom is about to expire.
Raylan doesn’t want to break the news to her because Ava’s actually coming clean about everything Boyd is up to right now. She hand delivers the doctored passports and ID’s that she received from Limehouse and will hand Boyd over to him with the money once he takes it from Markham. It’s still not enough he tells her because the district attorney now wants to take him down under the RICO predicates, which means her testimony is useless and they no longer need her. In a final act of desperation, Ava turns to the gator necklace and says she can get Boyd to confess to Dewey’s murder.
Raylan somehow chooses to believe her, but really I think it’s a much bigger case that he wants to believe her more than he actually does. Raylan may have seemed cold and calculated when he pulled Ava out of jail and put her to work as an informant, but deep down he’s always cared for her ever since that moment he pulled the trigger to put Boyd down back in her living room after she murdered his brother Bowman. Now Raylan has to put Ava back in prison so he’s looking for any excuse not to do it. Convincing himself that Ava can get Boyd to confess to murder is just the best he can do right now.
It’s been one ill fated attempt after another for Avery Markham as he tries to secure the land in Harlan County to build his new Kentucky weed business. Following Loretta McCready’s big speech last week that pretty much turned everyone in the county against Markham, he makes a final play at taking everybody’s land while barely putting any real effort into it anymore.
He visits Loretta’s great aunt, who is her last living relative and despite his expensive whiskey and smooth talk, she sees right through him. Markham hints more or less that if Loretta dies, her aunt gets all the land and then he could in return buy it all from her. The problem is Loretta’s aunt doesn’t want to see harm come to her niece and more or less tells Markham to piss off.
Outside the house, Markham meets with his No. 1 goon Boon before sending him to finish the job before Loretta’s aunt has a chance to spill the beans. Markham’s hands are already so dirty from trying to secure the land rights in this town that what will one more dead body really do in the grand scheme of things? Still as he sends Boon on his mission, Markham feels a little bit bad at what he’s about to do.
“Always seemed to me as far as conscience goes — the sweet spot is either be poor enough you can’t afford to have one or rich enough you can afford to hire someone to carry the weight.”
As Markham lights another joint, Boon walks in and fires off two rounds and there goes Loretta’s last living relative.
Speaking of Boon, he got a rather large segment on tonight’s episode where he intimidated a clerk at the local diner (played by ‘The Walking Dead’s Andrew West aka Gareth). The scene lasted a solid five or six minutes as Boon did everything in his power to put a scare into both the clerk and his girlfriend sitting at the counter. It all boiled down to a conversation Boon had with Raylan earlier in the episode where he wondered if real cowboys (meaning himself and Raylan) had an obligation to call out the fakes who just like to rock a hat to look good.
The scene played out like something from ‘No Country for Old Men’ but my mind went in two directions on how this will be received. In one way, it was a fantastic exposition into the mind of a sociopath as Boon went on and on about his girlfriend (Loretta) and used every word out of his mouth to intimidate the clerk in a way to showcase his power in the situation. If this pays off in some larger way in that Boon might end up in some kind of stare down with Rayland and/or Boyd down the road then it was time well spent. But if Boon ends up diving into a whole and stabbing himself in the chest i.e. Danny Crowe, then we just wasted six minutes of a crucial time crunch during the final season. Which will it be? Hopefully, we’ll find out soon.
One for the Money
Boyd’s final play for the money comes at the expense of his relationship with Katherine Hale because he bets that despite her true intentions, he knows Avery Markham will still pay a pretty penny to make sure not a single hair on her beautiful head is harmed. Is it worth $10 million dollars? It appears so because when Boyd calls with his demands, Markham wastes no time agreeing to pay the money to save his fiancée.
Meanwhile back at RV Duffyland, Wynn and Mikey are sharing lunch when his henchman finally puts it all together and realizes that his boss hasn’t just been ratting lately — this has been a life long agenda to keep him from ending up in jail. So Mikey turns on Wynn, knocks him out cold, cuffs him to a table and calls Katherine Hale to let her in on the secret. Unfortunately, she’s otherwise occupied or this would be news she would love to hear.
Boyd and Markham meet up and they exchange the cash and he hands Katherine back over but not without passing along a very crucial message.
“Oh, ripping you off — that was her idea from the jump. Payback for you murdering her husband. I just thought you oughta know.”
Boyd tears off into the night screaming like a banshee with Markham’s money in the bed of his truck. Katherine is clearly scared for her life now as she wonders if Avery is going ot put her down for her betrayal. Will he indeed?
While Boyd is racing to meet Ava, she’s actually in a car with Raylan heading to meet him. She promises that she can get Boyd to admit to Dewey’s murder and with that Raylan can arrest him and this whole nightmare comes to an end. I’m not sure why Ava would talk about Dewey’s murder in the middle of celebrating about a $10 million heist, but that’s her strategy and Raylan somehow buys it.
When Boyd shows up and picks up Ava in his arms, he believes they’ve finally reached the end of the rainbow. They have $10 million dollars, new identities and the authorities believe his men hit the money truck earlier in the day so there’s no reason to suspect what he’s been doing. But Boyd clearly trusted the wrong woman because Ava quickly snatches his gun from the back of his waistband and puts a bullet directly in his shoulder. Boyd’s body turns violently in the night as he crashes to the ground and as Raylan comes out from behind a tree, he can’t believe what he just witnessed.
Ava played this perfectly — she knew Boyd would never confess so she just took him out of the equation. As for Raylan, she’s betting he wouldn’t pull the trigger to put her down and she was absolutely correct. The moment he agreed to go along with her ‘force a confession out of Boyd’ plan in the first place, Ava knew she had him.
“I gave you what you always wanted, Raylan — Boyd Crowder bleeding at your feet.”
Raylan promises to go after Ava and she wouldn’t expect any less. She just put up a major roadblock by shooting Boyd, taking the keys to the other car and driving away with $10 million dollars in the back of his truck. The end game was always supposed to be about Raylan and Boyd but the collateral damage had to be accounted for and no one has paid more for these past six seasons than Ava Crowder.
After all these years, after all this pain and suffering and after all this time being used like a pawn on a chess board, Ava finally decided to cash in (or cash out as the case may be).
Best Lines of the Week:
He’s a bit of a talker. Talkers make Raylan eat ice cream.
“Anybody ever tell you, you should talk less?”
~ Raylan to Boon
“I guess my main take is I believe you’re overestimating how much you and I have in common.”
~ Raylan to Boon
Only three episodes left until ‘Justified’ officially comes to an end and next week promises to be one of the most intense in the history of the entire series. Make sure to watch at 10pm ET on Tuesday night only on FX.