Boyd solves a few problems only to watch his entire world crumble down around him and Art turns into Raylan for at least one week to help bring in the man who could help solve the assassination of Nicky Augustine…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
It seems for every fire Boyd Crowder puts out, another three pop up.
All season long on ‘Justified‘ he’s been dealing with the fact that his loving fiancée Ava is locked away in jail while his cousin has managed to hijack his heroin trade while making a deal with a very powerful gangster in ‘Hot Rod’ Dunham out of Memphis not to mention the looming trouble with local businessman Lee Paxton, who he assaulted and nearly killed in the season debut.
The title of the latest episode ‘Shot All to Hell’ pretty much summarizes everything that Boyd puts together and thus falls apart before the 60 minutes we spend in Harlan is over.
Boyd’s day (or night as the case may be) starts out rather fruitful as Lee Paxton awakens to a late night phone call from Deputy Sheriff Mooney, who informs him that they’ve found three dead bodies in one of his funeral parlors after receiving an anonymous tip. The bodies were shot up and set to be burned in one of his crematoriums but luckily the police got there just in the nick of time. Now we know what Boyd was doing with those bodies we saw at the end of last week’s episode.
Lee slams down the phone in shock — he’s been set up to take the fall but before he can even make it out of bed, a flicker from his table side lamp reveals that he’s got a visitor sitting in his room. Boyd slyly looks at Paxton from across the room with nothing but contempt in his eyes for this brutal, wicked old man who wields power on high like he’s got papal infallibility. This time, however, Paxton underestimated the wrong man he attempted to step on and squash.
Boyd proceeds to relay to Mr. Paxton how this news of his association with crime will soil his name from now until forever and this isn’t the kind of thing that goes away when he dies. No, this kind of information stains a family name forever so any time the word ‘Paxton’ is uttered around Harlan County, it’s with shame and disgrace.
“Death will not be the end of your suffering. For generations, your children and your children’s children will have a mark against their name. And that will be your legacy.” ~ Boyd Crowder to Lee Paxton.
Boyd pushes Paxton’s gun up to his head using his own hand and fires a single bullet, bringing to an end his tyrannous reign over Harlan County and influence in the Crowder household.
As he heads back to his bar, Boyd has a couple of guests awaiting him — namely Darryl Crowe Jr. and his alligator wrangler friend Jean Baptiste. At first Boyd doesn’t let his presence be known as he talks to the two Florida interlopers talking about the bar’s owner and how they are looking to get an audience with him. Body whips out his pistol, points it right at Darryl and asks what exactly he wants.
Darryl informs Boyd that he took his cousin Dewey for a large sum of money to purchase Audrey’s and they are looking for some money back, not to mention the Federal informant who was skimming the profits of the brothel and feeding them right back to Boyd. It takes Boyd about two seconds to rebuff this ‘offer’ but Darryl doesn’t flinch.
“Funny, I hadn’t even considered you might say no” ~ Darryl
Boyd then unloads on him a Southern charming way of saying ‘did I stutter?’ to which Darryl asks him again if that means he’s saying no to his offer.
“I’ve been accused of being a lot of things – inarticulate ain’t one of them.” ~ Boyd
Boyd and Darryl’s first showdown comes to an end, but these two powerful forces are certainly going to come back together again before this season comes to a wrap.
Next up on Boyd’s agenda is to seal the deal on Ava’s release from jail. That means getting rid of Deputy Sheriff Mooney and the plan is actually quite tragic but also brilliant. Boyd decides to use the money he was once going to give to Mara Paxton and then to Mooney to instead invest in an old friend from his mining day. Seems this friend has black lung and he’s about to shuffle off this mortal coil, but instead of allowing his family to suffer once he passes, Boyd offers him a deal.
The man walks into a café where Boyd is having lunch with Mara and Mooney and he proceeds to pull out a gun, shooting the Sheriff’s deputy dead, spraying his blood all over Mara sitting right next to him. Boyd tells Mara she’s not getting any money but she will be allowed to keep her life if she scrams from Harlan this very second. The man who shot Mooney will go to jail, but only for a few days because his disease will take him from this world in short order, but his family will be provided for because that $300,000 has been invested in the best way possible.
Boyd arrives at the jail to tell Ava the good news — with both Paxton and Mooney dead, she will be out behind bars by tomorrow morning and they’ll be sleeping in each other’s arms by tomorrow night. The good day continues when Boyd strikes a deal with ‘Hot Rod’ Dunham to get him to traffic up heroin from Mexico in exchange for 50-percent of his profits as well as giving up his cousin Johnny. It’s here that Boyd’s entire day gets shot all to hell.
‘Hot Rod’ shows back up at his club to find Johnny and his hired guns playing cards. He reveals to Johnny that he’s struck a deal with Boyd and unfortunately his days of hijacking heroin shipments are over. Johnny’s got other ideas.
See Johnny is curious to see how ‘Hot Rod’ used his profits from their score they landed by taking away Boyd’s heroin? Hot Rod reinvested it of course. So did Johnny.
“How did you spend your take of our first hit? I didn’t even take my cut, split it three ways. People power – that’s a pretty good investment wouldn’t you say?” ~ Johnny
Johnny’s investment was paying off Hot Rod’s hired guns to work for him instead. He’s now turned the tables on Memphis’ biggest weed dealer and once again gotten ahead of his cousin. In those brief moments when Johnny and Boyd did work together, it really ended up benefitting them both so much. One has to wonder if this family wouldn’t always be better off finding a way to bury the hatchet and put blood ahead of old grudges. With another family setting down roots in Harlan, maybe Johnny and Boyd will be drawn back together again this season.
Ava’s last night in jail is a disaster as well unfortunately. Our favorite undersized guard returns from a late night bed check where he finds a shiv hidden under Ava’s bed. To make matters worse, he stabs himself and then cuts his arm with the hand made tool while Ava’s cellmate screams for help — turns out she was in on the set up. Ava’s last night in jail is actually her first night in the state penitentiary where she’s headed after assaulting a guard. When Boyd hears this news he’s beside himself and as he arrives at the jail only to find out his beloved Ava has been shipped off to the state pen, and his anger, rage and sadness boil over into one bewildered mess of a man. Boyd thought his world was coming back together when the axis that makes it all spin around disappeared into a murky world of a Federal penitentiary and he’s left to his own resolve.
The current season of ‘Justified’ has woefully underused Art Mullen, but this latest episode rectifies all of that while also putting a microscope into the things that Raylan has done to protect his family. Art traveled to Detroit last week where he got the lowdown from the Canadian heroin trafficker that Nicky Augustine’s death involved Sammy Tonin and a Federal agent he had on his payroll. The only person that knows who that Federal agent was is a man named Picker — the same man who put a bullet in Sammy Tonin’s head.
Art isn’t the only one looking for Picker, however, because Theo Tonin (who left Tunisia two days ago) sent a man named Elias Marcos (played by Firefly’s Alan Tudyk) to go after Picker. After ridding Canada of their favorite heroin dealer, he heads off the Kentucky to track down Picker and deal with him for Mr. Tonin. It’s there that Elias runs into Art, who goes into total badass mode to stand him down when they are both sitting in a diner with Picker serving as the ultimate prize of the day. The way Art and Elias were staring back at each other while a room full of patrons sat in awe, it looked like Tim Roth being asked to hand over a wallet that says ‘Bad Motherfucker’ on it.
Elias pushes and Art comes right back at him, promising that if this goes bad, he will not leave Kentucky alive.
“I don’t know I’m getting old, but I’m probably pretty good at this range” ~ Art as he gets ready to pull his gun on Elias
Cooler heads prevail and Art takes Picker into custody.
At the station, Picker isn’t giving up any information but once he comes eye to eye with Raylan, he puts his cards on the table. Picker knows he’s got the good on Raylan, but decides to give up Elias’ location instead to protect his own life since this man is clearly out to kill him for offing Sammy Tonin. Art and Raylan head off to find Elias at a storage container facility and end up on the wrong end of a major machine gun being fired at them. Elias is out for blood, but as usual Raylan gets the drop on him, and one shot ends the fray. The only problem is Elias is dead and there’s blood leaking out from another one of the containers.
Art and Raylan open up the door to find a bloodied, grey haired man sitting in a chair nursing a bullet would to his abdomen, courtesy of Elias’ shooting spree trying to take out the Marshals.
“Hello, Theo,” Art says to Theo Tonin who made the dumb mistake of coming back to the United States to avenge his son’s death.
Art’s on top of the world. He not only got rid of Elias but he also managed to capture one of the most wanted fugitives in the world. Oh and the cherry on top? Picker revealed the Federal agent who was working with Sammy Tonin — none other than FBI Agent Jeremy Barkley. Remember Barkley was the one who tried to get Raylan on corruption charges only to be discovered as a turncoat working for Theo Tonin. He’s still missing according to the Marshals, but in reality he was killed last season by Nicky Augustine. Nice little bow on the story courtesy of Mr. Picker.
Unfortunately, Raylan can’t live with it any longer and he goes back into Art’s office after Barkley’s name gets dropped and tells him the truth about the Nicky Augustine hit.
“It wasn’t Barkley and I can tell you that for a fact” ~ Raylan
Whether or not Raylan’s conscience is heavy enough to tell Art the whole story won’t be peeled back until next week’s episode but he seems at least ready enough to allow part of the tale to be told
Oh Danny Boy
The Crowes are settling into Harlan County but it’s not going to be easy going for the new family in town. As you’ve already read, Darryl’s first interaction with Boyd didn’t go too well and cousin Dewey is rambling on while speaking to his two favorite hookers about how much life has changed since becoming a killer (he never tells them he killed anyone but it’s pretty clear what he’s talking about).
“Shit changes, and you change, and things change and everything’s changing” ~ life philosophy by Dewey Crowe
Darryl has some help in town now thanks to his baby sister Wendy coming up from Florida to help claim their younger brother Kendall out of protective care after Raylan snatched him last week. Raylan wants the Crowes out of Kentucky, but it’s going to take a lot more than pulling a kid out of their care to do it. Wendy agrees to help Darryl out when she says that they could ‘do the old thing’ and Darryl agrees that the old thing did work pretty well. What is this ‘old thing’? Hard to say but chances are it’s probably not within the legal limits of the law.
If Darryl is the head of the family and it seems as if Wendy is the brains, then Danny is the real psychopath. He taunts Kendall when he returns home and following a confrontation with Jean Baptiste where he challenges the Crowe brother to test his 21 foot rule (believing that he could stab a man with his knife from 21 feet away before that man could pull a gun on him and shoot — side note, place odds now on Raylan facing Danny before seasons’ end and proving he can beat the 21 foot rule).
Danny’s not up for playing against Jean Baptiste, but instead pulls out a shotgun and blows the alligator hunter away for his back talk. There goes one friend of the Crowes. There’s not much of a chance Darryl is going to be happy to see his good buddy Jean Baptiste dead and gone when he gets home.
Next week’s episode should be rather interesting to see the fallout from Raylan’s confession to Art, as well as learning more about the Crowe’s new business plan to make some money in Harlan. The teaser trailer at the end didn’t show much of anything regarding Boyd or Ava so my guess would be things are only going to get uglier for them as she is trapped in Federal prison while her fiancé will most certainly be looking to track down guard half-pint.