by Billie Doux
This is such a guy show. It's a great guy show. But the focus of this finale wasn't just our two-sides-of-the-same-coin male leads -- it was the two women that are the focus of their lives. Raylan was desperate to fix the deadly situation he'd gotten Winona into, and Boyd, ditto with Ava. Raylan managed to save Winona. Boyd wasn't as successful.
The season hasn't focused enough on Raylan, but this finale certainly did. If he hadn't been able to make that oh so clever deal with Sammy Tonin, would Raylan have killed Nicky Augustine in cold blood, stepped over the line and become an outlaw? I think he would have, if it was the only way to save Winona's life. And I wonder if that's where the series will eventually go? The darkness in Raylan the lawman, and the goodness in Boyd the outlaw -- it's a big part of what makes this show so compelling. (Along with the great characters and the sharp, witty dialogue. And the hat.)
Boyd had a great idea -- getting Delroy out of the mineshaft. And then he had another one -- replacing Delroy's body with another before the coroner got there. It probably would have worked if Cassie hadn't wanted revenge for what Boyd did to her brother. (Nice seasonal bookending there.) Boyd's anguish as they took Ava away was epic. He might be ready to take over the Harlan heroin trade with his new partner (and I'm so, so happy we got Wynn Duffy back) but Boyd is now a broken man. He has no one, as he said, that makes him feel like he's not the bad guy when he lies down at night.
I loved the Raylan/Boyd scene in the car. They talked about the meaning of love, about death, about being the bad guys. It was easy to believe that Boyd would have indeed backed Raylan up, if necessary. He's certainly done it before. I'm sort of sorry we didn't have a Raylan and Boyd versus the bad guys shoot out, but Raylan's deal with Sammy Tonin was unexpected and cool.
And the final scenes were poignant. As Boyd broke into Ava's dream house and looked at what he wasn't going to have, Raylan, on suspension from his job, sat alone on his lawn in front of Arlo's trailer looking at the gravestone with his own name on it. Raylan knows he will never leave Harlan alive. How long until he doesn't win a confrontation like the very cool one that opened the episode?
Bits and pieces:
-- The gun battle in the nursery was terrific, mostly because Winona grabbed a gun and joined in. Loved the rocking chair bumping against the killer's dead body. I thought nearly dying because of Raylan would be enough for Winona to say goodbye to him forever. Maybe not. But we still don't know what the papers were for.
-- At least Ava didn't die. Hey, Boyd managed to get himself out of prison. He can figure out something.
-- Hey, Drew Thompson didn't die, either, and neither did Ellen May. Nice.
-- I liked the Supernatural-like graveyard dig in the middle of the night. Poor Jimmy Snake-in-the-Face is not a lucky man.
-- I thought that Adam Arkin was going to show up in the finale, but no; Theo Tonin has flown the coop. Not that Nicky Augustine wasn't awesome, because he was. Interesting that after four seasons, Detroit is no longer a problem.
-- What happened to Cousin Johnny?
Art: "That was supposed to be withering sarcasm."
Boyd: "Looks like I picked the wrong day for a picnic."
I immediately thought of Airplane. Looks like I picked the wrong day to stop sniffing glue.
Raylan: "Sammy's a punk. Sammy's scared of his own shadow 'cause his shadow can kick his ass."
Raylan: "You know the best way to survive a plane crash?"
Picker: "How's that?"
Raylan: "Don't be in it."
Maybe not as strong a season as it could have been, but a lot of it was great and these last three episodes were excellent. Four out of four rocking chairs, and I'll be back for season five,
Billie Doux is the founder of Doux Reviews and has been reviewing her favorite shows for quite some time. More Billie Doux.