It was way past time this season for an awesome episode.
I'm not into violence and gun battles for the sake of violence and gun battles, but this is how it's done. From Boyd setting up and carrying out Paxton's "suicide" to the bizarre gun battle in the warehouse, every single killing was a shocker that had impact because we knew the characters and what was at stake.
The opener was a wow. What Boyd told Paxton in the guy's final moments was just chilling. Planting a boatload of dead bodies in Paxton's funeral home to create a "criminal corpse conspiracy" was also brilliant. So was Boyd setting up the hit on Mooney while, of all things, helping out a dying friend. Boyd even took Hot Rod and his business away from duplicitous Cousin Johnny, and succeeded in getting Ava out of jail. It was all finally going Boyd's way, or so he thought. We all knew that the set-up with the revolting rapist prison guard wasn't for nothing. Boyd completely lost it when he realized he had lost Ava, probably forever. Gold acting stars for Walton Goggins. He was amazing in this episode, beginning to end.
That would have been enough content for an excellent episode, but then we got the amazing Alan Tudyk, who can be very lovable or very frightening. Tudyk, as Marcos the assassin, glided through this episode looking pale and vicious and scaring the crap out of everyone, hitting the Canadian mob guy, facing off with Art not once but twice, and finally carrying out that massive attack in the warehouse. I'd like to specifically applaud that scene in the restaurant, because it felt like everyone was going to freaking die, especially Art. It might have been Nick Searcy's best scene in the entire series.
But now that Art has captured Theo Tonin, his white whale, and has only eight months to retirement, it just feels like Art's days are numbered, doesn't it? Or am I projecting? I'd like a happy ending and a long retirement for Art, but I don't think it's in the cards.
The boring and despicable Crowes re-acquired the most interesting one, Cousin Wendy, who cares about young Kendal… except she sort of doesn't, since she left him back in the custody of the boring and despicable Darryl and Danny. I felt bad for Kendal. The kid is clearly a survivor (I kept thinking of Loretta McCready) but he probably longs for hot meals and a clean bed and not having to sling beer all night. And then I was impressed with the Haitian, who seemed to give damn about Kendal. But now, oops, he's dead. What a coward Danny Crowe is, afraid to face the Haitian straight on.
Which leads me to Raylan. After strong-arming Picker in a conference room that wasn't bugged, Raylan walked into Art's office and told him it wasn't Barkley who set up the hit on Nicky Augustine. That was a very Raylan thing to do. He just doesn't do deception well. (Let's all remember Winona and the stolen money.) Nicky Augustine was a permanent threat to Winona, and Raylan dealt with it, period. I honestly have no idea how Art will react.
So. Four murders and a gun battle. So much happened in this episode that I had to watch it twice to track it all. We didn't see Johnny's new stolen henchmen kill Hot Rod. Maybe the director (Adam Arkin, by the way, who plays Theo Tonin) thought he'd given us enough. Is it wrong that I was glad it wasn't the end of duplicitous Cousin Johnny?
Bits and pieces:
-- Alison isn't interesting me much, but I'm starting to think she just cares about kids so deeply that her entire motivation is to do anything, including illegal things, to get them out of bad situations. There are much worse missions in life. I admire her for it.
-- Dewey's new status as a killer has made him philosophical, but in a very stupid Dewey-like way. He wanted to talk to the whores about his new way of looking at life and change, including giving them presents they didn't want. I'm glad Dewey is having a hard time with killing Wade.
-- Boyd told the newly widowed Mara to get out of town. Will she go? (I'm glad I was right that Boyd was faking interest in Mara.)
-- Lots of AUSA Vasquez, whom I like quite a bit. And the good character actor playing Ava's attorney, Don McManus, finally got a good scene. Knew he would.
-- Sign in Boyd's bar: "Pay in cash or get served buckshot."
-- On the west coast, we got several commercials for Maker's Mark Kentucky whiskey. Good placement there.
Picker: "I'm quite enjoying my grapefruit juice."
Wynn: "The man really is enjoying his grapefruit juice. So you have no law enforcement reasons to further harass us. Have a good day."
Art: "Harass? I thought I was being rather genial."
Art: "I'm gonna give you ten seconds to leave, and then I'm gonna shoot you."
Wynn: "FYI, that's kind of a thing with these marshals."
Dewey: "All I'm saying, you do a thing that you never done one day, shit changes. And you change, and things change, and everything's changing…"
Daryl: "So we're clear. You are saying no?"
Boyd: "I been accused of being a lot of things. 'Inarticulate' ain't one of them."
Art: "I'm gonna have a diet 7up."
Picker: "I'll have one too, princess."
Art: "You can suck the can when I'm done."
Picker: "I'll look forward to it."
Boyd: "Just relax, Mooney. Everybody knows what kind of man you really are. That didn't stop LBJ from getting elected."
Art: "Holy lord, that gun was bad."
What a great line.
Four out of four diet 7ups,
Billie Doux is the founder of Doux Reviews and has been reviewing her favorite shows for quite some time. More Billie Doux.
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