Justified: Fate's Right Hand

"I couldn't trust him any more."

I was hoping that they'd go for broke in Justified's final season. Perhaps I should be more careful what I wish for.

I could feel the end of Dewey Crowe coming early on, but I just didn't want to accept it because I was having such a good time. Raylan and his hat striding around kicking butt, witty country boy rejoinders flying all over the place, Boyd planning a bank heist, Dewey making me laugh, this episode was so like Justified of old. And when Boyd set up Dewey with the bag of underwear, I breathed a little sigh of relief. Boyd isn't going to kill Dewey, I thought. He's just going to make a fool out of him and use him, like always.

But no. When Dewey started crying and talking about how the good old days were gone forever, I knew Boyd was going to kill him. Hard to believe I could cry for the death of a character with "Heil Hitler" tattooed on his neck, but I cried for stupid Dewey Crowe, who was longing for simpler times. He was a fixture in this show from the beginning, and his execution was a clear signal that they're not going to play around with the ending.

It's almost impossible to tell what Boyd is thinking about Ava. Her release didn't make a lot of sense and Boyd is such a smart man that he must have at least entertained the notion that she could be forced to betray him. And yet, there's a world of difference in taking out a former henchman (and let's face it, Boyd was right that Dewey was untrustworthy and knew too much) and killing the woman you love as much as Boyd loves Ava. She was more important to Boyd than his brother Bowman. No small thing.

I sort of hate Raylan for doing this terrible thing to Ava, a woman I thought he cared about. She's so torn apart that she's drinking vodka for breakfast. She knew Boyd was planning to pull something big and then leave Harlan forever, and she didn't tell Raylan a thing. Raylan knew she was holding back, too. He reminded her of how she tricked Bowman and killed him to keep him from beating her to death. I believe that Ava loves Boyd, but if her survival depended on it, she could indeed fool Boyd in the end. I have no idea what she's going to do. Don't you love it when that happens?

Raylan wants to take down Boyd before he goes. The writers carefully reminded us of what Raylan has to live for, and in truth, he should already be in Florida with Winona and baby Willa, and he should let someone else take Boyd down. But that just isn't in Raylan's nature. I loved the reminders of how deep Raylan's and Boyd's roots are in Harlan County, now that they're both planning to leave forever. Raylan's family has been on that land since 1903. Boyd's grandfather worked in the mines with his union brothers, just like Boyd and Raylan dug coal together when they were young.

Every season has ended with the song, "You'll never leave Harlan alive." It seems likely that either Boyd or Raylan will die at the end of the series. I have no idea which one. As Art reminded us near the end of the episode, sometimes the good guy loses.


-- There were no cast changes, and no one messed around with the glorious opening credits. Thank you.

-- This episode ran about ten minutes long. I hope that doesn't mean that some of the fans recording it missed the death of Dewey Crowe.

-- There were a number of great reminders of what has happened in past seasons: Boyd's swastika tatt, him quoting Thomas Jefferson, Raylan putting Aguilar in the trunk of his car, Arlo's tombstone (but not Raylan's), one last look at Audry's.

-- There was also a brief introduction to a bearded man named Walker (Deadwood alum Garret Dillahunt), who tried to buy Arlo's house with a briefcase full of cash. I'm sure he'll be back. You'd think Raylan would be ready to sell the place. Was it just the possible illegality, or will Raylan find it more difficult to leave Harlan than he thought?

-- I loved the steadycam shot of Cyrus the drug dealer running out of his house and into a shovel. Boing.

-- Rachel is the boss now, but I'm unclear about whether or not it's permanent or if Art will return once he's fully recovered.

-- Boyd's bank robbery went off perfectly, but the goal wasn't cash: it was a journal. Guess we'll find out about that, too.

-- Dewey found his wooden turtle in the mess at Audry's, and thought it was a sign. (I guess it was.) Mina saw a sign, too: a help wanted sign.

-- Gold acting stars for Damon Herriman (Dewey Crowe), who spent several seasons making what could have been a distasteful character fun and human. He'll be missed.


Winona: "Your daddy is pretty tough, but he's no match for the graveyard shift."

Aguilar: "Hey, yanqui. If you're looking for the whorehouse, it's just around the corner past the Starbucks."

Raylan: "Never really developed a taste for tequila. Kinda hard to understand how you make a drink outa something like that. Sharp, inhospitable. Same reason I never understood the fascination with the artichoke."

Raylan: "His description fits you to a T: Nazi tattoo, funny hair, stupid looking... "
Dewey: "That could be ten thousand people."

Raylan: "You're a card in fate's right hand. Don't you see how it's gonna play out?"

Dewey: "Any chance I can maybe jam one last bone in you?"
Tasteful, Dewey. Girls just love that sweet talk.

Boyd: "If there's a chance for us, Ava, it's not here."
He's right, actually.

Ava: "What if Boyd came? What would you do then?"
Raylan: "Boyd would not be caught dead near a beauty parlor. Though I bet he's thrilled to get ten percent off his hair spray."
Ava: "Funny."
Raylan: "I use a paste."

Boyd: "Bring me something! I'm so hungry I could eat the ass out of a low-flying duck."
That made me laugh out loud.

Raylan: "Forgive me if I ain't the run of the mill tater tot whose eyes go all pinwheels at a stack of stolen money."
Again, laugh out loud.

Raylan: "See that? Good things happen to those who wait for stupid."
Tim: "I believe that was in the Sermon on the Mount."

Raylan: "You know he once told me he worked at Disney World dressed as Goofy in a water skiing show."
Tim: "Well, some guys just peak too early."

Art: "There's another way it goes, where you try and you fail and the bullet finds you."

This episode was a punch in the gut. Four out of four wooden turtles,

Billie Doux is the founder of Doux Reviews and has been reviewing her favorite shows for quite some time. More Billie Doux.


ChrisB said...

This episode was very careful to remind us of everything that's come before. It felt like the old days to me. Exactly what I want from this last season.

I did not see Dewey's death coming. In fact, I was thinking that the ultimate irony would be if he were the last man standing in Harlan. Guess not.

I was very moved by his death. He's been such a part of this show and he was such a wonderful character. He will, indeed, be missed.

Jess Lynde said...

A very solid start! I love the way the hour beautifully carried the full weight of the series thus far, and started bringing things back around. The stage is set for a great final run.

Even though I was surprised and sad to see Dewey meet his end --- I didn't see it coming until the moment Boyd asked him to look closer at the picture --- I'm glad it powerfully underscored Ava's fears about what Boyd might do to her if he decides he can't trust her anymore. They made Dewey's ultimate end both strangely poignant and count for more than just shock value. Well done, Justified.

I know Ava is not Dewey, and that she means a hell of a lot more to Boyd, but I think that's why her betrayal would sting all the more. And if Boyd can't trust her and he can't just let her walk away ... I think it is possible he might kill her. But I also think it is entirely possible he couldn't bring himself to do it. That maybe he could let her walk away. Like you said, Billie, I kind of love the not knowing, and feeling like either outcome would ring true. I'm looking forward to seeing it all play out!

Josie Kafka said...

This was a great episode. I loved all the little callbacks to the pilot, like Raylan banging Dewey's head on the steering wheel.

But this episode is also fairly dark. Everyone seems more weighted down than they did back then (even though in the pilot, of course, they were all dealing with some crazy stuff). Fate is looming like a cloud of black coal dust, or something.

Korlis said...

I'm coming into Season 6 a little late (needed to catch up on 4 and 5 after a long Justified hiatus), but this was a brutal opener setting the stage for the series to go out with a bang. The whole episode was spent in nostalgia for earlier events - including the actual bank robbery, which Boyd pulled off with the same trick he used in the pilot if I'm not mistaken (just using Dewey Crowe as a distraction, instead of an explosion).

I didn't see his execution of Dewey coming. When Dewey leaned into the glass, I saw Boyd slamming his head into it in parallel to all the times Raylan has done that - not the gunshot. It seemed awfully Old Yeller, or as my girlfriend put it, Lenny in Of Mice and Men.