Justified: Noblesse Oblige

"Have you seen Chinatown, Boyd?"

The strength of this series is how human the characters are. Good guys, bad guys, they all come across as real people.

Boyd is a bad guy. We know he is. He just murdered a friend. But after six seasons of ups and downs, I still can't help but like Boyd. I spent the entire episode feeling uncomfortable about the fact that his current choices are probably going to kill him. Or more likely, kill Ava.

Avery Markham could very well be a badder guy than Boyd. The scene in Ava's kitchen when Markham tilted his head and just looked at her gave me chills. Markham said that Ava was a token to be used to keep her man in line. He told Boyd "I'm going to kill you", but he was looking directly at Ava.

Unfortunately, Boyd has decided he is going to rob Markham anyway, and I am experiencing final-season-itis big time because this episode made me dread what's coming. After the opener where Boyd and Ava got adorably drunk together and reminded me of how much I enjoyed seeing them become a couple back in season two, all I could think of was that I wanted the two of them to just skip town together. If Boyd is ready to risk Ava's life to pull this one last job, then maybe he doesn't love Ava as much as I thought he did.

I'm also starting to wonder if maybe Raylan is subconsciously reluctant to put Boyd away. Rachel thinks so, and has given Ava a week to produce something or it's back to prison she goes. That's probably why Ava decided to move her relationship with Boyd back into the bedroom. Gold acting stars for Joelle Carter because she was terrific in this episode: frightened, angry, reluctantly seductive, drunk, hung over, clearly uncomfortable casing the Pizza Portal. (I was completely creeped when Walker and Choo-Choo found her near the vault, and didn't expect her to be able to just walk away.)

The B plot with Raylan's old mine buddy Luther was sad, although Boyd's idiot minion Earl got a few moments to shine. The Halloween masks were hilarious, like Luther wouldn't know he was being robbed by his own son. I most certainly didn't think Luther should take the rap for his criminal idiot of a son, although I understood why he did it. That prompted more talk about Raylan's baby daughter, and what he would do to protect her. Definitely a final season theme.

You know, Boyd is planning to do something extremely dangerous, and I think he needs better minions. Carl is smart, but Earl and the Pig leave a lot to be desired. Don't they?

Bits and pieces:

-- Avery Markham is from Kentucky, but he doesn't like bourbon. That's okay. I'm from Atlantic City and I hate salt water taffy.

-- Katherine is sleeping with Markham. Either she is playing both sides of the fence, or I'm betting he'll kill her.

-- Raylan called Earl a "hilljack asswaffle", which may be my new favorite insult. (Unless it's a breakfast food I've never heard of.) I thought it was also pretty funny that Raylan called Earl "numbnuts" after he had personally numbed Earl's nuts.

-- They showed Raylan's grave stone at Arlo's house. That better not be foreshadowing.

-- Carl called Walker "Skippy". Maybe Walker won't be as offended as he was by "peacock".

-- Wynn Duffy has a tanning bed. Too funny. Too coffin-like, too. Where's the RV?

-- During the bar scene Ava and Boyd talked about letterman jackets and cheerleader skirts as if they were rewriting their youth. I also loved the way Ava kept pulling up the bodice of her strapless dress. She's so beautiful that gestures like that make her human. 

-- This episode was directed by actor Peter Weller. He did a good job.

Quotes:

Raylan: "I don't claim to be Stephen Hawking, Luther, but fundamental addition and subtraction I can speak to some mastery of."

Earl: "Five men, three beds. You think we're dealing with somethin'… untoward?"
Boyd: (impatiently) "I think they're sleeping in shifts."

Raylan: "I ain't gonna grab it. I'm just gonna shoot it off. You understand me, Earl? I'm gonna shoot your dick off."
Raylan always does what he threatens to do, so I was expecting Earl to be neutered at the end of the episode. Not yet, I guess.

Raylan: "I was gonna let him go. Send him back to Boyd jumpy, get him all spun up before I swoop back down on my white horse."
Rachel: "That's actually how you see this going down, isn't it?"
Raylan: "Why not? It worked for Gary Cooper."

Wynn: "When you search Crowder, make sure you get his cigarettes."

Three out of four hilljack asswaffles,

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

3 comments:

milostanfield said...

Yes! Major applause for Joelle Carter for her Emmy worthy portrayal of Ava. (Of course she wont get one. Move over Tatiana). She's being pulled between numerous male power centers like that taffy you don't like. She was really safer back in prison. Looks like she may be in over her head this time, but remember what she did to that Detroit mobster in Boyd's bar!

Jess Lynde said...

Interesting echoes of some of the things I said in my review for The Americans, about finding yourself still rooting for people doing bad, terrible things. It's just hard not to sometimes. :)

I'm liking the potential parallels they are drawing between Katherine and Ava. Markham said he's known a few women in this criminal world strong enough to be more than just tokens to keep their men in line, and I immediately thought of Katherine. Both Katherine and Ava are women in or with the potential to be in power positions, and both are attempting to manipulate the men with whom they are partnered through sex. I'm thinking Katherine's reach is going to exceed her grasp, but I'm sort of hoping that Ava will find a way to make it work. She learned a lot about herself in prison, and she's been getting reminders of the strength she has. I think she may be about to step up and become more than a pawn. Maybe when all is said and done, Boyd will go down, and Ava will find a way to chart her own destiny.

Ez said...

Really enjoying this season so far. I love these little tidbits of insight into what Raylan was like when he was younger from people who knew him back then, since he's not one who's likely to disclose things himself. So he used to drink a lot - a hell of a lot - when he was a miner. Unsurprising really, given how depressing that job was and how he had no hope of getting out of there or away from Arlo at the time. Makes me wonder if Boyd had a part in much of that. The idea of nineteen year old Raylan and Boyd having drunken shenanigans together amuses me no end, and makes me wonder how well they really did know each other back then. I was thrilled to hear the "we dug coal together" line resurface again and I wonder if they'll explore the nature of what that bond really means this season. It almost seems like what men who've been to war together are like and we know Raylan couldn't kill him once before when he had the chance. I'd love to know how deep the bond really goes.