Justified: Shot All to Hell

"An unpredictable man can be unpredictable."

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 loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.


Josie Kafka said...

What a wonderful episode! I loved the way that so many of the scenes ended with a complete twist; it kept me guessing the whole time.

And that opener was epic.

Jess Lynde said...

This was definitely the most tense episode all season. It had a strange combination of fun and dread. I guess that's what makes for good Justified.

I was really nervous for Art in the diner scene. Alan Tudyk seemed crazy enough to take him out right there, diner full of people be damned. I'm feeling better about his prospects now, but that impending retirement does make me a wee bit nervous. I'm eager to see if Raylan really does confess all to Art, and what Art does about it.

I was also filled with dread about what was going to happen to Ava. I knew there was no way she'd be getting out for breakfast in the morning. Things were just going too well. I'm sort of glad she was just set up for attacking evil Danny Strong, and not sexually assaulted. I hope we get to see how she reacts to all this. If she's beyond Boyd's ability to fix the situation for her, will she become depressed and listless, or will the Ava that shot her abusive husband over dinner and took out Delroy come back to the fore? I'm hoping for the latter.

Did Boyd's speech to Paxton make anyone else think of the "to the pain" speech from The Princess Bride? I know that one was more about having to live with the horror your life has become, but Boyd poisoning Paxton's legacy for years to come brought it to mind.

ChrisB said...

I genuinely thought that Ava was going to die, so at least that didn't happen. Although, why the guard would commit suicide and why her cellmate would cooperate eludes me. I guess we'll learn who was behind all that later in the season.

Fantastic episode that kept me guessing throughout. And, we had the Makers Mark ads on the East Coast as well. Perfect.

Tims said...

Outstanding episode.

Gripping and unpredictable. Script and acting both exemplary.

I too honestly thought Ava was going to die.

Pity Alan Tudyk won't be back. For a brief moment there I thought he was going to be set up as this season's Big Bad.

Thanks for the great review.

Freeman said...

I knew the episode that would bring it all together would happen around now. Dynamite episode. That beginning scene with Boyd and Paxton really set it all off and set the tone for this episode.

The show really keeps making it look like Art's gonna bite it. But maybe they just want us to believe that. Definitely some of my favorite scenes with Art in this episode.

It seems like Darryl may have something up his sleeve concerning Boyd. He doesn't strike me as the type to just back off. Shame about the Haitian though, I liked him.

Chris, I'm pretty sure the guard didn't commit suicide. Those aren't even remotely fatal injuries he inflicted on himself. I think he just stabbed himself to actually lend weight to the the "Ava attacking him" story.

Billie Doux said...

The Daily Beast just posted a good-sized interview with Walton Goggins (Boyd) that discusses this episode and some of his other work. Very nice.


Davevw said...

I can't believe nobody mentioned how cool it was to see two Joss Whedon alumni in an episode of Justified.