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Justified: The Toll

"Why weren't you where you were supposed to be?"

They've been signaling pretty strongly that it would be gently wafting curtains for Art, but I wanted to be wrong. At least he isn't gone yet, which makes it possible that he might recover and retire with his wife Leslie, whom we just met for the first time.

The thing is, I was so expecting it, especially under the circumstances (alone with Alison? Really?) that while I gasped and got upset, it didn't have that much of an impact on me. I was also not quite feeling Raylan. If he was genuinely upset and feeling guilty, it didn't come across as well as it should have. Especially with an actor as good as Timothy Olyphant.

And of course, I'm still confused about who actually shot Art. Did Darryl do it and force Kendal to confess to it, or did Darryl make Kendal do the actual shooting? Maybe I'm just not on top of things. March has been a rough month for me. And I wish I cared more about Kendal. His story has felt like a deliberate callback to Loretta McCready, but nowhere near as effective.

I thought at first that Ed Kirkland was going to stick around as the boss, but no. Rachel Brooks is interim chief, and Art never told her that it was a possibility. I loved her face when she realized it was going to be her. I get the feeling her relationship with Raylan is about to get a lot more interesting.

Meanwhile back in Harlan, I really enjoyed Boyd's storyline this week. Like Ava, Boyd realized that it was time to make some changes in order to survive, and he did it while still providing for his two loyal minions as well as Ava, just in case it didn't work out. During the initial take-down in the hotel room, I thought at first that Boyd had sold out to the law in order to take down Picker and Wynn Duffy, and that taking out the cigarette was the signal, but no — that cigarette was for something a lot more Boyd-like. I was so not expecting it, but I should have. So much for Picker.

(Hey, I'm just glad Boyd didn't actually take up smoking again. It's hazardous to your health, you know. Plus the hotel has a nonsmoking policy.)

Which way will Wynn Duffy go? He's very smart, but he also might think he's smart enough to outwit and take out Boyd. I'm also wondering why they brought in Mary Steenburgen as Katherine Hale when she hasn't done much yet but act threatening. At least this time we got that lovely venomous conversation with AUSA Vasquez, with whom she apparently has a past. Vasquez has been waiting around for a good subplot to hit him. Maybe this will be it.

The Ava stuff in the prison may be my least favorite Justified subplot ever. Will all great Neptune's ocean wipe this blood clean from my elbow? I did like the ice cream tribute, though. Apparently, Ava's murderous gamble paid off and she's the new queen of the cellblock. For now.


-- I liked Alison packing up her dope right in front of Art. She has nerve.

-- Penny backed Ava up beautifully. I totally get why she would want to take out the woman who was pimping her out to a guard, but is Penny completely reliable, or is she waiting to make a move of her own?

-- Michael Rapaport's scene in the Lexington office was probably his best yet. I am still totally underwhelmed by Darryl as a character, though. He's just despicable and slimy, and Justified villains tend to have more complexity.

-- Another thing that's driving me nuts is the spelling of all these character names: Daryl and Darryl, Allison and Alison, Kendal and Kendall. Every site seems to be spelling them differently. I hate that.

-- A big thank you to Jess Lynde, who covered the last two weeks of Justified for me and did a terrific job.


Art: "If I were to admit to hitting him, could you call it child abuse and take custody of him for me?"
Alison: "I like you."

Boyd: "I may not know a lot about a lot of things, but I do know how to blow shit up."

Considering the content, this should have been a four star episode. But it wasn't. Three out of four ice cream tributes, and Al had better make it,

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


  1. Raylan is in a bad place and he isn't acting like himself. Isn't it interesting that, in an episode in which he is feeling guilty and murderous, his hat was nowhere to be seen. It's almost as if that one piece of clothing makes him the (literal) white hat.

    Rachel as the interim chief is going to be fun to watch, especially with her history with both Raylan and Tim.

  2. Great to have you back, Billie! Thanks for asking me to sub in.

    I did get fairly upset about Art getting shot, but not in a weepy way. It was more of a "trembling with anger" reaction. I'm just so angry at Raylan. When we saw Art in the hospital and his wife was talking to the doctor I started yelling "Dammit, Raylan!" It's not just Art that he's hurt here, either. It's Art's wife and Alison and Kendall ... If he hadn't decided to screw with Daryl by having social services take Kendall away ... Grrr. I'm taking small consolation in his recognition that Art would not want him and Tim going all Gunslinger Givens on this thing.

    I thought the same thing about Boyd throwing in with the feds to get Wynn and Picker, and was really confused when they all ended up back in the hotel room. His takedown of Picker certainly shocked me, even though, as you note, it shouldn't have, since it was clearly the thing Boyd would do.

    I'm really curious to see how things wrap in these last couple of episodes.

  3. I think Daryl Crowe's despicableness is deliberate. It reminds me of Todd in the last season of Breaking Bad: Whereas in previous seasons you could actually somewhat respect or even like the villains (Mags, Quarles, Drew/Crazy 8, Gus, Mike), the fact that the one causing so much havoc for everyone now is a slimy, unlikable bastard that you can't respect in the slightest (Daryl/Todd) somehow makes it even worse.

  4. Holy frijoles, the scene with Picker blowing up was crazy! I don't know how I didn't see it coming but it totally caught me by surprise. Maybe it was the police raid fake-out earlier that got me. I had actually forgotten that Boyd's specialty was making things go boom. Thanks for the reminder, show.

    I'm pretty sure Daryl did the shooting and convinced Kendal to take the fall. The way he taunted Raylan at the end there seemed to indicate as much. Also Kendal's "recollection" of the event seemed far too distorted for him to be the killer.

    I think the way Raylan is acting about Art getting shot is perfect Raylan. He's like a pipe waiting to burst. I really thought he was gonna plug Daryl right there in the elevator he looked so subtly angry. I'm glad this show doesn't do the usual TV stuff and all show Raylan being ridiculously pissed and guilty or break down crying. Reactions like that don't happen with everyone, and certainly not someone like Raylan. But I'll bet when he gets Daryl right where he wants him, he'll put the fear of God into him.

  5. x( I felt a moment of relief thinking Alison took the bullet... that was cruel, writers.

    What they ended up doing with Darryl and Kendall - MOST satisfying. Loved him luring Raylan away and then turning himself in. Even though I don't really care for Kendall I got The Wire flashbacks from Raylan talking about how he's going to be toughened up in group homes. Fucking Darryl, fucking prick..

    I both hope Penny doesn't turn on Ava but would also find it incredibly jarring if she doesn't... she's really the only decent one there, and it doesn't fit with the mood. I would've been amused if she suggested one of the ice creams was poisoned and she'd willingly taste test every one of them.

    @LoganCox Wow jeez, what do you have against Todd! He freaks me out completely, but slimy and unlikable is not the words I would use to describe him.. he's very unique to me, I've never seen a sociopath who's (possibly) more inclined to be quietly polite and violence-averse if he was left to his own devices. Comparing him to Darryl just reads as very wrong to me.

    @Freeman LOL that's what I said about Danny's death, and now I have to say it about Picker too. Forget it Jake, it's Justified... I'll never be able to predict shit. Anyway Picker really came to annoy me with the way he'd bitch, bitch, bitch. Glad he died that way.


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