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Justified: Sounding

"Running is a mistake. That's how they find you."

Despite the constant references and even the actual carrying out of torture and accidental murder, this episode was a bit on the light side.

There was the return of some of our favorite guest stars, like Limehouse and the not-dead-yet-I-guess Errol from the wonderful Noble's Holler. Patton Oswalt's Constable Bob is also one of my favorites and the way he took down Errol with the taser was like a comic pratfall. Interesting that electricity was something of a theme. I was also amused when Rachel kept waiting to enter the room while Wynn and Mikey were poking the despicable Albert Bekis with a cattle prod. Rachel has her moments.

But like the earlier episodes of this season, this one mostly centered on Ava, who is so freaked by the myriad of threats against her that she made an aborted attempt to leave town. I was confused by the way she was feeding Boyd his favorite dishes because it felt like a deliberate callback to the way she killed Bowman. Is Ava capable of killing Boyd pre-emptively? Boyd hasn't abused Ava and I don't think he ever could, but this time she admitted that she's just waiting for him to figure it all out and kill her.

When the running thing didn't work out, Ava threw herself at Raylan. It made sense that she'd finally go there, but it surprised me that Raylan kissed her back. What is Raylan thinking? That Ava is still into him in this extreme situation? Or is he just acting romantic in order to give her something to hang on to until she brings him Boyd on a platter and he can finally leave Kentucky? Does he still care about her at all? I've already said it three or four times, but it bears repeating: I'm very unhappy with how Raylan is treating Ava. The fact that it's episode five and this is still the focus of the story is making me wonder if Ava's death is coming down the pike soon.

There was a bit less from our two sets of bad guys this time. I liked Wynn Duffy's confusion when he came into Katherine's room and found her babysitting her grandchildren. Maybe in a guy like Wynn's mind, a grandmother can't be evil. (I can testify that that isn't true. My tiny maternal grandmother was frightening.) We got even more black comedy when Choo Choo "amtracked" the poor well-meaning realtor Calhoun. At least Calhoun didn't suffer. I bet his kindly hooker will miss the poor guy.

Meanwhile, on his continuing quest to blow up the Excelsior 5200 in the Pizza Portal, Boyd hit up Ava's uncle Zachariah Randolph (Lost's Jeff Fahey) for something ominous called 'black damp' that causes oxygen deprivation. The scene at the Obsidian Mine where Earl got blown straight up into the air like he was levitating made me laugh out loud. I wasn't quite sure what a "sounding" is, though. Not up on mine terminology, I guess.

Bits and pieces:

-- That road block at the beginning of the episode was all for Ava's sake. Her very own road block.

-- Ava's engagement ring still fits. Was that a hint that deep down, she still loves Boyd?

-- The Walker/Markham scene pretty much confirmed that as nasty as Walker is, he walks on eggshells around Markham.

-- Constable Bob got a new car. Good for him, but too bad for the audience. I loved that limp little hatchback.

-- Loved Zachary Randolph's front yard. That's a set decorator going nuts. Or someone's cool cabin in Topanga Canyon. (That's a funky mountain community above Los Angeles. It's a fun place. I think a lot of hippies wound up there.)


Wynn: (to Katherine) "There are children in your room."

Katherine: "I like Ava. Be a shame to have to kill her."

Wynn: "I'm pretty sure 'aplex' isn't a word, Mikey."
Mike: "Of course it is. I don't like that guy. He 'aplexes' me."

Mike: "You okay? You look aplexed."

Constable Bob: "Damn, Raylan. That girl could make a dog break its chain."

Constable Bob: "Take him 'out' out?"
Raylan: "Outside. I want you to take him outside."

Constable Bob: "Errol's a big guy. What if he don't listen to me?"
Raylan: "You got a badge and a set of balls, don't you? There you go. Use those."
Constable Bob: (to himself) "Hell yeah, I got a badge. And I got balls like death stars. Let's do this."

Ava: "There's gotta be a place in hell for a man that breaks a promise to a woman."
Raylan: "I ain't worried."

Another excellent episode. Three and a half out of four death stars,

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


  1. Once again, I really loved the nostalgia parade. Constable Bob is always a delight, and I was amused by how he's grooming his facial scruff to look like Raylan's. I don't remember if he was doing that before, but it was very noticeable in this episode. Too funny.

    I'm not sure what to make of Ava's potential fate any more. Some weeks I fear for her death, some weeks I feel like she's going to be strong enough to make it. This week she seemed a lot more vulnerable than strong. That kiss was pure desperation. I'm hoping if the end comes for her, she gets to do something far more proactive before it does. She's been too reactive and skittish. I want her to reclaim some agency and either find a way to survive, or go down fighting. Not running.

    Re: Rachel --- while I don't think she minded that Albert was suffering, I think her main motivation for waiting while he got the cattle prod was that she didn't want to blow the op. If she and Tim had busted in there, then it would have confirmed Wynn's and Katherine's suspicions about Ava's "confidential informant" status. Since he didn't seem to be in immediate mortal danger, she wanted to wait. I was actually a little surprised they cleared out of the motel so soon afterward. What if Wynn was still outside watching? I guess they believed that the little torture session fully convinced him.

  2. I agree with Jess about Rachel, Albert and Wynn.

    I can't say I feel too much sympathy for Ava. All her choices led her here; she's always believed she was tougher than she actually was. Make no mistake, she's tough but like Markham said, she's been playing into a fantasy for a long time. Boyd, Duffy, Markham, Katherine, Walker...they're all extremely dangerous killers and I don't see Ava leaving Harlan alive.

    It's always fun to see Bob and I'm glad Errol survived. Is this perhaps a hint we'll see Quarles again? Armless in prison? I kind of hope so. I didn't much like Quarles the first time around, but I've oddly found myself missing the crazy husky.

    Anytime Jeff Fahey shows up in a show is a good day.

    Also, this is off-topic a bit, but isn't Danny Strong awesome? I loved him in Buffy and he's so good here playing such a wildly different character who makes the skin crawl. And then there's his major success as a writer. Good for him.

  3. While on the one hand it makes sense to stick with seasons 6's ongoing theme of reawakening season 1 elements (I love that everything's coming back to Raylan, Ava and Boyd), I agree the Raylan/Ava kiss was really uncomfortable. I understand why Ava would turn to Raylan--he's the only person she can be completely honest with now, and in her situation she has to rely on him (and making him as invested in protecting her as possible is smart from a self-preservation standpoint), but that second factor is what makes it uncomfortable for him to be responding to it. He knows she's trapped in an untenable position, and that she's not doing this for any healthy reasons, but he's Raylan and he still can't help himself around women (or are they going to make a point that it's particularly Ava he can't turn down?). These two were together so long ago sometimes I forget they were even a couple, so it's weird seeing them hook up again.

    That being said, I don't know how Ava can be feeling much love for Boyd these days when she's terrified he's going to kill her. Interestingly, Raylan seems to understand Boyd's feelings regarding Ava more than Ava does, cause I think he's completely right--deep down Boyd already knows why she's out of prison, but he'll keep denying it until hard proof is smashed into his face like a pie.

    And then at the end of the episode Raylan implies he'll stick around until Boyd comes back. (At least it seems so from the preview.) I wanted to shout at the TV, "Are you trying to get Ava killed??" I'm really hoping she gets out of this somehow, but it really does feel like all bets are off this season.

    Considering all the things Boyd and even Raylan have done, it seems so unfair Ava got into this mess from killing a piece of crap abuser, when the guys have much more serious body counts. The 'luck' of women huh?

  4. Joelle Carter got 'performer of the week' on TV Line.


  5. Testing your promise that it's "never too late to comment on an old show". I'm so late because Justified keeps getting pulled in Canada making it hard to complete. Currently I only have 4 days left until it's pulled again from Prime :(

    Hopefully someone can answer 2 things I'm finding confusing in season 6...

    1. What is the Marshal Service's interest in this season's plots? Isn't what they're doing actually FBI work? I know Raylan does non-Marshal stuff all the time, but this season the whole Marshal's office seems off script. However, I'm Canadian so perhaps I just don't understand the US law enforcement levels.

    2. In this episode, Rachel says something like they know Albert Bekis stabbed himself and framed Ava. I'd assumed to that point they'd been lying about his co-operation, but now it seems like they made a plea bargain with him. If that's true, then how can they send Ava back to jail? Or are they just bluffing her?

    1. Dr. Fever, it has been so long since I saw Justified that I can't answer your questions! I'm considering a rewatch because of the reboot, though.


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