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Justified: Burned

Boyd: "I'm a bad man, Loretta. But Avery Markham is a real bad man."

I never expected our clever and ruthless Boyd Crowder to fail, but fail he did.

With only four more episodes of the series to go, I was on the edge of my seat wondering if Boyd would actually die in a poetic justice sort of way by his own boom. He knows full well what explosives do to people and he hates being down in a mine more than anything -- no wonder he panicked. I was even freaking for a moment that Boyd would have to cut off his own foot to get away, although that would have been difficult with only a few seconds and a pen knife, and would tend to make running away a bit harder.

Boyd was so focused on his robbery and blowing up the rock under the vault that he didn't even appear to consider Loretta McCready's offer to be muscle and distribution for her legal pot bizz. Isn't that what Boyd originally wanted way back when? Wouldn't that be an appropriate way to leave his character at the end of the series, partnered in a lucrative and legal business with Loretta that would bring back prosperity to Harlan?

For me, Loretta's ascendance to Mags Bennett level was the high point of this excellent episode. During the party at the Pizza Portal, Loretta took Markham's audience and advantage away from him and talked everyone into signing on with her. She even had the nerve to accuse Markham of murder to his face; the naked fury on Markham's face made me cringe. Wouldn't it be wonderful if Justified ended with Loretta as the pot queenpin of Harlan? Mags would have been so proud. Let's hope Loretta was more sincere about her plans to help Harlan than Mags was.

And let's hope that Markham's killer Boon, whose flirting with Loretta reminded me of the pervert she got the better of at the start of season two, doesn't get the better of her. Boon had creepy eyes, a bad haircut, and an obsession with the quick draw. (I bet that reference to John Wayne was pointing directly at a future gunfight with Raylan.) He left a beheaded snake on Loretta's dining room floor in order to scare her away, and wow, did that backfire.

Boon actually looks like a snake, doesn't he? But the thing is, Raylan compared Avery Markham to a snake just a few episodes ago. Was that headless snake a bit of Markham foreshadowing? Raylan appears to have befriended Markham in order to take down Boyd, but I just don't believe Raylan has decided to let Markham go and do anything he wants. And Raylan is certainly not going to sit back and allow Markham's goon Boon to kill Loretta. Raylan cares about Loretta. Hey, we all do.

I've always liked the devious Wynn Duffy, too, but I bet his days are numbered now that we know he was the snitch that took down Katherine's husband. (Jess Lynde called it last week!) It's not like we all aren't aware that Wynn is a violent, self-centered rat with no conscience, but I was still oddly disappointed in him. Wynn's shiny tanning coffin-like bed also felt like foreshadowing, pun intended. (I knew someone was going to end up trapped in that tanning bed.)

If Boyd, who instantly picked up on Wynn's new CI status, doesn't get Wynn Duffy, I'm sure Katherine will. The way she took out Seabass in that hotel room (yet another bloody killing in a hotel room) with the gun in her purse and without batting an eye was really impressive – I almost jumped out of my chair. Markham was looking at Katherine as if he'd never seen her before. I also loved the set-up with the tennis bracelet Katherine and Ava stole several episodes ago.

Of course, I'm still worried about Ava, who is now playing both Boyd and Raylan against the middle. (Or maybe it's a more fitting cliche to say she's playing with fire?) When Boyd confronted her about conspiring with her Uncle Zachariah, I again thought that was the end of Ava. Please make it to the end of the series, Ava.

This was the fifth or sixth excellent episode in a row. Fingers crossed that they can keep this going right until the end. Gold acting stars to Walton Goggins for that underground scene where Boyd nearly got hisself blowed up. More gold acting stars for Kaitlyn Dever, who again made Loretta memorable. Dever herself is still a teenager, and she stole a scene away from Sam Elliott. That's impressive.

Bits and pieces:

-- I usually can't tell that they film in southern California, but during the bridge scene, it was obvious that those were California mountains. I really enjoyed that scene on the bridge with Raylan, Tim and Wynn Duffy. And Mikey, who doesn't like this snitch stuff. Maybe Mikey is the one who will kill Wynn. That would be a bit sad.

-- We still don't know who killed Simon Poole. Was that Wynn Duffy, too?

-- Boon didn't know who John Wayne was. Doesn't everyone, even someone who doesn't watch TV and movies, know who John Wayne was?

-- Raylan was ready to sell Arlo's house to Loretta. Her possible partnership with Boyd means that now he can't.

-- What happened to Zachariah?

-- I was going, what's the Ickey Shuffle? Live and learn.


Rachel: "So this is all based on a hunch."
Raylan: "When you phrase it like that, it's mildly insulting."

Art: (re: Wynn Duffy nearly naked in a tanning bed) "Holy shit. That's pretty high on the list of things I wish I'd never seen."

Markham: "I thought I'd seen all your tricks."
Katherine: "Well, if you feel compelled to show your gratitude, I could sure use a new purse."

Tim: (re: Mikey) "Does the boy wonder know what team he's playing for now?"
Wynn: "He took it kinda hard at first, but he'll come around."
Tim: "Like catching daddy cheating with the woman next door, huh?"

Wynn: "You know, except for the filth, the impending sense of being buried alive, and the smell of rotten flesh, it's not that bad down here."

Raylan: "Boyd couldn't get it up."
Rachel: "You being cute?"

Four out of four headless snakes,

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


  1. Great episode! I, too, really loved Loretta channeling Mags. The staging of the scene just beautifully recalled some of the great oratory battles between Mags, Boyd, and Black Pike, with Raylan watching from the sidelines. It was definitely the high point of the episode for me, and I would love it if the series finished with Loretta ascending to "queenpin" level and keeping Harlan afloat. It would be great to end with two powerful females in charge of the law (Rachel) and criminal (Loretta) sides of the equation. Even if Ava doesn't make it out alive, at least we'd get a pair of ladies being more than pawns to control their men.

    I also agree completely that the mine thing was extremely intense, even though I pretty strongly suspected Boyd would make it.

    I can't tell you how excited I was when Wynn was revealed as the rat right off the top! I'm wrong on these things SO, SO often. I couldn't help having a little Captain Holt-style "Hot damn!" moment (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) after Wynn admitted the truth. :)

    I hope that Wynn still manages to survive all this. He's like the cockroach of the piece, you know? When the rest of them have all burned each other to the ground, he'll just scuttle back into the cracks and be on his way. He's so good at keeping himself alive in this world, even if it means turning rat. For me, survival would feel like the most fitting end for him. But, I agree that it seems doubtful it'll go that way for him one more time, given these circumstances. His number may finally be up.

  2. Oh sheesh, why does this episode have only 1 comment? There's so much to say. Though the one comment covered everything.

    ...And now I'm struggling too. Uh, well I'll just add that Markham almost looked cute when he looked grumpy with Loretta's little speechifying. And Katherine had a funnily muted 'meep' kind of reaction to being called a city mousette.

    I thought Zachariah was hilarious, not sure why. Frank Lapenis from L O S T suddenly striking Boyd and telling him this was a biblical kind of punishment while also not pretending to hide his petty resentment at having one of his womenfolk shack up with a Crowder was funny to me. But though I didn't feel that strongly about The Pig I still hate him for tossing him down the hole, and hope Zachariah gets what's coming to him.


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