This week on Justified: Five people died.
Yowza, what a body count. Lots of shows go with big shockers right at the end of their episodes, but Justified kicked off this week with a big one: Boyd plants a series of murdered corpses in Lee Paxton’s funeral home, tarnishing his reputation, and then shows up and shoots Paxton in the head, posing the murder as a suicide. Roll opening credit sequence.
Later on we get another big surprise, when one of Boyd’s hired guns publicly murders Sheriff Mooney in a café. Boyd then instructs Mara Paxton to get out of Dodge, which we assume she does.
So, boom, two dead and Boyd’s solved most of his problems. Well, some of his problems. One of his problems. To recap: Ava’s in jail, Paxton was pressing murder charges, Mara was complicating matters, Johnny had stolen a $300,000 shipment of heroin and joined forces with Hotrod Dunham, Boyd’s inside man at the Crowe place just died, and the Crowes are now fixing Boyd in their targets. So, in killing Paxton and Mooney, and running Mara out of town, Boyd seems to have cleared up Ava’s record, making it so no one could possibly press charges against her. The judge decides to release Ava ASAP, and things are looking good. Yes, everything’s really comin’ up Milhouse. Boyd even contacts Hotrod Dunham and proposes that they join forces to smuggle heroin in from Mexico, on the condition that Hotrod turns over Johnny to Boyd. A condition upon which he agrees.
Ah, and then things really head South. Boyd gets a visit from Dilly Crowe and his trusty Haitian sidekick/advisor, and while Boyd and Jimmy manage to draw their guns first and drive away their antagonists, Mr. Crowe announces that things are about to get much, much worse for Boyd. We pretty much knew that already, but the visit was a necessary formality. From one crime boss to another. You know how it is.
Then comes the biggest blow of them all: you remember That Little Turd of a guard who attempted to rape Ava in the last episode? You remember how I mentioned that prison rape plots seldom go anywhere good. Well, it’s true that another guard put That Little Turd in his place as far as the whole sexual assault thing is concerned, but when word gets out that Ava’s getting released, TLT enters, pretend to find a shiv under Ava’s mattress, and shanks himself with it. Ava’s cowardly cellmate backs up the guard, and Ava is moved to the state penitentiary. Poor Ava. Poor Boyd. Poor Everyone.
On top of that, Hotrod gathers his goons to capture Johnny only to discover that Johnny has recently paid off all of the hired help, whose loyalties have just (in)conveniently shifted. He doesn’t kill Hotrod, at least not right away, but things are indeed looking worse and worse.
Meanwhile, Raylan has his hands full, too. Actually, let’s begin with Art, whose hands are full after the Canadian thug he interrogated in the last episode is murdered by none other than Alan Tudyk, but only after spilling the beans that Picker, Sammy Tonin’s killer, is living it up in Kentucky with Wynn Duffy. Alan Tudyk the Hitman heads to Kentucky himself, tracking Picker and Wynn to a diner. Who else is looking for Picker? Well, Art, of course, who’s trying to figure out whether or not Raylan is crooked. All parties have a very intense meeting in the diner, but eventually Art stares down the hitman and arrests Picker.
Meanwhile, Raylan has his hands full (there, I got to use that paragraph beginning after all). He starts by checking in on Kendal Crowe, who was recently taken into foster care, because, you know, a whorehouse is not a good place for a minor to live. His seemingly respectable sister Wendy shows up under the guise of taking him back to Miami to live with her, but instead she turns him back over to Dilly and Danny and the others Crowes. Danny acts like a jackass.
When he’s settled his business with social services, Raylan returns to the office only to find Art and Vasquez interrogating Picker, which puts his plans to take down the Crowes on hold for a while. For those of you who have forgotten, Raylan did indeed set up Nicky Augustine to get killed, and Picker was certainly present, but Raylan manages to get Picker to shut up about it and instead tell him where the hitman is hiding, having deduced that Alan Tudyk is probably working for Theo Tonin, and trying to kill Picker to avenge the death of Sammy Tonin.
Art and Raylan check out the location Picker gave them, a stocked warehouse, and engage in a brief gunfight with Alan Tudyk, which ends when Raylan shoots and kills him. That’s body number four. Who will number five be!? Later, during the arduous cleanup process that inevitably follows every government shooting, they discover Theo Tonin hiding in one of the crates, thereby officially making this one of the best days of Art’s career.
During the celebration that follows, Vasquez reveals that Picker named a recently deceased, but officially missing FBI agent as the fellow who set up Nicky Augustine, clearing Raylan of any problems. Raylan, for some unknown reason, but possibly because he’s finally realized that he can’t get away with everything and let an innocent man take the fall, tells Art that this information is incorrect.
Back at the whorehouse, Wendy and Dilly have agreed that they need to take better care of Kendal if they want to avoid any more trouble with the Law. Danny is responsible for buying healthy food for Kendal to eat, which he of course doesn’t do because he’s a jackass. The Haitian harasses him about this and intimidates him into doing it… or so it seems, right up until Danny takes out a shotgun and kills the Haitian. Body #5. So, that’s another complication, which is sure to cause internal problem in the Crowe family unit. This death actually really bothered me. It felt like kind of a waste. The unnamed Haitian had such a mystery and menace to him that I thought the writers could have gotten more mileage out of. I’m disappointed, but they might make it work later on. We’ll see.
So yeah, five deaths and Raylan is responsible only for one of them. How about that?