Justified: The new number one

FX
FX

Who could have guessed so many seasons ago that Ava Crowder would wind up Enemy No.1 on the marshal’s most wanted list? After last week’s bonkers ending, “Fugitive Number One” was more of a transitional period to set up the final showdown between Ava, Raylan and Boyd. With tempers running high and the burn of betrayal still fresh, it’s looking like a classic western standoff is on the horizon for our heroes and villains.

Before her daring betrayal last week, I was left wondering why Ava would ask Carl whether Zachariah made it out of the mines or not. Whether she premeditated the attack on Boyd and the robbery with Zachariah before it happened or not, the idea of kin helping kin commit a crime seemed very Harlan-esq and very appropriate for the two. Whether she did plot it with Zachariah or not, Ava’s plans were put on a serious setback after discovering her expert to help their getaway was nothing more than a rotting corpse at this point, leaving them in a bit of a bind with the marshals close to finding them.

I figured we’d seen the last of any civil conversation between Raylan and Boyd, but was pleasantly surprised as Raylan’s trip to Boyd’s hospital bedside brought back the usual affection I have for the two similar characters and their banter. Boyd seemed to cross over to Raylan’s side of the law for a fleeting moment by suggesting seeking Zachariah out to find Ava. Of course the balance of nature between the two needed to be restored, and naturally Boyd ended up breaking out of his handcuffs to begin his own manhunt for Ava and the money. Watching Boyd blow Carl away and break out of the hospital only reminded me of the cockroach that he is, able to survive literally any and all situations.

Someone else who’s proven his ability to survive virtually any situation is Wynn, who, yet again, managed to walk away with his life intact even after being ousted as a rat. I was sure his life would be over when Katherine showed up with her gun, but thanks to Mikey (or should I say Michael), his loyalty and his part-Terminator capabilities, it was Katherine who wound up dead instead. I’m not sure how Mikey managed to kill Katherine with the number of bullets in his chest, but fight scenes to the sound of classical music have always been something I’ve enjoyed, and enjoy it I did.

The one thing that did burn me about the episode is the way Rachel, the one truly honest and just deputy of the marshal service, appears to be the one being totally scorched by her superiors because of Raylan’s actions. I understood why Vasquez was mad at the department for their handling of the case, because, from a legal side, it’s been a serious disaster. But to believe Raylan in cahoots with Ava just seemed silly for him to believe this late in the game.

With Raylan consistently walking the fine line between good and bad (or, as I see it, his inner Boyd), it only felt right to see him ditch his badge at the end of the episode and go on a rogue mission for Boyd, Ava and the money. With 48 hours until he too becomes part of the Art Mullen manhunt, it’s all coming down to the show’s three central characters and which one will be able to survive it all.

Justifiable

  • “I’ve been to Mordor but not through the mines.” Be still my Lord of the Rings-loving heart, Tim!
  • Glad to see Loretta didn’t die at the hand of Boone last week. Although I’m still not sure where that’s all going and whether she’ll survive long enough to be the kingpin of Harlan County.

Justified airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET on FX and Super Channel.

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