By Craig Hubert | This week on “Justified,” Raylan’s daddy issues are finally resolved – or maybe not – while Boyd keeps digging himself a deeper hole that will be impossible to escape, implicating Ava in the process. Johnny is making moves to take over, while Boyd has the Harlan County elite and the Detroit gangsters on his back. Colt’s slowly falling apart and seems ready to take down everyone around him. Drew Thompson is still nowhere to be found, and it’s starting to seem like he never will be. Maybe the entire thing was a ruse? Maybe he doesn’t even exist? With only four episodes to go, everything is up in the air.
“I like you better anyway.”
This episode’s all about Raylan’s repressed daddy issues. After Raylan tries to undercut his father’s deal, which would see him get moved to a safer prison, old Arlo gets in a fight in the prison barbershop which ends up with both him and the other man with scissors in their sternum. When Raylan hears the news he doesn’t seem fazed, even though the rest of the office is waiting for him to crack. Even though the hunt for Drew Thompson – the main narrative thrust of the season – is no closer to resolving itself than it was in the first episode, Raylan is throwing himself into this case with gusto. He continually tells people that this is a big case that will change his career, maybe right all the wrongs of his past – but we all know what’s going on, even if Raylan won’t admit it to himself. Not that Raylan has no reason to hate his father – when he goes to visit him in the prison hospital and asks him, once again, for information on Drew Thompson, Arlo’s response is typically prickly: “Go to hell.”
After Raylan, inadvertently saves Boyd and Ava (more on that in a second), he gets the news that Arlo is dead. The last show of the episode: Arlo, laying on a gurney still as a bored, that same old crooked scowl on his face; Raylan, standing above him in the dark, doesn’t shed a tear, but rather stares at his dead father, a whole range of emotions streaming across his face.
What’s going to happen to Raylan?
Remember last week when the aristocrats of Harlan County roped Boyd into a deal during their freaky sex party? Well, Boyd tries to flip the script, approaching the man he’s been paid to kill and offering him to get a free pass if he pays up. The man, eating beef jerky and cleaning his rifle, kicks Boyd out of his house. It looks like Boyd just messed up big time.
But because this is Boyd we’re talking about, of course he has a plan. When Win Duffie, the middle-man for the Detroit gangsters, comes to the bar and tells Boyd they are upset that he hasn’t found Drew Thompson yet, Boyd gets the gangsters to do his dirty work for him. The only problem? Boyd’s crooked cousin, the crippled Johnny, has his own con going and tips the gangsters off. So after they do Boyd’s dirty work, they come to kill Boyd and Ava, only to be saved by Raylan (remember above?). So Boyd may be saved in the meantime, but his cockamamie scam, to get the rich men who paid him to kill their competition to each cough up one hundred grand, plus a Dairy Queen chain (Does Boyd see a future where he and Ava are working the drive-through?), is too disorganized to succeed. Boyd is always confident, but he may have stepped too far out of his comfort zone this time. He needs to remember who has the real power in Harlan County.
And Colt: oh man, is he in trouble. After getting mysterious text messages from Ellen May, the prostitute he was supposed to kill, demanding $20,0000, Colt kills a drug dealer, then kills his friend. The only problem: Johnny, Boyd’s cousin, was behind the whole thing. Colt doesn’t know this, but he’s causing too much unnecessary destruction to last much longer.
- Will we ever discover who Drew Thompson is? Was this who storyline a ruse to get at Boyd and Ava’s twisted fate and Raylan’s daddy issues?
- Nick, the Detroit gangster, makes another appearance. He doesn’t seem very intimidating, though. Maybe because he’s played by Mike O’Mally? Every time I see him I can only think of Nickelodeon’s “Guts.”
- I’m calling it: Raylan is ready to crack.
- Only four more episodes left: Who will live and who will die? Something big needs to happen to send us off into the next season.
Image: Prashant Gupta/FX