Justificianados (I just made that up, how do you like it?), we need to have a powwow. And the subject of our discourse is one Ava Crowder and the circumstances she currently finds herself in. Now I know Ava has been around since day one, and when she shot her husband and then Boyd it was dang cool, but her story this season needs a boot up its butt. What started off as a means to motivate Boyd to get into some dirty business spun off into its own story last week thanks to her quibbles with Shortstack the Prison Guard, and really became independent in "Kill the Messenger."
The other day a friend told me that he thought he liked this season of Justified but quickly followed that up with "but there are too many things going on." Justified has always been a busy show with incestuous storylines wrapping around other storylines, as we saw tonight with the Boyd-Darryl-Dewey-Raylan entanglement, so it needs to stay lean in order to not confuse people like my poor friend there. The problem with Ava's story in jail (aside from me constantly waiting for Orange is the New Black's Crazy Eyes to come out and call Ava "Snowflake") is that it's a dangling thread, that extra piece of yarn that sticks out from the rest of the sweater. Okay, weird analogy. What I mean is while the rest of Justified is woven together, Ava in jail only connects to Boyd at the moment, so it hangs off the rest of the show as a dead end to the series' intricate stitching.
As a device to motivate Boyd to get into some serious shit, it works. But now that we're following her around the prison, it feels further away than the rest of the show. I know Joelle Carter needs her material, and she's great, but Ava is the very last person on Justified I'd like to see spun off so I'm not having much fun watching her on her own now. Sorry! Who knows, hopefully I'll eat my words and this will turn into something great over the next few episodes, but as for now, I say someone get in there and spring Ava from jail ASAP. Remember how boring Clay in prison was for Sons of Anarchy? As my colleague Kaitlin Thomas says, there's a reason the show took Boyd out of jail as quickly as possibly every time he went in: a jailed character kills that character's interaction with the rest of the show. So not only do we have a character on her own that isn't as interesting to watch as the other people around Harlan, she's drying out by her disassociation from everyone else. Again! Just my opinion! And again! Maybe I'm jumping the gun, because things could work out. Believe me, I hope I'm wrong and I am often wrong so the percentages are in Ava's favor.
Okay, back to everything else! "Kill the Messenger" had no option but to slow things down from last week's blood bath, with most stories easing into their new arcs on tippy toes or cautiously starting new ones. The most interesting of the bunch involved Art's further realization that Raylan is a reckless asshole who stained Art's legacy as one of Kentucky's finest Chief Deputy Marshal. Following last week's "confession" by Raylan (he never said he did it, he just said I know for a fact that the other guy didn't do it), Art punched Raylan right in his gorgeous square jaw. If you're on Raylan's side of this dispute, then, my friend, you are too blinded by Raylan's charm and can't see what a reckless son of a bitch he can be. But aside from some tension in a later meeting (broken up by Tim who pieced together that Raylan had a black eye and Art had a swollen fist), not much else came of this. I'm guessing Art is taking his time with this and trying to figure out a way to resolve Raylan's insolence with as much quiet punition as possible. Raylan deserves it, he can't go around being party to mobster murders willy nilly.
Aside from that, it was more posturing and positioning by Raylan, the Crowes, and Boyd as the three parties move closer and closer to a three-way collision. Danny Crowe is making a claim to be Justified's most insane character, and given that this show has more nuts than a pile of squirrel shit, that's a mighty accomplishment. How has this guy made to whatever age he is? He'll start crap with anyone and go until it's done. Coover Bennett would have looked at Danny and said, "Chill, bro." And Danny's stupid choices don't even need instigation. Danny ran Allison off the road while barking like a dog, forcing Raylan to come looking for him. Dewey, meanwhile, figured he could pay off Darryl to get him to leave by holding up Boyd to demand his money back for Audrey's. Would Dewey–spineless Dewey–really put a gun in Boyd's face? Really? I don't know about that. Dewey might be a little stronger in the ego area after coming into his fortune, but he's not so conceited to think he can take on Boyd. Instead, Dewey grabbed Boyd's man Carl to take for ransom, and that went as well as expected. When Raylan came looking for Danny, he walked in on a bound Carl and a knife-wielding Danny, but Carl said they was just having relations that the Bible would not approve of to keep the law away so they could sort out the mess themselves. It was a good play by Carl even though everyone knew it was bullshit, because it allowed Boyd and Darryl to meet in person and work their issues out. And because Darryl will apparently do anything for money, Boyd had a job for him: help him take down the man who backed off on a deal to make sure Ava was protected in jail. They did, even though Darryl working with Boyd, the same man who put a gun in his face not two episodes ago, seemed like another stretch the episode took just to make sure stuff happened. Phew.
So there you have it, a busy albeit slightly uneventful episode of Justified that served as a cool down after "Shot All to Hell." I'm keeping a keen eye on the Ava storyline moving forward,
– Boyd moved a little closer to getting to Johnny, asking Darryl to help Boyd kill him. So I guess these two former enemies are cool for now and will continue to use each other for their own benefit until such benefits run out. Then they'll kill each other.
– LOL @ Dewey trying to sell his pool for $800. $800!!! It doesn't even hold water. I don't want to characterize anyone too much, but I think Dewey might be a little dumb.
– No repercussions for Danny for killing the Haitian yet. Yet.
– Wynn and Boyd made some moves to get a line on some heroin coming in from Mexico. But I'm not sure how they got away with not paying for the heroin up front. That seems like bad drug business, if you ask me!