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FX (ended 2015)

Justified S05E06: "Kill the Messenger"

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, 



POSTCARDS FROM HARLAN COUNTY

– 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!


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 4/14/2015

Season 6 : Episode 13

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I for one am glad that they slowed things down this week after last week's spectacular "Shot All to Hell." While the Ava storyline isn't too interesting, I'm hoping the writers will make the correct call and get her out of there before the last few episodes of the season because the last thing I want is to see her remain in prison until episode 13.
I did enjoy Boyd going to the Crowe's for some muscle after the Neo Nazi's sister attacked Ava. Watching Darryl smack that guy was quite satisfying and a reminder that while he tends to think things through (unlike his brother Danny), Darryl can certainly handle his own when physical confrontation is required.

This season has been very good so far, always keeping me excited to see the next episode. Honestly, isn't that why we watch television?
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It seems like I'm in the minority on this site but I am really enjoying Justified this season. I will admit that this season has gotten a slow start what with it setting up all the major players and storylines but from everything I am reading and listening about the last half of the season, it will be amazing.

I just can't understand why some people find the first half of a show slow they immediately decide the whole season is shit. Let the writers take there time in telling their story. Then when the season is over, then look back and decide if the season is as bad as you thought.

Justified is still my number one favorite show of all time (at least where drama is concerned) and it will leave a big hole when it leaves. I still have Hannibal (fingers crossed) and I'm hoping some other shows that I am interested in deliver the goods.
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First of all, let me first say, that I had never engaged in "social community" activity in my life before this show.

Second, I am posting on this board - only because FX has has been too-long lacking in their "social community" website and a tight group of "friends" has moved on.

Third, my handle, shows where my loyalties lie.

I don't watch TV. In the first decade of the century, I watched two shows, Sopranos and Deadwood. Now it is SOA and Justified. The latter two I download and watch repeatedly.

In my opinion, Deadwood, is the greatest show ever in history. Its writing and its layers make it enjoyable to watch over and over.

I took some crap from people who said TO was just an actor wearing the same hat as he did in Deadwood. When in fact, the hole in my viewing heart, was pierced when HBO found Deadwood too expansive. So I checked Justified out.

What I discovered was nothing less than Deadwood "done on the cheap". It sounds trite, and is repeated often, but Justified, at its worst, is better than anything on TV.

If I have a complaint - its on a episode and never on the season or the show - and it's never endangers my loyalty to Justified.

But like everyone, I am human, and I find comfort in "whistling in the grave yard" amongst old and new friends.

And I am particularly attuned to any impact cost has to MY show. Too much and I get my heart broken. And too little the same.

FX's support of the show has always been my biggest worry. I have never seen a show's biggest headline, being its being renewed every year. And now at least, we know, we are trading the show coming back another year; for next season being its last.

So while I am placated that I have one and a half more seasons to enjoy; I hope the previous episode - which I panned - was a one-time blimp. The episode before was great. And I have high hopes that Justified next episode will be great. And still remain optimistic that Justified - does what it has always done - pick up the pace in the back stretch and make for a compelling story with characters that can be invested in.

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I would also love to see Ian McShane on Justified. Even if he is just a one-off villain. If any show could utilize his talents Justified could. One more season to get him.
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I was totally thinking that even a cameo with Ian would be great in the last season. Spot on .

It would be hardly without precedent on Justified. Ellsworth (Drew Thompson), Dan Dority (prisoner in first season being transfered to supermax). Johnny (parent that tries to kill the judge for insurance and his real life kid who also was one of the kids in Deadwood school), George Hearst ("retired" criminal who sends Raylan to the hills and gets his foot cut off). Prostitute (killed by Al on the final episode "Tell Him Something Pretty) was the friend of the girl with the dentist on the run when Raylan and Rachel have to go to LA and Mexican border. Hunter Mosely is the guy Bullock ran against for county sheriff. Con Stapleton (who plays the guy who is rich with horses and gets shot by his wife and her real husband).

Especially ironic was Drew and Hunter in the same car in the back seat.

And the list of other characters from Deadwood on FX's SOA is just as impressive.

One other point, and this is only for people like me obsessed with a few shows; the same multi-layered trails that are used to show people coming into Deadwood is the same as some of the Kentucky Hill drives on Justified.

Long answer. But yes Deadwood is not easily forgotten by some of us. And it certainly has not been forgotten by TO and FX.

Bring Ian McShane back? I would pay good money to see that kind of magic.
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I've only seen the first two seasons of Deadwood and it is criminal that they didn't get a official last season to wrap everything up neat and tidy. I would love to re-watch the two seasons before starting three just to refresh my memory. I've also seen the first three seasons and I can't wait to see more.
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Actually, the next ep airs on 2/25 while taking a week off for the Olympics apparently. Great review as always!
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the snowflake-story should look for hints at banshee to make things more interesting ;)
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I love this show....some thoughts:

If Dewey had really taken a turn to mean, the jerk that made a fool of him over the pool would have never left the property.

Ava making that big a deal out of repairing her hair ?? I was prepared for the "Riot in Cell Block #9". Sheeze....

Darryl playing killer angel on the really big skin head? Did that work for all of you? Seems like more of a group conflict would have happened.


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I don't think Ava was REPAIRING her hair. I think she was cutting it all off! Maybe a crew cut, but at least very short. I think she did that because everyone was making such a big deal out of what nice hair she had.

If she cuts it off, no one can use her hair against her, anymore.
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Thank you. You are absolutely right. I have my dense moments :>)
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I agree with many comments below, especially on the Ava front. If it's anything more than a quick nod of the head to Orange is the New Black, I'll be bummed as Justified's writing has rarely felt so derivative in the past.

I disagree wholeheartedly with the idea that this season is Justified's worst, or that this episode has de-railed what they've built to date this season. Sure, there are far too many moving pieces, but my biggest frustration with this particular episode was the lack of follow through on the Raylan & Art showdown. They're saving it, I realize, but it felt like a lost opportunity to drive the story forward. Instead, we got some inter-office tension. It was nice to see Tim and Rachel for a bit, but we learned instantly that they are powerless to dissolve the tension between their boss and their unpredictable co-worker. The problem is, we've known that for a long time now.

The developments with the Crowe clan took up far too much screen time as a trade off, and as Tim pointed out, were less than believable, especially Dewey's sudden boldness. I'm also struggling with Danny quickly surpassing his brother Darryl as the scariest Crowe in the bunch, yet still being willing to back down and work for Boyd. It really takes the wind out of the Crowe family's villain status if they are eager to saddle up as lackeys the moment money is on the table.

If the Raylan / Art arc takes center stage next week, I'll be satisfied that the writers have a focused goal in mind, but it would still be nice to see some clear motives from the tangled mess of bad guys still in play. I'm very ready for Steve & Wood Harris to get some action scenes, at the least.
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As to Art and Raylan, I believe that's all there is to it. He punched him. If he was even contemplating opening an investigation, he wouldn't have hit him. He would have done the opposite. Keep it to himself. Also hitting a subordinate would give the subordinate a counter-suit.

Anyways ... the fact of the matter is all you have to do is google "Justified Yost" and he provides a Kurt Sutter-like insight into each episode. It has been a few days, but I am pretty sure Yost said he wanted to get right to Art's reaction of what Raylan did. And leave it at that.
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Yep, I'm aware of Yost's postmortems, which are great and helped clarify a few other questions this season, like why they chose to kill off Jean Baptiste so hurriedly.

By follow through on the Raylan & Art situation, I don't mean only action - I certainly wouldn't have expected Art to open an official investigation. I mean change, from either man. If that's not the central goal of this season, possibly of the show in general, I'm not sure what is.
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Edi wasn’t enjoying the journey? Seriously? There are black actors who wouldve killed to get that role. I think half of Hollywood would jump at the chance to appear on an FX series, especially one like Justified.

"He didnt see where it was going"'..... It was going straight to the bank. Oh well....his loss...

Thx for clearing that up.
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Yep, anytime. Though it was a fun surprise at first to see a developed character die so unexpectedly, I'm pretty bummed the actor decided he wanted out. I totally agree it was lining up for an awesome end of season arc. I pictured Jean Baptiste killing off the Crowes one by one and taking charge of whatever ill gotten fortunes had been won.
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Why did they choose to kill off Jean Baptiste so hurriedly?

Was it done to give Danny and Darrel something to clash over?

Or to give Danny a reason to pursue the kid's demise? Either way a meltdown's a comin'.
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From the third page of the "Shot All to Hell" postmortem:

"Getting Edi Gathegi was a big get for us, but the character just wasn’t panning out for him. He didn’t see where it was going, and even though we were thinking that Jean-Baptiste would survive until toward the end of the season, Edi wasn’t enjoying the journey."

And agreed, bold choice that really ups the stakes for Danny.
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I find your comments to be exceptionally well articulated and thought out.

Respectfully, the "show in general" I believe to be more a matter of the consequences of two men - Raylan and Boyd - who believe they are "justified".

This was teased out in the ride with Boyd and Raylan - in the last episode of last season - when each ask the other "what lets you go to sleep at night thinking ...".

I think the show very well could have started out as an arc between Raylan and Art. Then they made an early audible to make Boyd the second main character.

Thus, in the end, "Justified" has to answer a question as old as time itself: nature vs. nurture, is destiny preordained or is it a choice?

Can someone leave Harlan alive? Not a literal but a metaphoric question. Does someone who is born into one town's ethos - leaves (Boyd to Desert Storm and Raylan to college and various other Marshall assignments) and returns - able to resist going backwards?
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Thanks! And the same to you.

You're definitely correct on the Raylan and Boyd relationship being the more important to the show's central themes than Raylan and Art. Though I'm certainly hoping that it can be Art who might facilitate some change in Raylan's life as a result of their falling out. As you've pointed out though, that assumption may be entirely incorrect if the writers have decided their goal is to prove Raylan and Boyd really are destined to travel similar paths, albeit on different sides of the law, forever.
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Dewey's sudden boldness is an act. He's TRYING HARD to be tough and trying to convince himself that he must be tough because of what he did -- or maybe trying to justify what he did by deciding he must be tough.

I think they're doing a good job with his effort. And, I think it's going to come back and bite him in the butt.
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Absolutely agree with the Art/ Raylan conflict. But what I question even more, is why Raylan said anything to begin with? He's not a boastful person, he wasn't fond of the agent named as the "lawman on the tarmac," so why would he let Art know it was him?
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Rayland had a flash of conscience . It happened in the emotion of the situation. He may regret it now but he let the toothpaste out....
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Art left plenty of hints that he already knew, or suspected, or would be finding out, soon. Raylan realized his best course was to come clean now rather than be "found out".
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I am going to go out on a limb here and say this might be the worst season of Justified.

The story is sporadic, if there is a central story this season. Which doesn't seem to be the case. The closest you have is Boyd trying to get Ava out of jail. But that seems about it. The other stories just suck. Raylan and Allison I don't care, she is an amalgamation of all of the wrong things of every woman Raylan has been involved with in the show. I looked forward to her when I heard that Amy Smart was coming to the cast. But her character couldn't be more worthless.

They have killed or sent off every slightly interesting character. The Haitian? Gone. Killed by arguably the dumbest character that they have ever written. And they thus far have sent away Mara, whose interactions with Boyd were the only good thing about this season thus far.

Raylan is off. Perhaps it is the utter lack of witty banter between him and the main criminals. Which isn't going to happen because the Crowes are the single worst criminals that they have had. But Raylan this season just comes off as a selfish asshole, who is no longer working his own angles for the right things to occur. But he is just being foolish. Allison was run off the road by Danny, you don't need to go and beat him up. Call the State Police, have Allison fill out a report, get a warrant and go arrest him. He resists, Raylan shoots him and then we only have Daryl to kill off. Who seriously needs to be killed off.

Because of the stupidity of the Crowes, the writing is just not there. Not that Rapaport could handle it. Even when he was punching the white supremacist I was thinking of how bad he was.

I am honestly thinking of giving up on the rest of the season. Because I don't see how this can be salvaged.

Banshee has now surpassed this show on my favorites list. So it goes. Person of Interest, Banshee now Justified and it is sliding down.

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I agree this season isn't up to the standards previously set. But, I'm still enjoying it. If this had been season 1, however, it's not likely I would have kept watching.

It's tough for a show to keep up with high quality stories through multiple seasons. What worked in a previous season can't just be templated because it feels repetitive. But, if you change things too much, it's not the show you feel in love with. Catch 22.

It's still one of my favorite shows on right now.
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Don't give up. This isn't SoA.
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I won't give up. I know that they are going to bring it and raise the game for the final season and that is likely going to be the best one. But this season is just meandering along without a tangible direction and I really dislike Rapaport more and more each episode. The writing isn't up to par this season etc. It still is one of the better shows on TV. It isn't like I am going to start watching Intelligence to replace it because that show is awful. It just isn't priority TV for me right now. And Banshee has surpassed it.
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You will probably want to kill me for this, but I actually kind of liked Boyd and Daryl teaming up and I'm kind of looking forward to what happens with Johnny in two weeks, BUT, at the same time I keep thinking what the point of the Crowe family is. Last week, Daryl was threatening Boyd not to reject his offer, making it sound like bad things would come to Boyd if he did, but Daryl has no leverage at all and a week later, he easily accepts Boyd's offer to help him. It just kind of shows that Daryl is whoever the writers want him to be from week to week, and not to mention Boyd and his boys could have easily gunned the Crowe family down themselves. Same thing with Danny, who looked like a MAJOR bitch this week, getting his ass kicked by Boyd's henchmen Carl and Rachel. Him crashing Allison's car was pretty stupid and pointless as well. So the Haitian is dead, and this idiot is still alive? Though the real reason for that is because the actor who played the Haitian wanted to leave or had scheduling conflicts, one of those.

I feel like a broken record ranting on the Crowe's every week, since it's pretty much the same frustrations every week. Oh yeah, and I'm sick to death of Ava in prison. I was hoping they wouldn't take this long with her, but they are. There is still something about this show I find compelling, and despite the issues I have with it this season, I still really like it. I hope there is at least some good payoff at the end of this season.
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I think that is one of the major problems of the Crowe family. They have no purpose. I don't know if it is because that the characters are so shallowly written that this is the writers trying to salvage the season by tacking them on to Boyd. Or that all the family is is basically a bunch of Hyenas that latch on to the kills of bigger game. And they really are just the most despicable characters that we have come across in this show.

The lack of their depth means that the writers can write them like scavengers. But the show has time and again each season given us compelling characters and these people just aren't compelling at all. Regardless of Rapaport's lack of acting ability. I am not sure any actor could make the character compelling. Even with the inevitable death of the Daryl and Danny I doubt it is going to be satisfying because really they should have been dealt with in the first episode. The writers took what should have side characters in maybe a one of episode like the guys that abducted the pregnant woman in season 2, or the douchebag criminals that Raylan has taken care of time and again and extended them out to a season long arc.

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Except for the part about Ava and the "jail" thing, I completely disagree with the review.
I think this episode might have SEEM "soft" because so much happened last week, but still there is more things at once this season then...I think ever!
the writers of Justified have everything under control more than any show on TV right now (as they proved last season).
Of course, things get in motion to end up with Boyd on top of the world (even if it's difficult to picture that right now) so we can finally have the showdown we've all been waiting for... ^^
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Normally, I have a problem with people who punch Raylan in his "gorgeous square jaw", but since it was Art and Raylan actually deserved it....I'm okay with it. The most interesting part of this whole eppy was actually just a ride in the SUV with Raylan and Rachel...rarely does Raylan let his guard down but he did for a nanosecond and so did Rachel because we know now she has his back. And it has nothing to do with rising ambition w/in the police department.....nice moment. I agree about Ava's arch, it's like watching another show. Orange is the New Black with Southern Accents and cliché characters. I've been watching Justified since season one, and I know Ava is an original character, but she's an original character they don't know what the heck to do with. Sorry, she's just not a necessary character anymore somewhat like that girl Raylan's sleeping with isn't necessary. On to Darryl and Danny, why is Danny so afraid of Darryl....I don't get it. Cousin Johnny has turned out to be more of a challenge to Boyd then anyone thought, I think including Boyd. Very entertaining eppy, and it kind of sucks when Art is upset with Raylan.
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I'm still not sure why Rayland snapped on Rachel, calling her the office "kiss ass"? Rachel aint real big on taking crap off of people. The girl has teeth. I might've been more shocked than she was. That was out of character. He apologized showing he knew he was wayyy out of line, then we come to find she probably already knew about Nicky anyway. This episode was Elmore Leonard Gold.

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On this point, namely Ava, I think the writers have this under control. Putting her in jail, is not the same as preserving her for the show. Her scenes in jail are most likely being used to set up her demise. Boyd's inevitable fall has to be played out for the next season and a half. Hence Ava/Boyd scenes are in the way. And the time has run out for a happy reunion. Boyd's consequences have to be set in motion. And one way to advance the cause, is to have him in pain, knowing the genesis of Ava's corruption was him.

She is the Clay (Sons of Anarchy) of Justified's last to final season. And Boyd is the Jax (Sons of Anarchy).
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Did Art hit Raylan because he did it, or because he told him?
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Both kind of. definitely because he did it but if he didnt tell art, art would never have known and it wouldnt be messing with his head.
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Yes.
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I'm guessing both
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Well I really enjoyed that episode but it seems I live in a lonely place. Ok firstly I'll admit to having Justified tinted glasses, but I am amazed at all the negative comments here. We are only 5 episodes in and if I remember last season we had some of the same issues. Things really didn't kick off till episode 8 Outlaw. There were lots of rumblings then about it being slow with the ongoing hunt for the mysterious Drew Thompson, whereas now it's too crazy. Then bam, everything started to come together and we had what I think was the shows best season. So I'm going to have faith in the writers a little while longer that there is a bigger picture storyline in the making here. (Which I think will be the setting up of Boyd as the big bad for next seasons finale and ultimate showdown with Raylan.)
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I'd compare this season more to season 3 than season 4
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Even though I am a member of the negative comment club; your post (and others - "this point in last year's season" ) gives me hope (we are actually 6 episode in - but close enough) and is a fair point.

As to Boyd being the big bad next season, I think Justified faces the same kind of writing question, as Walt in Breaking Bad. Boyd has to pay the consequences. In that way, I see him being less the big bad and more the "victim" of his past transgressions.

The same can be said for Raylan. Especially with Elmore Leonard dying. He too must face the consequences of his actions.

But a rich vein for Justified to explore next season, is what was Raylan's mother like? We first found out she had to hide in Nobles Holler. Then we had his father saying "your mother wasn't St. Francis" Then we had Shelby/Drew say she had someone that spread rumors of her proclivities. Then we had the jailed Sherif Hunter Mosely say "turn out like your mother and you will be ok; but I don't think you can".

Meaning, the writers have laid a foundation, if they wish to go down a path, that Raylan's mother may not have borne him in wedlock. That would make Arlo not his father. Leaving to a mystery of who was Raylan's real father.

Was Mosely not talking about Arlo as Raylan's evil side; but instead talking about some other father more dangerous?

And couldn't that have been Bo? And if it was Bo; Raylan and Boyd are really step brothers. Less the big bad; than the big reveal?
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What I meant with Boyd being the 'big bad' is that every season there is a 'big bad' for Raylan to go up against/bring down. Bo Crowder, Mags Bennett, Quarles, Drew Thompson, Daryl Crowe. Boyd seems like the obvious choice for the final season as it will come full circle from season 1. Plus the way Boyd is getting more and more into serious drugs, he has to come up against the law eventually. Raylan and Boyd are practically the same character, shown with two different paths, one of the law and one against it. You even have Arlo treating Boyd more like a son than he ever did Raylan. Taking your points about Raylans mom, imagine if Raylan turned out to be a Crowder? Mind = Blown :D
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I loved the episode. I too am surprised to see all the negativity.
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I like Ava & one of the glaring deficiencies in Raylan's character is the way he cut Ava loose on the basis of half a promise from crazy pussy he didn't even want any more.
Make no mistake Winona definitely meets the criteria for crazy pussy. She was at her happiest when Raylan was scaring the shit outta hubby Gary in season one. She did everything she could to get between Raylan & Ava, then once she got what she wanted wouldn't quit nagging Raylan for being Raylan, even implicating him in a mad scheme to steal money outta the Marshall's evidence room.

Raylan went for it which makes him culpable as well, but that is the past, what really shows Raylan up for being a narcissist who only cares about what is right in front of him at the time, is the way he has completely ignored the situation that Ava is in right now.

It's Raylan's simple-minded judgmental mode showing again. To Raylan, Ava seems to be criminal (she took over a brothel, a legal occupation where I live) so now Raylan treats her as though she is as ugly and corrupt as he believes his father to have been.

Raylan shouldn't have to 'rescue' Ava but it is always better to stay good friends with former lovers (otherwise if they were that bad it negates the good times both of you had). Raylan could have stuck his long & sticky beak into the local jail to check on Ava once or twice, if he had, it is likely none of this bad shit woulda happened.

I realise this is only a TV show and we are all at the mercy of the writers, but I feel a lot of Ava hate in this thread and I have to say I have a lot of time for this woman's character.
She is strong and smart and certainly not to blame for being raised in a culture where women are brainwashed into subsuming their ambitions for those of the man they are with.
Ava fought against the tide only to find herself worse off every time. She must be looking back right now and imagining things were better when she was being bashed every night by a drunken Crowder.

Yeah it does seem like Ava is isolated, separate from the rest of the story while she's in jail, because she is.

Maybe this is what the writers are trying to show. Ava has links to many other characters not just Raylan, eg Rachel who was supportive of her when she fought back against the Crowders.
Ava can't do anything to close the gap with those former friends and acquaintances, she's slotted up, but they can and yet they aren't which goes a long way towards showing the biggest weakness in the law enforcement model on display in "Justified", the marshalls, sheriffs and the rest of em are vainly trying to enforce the law in a community which they are not part of. Always a recipe for disaster.

The "protectors and servers" are on the outside looking in, only seeing a tiny portion of the story and using that to judge the people in the community - naturally they get it wrong most of the time.


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Someone has been watching True Detective, Rust Cohle and his treatise on "crazy pussy". Nice one!

"You have a hell of a bedside manner"
"..this is a bar not a hospital and being sick ain't the same as being stupid"

Love Ava, but can't have Raylan stepping in an solving her problems with the short stormtrooper or the show would have no stakes or conflict, it would be all -something bad almost happened but then it was resolved peacefully and we can watch Boyd and Raylan doing their tax returns :-)
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Oh yes I almost forgot. As a Big Heroes fan, I am very happy to see James Kyson Lee as a guest star this week. Most people would know of Masi Oka but James did a very good job in Heroes and he is also wonderful this week as a guest star here. I hope they bring him back for more stories this season.

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Agreed! :)
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"you are too blinded by Raylan's charm and can't see what a reckless son of a bitch he can be"

I will always remember the first scene I watched from the pilot of Justified way back in season 1 where Raylan trick a bad guy into trying to shoot him first so he can murdered him. It makes his action "justified" and hence the title of the show. From then I was hooked to the show! I do not have a good memory but that scene stuck with me till now.

In order for the show to be viable, I feel he has calm down throughout the years. What he did last season was totally of his character and it was well planned. I do not think of him as reckless at all. In actual fact, I am very happy to watch him take out bad guys within the confine of the law.

Back to this episode. Coming off last week fantastic episode, this one seems a little slower but I still liked it very much. The different stories are what keep the show interesting and if anyone is confused they should just go back and re-watch the scenes. I do that sometimes.

Tim and Rachael are very perceptive and should be given more stories and screen time. Hope the producers are reading. We learn what a thug Darryl is and perhaps finally showing him as a badass. I liked the idea of Boyd working with him now. They could battle it out later in the season and I suspect they would.

I never liked Ava character so her being in jail is fine by me as she is kept out of the main story.

Looks like next week Justified is resting for a week, that sucks but the preview for next episode 2 weeks later looks really exciting and I cannot wait to see Boyd on his knees while Johnny pointing a gun at him.
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I think after last night, I'm done with Justified. This was boring, it was dull and unrealistic and just more stupid posturing by hillbilly mobsters while Raylan makes a cameo appearance on the show he used to be the main character of.

There's no main story, there's no looming issue, and there's no US Marshals doing anything of note. There's no clever characters anymore, nobody who does something unexpected because they are more than just serving the story. Nobody is "justified" in doing a damned thing we see onscreen at this point.

Ava used to be an interesting character, but not a major character. She used to have more integrity, then less integrity, now she's just a pinball being batted around in jail as a way to screw with Boyd - her story is uninteresting and drags on the show. Like you said Tim, there's no connection here for the majority of characters, and she's not being smart or tough or making game in the clink.

Boyd is the least interesting he's ever been, he's simply an untouchable, unstoppable hillbilly mob kingpin now who does whatever he wants. His "rise to power" seems to have started high in season 1 with a believable power base and then after being taken down a peg in season 2, is just more and more unbelievable in his rise to the upper eschilon of powerful rednecks who just do whatever they want without fear of reprival. His most interesting moves were recognizing Hot Rod's message, and realizing he had no more followers so he had to take on the Crowes.

Danny and Darryl Crowe aren't even characters at this point, they are doing whatever they want for no reason and nothing has made sense or shown them achieving anything, they just fall into success despite being utter losers. Danny attacks and kills people, and the leader of his clan doesn't even notice or care, and now it's just Danny and Darryl, as Wendy was never in the picture as a meaningful character and Dewey is hopeless and on a path to destruction. There's no downtime in these characters, nobody here exists for one second when they're not onscreen, they have no personalities tied to anything other than serving a plot. They are wind-up toys and nothing more, they are as uncompelling as it gets. And then magically Boyd recruits them and they matter again.

Raylan had a conversation with Rachel, and got punched in the face by Art, but we didn't get much meat with his story yet again, it's all shorthand and cutaways, and brief conversations with the latest girlfriend-in-trouble.

If I watch Justified again, it'll only be because there's nothing else on and the series is coming to a close. But it feels like 5 seasons was already one too many for the producers.
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I will stick with Justified, but your comments really make sense.
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The Crowes are starting to feel like a dumbed down versions of the Bennetts.

While the writing and acting are solid it feels like there is to much going on...
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Dumbed down? Damn. The sister and the kid are smart. So's the brother, whatever their names are. Dewey and the guy with the pitbull are certifiable asshats. Still, not a whole lot of synapses firing down in Bennettville. Not since Mags died.
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In fairness, the Bennett family were entrepreneurs. They were in it for the money and Mags played it smartly. The Crowes are a slightly smarter version of Dewey, while yet the sister and her son are smart the rest are really just gun thugs looking for a quick buck. Danny is more or less a carbon copy of Coover.
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Doyle Bennet was smart to some degree. I didnt realize the kid was the sister's son. I have a hard time focusing late at night. Is Danny the guy with the pitbull? He seems like a Coover clone. The guy from Copland/Mob Doctor seems deceptively perceptive.
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Me too on sister's son. They don't behave like it and it has not been said on the show.
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while ava's in prison how about you all check your iphones or whatever, that's the reason for your attention deficit after all. I used to have a friend like you, never content just hanging out. while everyone else was enjoying the company he would always offer up the "i'm bored, i'm going to go find something to do" which probably amounted to watching television. much the same way you all were probably watching TV. and complaining about it?
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Ava's time in prison is cliche and dull, it's not compelling and it's not really happening for a reason except to fill time. There shouldn't be "dull parts" of a TV show like this, TV is already pretty middling, it doesn't have room to get worse. I wasn't checking my phone while Ava's scenes were happening because I have ADHD, I had ADHD symptoms because Ava's scenes were happening.
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It is cliche and dull. Its completely predictable. You already know whats gonna happen in the next couple eps. I can practically guarantee Ava will end up allied with the black cjicks fighting ''the evil bigotted white girls''. Original ideas are hard to come by these days..
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I think it's a grand ole assumption that we'd continue to follow ava around prison. and to have a complaint about this show at all puts you on my shit list. this show is irreplaceable. lastly ava's interactions while in prison felt 100% more authentic than those in OITNB.
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Hmmm, while the plot development was certainly interesting, I'm not sure how much I like Boyd and the Crowes working together, and now plotting against Cousin Johnny, and Jay & Roscoe. Oh well. This doesn't necessarily exclude Boyd and the Crowes battling it out later on, so whatever, I have no real point here.

Yeah, Ava in prison sucks. Well, no, that's worded wrong. I don't mind Ava being in prison. SEEING what she's doing in prison sucks. It's boring. Just let her be in prison but don't show what's going on unless it directly pertains to the plot outside with Boyd, like the bit in this episode when Gunner and Gretchen screwed Boyd and Ava. That bit was fine; it's certainly been a thread this season that Boyd KEEPS getting screwed when it comes to trying to help out Ava -- but the rest of Ava in prison could've been left out and I'd have been just fine without it.
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I think they give way much time to new characters, the Crowe sister and the Crowe teenager, and I miss Tim and Rachel. They are rarely seen nowadays and with not much of a story.

Also, I like Ava. Her journey from an abused wife to imprisoned murderer had many milestones. She resisted the outlaw in her for long, but she is who she is. Maybe her stories aren't that good lately, but I really like the character. Her story makes sense.
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more tim and rachel would be great but unfortunately they've never really had a consistent presence. two rachel episodes this season may be a record as far as I can recall.
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i have tried to google search and i'm tired of failing :(
when boyd is speaking to his nazi friend about protection for eva, the neo fascist says she'd need money for her commissary, where boyd then responds in lain, the best i can hear it as is "in tune in cule"
what is the actual latin phrase he uses?
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Haha, I'm pretty sure Boyd said: "Well, this should keep her in tuna and Kool-Aid for a little while" which is in reference to tuna and Kool-Aid being the top-of-the-line food and drink for many prison commissaries. So, yeah, that may be why you failed in your Google searches, hehe.
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haha, that is pretty funny :P i must have went and listened to it ten times, and never once could figure it out. Thank you very much, lol :)
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A little slow, but after last week they had to slow it down or there wouldn't be anybody left.. I though they moved the Crowder/ Crow relationship along nicely, but it was a little easy after their earlier tension. What the heck, money is money eh Darryl. I really miss "bad-ass" Ava and I think they should have her remind people you don't mess with her. Ava's scene with Nicky Augustine trashing her was one of the most tense last season, waiting her for to come off the hook and teach him some manners... one of my favorite! Let Ava off the leash baby!

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I liked that ava didn't ever cower and in fact attempted to fight back when when being confronted by gunner's sister.
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Firstly:
Justificianados = NO

I liked this episode, sure it wasn't as action packed as others but in pairing Boyd with the Crowe's it finally gave Ava's plot more weight than Boyd pining for her.
Daryl beating the crap out of the nazi showed him to be a real threat - and was interesting because I never thought of Michael Rapaport as being so physically intimidating before this.

The only poor part is Raylan's girlfriend. It seems every season they give him a love life that just goes to shit
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Yeah I liked the Crowder/Crow hook up and even the way Boyd preached it "I won't give you the money but what I will do is give you the opportunity to earn it" and considering they were nearly considering heading back to Florida and Raylan interfering with their lodgings it turned into quite a symbiotic relationship, as long as Darryl Jr don't get to talking with cousin Johnny any time soon. Did love to see Darryl wailing on the white supremicist and that Boyd had found value and use for these crazy violence prone kin of Deweys.
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I'm liking amy smart for the most part so not sure where we meet on that but otherwise your comment was a breath of fresh air amongst the others. I liked "justiphiles" as offered up by a commenter lower on down the page.
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I like her character, I just don't see the point of her being in a relationship with Raylan - plotwise, the same outcome could be achieved without them hooking up
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I have a hard time imaging it's going anywhere. and likewise the only relationship he's been in in the past I wasn't overly fond of was the one with winona but I accepted it as best I could. I would be surprised if amy was still around next season in a romantic capacity and not sure that I'd complain if she was. i have a hard time imagining raylan moving towards serious in a relationship unless a baby's involved and even then it's questionable. he did avoid winona and child when he made the trip down to florida after all.
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The most interesting thing about the Ava in prison story is that we still don't know who's keeping her there. And knowing Justified I'm sure they are going to do something interesting with it.

My main concern is that Boyd is on fire when it comes to handling all situations except when it comes to Ava. Sure he's still the articulate badass we know and love. Sure he's got a lot on his plate nowadays, but he is royally screwing up the whole Ava situation. Why spend a lot of time arranging protection when you should be kidnapping and torturing short stack prison guard to find out who set her up and why. Getting Ava out of prison should be a priority to Boyd.

Teaming up the Crowders and the Crows is an excellent move. And I would say it isn't that hard to believe. It's not going to last, but as long as both parties benefit the truce will last. After that I'm fairly confident bullets will start flying.

Raylan and Art is very interesting. Sure Raylan should face some consequences of his actions, but in all honesty.... It was justified. That asshole Augustine went after pregnant Winona and reassured him he wouldn't stop until he killed everybody Raylan cared about. So I would define that as a definite grey area. He gave the guy an out and he didn't take it. And a gangster getting killed by another gangster, who has already been killed himself....what's the problem? And that's why Art will do nothing with the information except to keep Raylan on a short leash.

The women in Raylan's life have him completely figured out and that continues to be funny as hell.
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The Herd Still Needs to Be Thinned

I thought all the killing last week would help move the plot line along this week. Instead it was the worst episode in five years.

Even though it was longer than usual, the scenes moved too quickly, between too many characters, and too many characters getting back together too quickly.

Meaning the show's herd has not been thinned back enough yet.

Ava - I don't know what was worse. Breaking up the show as an uninteresting distraction or the writers being tone deaf to inevitable Orange Is The New Black comparisons.

Raylan - He has always fought for airtime with Boyd. But this season and this episode his appearances were brief, fleeting and had no depth. It makes one wonder if TO - who is an executive producer, is more-and-more influential in the writing room, and who is on record of saying he wants the show be more funny like Curb Your Enthusiasm - is more interested in maximizing funny lines while minimizing his scenes.

Boyd - Too many story arcs. Wynn Duffy (who seemed to be just an afterthought as his "partner"). His relationships with the Crowes. Shoving in some Ava time. Hot Rod Dunham/Johnny Crower. And White supremacists. I think there was another but I stopped counting.

Dewey - Him shedding his past and feeling remorseful after his first kill and now is pointing a gun at too many people to count.

I could go on and on.

But what really worries me, is after six episodes, the show has failed to invest me into any character. Investing in a character is a matter of "what's at stake". Last season Shelby/Drew, Ellen May, the Preacher's sister, Tim's ex-military buddy, Colt, Art's retirement and Raylan's family life were all at stake and I was invested.

This season, do I care about what happens to the Crowes. No. Do I care about what happens to Boyd? No. Raylan's latest NZ substitute. No. Again I could go on and one.

Does anyone know what is at stake this season? Is there any character the readers care about?
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Bang on!
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"one of the worst episodes in five years". man I'm glad I don't share your sentiments. I quit reading right there.
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If Alison is supposed to be Winona 2.0 as some are suggesting, may I BEG that they just bring back the original? NZ is off The Following so why not? She's a better actress and has MUCH better chemistry with Raylan/TO. I am just not feeling Alison/Amy Smart. Oh, and Winona 2.1 might have stolen some money in a moment of insanity, but she was WAY too smart and sensible to ever smoke weed while she was driving, and technically, still on the job since I'm sure Alison will report those miles she drove to and from Harlan.
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I never felt there was chemistry between winona and raylan, at best just an attempt to recapture chemistry that might have once been there. alison feels like a more natural fit and calling her winona 2.0 couldn't be more far off base. alison joined the show with questionable integrity which is a fit for raylan, they had to artificially create that same sort of circumstance for winona.

lastly I wouldn't tout NZ's acting abilities as anything special. certainly not noticibly superior to those of amy smart. a quick glance at imdb would indicate that my siding with amy smart is with good reason; AS: 61 TV and movie credits dating back to 1996. NZ: 37 TV and movie credits dating back to 1999. also Amy has 1 award win and 3 nominations vs zea's 0.
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Personally, I hated Winona and I am so glad she is off the show! Pretentious and shallow, ok Raylan is in love with her, so what? Typical good-looking woman with not much else going on. Raylan should end up with a strong character, someone like Ava but on the right side of the law.

But I agree Alison is a bit weak.
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I'm definitely finding this season a little messy so far, but I know it'll come good in the final 5. A friend is half way through season 4 and complaining how slow it is, but I assured him things pick up at the end. Hoping the same happens here.
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I'm gonna guess Art 'stole' Rayland for standing by as Nicky Augustine was killed. ?? Granted I watch tv late at night so subtleties sometime drift in an out of focus. I guess this whole thing might be made clearer in this review, but its a little TLDR. Ava being attacked was 'bout as predictable as the sunrise. Rachel got to kickballs again, which is extremely gratifying. Tim was completely underused but this episode really went well. It managed to be really entertaining while moving the story along significantly. I like that. Not a bunch of boring ass stutter steppin'.
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You miss the point there Tim. This season is shaping up, more than others, is about "Kill." Ava in prison is boring, yes. But look how far Boyd is willing to go. He doesn't kill just to prove the point that he could, even if betrayed. Raylan can legally kill (and admitted, as we assume, that he witnessed a killing, which may put his boss' ending career in the shit-hole). Darryl Jr. has not problem killing, if it is his worth his while (and is disappointed he couldn't kill the skinheads). While his brother has to hide killing the Haitian over nothing to keep from getting killed. This could lead to a massive "settling of all debts" type ending for this season. I look forward to it!
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I'm not bored by Ava's jail time, but I wish something would happen other than just her being in prison. I get that having her in there where he can't protect her is one of the strings quickly unraveling Boyd, but a little more action wouldn't be amiss in her scenes. Maybe a shanking, or a shower scene, something. I actually thought that having his protection plan fall through was a great turn, but to have it resolved in the same episode made it less of an issue.
Tim pointing out the elephant in the room was my favorite part of the episode. Rachel with Raylan was second.
It wasn't the best episode of the season, but as our all-knowing reviewer mentioned, it was a cood down episode. And I for one really needed it after last week's bloodbath.
Seeing that it would be two more weeks before we get a new episode has me hoping Amazon, or Netflix or someone offers up an episode early.
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Justificianados, eh? Not bad, Tim, not bad. I could also get behind Justifiends and Justiphiles (but not Justifiles).
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The truth of the matter is Ava has never been a very exciting character on her own. It was her interactions with the rest of the cast that made her likable. It was the strength she had in certain situations that made her fun to watch. Placing her in a storyline in which she's the newbie and has no leverage does not make her interesting. The actors keep promising that this situation is going to change Ava, and change her relationship with Boyd, but because I never have a real problem with their relationship, I'm rather bored by it. I like the idea that someone is finally being held accountable for their crimes on the series, but Ava in jail is just plain boring. I'd rather watch Raylan Skype with Winona than watch Ava get jumped and have to adjust to her new life in prison.
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Ava used to be interesting in season 1, she was tough and drew down on anybody who messed with her. She was known to have killed her husband at the table with a shotgun while he ate fried chicken dinner, and that resonated with people of Harlan (back when Harlan was more than just 100% drug dealers and pimps). She had a higher moral code than Boyd. Then she stopped being integral to the main story but they kept the character around because the producers don't know how to let go of anything, and they needed to justify her presence (pun not intended) so they made her less and less interesting, removed her morals and made her choices stupider, and she went down the crapper.
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Agreed. On all points. Although I applaud them for trying to give a female character her own separate storyline on this show. I'm just really not feeling Ava's story so far. And if may I'd like to add that I already loved Alison when her name was Winona.
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Tim wrote: "Remember how boring Clay in prison was for Sons of Anarchy?"
Well, we got to see Clay dance and preach to "his God" at the church meeting in prison, a moment that made Clay´s stay at Prison worthwhile.
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Ava in prison might be dull, but Boyd is more fun to watch without her weighing him down in nearly every scene. I'm liking Darryl more now too. Obviously Danny has to go but I hope Darryl and his sister are around next season.
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Raylan wasn't going around willy nilly organizing mob hits as you infer - he was protecting his ex-wife and unborn child. Art gave him nothing after the shootout in their childs bedroom and it's irrefutable that Augustine was serious about killing them all and Art had no answer, no plan, no promises. What would you do? Raylan was 100% right and Art should have at the very least given him some guarantee that Augustine would be stopped - he didn't. Raylan had every right to protect his family in whatever way would work. Art failed him not the other way around.
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Short version: Raylan did the wrong thing, for the right reason. And Art knows that.
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Raylan gave Augustine the option to live by turning himself in, Augustine chose poorly and got what he got.
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FYI... Ava might have shot her husband, but it was Rayland who shot Boyd in Season 1.
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it was AVA who shot Boyd. Boyd was trying to goad Raylan into doing the same countdown he did in Miami, and Ava shot him with a rifle.
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Ava drew on Boyd with the shotgun, but when Boyd went to go for his gun, Raylan shot him. Then Ava took a shot, but missed as Boyd was already falling to the ground.
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It was most definitely Raylan who shot Boyd in the pilot. Ava wasn't even capable of shooting straight when her shotgun did fire.
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Here, here. Raylan shot Boyd in the Pilot.
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Please forgive my nitpicking but the phrase is "hear, hear."
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