By Josh Logue
I’ll tell you what, I would not have predicted that a topical political issue would be the thing tie up many of the mysteriously dangling threads in the first half of “Justified’s” final season, but that’s what happened. Weed is back to the forefront of this show, and the expectation of its eventual legality is why scary people are killing innocent Kentucky-ans.
That’s what Calhoun finally explains to Raylan this week (“Occam’s razor, Thor’s hammer. Who Gives a shit?”), which means in addition to Boyd’s taunting, Milville-esque presence, Raylan may not be able to resist going after big-time weed dealer Avery and his gang as well. Someone has to, right? Because he’s already killed a nice elderly couple for their land, and he’ll likely kill some more. What’s more, this is just another in a long time of good choices for “Justified’s” sixth and last season. Raylan’s conflicted loyalties – to his job and his family – have always been an important part of the character, but they’ve also often fallen to the wayside in in favor of resolving the exciting crime show plot arcs. This renewed attention to character and internal conflict more than likely means we’re in for some satisfying resolution on that front as well, which is great!
Ava’s having a moment too, by the way, and by all accounts it’s more nuanced and interesting than anything her character has been through so far, let alone Raylan’s. She has two of the best scenes in the episode, one near the beginning and one right at the end. They both involve her smiling and appearing to be worried but genuinely excited and happy to be with Boyd and then wham her face melts as soon as he leaves the room. Those moments that juxtapose the terrible pressure of pretending and imminent betrayal with her loyalty and authentic (apparently!) feelings for Boyd are getting closer and closer together, and more and more stark.
The pressure on her is mounting, too. She spends the episode with Katherine, who’s on to her deal with the marshals. They eat some breakfast and steal some jewelry together, and all the while Katherine talks too politely and leers very suspiciously. Every episode so far has maintained a tight feeling of simmering imminent escalation.
Every episode this season has also been at least a little funny with at least one colorful side character, and that holds true this week too (more so than usual even!), although it’s not Choo-choo this time. It’s a bomb-maker that Wynn Duffy knows, and who does not last very long. Remember to turn your cell phone off before making a bomb to blow open a gigantic safe. All the way off, not just air plane mode, just to be safe.
Raylan follows the trail to an old friend, Dicky Bennet, the very last remaining Bennet, who unknowingly sold his family’s property to another old (and missed!) friend: Loretta. She’s a little older now, but she still has her sights set on weed selling, legal or not, and she certainly does not intend to sell that property to Avery, which means her life is in danger now too, and that hopefully means that she’ll be sticking around for the remainder of the season. She’s always been one of the best characters on the show. Smart, determined and serious. Maybe one of the best teenagers on TV.
And that’s about it. Back again next week. I think we can stop hoping for a good season and start expecting one. If what we’ve seen so far is anything to go by, anyway.