Season 6 of Justified continues to bring back characters we’ve loved and hated over the years. Last week it was Loretta and Dickie Bennett, this week we got Limehouse and Constable Bob, whose “shit” is apparently “zipped.” At first I thought it was odd that Raylan would call upon Bob to help him find Ava and maybe they were just doing a fan service bringing Patton Oswalt back in. But he’s such a fun character, one whose rabid enthusiasm mixes so well with Raylan’s laid-back demeanor, that it doesn’t feel forced inserting him in the season. And hey, it’s not every episode we get to see someone get tazed in the nuts.
This was another fantastic episode for Joelle Carter, who’s gotten the chance to run an emotional gauntlet in just five episodes. “The Trash and the Snake” left Ava absolutely terrified, with Katherine hinting that she knows about Albert Fekus and her deal with the marshals. Most of all, she’s afraid Katherine will tell Boyd. She attempts to skip town via Limehouse’s crony Errol (Demetrius Grosse) but winds up right in the hands of Raylan.
Raylan has been treating her more like a nuisance than an ally through this whole thing. The majority of his attention is focused on Avery Markham now, so Ava’s inability to give them information on Boyd is starting to piss him off. Ava’s fed up too, sick of being thrown to the snakes for the sake of the case. Their kiss at the end was bittersweet, as was the harkening back to Raylan first stepping through her door to rescue her from Bowman in Episode One.
There have been a few instances of reminiscing on previous seasons so far this year, particularly during last week’s episode. As this season continues barreling along (they’ve already built up a crazy amount of tension and we still have eight episodes left!), it’s nice to have these moments of reflection.
Meanwhile, the Tiger Hawk Security guys are starting to sweat. They haven’t been able to buy much land, and Markham knows they have an “adversary” stopping them. This led us to our first example of Choo-Choo’s infamous punch. He “Amtraks” Calhoun, killing the man with one shot. Now that we know it’s not all talk, it’ll be interesting to see who tries to throw down with him. You just know we’re going to see that punch again.
Because of their previous run-in, I have a strong feeling it’ll be Tim who steps up to Choo-Choo. For now, he spent the episode buddied up with Rachel and watching Fekus get cattle-prodded. It was cathartic to see that slimy little scumbag writhe around on the sheets, with Wynn and Mikey standing over him. Their talk with Fekus gives Wynn and Katherine a greater suspicion about Ava’s release. The cards are stacked terribly against her.
Jeff Fahey makes a perfect addition to the Justified universe as Ava’s uncle Zachariah Randolph. He’s a simple man, but Boyd needs his expertise to gain entrance to an abandoned mine that’s supposed to get them near the pizza place’s safe. The mining knowledge he dropped on Boyd’s crew was impressive – I wound up looking up things like “white damp” and “pitch mine” afterwards. I really hope Fahey sticks around for a few more episodes. One of the show’s many strengths has always been introducing a character already drenched in believable history. Not once has it felt like a character has popped up out of the blue and not belonged in the story. Zachariah is no different.
My one concern with this season is that there are SO many villains that Raylan is taking on, but ultimately what everyone wants to see is a long-awaited finale confrontation between him and Boyd. It’s what the past six years have been building up to. That being said, I think it won’t take eight more episodes to deal with Markham and his crew. Maybe in five or six episodes more it could go down, leaving the final few weeks for Raylan and Boyd to have one another’s undivided attention. I have the utmost faith in the writers (who have been killin’ it this season), so either way, I’m not too worried.
What did you think?
Episode Rating: ★★★★ Very good — Damn fine television
• Now Boyd’s coming full circle, going back down in the mines. It would be sort of perfect for Boyd and Raylan to have their final confrontation in a mine, though that’s just my wishful thinking.
• I loved the signal Limehouse gives to call his man out. It may seem like he’s alone, talking business in the open, but down in his holler his men are always watching.
• I’d take a few million volts for a fist bump from Tim.
• Constable Bob dropped two Star Wars references in two minutes. I have a hunch they let Patton Oswald improv a little.