There was no way that any episode Justified aired last night was going to reach the heights of last week’s all-time classic hour. However, “Sounding” was still another strong episode in what’s been a great start to this final season, as some more fan favorite characters returned (Constable Bob! Limehouse!) and Boyd made some progress in his plan to steal from Markham.
At the center of this week’s episode of Justified, though, was Ava, who decided to leave both Boyd and Raylan behind and make a run for it, allowing Joelle Carter to deliver yet another terrific performance (I’m starting her Emmy campaign right here and now). At some point during this final season, Ava had to decide to run; it was inevitable. Her situation with Boyd and Raylan was already a tense one, and Katherine Hale’s suspicious comments in last week’s episode made her more (rightfully) worried about her safety.
However, “Sounding” wasn’t so much about Ava’s fears as it was about her connection with Raylan. Even though the two of them haven’t been romantically entangled since Justified‘s first season, before Raylan got back together with Winona, it’s been obvious that the two still care for each other, which Raylan shows by not throwing Ava back into jail after he catches her, and Ava illustrates by reflecting on the first time she and Raylan saw each other again way back in the show’s pilot, before kissing him.
Since I doubt that Justified is attempting to establish some sort of love rhombus between Raylan, Boyd, Ava, and Winona, the kiss may just be the latest power play that Ava has made, an attempt to cloud Raylan’s judgment. And yet there was something so different about that scene between her and Raylan tonight, something so genuine (notice that Raylan takes his hat off when they begin speaking, signifying that their conversation is more personal–he doesn’t want to be a Marshal when talking with her), that it’d be hard to classify it as a calculated move made by Ava. Perhaps the two of them are just growing closer together, reigniting the spark that they used to have, which could very easily lead to Raylan’s downfall if he’s not careful.
While Raylan was tracking down Ava, Boyd was attempting to convince her uncle, Zachariah (played by Jeff Fahey), a former miner, to help him and his men break in and steal Markham’s money. It’s odd that Justified would try to introduce us to a new character with so few episodes left in its run (only eight remain in this final season), but the fact that Zachariah is related to Ava, plus the fact that he “dug coal,” just like Boyd and Raylan did, makes him less of a new entity and more of another peek into the complicated relationship between Justified‘s many families and a reminder of the Raylan-Boyd-Ava showdown that this season has to be heading towards.
And Zachariah, in his brief time on screen, proves to be instrumental in helping Boyd get closer to Markham’s money, money that Markham and Walker will do anything and everything to protect and money that Limehouse now knows exists thanks to Ava. With all added emphasis on digging coal, along with the fact that Markham’s money is stashed underground in a vault that only explosives can open, something tells me that one, if not more of these men, is destined to die underground, trying to steal the cash or trying to protect it, becoming just another relic of Harlan’s long, rich history.
– Patton Oswalt makes every show he’s on better, and Constable Bob is one of my all-time favorite recurring characters on Justified. So great to have him back in this final season. And hey, if this winds up being his only appearance, at least we got Bob tasing a guy, and this line: “Yeah, I’ve got a badge and balls as big as Death Stars.”
– I really enjoyed the Tim and Rachel subplot this week as well, as the two of them did their best to keep an on Wynn Duffy and Mikey as they tried to uncover the truth about Ava from Fekus. The dude deserved that fist bump from Tim after dealing with all those shocks from the cattle prod.
– Choo-Choo and Seabass’s interrogation of Calhoun was one of the more entertaining scenes of this week’s episode. Really, I just love any scene that Choo-Choo’s in, although now we know that he wasn’t kidding around about his strength, as he kills Calhoun with one big punch to the head.
– Wynn Duffy’s reaction to seeing Katherine Hale’s grandchildren was priceless, as was their reaction to him.
What did everyone else think about this week’s episode of Justified?
[Photo via FX]