This article has some content you might find disturbing!Reason The very last gruesome deaths of the series, snif.
Does Anyone Get Out Of Harlan Alive?
Justified ends its manhunt, and its run, with a few final surprises and some very satisfying departures.
Who called the meeting? Avery.
What's it about? His money.
How'd it go? I mean, kind of acrimonious? The dirty cops who picked Ava up in the last episode deposit her at the old Bennett drying shed, where Avery, Boon, and Loretta are waiting. When the less-dickish dirty cop shows Avery the bag Ava had been carrying, it's immediately clear that it's only a portion of the money, so naturally Avery's first question is "Where's the rest of it?" Ava is silent, so Avery tells her to sit down, and then gets nostalgic about the first time the two of them ever met: "Any woman who killed her husband, then puts a bullet in her new fiancé-- My compliments on your grit! I'd say you have a bright future, assuming you have a future." Avery recaps (leave it to the professionals) that Boyd stole Avery's money and then Ava stole it from him: was she just going to give it back to him? Ava tells him straight up that it's buried on good old Grubes's property. Crosley thinks that's ridiculous, since the mountain is "crawling with federals," besides which how did she even get it up there? Ava says she dragged it on a sled, and when Avery's like, "All by your lonesome?," she demurs until he issues another threat, whereupon she admits that her uncle helped. She quickly adds that Zachariah "had no part in the taking"; he just didn't want her to get killed. And is he still up there, Avery would like to know? Seems like he'd assume she'd be going off pretty old information by now what with the federals and all, but regardless, instead of her answer we get a slam into the opening credits. For the very last time! Man.
After seeing this hard-on of a State Trooper Lapiccola treating Raylan like a common criminal -- acting like he's dirty; mostly ignoring his actually helpful law-enforcement advice from the back seat when he hears that an animal-tooth necklace was found near where Ava was snatched up -- it's especially delightful to see him pull up to his dumb little station in the middle of nowhere and see Art there waiting for him to take Raylan off his hands. It's even MORE satisfying when he tries to push back against Art's instructions -- not smart.[showing his badge] I'll take it from here.'Scuse me?Your prisoner.This fella's on an FBI BOLO.I know. I'd like to be the one to take him in.Not that your likes aren't at the top of my priorities, but until those creds say "FBI," I believe I'll hold on to him.[pulling out another ID] Well, you're right -- they don't say "FBI" -- but they do say Chief Deputy, Officer [reading] Lapiccola. So you can either change your attitude right quick, or I'll tear you a new asshole that you can carry a watermelon in.
Spook! There He Is
Boyd, having failed to find the cash around anywhere, but noticing a freshly used shovel, spends all night digging the most recently disturbed ground, and reaches what he thinks will be his reward just as the sun's coming up. Or...maybe not.
I Just Called To Say Don't Kill Me
Boyd's just finished spooking himself with Grubes's unquiet corpse when he hears the phone ringing in the cabin (this survivalist weirdo had a phone? Okay) and goes to grab it. He doesn't say anything as he picks up, and then, on the other end, is the woman I guess is still technically his fiancée, asking for Zachariah. "He can't get to the phone right now," and it's a good thing that Ava, still in the drying shed, is already scared because she can play off her nerves at hearing Boyd alive and threatening as she chirps back, "I was worried Boyd might have gotten to you, put a bullet in you." Boyd tells her he did, but that it had been meant for her. Ava bravely soldiers on, reporting her location and saying that Avery's going to kill her if he doesn't get his money. Boyd asks why he shouldn't let that happen, and Ava tightly replies, "Without one of us alive, nobody'll ever find it." This works, of course, and when she even more tightly asks, "So are you on your way?," he gruffly tells her to meet him at Compass Rock, two miles east of the trail head. After they've hung up, the cops say they know where that is, and Avery says that's good: they can draw Boon a map. Boon declines: "I'll take my girl along." He takes off with Loretta as Avery adds that he's done trusting anyone but Boon. (...her?)
That Quote"Told you I'd get you."- Art Mullen, departing the trooper station with Raylan, and -- let's hope -- leaving behind a trooper who can use the new asshole Art just ripped him to carry not just a watermelon but a full-term baby elephant -
Getting The Mini-Gang Back Together
Raylan's barely started complaining about Art driving them back to Lexington to answer Vasquez's bullshit BOLO (which, btw, sorry you didn't make it into the finale, Rick Gomez, but that's what you get for playing such a cock!) when Art screeches to a halt, opens the center console, and shows Raylan his badge and gun. I mean, duh, but still, it's never the wrong time for confirmation that Art Gets It.
Fight! Fight! Fight!
The Law vs. Boyd
Boyd was apparently on his way out to Compass Rock when he heard Tim et al about to swarm the cabin and, judging by his panting, just barely made it to his hiding place behind a tree before Tim busted into Grubes's cabin. Before long, ol' Eagle Eye Gutterson's spotted Boyd scrambling up the mountain and started shooting, but the chase comes to a fairly abrupt halt when Boyd starts answering the marshals' gunshots by tossing STICKS OF FUCKING DYNAMITE.
Come on, Boyd, ever hear of a proportional response?!
DialogueTo drink in here, you need a badge or a pair of tits.Art? Show 'im your tits.
Fight! Fight! Fight!
Boyd vs. Avery & Co.
Boon's just called from Compass Rock to report that no one's there, leading Avery to test Ava's mettle by jamming his gun under her chin when in comes Boyd with one of the dirty cops in front of him as a human shield. "I suppose this means Uncle is dead and you don't have my cash," says Avery. "Well, for a bona fide stoner, you're awful quick," drawls Boyd. The shooting starts...and quickly ends with Boyd hitting Avery non-fatally. Then fatally.
Jesus, FX, what is with people getting shot in the eye all the time?
Fight! Fight! Fight!
Boyd vs. Ava
Boyd's just taken out Crosley (talk about your sparsely attended funerals, btw) when he notices Ava crawling along the floor toward a gun someone dropped, and warns her, "I wouldn't do that." She stops, and he orders, "Look at me. LOOK. AT ME." She turns and gazes straight into his tearful eyes as he PULLS THE TRIGGER! TWICE! Okay, he's out of bullets, BUT STILL!
Winner: Boyd, for intent if not (as it were) execution.
Fight! Fight! Fight!
Raylan vs. Boyd
And then RAYLAN is there, having been released by Art to deal with the situation after Art had to take off and keep the mountainside melee from becoming "another Ruby Ridge." "GODDAMN, RAYLAN, YOUR TIMING SUCKS," bellows Boyd, hilariously. "Don't suppose that's your blood on you there?" asks Raylan conversationally. Boyd guesses it would please Raylan if it were, and Raylan confirms, "I don't care how it gets done, as long as it gets done." Boyd thinks they should just pick back up and finish what they started in the woods, but Raylan says there's another way. "I pull, you put me down?" guesses Boyd. "Either way, I am going to put you down," grits Raylan. Boyd says there's just one problem: he's out of bullets. No problem for Raylan, who kicks a nearby gun to him: "Try that one." As Boyd picks it up, Raylan suggests, "Ava? Now would be a good time to get out of the way." Before she does, Boyd requests the chance to ask her a question: "Why. You had the money. You were home free." "Honestly, Boyd?" Ava quavers. "I put myself in your shoes. I did what I thought you would do." Boyd reflects. Raylan squints.
And then Boyd looks back at Raylan and announces, "I ain't doing it." "Yeah, you are," Raylan tells him. "No, I ain't." "You are going to raise that gun and we are going to end this," Raylan declares. "I ain't gonna pull on you, Raylan," says Boyd firmly. "So you go and do whatever it is you're meant to do. Someday I'm gonna get out, and when I do, I'll kill her, Raylan. And then I'm gonna come and I'm gonna kill you. So what's it gonna be, Raylan? "
"Maybe I Can't Persuade You, But What About My Friends Benjamin?"
Raylan's driving Ava back to Lexington when, just as the old gypsy (a.k.a. Art) predicted, she tries to use her angles on him.I can tell you where the rest of the money is. Almost nine million dollars, Raylan.You're trying to bribe a federal officer now.I'm just wondering if there's still a deal to be made.No. No deals, no outs. I'm sorry, Ava.Why'nt you just kill him? You heard him. You know there ain't a cell can keep him. What's it prove, letting him live?Maybe nothing.
The Scene: Raylan shuts down Ava's attempt to give him some of her as-yet-unaccounted-for ill-gotten gains.
The Symbol: A "WELCOME TO HARLAN COUNTY" sign, which they pass just as the soundtrack informs us, "You will never leave Harlan alive."
The Meaning: Some people aren't leaving Harlan alive?
You didn't have a last name (or a first name? That was never really clear). You didn't have fashion sense. You didn't have the sense to tell who's not that into you. You did have just enough crazy, or balls (or crazy balls) to ram Raylan's town car with your truck, forcing him to get out and engage you in a gun duel -- something he was probably pretty eager to do after the day he'd had.
And since that action led directly to your death, THANK YOU. God, you were just the worst.
Hat's All, Folks
The Scene: After standing on a dying Boon's hand to keep him from getting off one last shot at Raylan before expiring, Loretta walks over to see whether Raylan -- who fell at the same time as Boon -- has been killed by a really, really, REALLY unworthy adversary.
The Symbol: Raylan's hat, which may have messed with the angle on Boon's bullet such that it's only managed to graze Raylan's temple.
The Meaning: Raylan's white(-ish) hat of justice actually did more than make him look cool. And now that Boon's not going to need it anymore, maybe Boon's custom job can have a new life in another state....
I Am Not A Crackpot
Dear Mister President, There's Another Pretty Cool Way This Standoff Could Have Ended. I Am Not A Crackpot!
Loretta's just confirmed that Raylan's alive when Ava flips a bitch in his car and screams away from the scene, and if I hadn't looked to see how very much episode was still left, I would have almost believed it possible that Raylan died senselessly at the hands of some dumb punk everyone hated (SOMETHING SOME OF US HAVE SEEN ON TV BEFORE), and that Ava could then join forces with the only other person on the scene -- Loretta -- and enlist her help in hiding Ava from the marshals, waiting until it was safe to return to Grubes's place, digging up the money together, and living like queens. And other than the idea of Raylan's hot ass leaving this plane, I would have been pretty okay with that ending. I am not a crackpot.
FriendsMostly Tolerant Colleagues
And then it's time for Raylan, all patched up, to say his farewells to Lexington. It's all about as laconic and gruff as you'd expect. First up is Art, whom Raylan tries to convince to let him put off leaving for Miami juuuuust a little longer so he can look for Ava.She's not going to get far, running without money.Nine million dollars in those hills still unaccounted for.You really think she's going to be able to find that? Place is crawling with LEOs.It's just-- Something feels somehow incomplete.I asked you to come to Kentucky and help us get Boyd Crowder. Now, it took a little longer than I originally anticipated, but you did it: you got Boyd Crowder. And you got him right. [manly handshake] You tell Winona I said hey. I still don't know what she sees in you.It'd be weird if you did.Well, I hope you get someone at this desk that's less of a pain in the ass.Not likely there's someone who's more of a pain in the ass. I just hope it's someone who can keep up.[packing up his desk, takes out a well-worn copy of The Friends Of Eddie Coyle]You read that a bunch or you buy it used?If I said I read it ten times, I'm low. [tosses it to Tim]Nice hat.I tried it on and it fit.
The Scene: Raylan gets into the elevator outside the Lexington Marshals office before leaving for Miami at last.
The Symbol: Raylan's new hat, which has kind of an Indiana Jones look to it.
The Meaning: A new life takes a new hat. Which, contrary to what he told Rachel, actually really doesn't fit.
Love, Hate & Everything In Between
That Milk Was Sour After All
We meet back up in Miami, where Raylan's having ice cream and a very cute chat with his now kindergarten-aged daughter when Winona rolls up and fondly scolds him for giving her a treat instead of kale, like he's not a divorced dad and doesn't know what's up. So: after all that, things didn't work out with Winona after all; she's hooked up with some Richard who I think might be an uncredited Jason Gedrick???
And yet, Raylan still hasn't moved back to Kentucky -- though I guess he has no reason to given that everyone he knew there is now in prison, on the lam, or super-dead. Plus it's probably more fun to spend time with Willa now that she doesn't scream all the time.
Love, Hate & Everything In Between
Didn't You Almost Have It All?
Raylan digs into the backstory of this newspaper photo and finds his way to his old frenemy Ava, who's grown her hair back to its former length and featheriness and is now living in the caretaker's house on an old family ranch. After a reprise of their conversation at the door in the series premiere, they go for a walk and chat about, like, stuff. He asks how she got out of Harlan, and she's like, "Who says anyone did?" When they found the car, he says, the engine was warm; if she'd been on foot, they would have found her. Ava claims she hitchhiked, which Raylan thinks unlikely given that she was handcuffed at the time. He floats each of the marshals' theories -- Ellen May, Limehouse, Wynn Duffy -- none of which panned out...though we do see that Wynn got that dog grooming van he wanted AND had it painted up with a pretty filthy business name.
Raylan adds that if Ava were worried about Wynn, she shouldn't: he vanished, though the rumour is that he went to Fiji to surf, so I guess we're supposed to think the cockroach cockroached in the end and somehow figured out the money was buried UNDER Grubes (right? That's where we all assume it is?) and how to get it.
Raylan moves on to asking how Ava's earning money now, guessing she went back to hairdressing, but Ava says she was so sure he'd try to find her at salons that she hasn't held a pair of scissors in four years. She has a bunch of jobs, it turns out: "Connie, the lady that owns the parcel [of land Ava lives on], she uses horses to work with special needs kids. I help with that. Mostly hand out helmets, do some side walking. And I look after the big house, muck and feed when she's not around. I work at the school in town, and I-- Also I volunteer at the church--" "You trying to talk me out of taking you in, or you shootin' straight for sainthood?" She asks if he's going to take her in, and he reminds her that she ran from him three times -- once at gunpoint. "It's not like you find me here running whores or robbing banks!" she yips. Raylan chuckles, "Every longtime fugitive I've ever run in expects me to congratulate them for not doing what no one's supposed to be doing anyhow." Ava then says she wants to tell Raylan something, but only if he promises not to tell Boyd. Raylan: "I don't expect to see Boyd again in this life." Aw, you guys don't FaceTime? Sad.
Name: Zachariah. Age: 4. Occupation: Kid; Boyd Crowder's secret heir. Goal: To keep his shirt buttoned right up to the top for reasons he doesn't entirely understand; to mess around in what are pretty clearly brand-new toys a PA just drove to the set from the nearest Target. Sample Dialogue: "..."
DialogueNow you know why I made you promise. I can't have Boyd even knowing he exists. I'm not saying he'd cause him harm; he'd just ruin his life....If we're going to take this to the next step, I need to know that he's set up. Now, there's a couple, two ranches over--Ava, stop. I ain't gonna take you in. Looks like you feed him well. Put clothes on his back, play with him, you read to him.Mm-hmm. Thank you!I said you'd be fine. Now hopefully you can sleep better.You're not the only one I've been afraid to see at my front door.
Love, Hate & Everything In Between
Didn't You Also Almost Have It All?
Boyd's just wrapping up his sermon in the prison chapel when a guard comes in to tell him he has a visitor and...duh, it's Raylan. Boyd is clearly happy to see his old frenemy, and the two banter about Boyd gathering a new flock, and Boyd's old objections to "blacks, Jews, and mud people," with Raylan finally bringing that to a close by saying there is one thing Boyd said in his life that Raylan believed: that Boyd loved Ava. Boyd blanches as he asks, "D'you find her?" "We did." "Where?" Raylan presses a photocopy against the glass and explains that it's her death certificate. Boyd argues that it says "Carolyn Dean," but Raylan says that's the name she was using at the time. He also produces a terrrrrrrrible ID...
...and adds some detail -- but not too much -- to the story of the car crash that killed her. When he's finished, Boyd's eyes are wet, and he murmurs, "Maybe it's for the best." "For who?" Raylan counters. "Well, she was trying to get out," says Boyd. "But I just don't think that's possible." Yes, we heard the song.
Boyd then pleasantly asks about life in Florida; declining to be real, Raylan says Boyd wouldn't like it, what with all the Jews. Boyd reminds Raylan that Jesus was a Jew, and then Raylan's like, "I have to--" "'Look for a reason to get off the phone'?" Boyd supplies. Raylan doesn't deny it, but Boyd's not done, and has a question to ask before Raylan goes. It's a long way to this prison from Miami, Boyd notes. Raylan could have just called the warden to relay the message. "Thought it was news that should be delivered in person," says Raylan.
"After all these years, that's the only reason?" asks Boyd.
"I suppose if I allow myself to be sentimental, despite all that has occurred," says Raylan, "there is one thing I wander back to."
"When we dug coal together?" Boyd guesses.
"That's right," says Raylan.
Ending the series by turning frenemies back into friends -- never mind the bulletproof glass between them -- is so much more unexpected than either of them killing the other. It's perfect.