Rachel is a bad ass. Yeah, yeah, yeah, we already knew that. Listen I know it’s tough, the “Justified” universe is crammed to the brim with fantastic characters and character actors, but Erica Tazel is so damn good in this role and television isn’t exactly overrun with badass, non-white ladies. It’s not “Justified“‘s job to fill some sort of quota, certainly, so all I’ll say is that I’m always happy when we get more of Rachel. This episode was no exception.
I didn’t manage to get a screencap of this exact moment, but the echoing shots of Ellen May driving a car off to a new life (as opposed to earlier in the season when she was being driven to certain death) just about broke my heart. Also her struggle to pronounce Huatulco was adorable. It’s no Zihuatanejo, but it’ll do.
I was less delighted by the return of Limehouse. Mykelti Williamson wasn’t exactly my favorite last season and his performance this episode reminded me why. That being said, Limehouse showing up is completely organic to the way the plot turned in this episode. Of course that’s where Ellen May would go. His involvement also allowed for Boyd to send Ava as his lieutenant and (apologies to Jimmy), she really is the prettiest, blondest ace he has up his sleeve.
Well this was fun to watch. The weaselly actor who played former pimp Nicky Cush always gives me residual “True Blood” heebie jeebies, so I was delighted to see him squirm.
But this about broke my heart. First Ellen May’s puppyish hug, then Ava’s effort to do the right thing and all the thanks she gets for it. Graham Yost absolutely promised he’d show us Ava’s struggle with crossing the moral line last season and hell if he hasn’t delivered.
I really loved the way Raylan cut Cousin Johnny down to size after all his speechifyn’. But I cannot believe Johnny switched sides. AGAIN. Damnit man, pick a side.
Ava and Boyd. Feel that lump in your throat? That deep sense of dread? Yost and company want you to soak in it until your toes get all prune-y. “There’s no life for me without you?” F*ck almighty.
None! No carnage! I thought for sure we’d get to see Deputy Tim take down Colt. You’ll get him next time, Tim.
Deputy Marshal Rachel Brooks and Deputy Marshal Tim Gutterson Line Count
Favorite Lines: Tie between when Boyd nailed Raylan…
And this whole thing.
The Gist: Matt Zoller Seitz drew my attention to this eye-popping shot that craned all the way down a massive tree to find Ava, Boyd and Drew/Shelby at its roots. Forgive my fuzzy screencap.
Once again here we are talking branches and roots. Family and community. This is where Drew reveals that his money and coke are what got Boyd’s family started in their life of crime. That he never intended to stick in Harlan as long as he did. But the roots run so deep here and it’s damn near impossible to pull away. This is where Ava and Boyd learn that Arlo is dead and gone. Boyd essentially tells Drew he’s standing in his own grave but we all know that if Ava and Boyd don’t pull this off, they’re the ones who might not make it out alive. I mean…cue the music.