Tuesday, February 3, 2015

REVIEW: 'Justified' - Boyd Learns Who the Criminals He's Actually Trying to Rip Off Truly Are in 'Noblesse Oblige'

FX's Justified - Episode 6.03 "Noblesse Oblige"

Raylan follows a trail of illegal explosives in an attempt to pin Boyd, who discovers he's run afoul of a dangerous new player in town.

Raylan sure hasn't had much success building his RICO case against Boyd so far this season. Yes, he was able to intercept the legal documents before they could blackmail Calhoun, the local realtor. But that just inconvenienced Boyd in his plan to secure a big payday. It wasn't solid enough proof to arrest him. So now, Raylan has to look into the explosives Boyd used in order to do the bank heist and where they came from in the first place. So, he and Rachel take a trip to an old mining friend of his to see if he has discrepancies in his books. There is. But that only serves to bring up a discussion of the needs of a parent versus the needs of the job. A discussion that will likely only get more important as the season progresses.

Raylan does have a daughter down in Florida who he is hoping to reunite with very shortly. And yet, he hasn't had to make a grand sacrifice for her. His old friend has a teenage son who has been providing the explosives to Boyd's gang. It's easy for Raylan and Rachel to trap him - and Earl, one of Boyd's new men - in their illegal doings. But his father continues to complicate things further by going down for the crime in order to protect his son. It's a decision that Raylan hasn't really faced in life yet. His friend says that he soon will - and I suspect that will be true at some point during this final season. But right now, it feels like an inconvenience for Raylan. He knows that he'll likely pick up the son for this crime too. So, the father's martyrdom will be pointless very soon. It's largely just a gesture that the father wants to make for his son. He wants to show that he is willing to protect him despite the stupid and reckless decisions he has made. That may be an empty gesture but it's one that still gets made.

But the true highlight of the episodes comes from the Boyd corner of the universe as he truly learns about the real foe he has chosen to go up against this season. This was suppose to be an easy one-and-done job for him stealing $3 million dollars from Calhoun. The actual mission is much more dangerous than that. The players involved are much more intimidating and vicious. Ty Walker and his crew have had a hand in all of the dealings of the season so far. And now, we have confirmation that Avery Markham is the one in charge of their presence in Kentucky and buying up all the property. He and Katherine Hall have a past as well as a present relationship, which makes this kind of plan to steal from him even more dangerous.

Boyd isn't exactly sure how Ty is connected to all of "Calhoun's" money at first. Ty comes strolling into Boyd's bar to offer an eloquent threat to stay out of their business. It's amusing that Boyd has met someone who likes to talk just as much as he does. And yet, Boyd has dealt with people making proclamations just like this so many previous times. Why should he believe that Ty would end up any different than the rest of them? So of course, he continues to plot his grand heist. He gets a major assist from Ava, who is able to sneak into the basement of the pizza place to see what their set up is around the bank vault. It's not the best plan and not one I believe Boyd ordered her to do. She did it on her own in order to provide value to Boyd. They shared a night of heavy drinking together but there's still that dangling thought in the back of his head that she is different since coming out and that could be very dangerous to his criminal enterprises. This puts her back in his good graces again.

But Ty and his men see right through that charade, issuing more stern warnings to Boyd and Ava. They could easily kidnap Boyd and hurt him physically. They know where Ava lives and could do the same to her too. It's a tense sit down at Ava's house when Avery visits. His reputation proceeds him. Boyd knows how dangerous Avery really is. He was the partner to Katherine's husband back in the day and now he's making a major move into the Kentucky market. Boyd can no longer be oblivious to the true players involved right now. The next move he makes will be with all of this knowledge. So he'll have to be even more careful and ruthless in order to make it out alive with the cash - while still evading Raylan too.

And that's a risk Boyd is still willing to take too. He's not backing down from the challenge simply because Avery is a much bigger opponent to take on. He's just furious at Katherine and Wynn Duffy for not apprising him of the full situation. This is a plan that Katherine has obviously been working on for some time now. Keeping Boyd in the dark could have been lethal. And yet now, she knows exactly what type of criminal mind she is partnering with. Sure, she had some indication when he killed a man with a pack of cigarettes last season. But now, she knows just how committed he is to the cause. That will likely make him work much harder moving forward.

Some more thoughts:
  • "Noblesse Oblige" was written by Taylor Elmore & Benjamin Cavell and directed by Peter Weller.
  • Of course, the morning after Ava drinks with Boyd is the morning that Rachel and AUSA Vasquez want to met to intimidate her into being more cooperative as a confidential informant. But she knows how to play this game too and recognizes the tactics they are trying to use on her.
  • Speaking of Ava, how much of the events of this episode will she tell Raylan about? And now, she's staying at the hotel where Wynn Duffy and Katherine always are. That means it could be easier for them to catch her informing the government about their illegal actions.
  • Only Raylan Givens could threaten to shoot a man's dick off.