Tuesday, February 24, 2015

REVIEW: 'Justified' - Raylan and Tim Enter Into a Shootout While Boyd Enters the Mines Again in 'Alive Day'

FX's Justified - Episode 6.06 "Alive Day"

Raylan investigates a murder that has sown discord in Avery Markham's camp. Boyd's latest heist forces him to revisit his mining days.

The setup for the final season of Justified has been wonderful. Raylan agreed to transfer to Florida to be with his family after using Ava as an informant to take down Boyd. Upon that, Avery Markham came into town with a plan to change the face of Harlan country - and putting him into direct conflict with Raylan, Boyd and Katherine Hall. And now, all sides of this conflict are starting to become increasingly aware of what's happening with everyone else.

It all starts with Raylan, still camped out at Ava's house following her brief attempt to run, confronting Boyd on why he hasn't heard anything from Dewey Crowe lately. It's actually a conversation between the two where they both learn vital information from their actions. Boyd learns that Raylan is sticking around Harlan for some reason despite having been okayed for transfer while Raylan learns that Boyd is still madly in love with Ava and he's confidant that no harm will come her way while in this house. But that, of course, comes at a price for Raylan. Both he and Boyd may be busy with other things throughout this hour - both related to Avery - but they aren't just forgetting what is happening in their relationship right now.

In fact, Boyd may be coming a little bit more aware to Raylan's plan in the end. He has a rough day back in the mines. He never wanted to be in that setting ever again because he had something worth living for in Ava. He almost dies because he takes the wrong step. Fortunately, Zachariah is there to pull him out. He returns home to his fiancé and leaves the men to finish working. The deception is all around him though. Ava is working for Raylan while Zachariah was the one who weakened the boards in the first place. Boyd's slowly losing his grasp on the things closest to him right now. Despite all that though, the hour ends with him getting a phone call from Limehouse. The two of them don't have an active and healthy relationship right now. They had a tense standoff the last time they interacted. And now, Limehouse wants to start anew simply because he has this information regarding Ava. It was a reckless decision on her part to try and leave town. She now has to deal with the consequences of that action. Boyd knows she tried to run which will only bring about more questions in his mind. Why did she try to leave and not tell him about it? And more importantly, what made her decide to return home and act like nothing has changed? That day ended with Raylan in her house. Boyd is a smart man and he could easily put the two things together. That's very dangerous to Ava if Boyd knows the truth. But Boyd also doesn't seem wise to the deceit from Zachariah. So just because he may have this knowledge, it doesn't mean that things are going to become better for him. In fact, they just may be getting worse as it now seems less and less likely that he'll be successful with trying to steal from Avery.

And Avery's camp isn't a smooth operating machine right now either. Seabass and Choo-Choo are spiraling following Calhoun's unfortunate death. They didn't mean for that to happen and now they have to clean up the mess. Ty is still acting like this is the military and there's a natural hierarchy of order that needs to be abided. That's not the case. This screwup is a major upheaval to their operation because Raylan and Tim find the body and are easily able to figure out what happened to the realtor. The trio of bad guys did a horrible job of disposing the body. At one point, I thought that was suppose to be what happened. Make the body easy to find and get its way to Raylan. But that wasn't the intended effect. They just tried covering this up before needing to concern Avery with the details.

But now, Raylan has the legal standing for going after Ty and his crew. He knows that if he just lets this information out in their base of operation that they will easily lead him to a much bigger crime. Avery needs Ty to kill Choo-Choo because his one mistake can ruin everything that he is hoping to achieve in Kentucky right now. But Ty is Choo-Choo's friend. He knew him before the accident and stood by him afterwards. They've entered this criminal life expecting it to be similar to their mode of operating in the military. It's completely different though as Raylan accurately points out. They become careless afterwards. They are so caught up in their own mission that they completely forgot about the two marshals that may be following them.

The shootout Raylan and Tim have with Ty and his gang is wonderful. Raylan and Tim go in with the element of surprise knowing that someone will eventually say something that could come across as criminal. It doesn't take long. However, Ty has the marshals outnumbered. Even when the bullets start flying, both he and Choo-Choo are able to separately get away from the marshals. Sure, Choo-Choo ultimately dies from the wounds he gets from the shootout. But Ty is able to escape - and will likely return to a vengeful Avery. Choo-Choo was a memorable character this season. But he also worked because he didn't outstay his usefulness. He caused this tornado of trouble that his friends tried to clean up and ultimately he had to pay the price in the end. He didn't get to go out in a big collision with a train. He had to suffer death from the bullet wounds. But he is now gone. Ty is now officially down one man, with the marshal service actively looking for both him and Seabass. This is causing a lot of trouble for Avery right now and that's simply not good for the plans he has for this community.

Some more thoughts:
  • "Alive Day" was written by Benjamin Cavell & Jennifer Kennedy and directed by Peter Werner.
  • Ava had a nice moment with her uncle Zachariah. You immediately recognize that the two of them have history. It's such a natural and easy scene despite Zachariah having concerns over her relationships.
  • Avery also proposes to Katherine. That surely complicates the delicate relationship they have going on. Both believe that the other one was the snitch in Grady's case. And the question then becomes: Does Avery know that Katherine is trying to steal his money?
  • Rachel is starting to speculate that Raylan may be starting a romantic relationship with Ava again. It comes out of nowhere but at least she's having an original thought and needs to run things over with Art in order to figure out what to do if it is true.
  • There is definitely some connection between Ava and her new bodyguard Earl. She started listening to his loud music. They were awfully friendly when Boyd returned home.