Tuesday, March 3, 2015

REVIEW: 'Justified' - Boyd Takes Ava on a Hunting Trip While Raylan Spends the Day with His Daughter in 'The Hunt'

FX's Justified - Episode 6.07 "The Hunt"

A visit from his baby daughter threatens to pull Raylan away from the hunt for a dangerous fugitive. Boyd, having learned that Ava's been lying to him, takes her on a hunting trip that she may never come back from.

Raylan is fighting to be with his family and his daughter, Willa. That is his purpose in life right now. The Raylan Givens of seasons past wouldn't have been able to leave the search for a dangerous criminal like Ty Walker and spend the day with Willa and Winona. Here, he is able to do just that so easily because they are what he wants his future to be. He hasn't been a part of his daughter's life so far and that is completely on him. The job has always come first. That's a quality that has always defined his relationship with Winona. But now, he's deciding not to focus as firmly on work as he did before. He wants to be there for his family to hold and support them.

Just because Raylan has this desire to be a family man now, it doesn't automatically fix all of the problems he has with Winona. She had to leave this environment because it wasn't a healthy place for her to live - especially with a baby on the way. Sure, she's sleep-deprived now but her life isn't as complicated as it was when she was living in Kentucky. But it's also wise of Winona to recognize that that is just something that comes with being with Raylan. He will always be thinking about his job. His lifestyle helps put away some dangerous criminals before they do anything more destructive to the community. That's a fact that Winona accepts now. They are slowly re-establishing trust in their relationship. At first, Winona just wants to know if they need to figure out a proper custody arrangement. It's not something either one of them has put a ton of thought into. It's also not something either one of them wants. Yes, Raylan's profession is dangerous. She'll never know if he'll return from work or not. And yet, she's willing to embrace that uncertainty with him because he's willing to be a part of Willa's life.

It's in a moment like this that it's nice to see what Raylan is working for this season. He's busy trying to take down both Body and Avery Markham. But he needs this brief moment of reality in order to understand why he's doing all of this again. Winona is deciding to be with him. That is huge. She even offers to move back to Kentucky - which could become something later this season. More importantly, it's nice to see this side of Raylan again. He's been too focused on work lately. This part of his life is suppose to make him happy - and it does that for him. He needs Willa and Winona in his life. Yes, there may be uncertainty over the future. Stuff is happening in the various criminal enterprises while Raylan is away spending time with his family. But he understands that he doesn't need to be at the office right now. He knows where he needs to be and that is very rewarding.

Speaking of turmoil elsewhere in Kentucky, the truth about Ava has been exposed. Boyd knows what she is doing with Raylan, and that is very unsettling. The two have a dance of sorts when he takes her up to his father's hunting cabin. They have a passive aggressive back-and-forth where they dance around the subject. They both know that the other is acting strangely. And yet, neither knows the best way out of this situation. They also don't know if they can trust each other with the horrifying details of the truth. Ava is fighting for her life. She has been ever since she went into prison. She got released thanks to Raylan and had to snitch on Boyd as a result. It was the only option she had left to choose. She has done the job too. She hasn't given enough information in order to secure further protection but she has provided some details of minor importance to Boyd's operation. And yet, this isn't the life Ava wants to be living right now. She just wants to be somewhere where she is happy - whether that's with Boyd or not.

Boyd has to fear the worst with Ava. She ran away for a reason. He's seen the signs of something being off with her since she was released. And yet, he didn't want to accept the truth until he could no longer hide from it. He has immense love for this woman. If what he suspects to be true turns out to be correct, it would be devastating to him. He's allowed himself to be happy because of his relationship with Ava. If she turned on him, he would be all alone yet again. She is a part of his family right now. It's a family that is quickly dwindling. If he lost Ava too, he wouldn't know what to do. So he has to find out the truth and deal with the brutal details - whatever they may be.

It's a very unnerving experience for both sides. They are both given the opportunity to simply kill the other with a bullet. It's not something either one wants, but it remains an option that should be used if need be. The only thing standing in their way from killing the other is their love. That love is genuine. They want to trust each other and spend the rest of their lives with the other. Neither one of them takes that shoot. It wouldn't have made much of a difference because the gun was loaded with blanks. Because Ava didn't take that shot, she is able to survive this hunting excursion. That was enough of a gesture for Boyd to see that she still wants to trust and love him. That's what he wants. This situation may be very complicated but he still wants things to work out between them.

And lastly, Ty Walker is on the run from justice wounded from his shootout with Raylan and Tim. He's fighting to stay alive. His military background means he's well-suited to surviving under these extreme circumstances. But he also wants to believe that his friend and fellow soldier, SeaBass, would come rescue him. He's smartly doing everything he needs to do to survive. He treats his wounds (in a brutal scene where he cuts his shoulder open to push the bullet through), he discards his credit cards and gets the medical supplies needed to treat himself and to keep surviving. He's a fighter. He may be burned within his criminal enterprise, but he's not going down without a fight. That's an admirable quality. But he's also slowly getting more and more unhinged. He needs to kill the two paramedics who arrive following his 911 call because he needs to exert some kind of control over the situation. He's still successfully on the run evading the law by episode's end. That makes him a very dangerous player within this universe right now.

Some more thoughts:
  • "The Hunt" was written by Taylor Elmore & Keith Schreier and directed by John Dahl.
  • Art has a nice sit down with Avery where he tries to figure out all of the circumstances of what happened all those years ago when Grady was convicted and Avery left town and the woman he loved.
  • Zachariah tries talking to Carl about the etiquette of telling people that someone has just died in the mine shaft. Carl doesn't care. He just wants to inform Boyd. It's interesting that we never see if Boyd gets that message though.
  • Avery buys SeaBass' loyalty for a large sum of money - except now he'll have to lay low for a little bit because he can still be tied to Calhoun's murder.
  • Raylan will let Rachel hold his child but not Tim because Tim was being a jerk.