Tuesday, March 10, 2015

REVIEW: 'Justified' - Raylan Makes a Deal with Avery While Boyd Gets a Peak into the Bank Vault in 'Dark As a Dungeon'

FX's Justified - Episode 6.08 "Dark As a Dungeon"

Raylan extends an unexpected offer to Avery Markham, while Boyd and Ava find themselves in Walker's dangerous company.

Raylan is easily on top of everything by the end of "Dark As a Dungeon." Not only has he caught and killed Ty Walker. He also convinced Avery Markham into putting up a $100,000 reward which eventually went to Boyd. That allowed both Raylan and Boyd to see inside Avery's bank vault filled with money. Additionally, he knows how Boyd is planning on stealing that money. He just doesn't know when but he knows that the time table is soon based on how vulnerable the vault is and the amount of dynamite Zachariah already has. Raylan was able to maneuver all of these things into his favor all by himself. All he needs now is for Boyd to act and then he can arrest him.

The one piece of bad news for Raylan though is that Ava is no longer a reliable informant. Boyd and Ava both know that they can only use that to their advantage for so long. But now, they can't use it at all because of Raylan's keen observation skills. Ty Walker approached them with the knowledge of the vault's combination. They weren't planning on fooling Raylan for that long. They only needed him and Avery distracted long enough so they could just walk into the pizza parlor and steal all the money. That plan didn't work into their favor because Raylan put a more strategic plan in motion and then appeared on Ava's doorstep. They had no loyalty to Walker. He was a dangerous entity and they didn't know if they could trust him and his information. They didn't have the opportunity to see how their plan would fall out because of Raylan's presence. That meant they didn't have to use up their one shot at sending him false information. They still believe that Ava's connection to Raylan is valuable. But they had to give up Walker and his plan. They knew that the reward money was just too good a deal for them to get that far with him. They cut their losses because they still have their other plan in motion down in the mines.

But the way in which Ava acted when she was around Raylan told him that she was no longer working with him. She tried her best to put on a show for Raylan. She wants to leave this town and start over somewhere new. The reward money presents a very interesting question for Boyd and Ava. They now have $100,000. They could run away now. As Boyd says early in the episode, all he needs is Ava. Everything else is replaceable. His criminal partners may not be happy with that outcome, but they are already working on contingencies anyway. Ava and Boyd both have to ponder whether $100,000 is enough for them and their love. Or is $10 million dollars a whole lot better but at an even bigger risk? Boyd knows that if he goes after Avery's money, then he'll have both Avery and Raylan hunting him down. He has money now and could get away. But now, he doesn't believe that it's enough. Ava wants a life with Boyd and is pushing to go. However, the $100,000 is only double the amount that Raylan could give her with his witness protection deal. She was content with that amount. But now, she's given the chance at $10 million. Putting an amount on the label is very lucrative to the characters' desires. With this peak into the vault, it only excites them even more to get away with all of it despite the risks involved.

Raylan is wrapping up his affairs in Harlan and is only sticking around long enough to finally arrest Boyd. It's a conflict that could end in two ways as he and Boyd so poetically point out. He could either get his man and ride off into the sunset or he could drown while trying to chase after his whale. Right now, things are going well for Raylan. He has a future plan worth fighting for with Winona and Willa. He's no longer holding onto his father's land in Harlan. He's willing to give it to Avery just so he can make this reward money deal. He recognizes how big a deal money is to the rednecks of this community. It is a very lucrative offer. In the end, the money does win out. Raylan is fully aware of almost everything that is happening in Harlan right now. That's a powerful position to be in but one unlikely to last for that much longer.

Overall, this episode continued the red hot streak this season has been on. The only thing that didn't really work with me was Raylan talking to Arlo via his imagination. Their dynamic had received some resolution when Arlo died back in Season 4. Raylan doesn't want to hold onto any of his father's things but he is only just now looking through them. The only thing he keeps is the key to Arlo's shed. Raylan was never allowed there and had always built up in his imagination what could be behind that door. Of course, it's nothing. That's the realistic and expected answer to unveil. But to Raylan, it also shows Arlo's humanity. That he too just needed a place to escape to that was only his and no one else's. However, Raylan talking to Arlo in order to get that point across just didn't fit into the show's tone all that well. 

Some more thoughts:
  • "Dark As a Dungeon" was written by Chris Provenzano & VJ Boyd and directed by Gwyneth Horder-Payton.
  • Wynn Duffy figures out who likely killed Grady in jail and the attorney who prosecuted the case. It was one of Avery's men. Katherine takes that information and then hands it over to Art because he has been reminiscing about the case lately.
  • Katherine also lays out her plan to marry Avery and then steal his money in a year just in case Boyd isn't able to pull off the heist. Wynn accurately points out that that plan doesn't leave a whole lot of room for him to feel safe in.
  • Following the death of one of Boyd's men in the mineshaft, Zachariah uses it to get an extra $5.000. But he still seems pretty focused on making sure that Boyd receives the same fate as the man at the bottom of the shaft.
  • I'm somewhat surprised that Garret Dillahunt's stint on the show is already over. He was a fun and memorable character this season but his death further showcases just how vulnerable Avery and his operation are right now.
  • Wynn Duffy loves guacamole and Mike is pretty good at tennis.
  • Tim to Raylan: "Why is no one down here named Steve or Justin?"