Tuesday, March 17, 2015

REVIEW: 'Justified' - Boyd Carries Out His Plan to Steal Avery's Money and Things Don't Go Well in 'Burned'

FX's Justified - Episode 6.09 "Burned"

Raylan and Boyd each test Ava's loyal, and Avery Markham's plans to win over Harlan go awry.

Raylan and Boyd have both been very calculated in plotting their final plans in Harlan County. Boyd has been intently focused on stealing Avery Markham's money so that he can run away with Ava. Sure, there was that point in time when he wanted to stay and simply revitalize this community again. But now, he's putting his trust in Ava and giving her what she needs in escaping this town with enough money to make any of their dreams come true. Avery's vault is quite a beast to plan a heist around. Boyd contracted Ava's uncle, Zachariah, to extend the mine tunnel underneath it so they could simply blow a hole and then steal the money without having to go through the impenetrable door. It was a smart plan. The timeline of course has been constantly moved up. But Boyd had all the confidence in the world that this would work and he would soon be out of town and away from all the trouble he has with Raylan and Avery.

Of course, Raylan knew all of this going into "Burned." Ava has been a meaningful connection for him this season. Even when she stopped working for him, he was wise enough to know that that shift had occurred and he should start planning around it. Sure, it weakens the likelihood of locking Boyd up for good without some of his associates to testify against him. But the marshals also know who snitched on Grady all those years ago. It was Wynn Duffy! That mystery has been so pointed at either Katherine or Avery being the snitch that this reveal was actually very exciting. It also had purpose because it showed the part of Wynn that is always fighting for survival. He has class and elegance but will go and do anything if it means his future survival. It's because of this connection that the marshals know exactly when Boyd will try to steal Avery's money and how he plans on getting out of the tunnels with it. The marshals are ready to act once Boyd's plan happens.

Raylan just has to sit back and keep a watchful eye over everything that is about to go down. Just as all of this is happening, Avery is in his pizza parlor throwing a party for the citizens of Harlan. It's a way for him to try to earn their trust and respect so he can finish buying up the land he needs in order to make this community the next home of expansive marijuana fields. That was his goal when he decided to come back to this area. Boyd and Raylan have just made things more complicated and difficult for him as of late.

But the most surprising threat to Avery's business plan is actually Loretta. Raylan and Boyd are both operating with one leg out the door already. They are caught up in this mess in the hopes that it will secure their futures away from Harlan. Loretta is not going anywhere and that makes her voice in this whole mess that much more important. She is a strong female character who is wise beyond her years. Raylan always wants to protect her but she can handle most things on her own. She has run afoul of Avery's building enterprise in Harlan and she's not just going to sit back and watch him destroy this community for his own personal gain. She is fully aware that Avery and his men are dangerous people. She gets a visit from his new associate, Boone, who threatens her with a snake with its head shot off and stories about the logistics of gun play. That is an intimidating scene but it doesn't scare her off. In fact, it makes her more devoted to her cause. She doesn't reach out to Raylan for his assistance with this problem. She instead strikes up a business partnership with Boyd. Of course, she doesn't know he's trying to leave too but she does understand the importance and control he has over the people of Harlan. She's proud to stand up to Avery at the party and flaunt her new proposal to the town with the help of Boyd. She's likely making the situation more dangerous for herself. But she's the one fighting to preserve the integrity and character of this community. And that is a very admirable quality on a show where Harlan is just as important a character as Raylan or Boyd.

Even though this party doesn't go all that well for Avery, he still has the one thing that is keeping him in a position of power: his money. Boyd enacts his plan and it doesn't go well because of Zachariah's hidden agenda. It seems Zachariah didn't care about the money at all. He just wanted to kill a Crowder before another one of them ruined his niece. The site they were setting the explosives wasn't underneath the vault. Boyd put all this time in the planning stages because he was so focused on the money. The mines bring back dark memories for him. Zachariah has been down there for many more years than Boyd. But Boyd simply put way too much trust in Zachariah. The audience knew that Zachariah wasn't entirely faithful to Boyd but the ultimate mission could have still been a part of his plan. It wasn't. And now, that presents a whole new batch of complications for Boyd, Raylan and Avery as they all scrabble to get what they want in the precious little amount of time they have left.

Everyone knows that Avery is going to move his money - and likely very soon. Both Avery and Boyd know that Raylan's only focus is on arresting Boyd for his crimes. So that means Boyd has to be very careful to steal the money while in transit while also avoiding the law. It's an even more precarious situation than the events of this episode. Raylan knew what was going to happen with Boyd's initial plan. But now, he has no insight and no source of information on what Boyd is likely going to do next. That's a daunting prospect. This whole season has been about locking Boyd up before being able to leave this place. Everyone is aware that Ava's connection with Raylan is no longer viable. They don't even have to fake it anymore. Wynn Duffy could prove to be valuable yet again in the future - but that also comes at the risk of him being caught by his criminal partners who would love to have more of that money to themselves. The marshals are forced into the reactionary role yet again and will have to be even more on alert than they were before. Damn, what a tense outcome to a very tense and enjoyable episode.

Some more thoughts:
  • "Burned" was written by Dave Andron, Leonard Chang & Jenny DeArmitt and directed by Don Kurt.
  • SeaBass returning to collect even more money from Avery and Katherine felt like the show needing to tie up that loose end. And yet, it further showed just how ruthless Katherine and her killer instinct are.
  • It's a nice gesture that Raylan offers Arlo's land to Loretta. And then, he doesn't quite know how to react after her big moment at the party facing off with Avery.
  • Even though he is no longer chief, everyone still feels comfortable letting Art know all of the details of their ongoing investigation and letting him come along to trips to the Lexington hotel. But of course, that comes at the price of seeing an almost naked Wynn Duffy.