Let’s be completely honest: I had a really hard time following this episode of Justified. I wasn’t really sure whether the issue was with me or it or both – I was a little distracted while watching – so I checked out Alan Sepinwall’s review and was somewhat relieved to see that he thought it was a mess too. I agree with Sepinwall that a few episodes like this are the likely result of a more ambitious, ongoing mystery arc for the season, and it’s possible that this one will seem better, or at least make more sense, in retrospect.
There were two aspects of the episode that I did really like, though. One was Raylan’s return to witty one-liners. He’d been a bit dour recently, for obvious reasons, but I like snarky Raylan best. “I think Lynyrd Skynyrd’s overrated. I know you’re in Boyd’s pocket” was a classic, as was this exchange with a lawyer: “Which one’s your client?” “The dumb one.” “That don’t narrow it down.” Raylan also admitted that he hadn’t really shot many people recently, so maybe he needs to start doing that again in order to get back to his usual snark? That would be fine.
And the other thing I liked was Ava and Boyd’s story, ending with Boyd’s unconventional and yet perfectly in character proposal. It’s a testament to the skill of both the writers and the actors that this relationship, given that it’s so unlikely in some ways and doesn’t really get that much screen time, winds up being one of the most compelling elements of the show. I do like that Ava is questioning her new life of crime, though – I wouldn’t want her to fall into it without too much thought. The prospect of marriage and a house and babies has distracted her for now, but I look forward to her revisiting her doubts in the future.