The key to watching a nuanced show such as “Justified” is patience. The show has long since ditched the whole case-of-the-week settings that it had laid out in the early seasons. Now it’s about long, multiple season-long arcs, mysterious characters and vague ulterior motives.
Four episodes in the sixth and final season, the endgame might be quite clear but at least we know who we’re up against. Last week, Boyd had his tense encounter with Avery Markham and now Raylan does. Seems both Boyd and Raylan have a worthy adversary to go up against.
This episode opens though with Boyd and Ava in a hotel romp. It is interrupted though by Raylan summoning Ava and making sure that she isn’t getting too into Boyd to arouse suspicion or blow her cover. This is further emphasized by the surprise appearance of Katherine Hale in Ava’s hotel room.
Katherine has her right to feel out Ava. The two enjoy a lunch together before looking at fine jewelry. It’s easy to point the parallels of the two women — they’re both trying to get their own while being attached to power-hungry criminals building their own empire.
Meanwhile, Raylan and Tim continue to try and connect the dots. This means a return visit to Calhoun’s office where he stressed that even he doesn’t know the overall plan, just that Markham is interested in a lot of land. Boyd and Wynn Duffy know the real scoop. Markham is planning to bully his way into a ton of land in order to get the jump on the possibility of legalized pot in Kentucky. It’s a genius plan, but Boyd is currently interested in the contents of the safe Ava found at the pizza place. Let’s just say Boyd and Wynn’s visit with an out-there safe cracker doesn’t go as planned.
Raylan and Tim end up paying Dickie Bennett a visit in jail to see if he has any idea of who’s land is being targeted by Markham. This leads to Loretta who has inherited her father’s old place. Mr. Walker makes a strong offer before being interrupted by Raylan and Tim, and soon an irritated Markham shows up to challenge Raylan. And from the sounds of it, Avery Markham is not the type of guy you want to go against.
It isn’t long before Ava and Katherine’s day of bonding is over. But not before some tension as Katherine makes a casual comment on the prison guard that helped Ava get out. Ava is spooked and frantically calls Raylan saying that she thinks Katherine knows about her undercover work. Nothing comes from the call as an arriving Boyd interrupts. Boyd tells Ava he doesn’t want to leave Harlan county anymore. And that instead of robbing Markham he just wants to beat him to the punch and get his own slice of land to grow the soon-to-be-legal weed.
But as we saw with Raylan and Markham’s first encounter, this won’t be easy. Sam Elliott plays him the same amount of ease and charm as his previous roles. If that’s the case, then Avery Markham might be the biggest foe to step foot in Harlan county yet.
- Raylan Givens, Certified Badass: Interrupting Mr. Walker and Loretta’s deal, Raylan shows his badge while Walker shows his gun. Nothing becomes of it, but it’s still intense.
- The Learned Hillbilly: Boyd is quick to correct Wynn that they speak Arabic, not Tunesian, in Tunesia.
- The Return of Some Old Friends: Dickie Bennett and Loretta pop up tonight and next week’s previews hint at Limehouse and fan favorite (at least mine) Constable Bob.