THE FUSE IS LIT.
Note: The following review goes into detail about the episode. SPOILER ALERT!
After five years of fighting crime in Kentucky, Raylan Givens’ time on our TV screens is coming to an end. Justified’s sheer coolness factor has made it a firm favorite of mine over the years, so I was disappointed when the end of the series was announced. It is always better to go out when you’re on top though, and Justified is aiming for this by giving us the Raylan vs. Boyd confrontation we’ve been craving since the start of the show.
Right from the off we get a glimpse of what Raylan is capable of doing to take down Boyd. He doesn’t think twice about crossing the border into Mexico, assaulting a federale and chucking him into the trunk of his car. Time and again Raylan has shown that he’s willing to bend or even outright break the rules to get his man, and he’ll surely go the extra mile for Boyd. There’s a lot on the line now for Raylan, with the promise of a potentially happy family life waiting for him once Boyd is locked up. It is a concern though. Last season we had Art winding down to retirement and he ended up getting shot and nearly dying, so Raylan’s exit probably won’t go very smoothly either.
I like how everything has been set up for this season though. Raylan, Rachel, Tim and Vasquez have their team assembled to take down Boyd, while Boyd seemingly remains a step or two ahead at all times. Ava and Dewey were the two obvious wildcards going into this season, but now one of them has been removed from the deck with a bullet to the head. Dewey’s death was a small surprise but it served an important purpose. Nobody is safe in these final episodes, and bodies will fall. Ava is already conflicted as hell, with her need to stay out of prison at odds with her love for Boyd. She’s drip-feeding Raylan useless information to tide him over, but eventually it’s all going to come to a head and she’ll have to choose between her freedom and her man.
I loved a lot of the little callbacks to the previous seasons: Raylan reminiscing with Ava about the first day he returned to Harlan, Boyd back to robbing banks and Dewey wanting to return to the days of the “Crowder Commandos.” All of these nods served to remind us of how we got here and how much things have changed. Dewey got his head blown off by Boyd because there simply is no going back from where they are now. It was almost childlike sentimentality from Dewey and there will be no room for that in Boyd’s life now. The final scene with Boyd watching over a sleeping Ava was certainly foreboding, but I doubt she’ll be meeting Dewey’s fate anytime soon. I’m not sure exactly why Boyd is robbing banks again but it’s definitely connected to Katherine Hale and Wynn Duffy. A slick talking fella (played by Garret Dillahunt) showed up with a briefcase of cash, looking to buy Arlo’s house from Raylan. I can’t help but feel that he’s also connected to Hale in some way, and this season’s arc may revolve around land deals.
Justified has always moved at its own pace when it comes to storytelling, so this felt like an appropriate way to start the ball rolling. We got several hints about where things could be headed this season, all wrapped up with a big character death at the end. I normally like to throw around predictions when a series is wrapping up, but I feel that Justified could go in any number of different ways at this stage. Season 5 was not the strongest season of the show, but it did set us up perfectly for this final run of episodes. The pieces are all there, and I’m sure they’ll fall into place before the end.
What are your thoughts on Dewey’s death? Did he deserve to go out that way or would you have liked to see him make it out alive? Let me know us know what you think about this and the episode as a whole on Twitter @Oldsnake24 or in the comments below. Also, follow us @YouNerded.
85/100 – Great
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