“ALL KILLER, NO FILLER”
Note: The following review goes into detail about the episode. SPOILER ALERT!
I don’t want this to end.
Justified has taken its time to set up the story it wants to tell in each and every season. This kind of slow-burn storytelling isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but this has been a great example of a show that gets that particular style right. The writers have meticulously moved around the characters like chess pieces until they were positioned exactly the way they wanted them for the endgame. And it’s just marvellous. We’re into the fourth month of the year now, and I can’t think of an episode of television in 2015 that has been better than “Collateral,” and this isn’t even the finale!
This episode had it all. Raylan and Boyd actually got into a shootout with each other! I loved how that scene was put together. We could see Raylan and Boyd together in the same shot, but they couldn’t see each other. I was almost hoping Markham’s goons would show up at that exact moment, but leaving it to just Raylan and Boyd was the right call in the end. Boyd shot Bob up pretty bad, but I think he’ll survive. It just highlights what lengths Boyd is willing to go to now. His time spent with that random guy in the truck (the always great Shea Whigham) was brilliant. It flipped from talk of Boyd as the Harlan County hero, to the real, stone-cold killer that is Boyd Crowder.
The difference between Boyd and Raylan was expertly shown to us here. A debate has raged throughout the show about whether Raylan is actually a good man or not. Boyd is willing to kill everyone in his way to get what he wants. Raylan was within touching distance of the prize he so desperately wants, but he gave it all up to save Bob. This led to Bob getting to the hospital on time and Raylan (presumably) getting taken into custody. I assume that those officers were taking Raylan back to Art, as I don’t see Markham coming face-to-face with Raylan yet.
Everybody is still in play here to some degree. I’m sure Raylan will get free to participate in the final moments, and I’m hoping Art, Tim and Rachel will play their part too. Duffy is an interesting wildcard in all of this. I had figured he would just head out of town at the first opportunity, but he did ask for a map of Harlan. That could be to find his way out of course, but I wonder could he possibly make a late play for the money. Limehouse could also get involved, but it’s looking unlikely at this stage. Ava has been snatched up by Markham’s goons, and now will provide Raylan and Boyd with an extra problem in the middle of this massive shit-storm. Zachariah blowing himself was a rather novel way of taking himself out of the equation, but he didn’t manage to take Boyd with him.
So that’s all of our main players accounted for, and your guess is as good as mine about how this will all go down. Loretta found herself forced to side with Markham, so now he’s as powerful an opponent as ever. Raylan and Boon will definitely have to face off at some stage too, unless all of this build-up has been a red herring. I’d like to think that Raylan will get his targets and ride off into the sunset, but it surely can’t end that happily for him. He has signed over his house and cut all ties with Harlan, so now all that is keeping him there is Boyd Crowder. It’s fascinating to see how perfectly everything has been set up for the finale. Back at the midway point of the season, it would have been impossible to predict virtually any of this. The characters were moved into position throughout the course of the season, and then Ava shooting Boyd set everything into overdrive. Simply wonderful.
100/100 – STELLAR
Where would you rank “Collateral” amongst ‘Justified’’s best episodes? Do you agree with this lofty score or would you rank it lower? If you want to weigh in on this debate, or you just want to discuss the show with me, tweet me @OldSnake24. And be sure to follow us @YouNerded!
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