A parade of guest stars arrive as Ava (Joelle Carter) goes off the deep end.
Let’s bitch it out…
Well it was just a matter of time before Ava finally snapped and ‘Sounding’ proves to be her breaking point. After suffering through a day of mental gymnastic tests with Katherine (Mary Steenburgen) last week, Ava panics: she cooks a king’s breakfast for Boyd (Walton Goggins), makes plans to meet Raylan (Timothy Olyphant) and then runs to Limehouse (Mykelti Williamson) to negotiate an exit strategy. Unfortunately for her, Limehouse is much too savvy to fall for tall tales, prompting Ava to concoct a half-assed plan that is salvaged only when Raylan rescues her with some help from Constable Bob (Patton Oswald).
The return of Williamson is most welcome – not only because it provides continuity (remember that Ava has a longstanding relationship with Noble’s Holler), but also because it would be extremely disappointing for Justified to end its run without touching on its rich character history. Last week we got Dickie and Loretta, this week we get Limehouse and Bob. It’s a pleasure to see these wonderful actors portraying their memorable characters, even if every appearance is starting to carry a whiff of finality (as I watched ‘Sounding’, I couldn’t help but wonder if this would be the last time we saw these characters).
As it stands, this isn’t the most memorable of Justified episodes, but it feels necessary. Ava’s breakdown has been a focal point of this final season thus far, and for her to continue being a CI amidst all of the madness going on between Raylan, Boyd and our roster of villains, we needed to dedicate some time to her situation. Essentially she needs to get control of herself, escape or perish. Now that the hypothetical threat of exposure by smarmy (former) prison guard Albert Fekus (Danny Strong) has passed, Ava’s fears should be a little more manageable. She’s not out of trouble by any stretch, but the immediate danger has been temporarily removed.
- While it is nice to see Emmy award winning screenwriter Strong, I can’t say that I’m sad that Fekus’ tenure on the show has come to an end. For me, the character represents one of the worst arcs in the show’s history (Ava’s S5 imprisonment). With that said, however, seeing him get poked with a cattle prod by Wynn Duffy (Jere Burns) is highly enjoyable. Yes, I am a sadist.
- I love that Mike (Jonathan Kowalsky) believes that “applexed” is a word. You can almost see Duffy’s internal dialogue: “So hot, but so stupid”.
- Speaking of shocking, this episode has got to make you feel a little bad for Errol (Demetrius Grosse), who’s return finds him babysitting Ava and getting tased by Bob in the hardware store. You had to know that as soon as Raylan asked Bob to get involved things would end poorly…and they do.
- Not much new happening at the Pizza / Bank aside from Walker’s (Garret Dillahunt) desire to find out who is scooping them on the land rights. Unfortunately the heavies hit a snag when Choo Choo (Duke Davis Roberts) and Seabass (Scott Grimes) accidentally kill Calhoun (Brad Leland) before he can talk. Looks like my prediction about his reduced life expectancy last week was spot on.
- In Boyd’s B storyline, he manages to recruit Ava’s uncle, Zachariah (Jeff Fahey) with a bottle of booze and 10 grand to help steal some methane. It’s interesting to see Ava run back to Noble’s Holler in the same episode that we are introduced to the only relative of hers we know of considering how her family was one of the chief contributors to her time there. I wonder how their reunion will play out (since we know that they will meet eventually).
- Finally, what do you make of the kiss Ava lands on Raylan? To me it is less of a romantic gesture than an attempt at reassurance – she’s desperate for an anchor, any anchor that will help to stabilize her. I don’t think she’s interested in getting back together with him (though at this point she doesn’t actually know of his plans to leave). Personally, I would prefer that things remain platonic between them. That ship has sailed…
- Duffy (coming into Katherine’s suite): “There are children in your room” Master of the obvious, that Wynn Duffy…
Your turn: what did you think of ‘Sounding’? Did you expect Ava to run off so half-cocked? Were you pleased to see Limehouse and Bob again? Does Justified make tasering and cattle prodding seem humourous? Excited to see Ava confront Boyd and her dad? And finally, what do you make of the kiss? Sound off below.
Justified airs Tuesdays at 10pm EST on FX