Did someone order a round of betrayal? ‘Cause Justified is serving it up in spades as a whole bunch of individuals act on their impulses with some very unexpected results.
Let’s bitch it out…
Well, well, well. Ava Crowder (Joelle Carter), who knew you had it in you?After nearly an entire season of being strung along on the whims of men, Justified‘s leading lady makes a very bold move as she betrays both Boyd (Walton Goggins) and Raylan (Timothy Olyphant). I say it’s a bold move, but perhaps decisive is the more appropriate word. For nine episodes, Ava has lived in fear that Boyd will discover and kill her for being a CI. During this time, she has been acting out of fear (and sometimes panic), which gave us the impression that she was completely reactionary and unable to determine her own fate. Compared to most of the other characters in this final season who seem perfectly in charge of their path, Ava was the odd woman out and it seemed increasingly likely that she would pay for it.
It takes a fate worse than death to drive Ava to action: ironically her big move comes as a result of Vasquez (Rick Gomez) cutting the cord on her CI deal, which all but guarantees that she’ll be sent back to prison regardless of what information she offers on Boyd. This prompts her to propose increasingly risky alternatives to stay out of the slammer including soliciting Boyd’s confession for murdering Dewey Crowe, shooting Boyd, stealing the $10 million and leaving Raylan high and dry. It’s a shocking and unexpected development, but it’s also satisfying too. Although it doesn’t seem exceptionally well planned, Ava has finally found her exit plan and it doesn’t require either of her former lovers. The move is ballsy and impulsive as hell and she likely won’t last long before Raylan tracks her down, but at least Ava is acting on her own terms rather than waiting for someone to save her or kill her.
- One of the reasons that I was so surprised by the ending is that I never actually considered that the money would come into play. It has felt like a MacGuffin for the better part of the season: something that everyone wants that keeps faux-Big Bads like Avery (Sam Elliot) and Katherine (Mary Steenburgen) in play but that no one ever actually gets.
- Speaking of the pair, we leave them in an ambiguous place as Avery now knows that Katherine was moving against him. Her final question is whether he’ll kill her now, but we have to assume that Katherine stays alive long enough to hear her voice mail, right?
- The voice mail is important because it now holds Wynn Duffy’s (Jere Burns) fate. Turns out that Mikey’s code is a little stronger than Wynn anticipated because he ends up bashed and handcuffed to a table awaiting his fate after Mikey attacks him.
- The final round of betrayal concerns Boyd’s men, who he throws under the bus to convince the Marshals, including Tim (Jacob Pitts), that he’s fallen for their “move the money” ruse. Now Earl (Ryan Dorsey) and Carl (Justin Welborn) are in custody and Boyd has been shot in the shoulder. Guess karma is a bitch.
- I imagine that this is the final time we’ll see Limehouse (Mykelti Williams). If he’s going to go out, it might as well be making fun of Ava and Boyd by providing them with passports bearing the last name “White People” aka Ofay (thanks to Alan Sepinwall for providing the link for clarification)
- I feel like if I were in the service industry in Harlan, I would take special care to learn who is dangerous and how to talk to them. For instance, if Boon (Jonathan Tucker) – an unhinged guy with a bad haircut – asks to buy your hipster hat, you give it up when he asks. I fully expected this scene to end in a bloodbath.
- Finally, in case you were wondering, $10 million fits nicely in two hockey bags.
- Wynn (berating his driver): “Hey Mikey. If you’re going to mention your Code again, we’re, um, going to have to pull over and get some bananas so that I can eat something that tastes the same coming up as going down, okay?”
- Raylan (reminding Tim how smart Boyd is): “I’m just saying: the last time we tried something like this we ended up with his underwear”
- Katherine (when Avery asks if she really thought he had her husband killed): “I did. I don’t any longer.”
Your turn: what did you think of Ava’s betrayal? Surprised that Boyd gave up Earl and Carl? Is Wynn doomed? Is Katherine? And where will Ava go with $10 million in cash? Sound off below.
Justified airs Tuesdays at 10pm EST on FX