Justified really upped its game last night in terms of big happenings and gun shootings. This season has been on a slow build while almost the entire cast of Justified has been on the hunt for Drew Thompson. While I originally I was skeptical of this drawn out storyline, I am coming to appreciate it much more, especially with the intricacies and twists and turns the story has taken. I can't say that I fully understand exactly what is happening all the time, but I am along for the ride. They are doing a great job of building up the suspense and hopefully there will be a big final reveal of who is actually Drew Thompson. I am hopeful the story will take a big turn and he will end up being a character that we already know and love, which will add an extra element of being invested in this storyline.
Boyd Crowder is getting more and more bold with his plans and trying to set up his legacy. While it is hard to believe, he and Ava are happier than ever and it is nice to see that Boyd has actually found a purpose and calling. He was so lost back when he was searching for the meaning of life in his church and crime, it feels as if that has finally changed. That doesn't mean that Boyd is not still a hard core bad guy that will do anything to get what he wants, but he seems happier in his own self. That's a big step for the boss. However, he is still playing with fire as he makes deals with Theo Tonin and I don't like where that could go. I don't really trust that he is going to end up getting away with "his game" because while he is smart, I'm not convinced that Theo Tonin doesn't have some other plan in mind for him. Also, things are just too good for he and Ava right now and the fall for the King has to be coming at some point, in some way.
There was a big body count in last night's episode and while only one of them was by the gun of Raylan, there was a lot death…and blood. The worst was likely the blood splatter. Also, the twist of the Sheriff killing all of the men was pretty great because I was trying to figure out which of the Sheriff's (past or present) was in cahoots with him. Then I realized, oh, that was just a big set up.
This then brings me to the biggest and most heartbreaking event of this episode – the death of Arlo Givens. It was an interesting choice the show made as the challenged relationship between Raylan Givens and his father became even more challenging the past several episodes. In fact, Arlo's last words to Raylan were "kiss my ass." Not what you would expect a father to say to his son on his deathbed. However, it was completely keeping with their relationship. I would have been more upset if they had some sticky sweet reunion. However, since this interaction was in line with their relationship you really understand why Raylan is so fucked up. Most of his emotional problems stem from the fact that he is always so angry and upset at his father and can't get past the fact that at heart he was a criminal. Hell, I'm sure that the reason he is a Marshall is just to be able to prove his father wrong. It is for this reason that I love Justified because it has such well though out, well developed and true to life characters.
Furthermore, the moment that Raylan stood outside of the elevator and silently broke down, while holding back tears was pure brilliance out of Timothy Olyphant and one of the reasons he is such an outstanding actor. He was able to convey his emotion with just his eyes and a few very small movements and it was heartbreaking in a way that is special to Raylan. It will be interesting to see how Arlo's death truly effects Raylan as I don't think it will be in a big way, but I predict there will be subtle yet important changes in his behavior.
Rest in Peace Arlo....you ol' bastard you.