Justified: Reckoning

NewImageWhat a fantastic episode.  It did what I love Justified doing.  It took you on a somewhat expected path but did so in some very unexpected ways.  Lots of twists and turns and unexpected ways of dealing with the expected.  Surprisingly the whole Winona subplot didn’t amount to much tonight.  We also never saw the real resolution of last week.  We know Raylan resolved the assassination attempts on his life but it would have been worth showing the inevitable conflict between Art and him over all this.  I’d say we’d get that next week but judging by the ending tonight I think things are about to get out of hand.  It’s probably just hard to fit all this stuff in an hour episode.

The best thing about tonight is that we know Raylan is out for revenge but he never quite tips over the edge into blood letting.  He comes close in a pretty unexpected scene towards the end.  Rather than just doing a recap I’m going to assume everyone watched it and highlight my favorite scenes.  And the best one by far is the final confrontation between Raylan and Dickie.  We knew it was coming.  We know there’s a long history of bad blood here.  Yet Raylan clearly just wants Dickie in jail and methodically goes about his police work to figure out who was behind Helen’s murder.  He finally wraps it up after getting Mags to betray her own son.  He and Doyle are walking away and then out of no-where he clips Doyle in the head.  (That is a cliche of crime films but it never works in real life – you typically either hit them too hard doing brain/skull damage or even killing them or you just hit them hard enough to piss them off)


Raylan drags Dickie out into the woods and we see Dickie begging for his life.  Everything’s been turned on their head.  Is Raylan going to become what he attempted to escape?  But no, suddenly the next scene we realize Dickie is in jail.

An other great part of this scene is Raylan really realizing all Helen gave him.  As well as realizing just how much of a cancer this land was to him.

This was hinted at earlier in an other fantastic scene.  That was the final blow up between Raylan and his dad in jail.  When Raylan realizes his dad has been lying to him – something he already expected – there’s a rage there that isn’t just towards his father but almost towards all Kentucky.  That subtext has been going on through the whole season.  At the beginning we started with Raylan having the chance to return to Florida – what he supposedly wanted.  Yet he stays in Kentucky for Winona.  This is his undermining.  Suddenly old feuds come to the surface.  Winona isn’t what he wants her to be.  His relation with Art, already not great, breaks down further.  He becomes more and more ungrounded as time goes on.  The death of Helen isn’t something he fully blames on all the others.  While it’s never stated you get the distinct sense he blames himself.  It’ll be interesting to see where this goes.

Boyd was barely in tonight’s episode but those few moments were great.  For the first time I think Boyd’s arc this season makes sense.  I still can’t explain it.  But Boyd seems more at peace than he ever has.  The scene where he defends Ava against Boyd’s “disrespect” was subtle yet profound.

The other scene which was quick but great was Winona seeing Raylan’s tombstone.  (Is it just me, or isn’t it creepy to already have a tombstone)  There was a lot to that scene even though it lasted only about 10 second.

Finally the “rescue” of Dickie by Mags was great.  Who was the woman who went to the jail though?  I’m guessing it’s the maternal grandmother of the Bennetts.

Big questions remaining.  What is up with Loretta?  There’s some reason they showed her tonight.  I don’t know what that is but I think the writers want us to keep her in mind.  Is Mags coming for her next week?  Is there something more to come with the whole Winona angle?  I think there has to be.  There’s so much unresolved there.  If not next week then certainly next season.  I have to admit the whole Winona subplot has been the weakest part of the season.  Yet it’s kind of key to Raylan as a character.  It’s also not clear how Helen’s death is affecting Ava.  Clearly she must be seeing herself in Helen.  And most important, will our redheaded mine employee be coming next week?  I suspect so.


8 thoughts on “Justified: Reckoning

  1. My step-father had the same question about the lady who went to jail. We see her approach Mags, then we see her at the jail. To me, this implies that she is related to Dickie’s friend, possibly is mother or grandmother. She went, not unlike Helen, to Mags to keep peace, and then relayed to her relation what it was he had to do to keep from being killed by Doyle. Speakin’ of Doyle, when Raylan shows up interupting Doyle’s attempt to murder the guy, that was my favorite scene. And I will have a difficult time waiting for next week.

  2. Such a great episode.

    My favorite part was the opening scene, where Rayaln walks into his boyhood home to see the scene of Helen’s murder and you hear nothing but a heartlike drumbeat. That was a very artistic choice of how to show that scene. Loved it.

    Raylan tried to hold it in, but his emotions got the better of him when he confronted Dickie. You could see he wanted to kill him, but just talking about Helen he was reminded of her efforts to make him into something better, so he stopped himself from killing Dickie and just arrested him instead.

    I think Raylan blamed himself for Helen’s death because he believed Arlo’s explanation that it happened because Raylan killed Coover. Once he found out about Arlo and Boyd robbing Dickie, he knew the truth and he blamed them.

    I think there’s a scene missing. There should have been a scene where Raylan confronts Ava or Ava and Boyd over their choices. Maybe that will happen next week.

    I also thought that the old woman was Jed’s mother or grandmother. She showed up to broker a deal between Jed and the Bennets so that Jed could recant and then serve time for Helen’s murder, but his family would be protected until he gets out or something.

    Next week will be a war. I wish that there were more episodes coming. It’s going to be hard to see the season end next week.

  3. I don’t think he’ll confront Boyd because Boyd is just living up to Raylan’s expectations. I think he’s a bit angry at Ava but then that’s complex. She depended on Raylan but that’s not exactly a mature thing to do. She then latches onto Boyd.

  4. I noticed in this episode that Raylan keeps being surprised by Ava being with Boyd. That’s why he hasn’t said anything yet, because it’s still a shock to him. He’s now noticing that they’re together, where as earlier in the season they just shared a roof.

  5. Right. That’s why I thought he would at some point confront her about it, or at least tell Boyd that he better not get Ava involved in his “business.”

    I think the reason that Raylan has been a little disrespectful toward Ava is that he doesn’t like the choice she’s made. He wants to say something to her and I thought he would in this episode, but he never did.

    When Boyd brought up the “disrespect” issue and warned Raylan I thought for sure that would set off a reaction and a confrontation, but no. Maybe next week. There’s definitely some unresolved feelings there.

  6. Thanks for the recaps, and discussion. I’m not watching close enough to the broadcast due to wrapping up the semester, but I’m still lurking.

    Like MCQ, I loved the scene where Raylan interrupted Doyle. If the older lady is Jed’s kin, why would she have to visit Dickie?

    I think she’s Bennett’s blood.

    Arlo, Boyd and Ava are going to have some splainin’ to do next week. I hope we get a little more on Raylan’s relationship with Art, too.

    The confrontation with Raylan and Boyd makes me think the series or a season must end with one killing the other. Anyone else think that ? (I ask because I’m sensitive to which thoughts are my own, and which are subtly directed through the story and acting. – Doctor who is a bigger culprit in this department.)

  7. Tensions are high between Raylan and Boyd but much higher between Boyd and Dickie. Someone is definitely going to get shot but I don’t think Boyd and Raylan are going to be drawing down on each other again.

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