Say what you will about this uneven season of Justified, in the end it unarguably teed up a wonderfully savory premise for the FX drama’s farewell run.
The Season 5 finale tended to much of its business in an efficient manner, with about 20 minutes to spare. Boyd, held captive by the Mexicans that Daryl Crowe wronged, dodges a bullet (never a euphemism in Harlan) when Raylan got his sneaky text message (look at Boyd quickly tweak his address book!) and sent in the troops (meaning Tim and Rachel) to have a shoot-out with the desperadoes.
Wendy meets up with Daryl to say that the whole thing about Kendall facing adult charges/40 years in a federal pen was Raylan’s bluff, so he can go ahead and confide in her his role in gunning down Art. To grease the works, Wendy apologizes for abandoning her son and family when they needed her most years ago, and it works: “It just happened,” the big dope admits of the shooting. Wendy then risks a bonehead move by immediately bragging that she recorded his confession on her cell, but she’s smart enough to have a gun handy to aim at his… Crowes. Raylan walks in on the confrontation, but doesn’t intervene. (As he tells his foe, “A man can’t come between family.”) When Daryl lunges at his sis, she blasts his Crowes, and then pops him again. To his Crowe-less adversary, Raylan taunts: “Didn’t I tell you you were going to wish I killed you?”
Following his melee with the Mexicans, Boyd is fixing up Ava’s house when he gets the call that she is being released, because his fiancee’s old cell mate and Albert the guard have recanted their stories about the shivving. That night, Boyd and Ava briefly reunite, before he tears himself away to wrap up business with Wynn and Katherine Hale — ‘cept, while they agree he’s crap at running heroin, they hear he knows a thing about robbing banks, a wrinkle that puts a twinkle in Boyd’s eye.
Meanwhile, Ava has a rendezvous with Raylan on the bridge, and it’s quickly revealed that he helped orchestrate her release, with the proviso that she without hesitation and with full cooperation helps him with his Harlan County swan song: building a RICO case against Boyd, after which he’ll relocate to Florida to reunite with his teary, sleep-deprived baby momma and their daughter. Ava seems good with the arrangement, but ultimately admits, “I’m scared.”
“Don’t be,” Raylan reassures. “Everything is going to be fine.”
What did you think of the final wrinkles — Raylan sticking around to build the RICO case, and recruiting Ava for the cause? Are you anxious for that Season 6 Raylan/Boyd showdown? (And who will you root for?)