'Justified' Recap: Ellen May is Protected, But is Winona?
'Justified' Recap: Ellen May is Protected, But is Winona?
Alan Danzis
Alan Danzis
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
After last week's incredible episode -- one of the series' best, I think -- it's tough to follow-up with an episode as gripping and entertaining. Last week felt like a season finale, whereas this episode, entitled "Peace of Mind," feels like an epilogue at times. But it does contain quite the twist -- a sharp jog to the side which hints at a very, very dark set-up for a later episode.

"Peace of Mind" opens with Raylan happier than we've ever seen him. Winona shares with him that their child is going to be a girl, and even though Raylan says he doesn't "know sh*t about girls," he seems genuinely cheerful as he enters the marshal's office to rapturous applause.

And then Art suspends him.

Raylan protests of course. He needs to "finish what he started," especially with Theo Tonin having gone underground. Art later gives him that opportunity, but Raylan's on a short leash while Drew heads to super max prison.

Before he leaves, however, Drew refuses the deal the feds have offered unless Ellen May is protected. Drew as a protector wasn't an act -- he truly wants to be a good person, and ensuring Ellen May's safety is paramount to his own.

Somehow, Nick Augustine knows about this turn of events. (Mole within the marshals? Will this come up, or was it just a plot convenience that Nick somehow knew?) He tells Johnny who then calls Limehouse, who refuses to "sell" Ellen May. Johnny assumes that's because Limehouse already has a deal with Boyd.

Desperate to kill Ellen May to ensure Drew's offer will become null and void -- and allow Theo to come back out of hiding -- Nick offers to pay for Ellen May to Boyd. And he'll even throw in the traitor Johnny!

Boyd agrees, but Raylan manages to get to Limehouse first. Except, he doesn't. After Limehouse convinces him to leave by saying Ellen May isn't there, we learn Ava was already there, hiding in the back.

Limehouse eventually tells Ava that Ellen May already left and he has no idea where she went. He warned her to stop pursuing her, asking her, "Are you gonna have peace of mind when this is all over?"

When we learn later from Ellen May that Limehouse actually let her go, we can see that there are lines even Limehouse won't cross. And he was trying to impart that same knowledge and foresight onto Ava.

Ellen May runs off to Nicky Crush for help hiding out. When Boyd shows up with Picker and Nick, we get one of the best laugh-out-loud moments of the season when Nicky tricks them into thinking he's in the shower, until he shows up in full body armor and assault weapon. (They can barely understand him because of the helmet he's wearing.)

He's even able to disarm them, until Boyd tricks him and shoots him in the foot -- the one place the body armor doesn't protect. But Ellen May isn't there either as she's now run off to the outdoor church and Cassie.

Ava shows up first. Cassie stands firm and insists Ava will need to kill her too if she dares try to kill Ellen May.

Colt then shows up and asks Ava, "Is this what Boyd wants?" Even he is having second thoughts about killing Ellen May.

Ava calls Boyd and tells her she can't kill Ellen May. Apparently, what Limehouse told her sticks.

But Boyd then calls Colt. We don't hear the conversation. We can assume what was discussed when Colt starts to grab Ellen May and Ava tells him to let her go.

Yet another person enters the fray as Tim shows up. He holds a gun on Colt, who refuses to drop his.

"Did you kill my friend?" Tim asks. Colt admits it, even as he calls it collateral damage amidst a poor apology. He lights a cigarette, smokes it and realizing he has no way out, tells Tim, "I guess I'll quit today." Colt raises his gun and Tim kills him.

With Colt dead, but not Ellen May, Boyd and Ava have a heart-to-heart and come to the conclusion that their only play left is to get rid of Delroy's body once and for all. (Delroy is the person Ava killed to protect Ellen May in a previous season.)

This episode then takes an abrupt turn in the final scene. A worker is fixing a rocking chair at Winona's. We learn it is Picker, one of Nick's men. In the beginning of the episode, when Raylan and Winona are talking on the phone, she reminds Raylan about signing paperwork about what happens to their unborn girl if something happens to either one of them. Raylan hasn't signed his yet.

After Picker leaves and Winona sits down on the rocking chair, you can't help but expect to see an explosion. But no, Winona is fine, rocking away without a care in the world.

For now? 

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(Image courtesy of FX)