We're back to a typical 43 minute or so episode of Justified this week after two or three weeks of 50 minute plus episodes. But that's not the only reason my episode notes seem shorter than usual.
Not a lot happens in this week's episode. I mean, something significant happens, but the producers have wisely slowed the action down to really focus on all of the fallout. That means we have a slower, but more thoughtful, episode that feels oddly like a season finale.
And I now genuinely have no idea what's going to happen in the remaining episodes. I have no idea if that's a good or bad thing.
Art is Shot
When a major character like Art is shot, of course we're going to spend most of the episode focusing on that event. He's shot while trying to protect Alison. We don't see the shooter, and even Art doesn't realize he's been shot at first.
In the car ride to the hospital, Art's wife asks him multiple times where he was. She clearly knows there's some sort of rift between her husband and Raylan. And she's wondering if that rift is why her husband is dying in the hospital.
He's alive, but critical when they get there. Tim, Rachel and Raylan quickly pow-wow to go over the two suspects: Darryl and Theo Tonin.
When Rachel leaves, Tim tells Raylan that they don't have a lot of time to act before more officials arrive and want to take over the investigation. In other words, if they're going to do something unlawful to whoever shot Art, they have to move quickly.
Things happen quickly without Raylan and Tim, however. Theo has signed an affidavit that he ordered the hit and he's willing to identify the shooter.
That shooter: Picker. He's arrested while he's meeting with Katherine, Boyd and Wynn. Katherine, we learn, was brought in for an assessment in last week's episode. That assessment? It's whether or not there's a reason for Wynn not to kill Boyd.
Picker, of course, says he wasn't the shooter. Raylan knows he's telling the truth when Wendy asks to see him because her brother wants to turn himself in. She gets Raylan to leave the office so Darryl can surrender in person at the marshal's office with Kendal. The diversion was to ensure Raylan wouldn't have an opportunity to kill Daryl, away from the other marshals.
When he gets a chance at the end of the episode, Raylan accuses Daryl of making Kendal confess to the crime he clearly didn't do. Daryl, of course, was aiming for Alison, Raylan assumes. When he learned via the news he accidentally shot the head of a marshal's office, Raylan says, Daryl panicked and forced Kendal to take the wrap knowing that he would be charged as a minor.
Even with that knowledge, there's not much Raylan can do to avenge his boss/friend. So he goes to visit him in the hospital as the episode ends.
Other Odds and Ends
-- The episode opens with Ava cleaning the blood off her hands, just before alarms start to go off as Judith's body has, no doubt, been found. Just before the guards make their way through the prisoners' bunks, Penny happens to notice some missed blood on Ava, who is able to clean it off just before the guards approach. Unless my notes are incorrect, we don't see anything else with Ava for the rest of the episode.
-- Katherine is apparently very well-known by law enforcement. Vazquez was very interested in meeting with her after she was arrested with Boyd, Wynn and Picker. We learn that her husband was likely in the mob. I wonder how much of this is set up for the final season.
-- Boyd never smokes, but he asks to borrow a cigarette box from one of his friends. I waited all episode for him to somehow use it as a weapon against Picker, Wynn and/or Katherine. That happens towards the end of the episode when he tosses it and it explodes on Picker, killing him.
-- Rachel, unsurprisingly, is named interim director while Art is in the hospital. With this new position of power, will she uncover what caused the rift between Art and Raylan?
airs 10pm Tuesdays on FX.
(Image courtesy of FX)