Raylan has Shelby, who is really Drew Thompson (just in case you forgot). Theo Tonin wants Shelby. Theo, via his second-in-command Nicky Augustine, has Boyd Crowder. Boyd and Raylan”¦ well, let’s just say they’ve met. See where this is going?
While Raylan & Co. are holed up in Arlo’s house trying to figure the best way out, Nicky and Boyd are having a nice chat about fashion, dental hygiene and Bible stories, which ends up with Boyd on the losing end of getting smacked around. Even then, he insists that he still wants $500,000 to help Nicky get Shelby. And, if you’re curious, why should Theo Tonin pay Boyd instead of killing him? Because Boyd’s knowledge of Raylan allows him to figure out what our favorite hat-wearing U.S. Marshal will do next”¦ like, for instance, trying to get Shelby out of Harlan by interstate convoy instead of the State Police helicopter that’s headed down from Lexington. Nicky decides to go with Boyd’s instincts and sends one of his men with Colt to set up a roadside ambush.
The Marshals have, in fact, arranged for that convoy and it doesn’t matter that it’s just a decoy maneuver after Tim, who is driving, gets the willies when he sees three supposedly abandoned cars on the road ahead. Having served in the Middle East, he knows a setup when he sees one and assumes correctly that one of those vehicles is full of explosives and also guesses that Colt, who he knows is also a former soldier, set the whole thing up. Colt and Mort (Nicky’s sharpshooter) are watching from the trees above the road, which is convenient for reception when Tim calls him up and plays the “I’m writing a book about an ambush” card. The hypothetical book conversation proves Tim is right about the ambush so before Mort can shoot up one of their vehicles, they bunch together around and behind the tow truck that’s with them. Tim shoots holes in the gas tank of the explosive-laden car then throws a Molotov cocktail at it and when it explodes, the decoy convoy escapes. Colt and Mort watch it all from their place in the trees before, on a pretext of seeing Drew in the convoy, Colt takes the rifle from Mort then turns back and kills him. One less Tonin bad guy can only work in Boyd’s favor, right?
Art gets word to Raylan that the decoy’s cover has been blown and that Tonin’s helicopter is headed toward Arlo’s house, which inspires them to take Shelby to a new hiding place, which turns out to be Raylan’s old high school which has been abandoned since the county’s schools consolidated a decade ago. Shelby isn’t too thrilled with the location but it does have a place for the State Police helicopter to land, a fact Raylan knows because when he was in high school, an astronaut landed one on the baseball field.
Nicky Augustine, predictably, isn’t happy that the convoy was a ploy and he still doesn’t have Shelby. He sends another henchman, Yolo (no, I’m not kidding), to Arlo’s house even though Boyd insists Raylan would have already left. Sure enough, the only person Yolo finds is Constable Bob, who shows up to check out the alarm he installed after the break-in back in episode one. Bob is on the phone with Raylan, joking that he knows the Marshal is at the high school because Bob also installed motion detectors there, when Yolo arrives. Raylan’s advice to “run,” comes too late and Bob’s day is about to get a whole lot worse.
With “Love Train” providing cheerful background music, Constable Bob gets the shit beaten out of him by Yolo while meeting every “Where’s Drew?” demand with answers like “Drew-bacca” and “Drew Mama.” You know all that stuff I said about Constable Bob only being there to get someone killed? I take it all back. Bob is Harlan County’s Timex watch: he takes a licking and keeps on ticking. In the end, he uses that little knife he wears on his belt to cut open Yolo’s femoral artery and then shoots him. When Raylan arrives to save the day, Bob has saved himself and done it without giving up Raylan’s hideout at the high school. Stay frosty, Bob!
Before he started in on what would be the last beating he would ever deliver, Yolo made a phone call to Nicky to tell him that Boyd had been right and Raylan had left Arlo’s house. After a bit of thought, Boyd also remembers the astronaut story and insists the high school is where Raylan would go. Nicky sends Boyd with another of his own men, Picker. The two of them aren’t enough to convince Raylan to turn over Shelby, though, and when he and Boyd quit arguing about whether the astronaut drove the cart or played golf when he landed on the moon, Raylan sort of casually tells them to go away and come back when they have more men. As it happens, more Tonin men are on the way and when they return, Raylan is behind closed doors in the principal’s office with Constable Bob. You know who’s not there? Shelby. Where is Shelby? Riding the 5:30 coal train out of town, with Rachel on guard.
So not only does Nicky Augustine not have Shelby, he also lost his leverage against Boyd when he insulted Ava to the point where she threw brandy in his face and then threatened to set him on fire. Besides getting a dose of Bad Ass Ava, that moment also brought Johnny’s betrayal of Boyd and Ava out into the open when Nicky told her about Johnny’s partnership with Wynn Duffy. Johnny may have confessed his love for her to Ava but, considering the gun she had pointed at him and Nicky at the time, I don’t think it matters. What does matter is what’s going to happen when she finds Boyd and tells him everything. I, for one, can’t wait.
Quote: (Raylan) “People underestimate Bob at their peril…”