“I may not know a lot about a lot of things, but I do know how to blow shit up!” Oh, Boyd. Never change.
So what is Boyd Crowder blowing up now? Well, just hold on to your hair gel. We’ll get there.
First, a few loose ends from last week. If you remember, Ava decided not to kill Judith, but ended up doing it anyway after Judith attacked her. With the help of Penny, Ava cleans herself up just in time for the lockdown alarm after Judith’s body is found. Penny mouths off to the guard and mysteriously disappears for an hour; when she returns for dinner, she tells Ava that she was being lectured by the warden. Ava and Penny are both on their guard against the retaliation they are sure Judith’s gang has planned ,and when those women all get up from the table at the same time, you know shit’s about to hit the fan. And it does… if by “shit hits the fan,” you mean the gang silently parades by Ava, leaving their ice cream cups in front of her as a sign that their allegiance has transferred to her. The Queen is dead. Long live the Queen.
Loose end number two: Art decides he can handle Alison’s protection all on his own and… wait for it… ends up shot. Raise your hand if you saw that coming. The scene lived up to its foreshadowing, though, as gunfire ensues immediately after Art opens the door of Alison’s apartment and steps into the hallway. He pushes Alison back inside where she falls to the floor covered in what turns out to be his blood, from a bullet wound in his abdomen.
Raylan escorts Leslie, Art’s wife, to the hospital so she can get in a dig about Raylan not being in Florida with his ex-wife and baby at the same time she “I’m not blaming you, Raylan” blames him for not having Art’s back. Art is alive but unconscious and in critical condition. Raylan is immediately sure Daryl Crowe is responsible for the shooting, especially since Audry’s is locked and empty and the Crowes seem to be in the wind. Rachel informs everyone that Art’s Detroit buddy Ed Kirkland is coming down to take interim command of the Lexington Marshal’s office.
Tim wants to go Rambo and hunt Daryl down before Kirkland arrives, but Raylan refuses to play along. Instead, once Kirkland is there, Raylan tries out his “Daryl did it” theory. Kirkland has spent a lot of time chasing Theo Tonin, though, and believes the Detroit gangster might have called the hit as payback for Art arresting him a few weeks ago. Kirkland tries to give Raylan the task of following up all of those leads but Raylan sees through the bullshit attempt to keep him, the office problem child, close by keeping him busy. Raylan threatens Kirkland with unspoken dire consequences if Daryl gets away but before anything more is said, ASA Vasquez appears with the news that Theo Tonin has indeed claimed responsibility for calling in the hit on Art and that Tonin is willing to name the shooter.
Who is that shooter? Picker. Where is Picker? With Boyd Crowder and Wynn Duffy. How did that happen? I’m so glad you asked.
Loose end number three, last week Boyd let that slimy little shit Albert escape with his life (I’m still not happy about that) and this week, is fending off not-so-subtle advances from Teri, who’s clearly hoping to slide into Ava’s spot as Boyd’s lady o’love. Boyd is not interested in her pop rocks blow jobs, especially since he’s got more important things to worry about — like Wynn Duffy calling him to the carpet to account for the half-shipment of heroin that Raylan confiscated when Danny Crowe fell into a hole and killed his own dumbass self by falling on his own dumbass knife. Boyd instructs Jimmy and Carl to hide the other half of the shipment and not even tell him (Boyd) where it is, as insurance in case Duffy and Picker have something other than talking in mind for their meeting.
Boyd shows up as ordered at Duffy’s hotel (I miss the Wynnabago!), wearing his “I’m Boyd Crowder and you’re not” million dollar smile and attitude. With a southern drawl that seems to get thicker as he gets angrier (every “Mr. Picker” was a more pointed insult), he blames the loss of the heroin on Daryl Crowe and declines to explain events in any other way than “Shit. Happens.” He is impressed, though, as well as momentarily speechless at the sight of Mary Steenburgen’s Catherine Hale, especially when he finds out she’s the widow of dead gangster Big Country Grady Hale. He’s full of flattery and thrilled to be in her presence, right up until she says she’s there to help Wynn Duffy decide whether to kill him or not. At that point, non-smoker Boyd pulls out a packet of cigarettes and the U.S. Marshals break down the door of the hotel suite looking for Picker.
Raylan still believes Theo Tonin is playing them with his story about Picker and while Picker is being held at the Marshal’s office, goes in for a little chat. He tells Picker that Tonin is setting him up for Art’s shooting and Picker, of course, loudly plays the “I’m innocent” card. Raylan reminds him that unlike Michigan, in Kentucky, the death penalty is still a thing. Picker says that he heard rumours that Daryl Crowe shot Art.
In the other room, ASA Vasquez is as giddy as a schoolgirl that Catherine Hale is on the premises. Guest stars Rick Gomez and Mary Steenburgen have entirely too much fun with a great little scene that sets up their history with each other, from her dropping the “little ol’ country grandma” act and calling Vasquez a “smug little hobbit-looking beaner shitbird” to him saying he’s “just a little bit” disappointed she’s still alive. If Catherine isn’t back next year for the final season of Justified as the Big Bad (or at least one of the Big Bads), I’ll be highly disappointed. Plus, more Rick Gomez is always a good thing.
Picker, in case anyone wondered, is telling the truth about not having shot Art, a fact which is proven by hotel security footage. Before Raylan can say, “I told you so,” he gets a phone call from Wendy, who tells him that Daryl wants to turn himself in but will only do so to Raylan.
Well, alrighty then. Raylan shows up as ordered at the trashy little hotel where the Crowes are holed up and finds Wendy showing signs of having the crap beaten out of her but no Daryl anywhere around. She apologizes with the non-apology that she was only doing as instructed by Daryl, who is her last living brother since Raylan killed Danny. (That Danny killed his own dumbass self is a subtlety lost on the Crowes, I guess.) Daryl, it seems, is a delicate flower so afraid for his personal safety that he deliberately made sure Raylan wasn’t in the building when he turned himself in at the U.S. Marshal’s office.
Just when we thought the Crowes could sink no lower, they find a bigger shovel with which to dig. Daryl isn’t just turning himself in, he’s turning Kendall in. While Wendy listens in shock (it seems she wasn’t in on the plan), Kendall spins a long and obviously false tale about going to see Alison armed with Danny’s gun (which Danny had given him for his own protection) and upon seeing the star on Art’s belt buckle, being so afraid of the big bad lawmen (because they’d killed Danny and might be coming for him next) that he panicked and shot Art.
Raylan, at least, is obviously not buying any of this bullshit story. He’s left with no option but to let Daryl go, but makes it clear that he knows Daryl is letting his fifteen-year old brother take the rap for something he (Daryl) did. Daryl threatens Raylan and Raylan threatens Daryl and the stage is set for an epic game of Harlan Chicken, where (I’m guessing) the loser ends up dead.
Boyd, meanwhile, attempts Take 2 of the meeting that was so rudely interrupted by the Marshals breaking down the door. Boyd dismisses Picker as being unimportant and addresses Wynn Duffy with the offer to split half of the remaining heroin and go their separate ways. Picker’s attitude wasn’t improved by a few hours in a holding cell and before long he’s yelling about putting Boyd’s head in a bucket and sending it to their Mexican partners. Duffy loses his cool, Catherine loses her cool and when they both walk away from the sitting area in disgust, Boyd tosses his pack of cigarettes to Picker and tells him to relax and have a smoke. Before Picker can read the surgeon general’s warning about how dangerous smoking is, BOOM! The explosive charge Boyd stashed in the small package blows up, along with most of Picker. While everyone else tries to clear out the ringing in their ears, Boyd knocks Mikey to the floor, takes his gun away and tells Duffy that the offer to split the drugs still stands and then leaves.
Does Boyd Crowder know how to make an exit or what?
Oh, shit! I almost forgot to mention that in Art’s absence, Rachel has been appointed interim Chief Marshal! Rachel is the boss of Raylan and if you don’t think that’s setting up for something epic, you haven’t been watching Erica Tazel totally own that role.