Bullet(ville) Points: “Alive Day”

Six Rounds on Tonight’s Justified.

1.  Ah, Choo Choo, we hardly knew ye. I wondered if Avery’s story–about the ‘Nam soldier who kills himself rather than slow his platoon down with an injured man–was meant to be foreshadowing, and that this Lenny was going to be his own George, blowing his own brains out when facing a standoff with the marshals. Instead he took a number of bullets from both Raylan and Tim and still managed to escape the shootout, barreling through like a, well, a type of multi-car locomotive. And to top it off, Choo Choo’s own attempt at Death by Choo Choo fizzles in fantastic Justified style, as the freight train he parks in direct path of squeezes to a stop just inches from his car, and he bleeds out from his wounds. As the old saying goes, the best laid plans of…I forget the rest.

2. The aforementioned shootout also means that the cat is out of the bag for Ty Walker and his coterie of ne’er-do-wells, as the episode ends with every law enforcement agent from Atlanta to Cincinnati on the hunt for them. And it means that Avery Markham has trouble coming, but then again, he already had trouble coming the moment he referred to Tim as Raylan’s sidekick.

3. Who’s Trying to Kill Boyd This Week: It’s Uncle Zachariah, in the mine shaft, with the precariously perched gas can! Zachariah seems to share not only his niece Ava’s predilection for killing Crowders, but her short-sightedness when attempting to do so.

4. Who’s Trying to Kill Boyd Next Week: Oh gosh, probably everybody, right? Zachariah won’t be able to keep his accident story up forever, and now Limehouse is suddenly ratting out Ava for attempting to flee last week, not to mention Raylan and Avery and the rest of Kentucky. There’s a whole lot of people out there now who better get at Boyd before he gets at them.

5. Ava continues her survival dance around Boyd and Raylan, kissing the latter only to throw him out when the former comes home–and then cozying up to thrash-loving young Earl with some beers just in time for Boyd to walk in on them. Katherine’s revenge plot against Avery gets thrown off course–though not halted–by a pomegranate-sized engagement ring. And Caprice the hooker’s well-played bit of flattery so moves Choo Choo, her ostensible john, that he throws off the notion of killing her altogether and winds up dead as a result. This was perhaps not the most exemplary week for the women of Justified.

6. But then again, there’s Rachel, who has a heart to hear with Art about how to solve a problem like Raylan. Nick Searcy and Erica Tazel have a nice, weary chemistry, as they commiserate over the fact that, once again, they must turn a blind eye to Raylan’s egregiously improper conduct in order to keep a major investigation going. This was not a pairing that the show used very often, but this scene shows that it could have been, not just to underline that Raylan’s antics take place within an agency that is normally very by-the-book (an element that the first season was especially focused on, but which subsequent seasons lost sight of), but also to give Erica Tazel a more interesting scene partner than her desk.

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