“You’re a card in fate’s right hand. Don’t you see how it’s going to play out?”
The notion of past vs. present has always played a role in Justified. Our characters continue to grapple with their roots as we move into the final season, with how those roots do or do not define them in the present. For example, during a scene in which Garrett Dillahunt’s Ty Walker approaches Raylan and offers to buy his land, the show makes it a point to emphasize the fact that Arlo–through death–still lives on. Arlo is a reminder of Raylan’s past, of what he wants to leave behind; yet, it’s difficult to completely distance yourself from the past, no matter how much you may try.
Take the relationship between Dewey and Boyd. Their discussions throughout “Fate’s Right Hand” illustrate two different viewpoints to one situation: Dewey wants to go back to the way things used to be, while Boyd wants to move on because “whatever it was [they were] hoping for has long since past”. The “good days are gone forever”, and “Harlan’s dying”. Of course, neither viewpoint is completely foolproof, as we see both the necessity of moving forward and the pervasive uncertainty that causes it. Boyd shooting and killing Dewey places him in control, but the act itself is a result of an underlying fear of losing control. This act serves as a symbolic detachment from Boyd’s past, as an indication that Boyd simply can’t trust anymore–as an indication that Boyd does not want to live in the past at all–and it serves to further the upcoming Raylan-Boyd showdown.
At the same time, we’re wondering whether we can really place Raylan on the “good” side of the equation. In one of the many callbacks to the pilot, the episode opens with him confronting a Federale and crashing into the guy’s car; it’s important to note that a criminal in Tommy Bucks has been replaced by a criminal cop, and it’s especially apt given the whole discussion around Raylan’s actions being justified or not. The episode also highlights, most notably in the very first scene, a possible new life as a family man for Raylan, and we see throughout the episode what exactly he may leave behind should he pursue this new life. We’re seeing that internal conflict playing out on screen, and we’re left to wonder whether he’ll make it out alive if he goes after Boyd.
When he visits Art, there’s quite a bit of foreshadowing in the conversation. Art cautions Raylan on being overconfident, posing the scenario in which the “bullet finds [him]”. Art is certainly older and wiser, and we’re realizing that it’s about time for Raylan Givens to confront the possibilities as well. He’s coming to a fork in the road, but what matters is that he still has a choice; where will he end up? He definitely does not want to end up tightly tied to a history he wants no part of, but he hasn’t quite had his own “Boyd” moment yet.
Meanwhile, Ava’s still incredibly conflicted. It’s a very intriguing scenario for the character and for Joelle Carter, and it’s already infinitely better than last season’s prison story. Season six is finally able to place the character at her most fascinating, and it’s wonderful seeing all the history bubble up throughout her conversations (most notably in the excellent bridge scene between her and Raylan). The same can be said for every single character, in fact; season five stalled the series a bit, but now that the writers know that it’s the final season going in, they can craft a story like we know they can. I’m hoping it will go out strong.
-Lots of callbacks, not just with the mentions, but also with the Ava-Boyd-Raylan set up, Boyd robbing the bank, and Boyd-Jared vs. Boyd-Dewey. What distinguishes the robberies of season one from the robbery of now, however, is a sense of age. It’s not so much about having fun now; it’s about moving forward, even if it means getting pulled into the orbits of Katherine Hale and Wynn Duffy again.
-One more round of applause to Damon Herriman for his wonderful work as Dewey Crowe. Kudos to him.
-Yeah, Rachel in charge! I seriously need more Tim and Rachel this year.
-No, that is not a picture from the episode–it’s from a promo–but it’s very cool.
-No Sam Elliott in this episode, but he will definitely be showing up later in the season. One thing I noticed, though: no one mentioned an Ian McShane casting. Get it together, show. We need McShane. You have twelve episodes left, and you just got Dillahunt.
– “…my Constitutional– OW! YOU BROKE MY JAW!”
– “Nelgigence”. Oh, Dewey, how I will miss you. Also: “Boyd gives a big shit about me.”
– “Good things happen to those who wait for stupid.”
-I will be covering every single episode this season, even if that means putting off other responsibilities
Photo credit: FX, Justified