“I’m finishing the job, what you and me started together.”
The final season of Justified is continually returning to its deep well of a past, digging into a rich history filled with intriguing characters and standoffs and storylines as it brings our characters’ stories to their ends. “Sounding” isn’t a particularly eventful episode, but it weaves in quite a few familiar faces as it continues to explore Ava’s psyche in the face of impending danger. It’s funny and entertaining, and it features characters who have to face off against each other in one way or another, who have to engage in a push and pull that’s bound to tip a certain way at some point.
The opening scenes of the episode are marvelous, and the entire sequence in which Ava cooks for Boyd is ripe with tension even though we know that the show won’t kill Boyd off halfway through the season. Taking into consideration what we saw in the pilot with Ava and Bowman, the way this early scene in “Sounding” is set up positions Boyd as the one in danger. Even though we know that Ava’s incredibly afraid of people like Katherine and Boyd, this scene highlights the fact that she has more control than you might think at first. She could die any day now–please don’t, Ava–but it seems like everyone in Harlan County is at risk. Everyone has his or her own advantage, e.g. Choo Choo and his ability to Amtrak people.
To further the image of Boyd in danger, we not only have his direct dynamic with Avery Markham to take into account; we also have the idea of him having to go back into the mines. This is yet another callback to the pilot, and the image of him staring into the dark recesses of the mine is a pretty clear instance of foreshadowing. I’m not exactly sure where his storyline is going to go, but Zachariah’s (played by Jeff Fahey) swinging shotgun and the later explosion at the mine are instances that combine to create a fairly foreboding mood. “After that collapse over at Joseph’s Valley, didn’t I hear you swear up and down on your mama’s grave that you’d never go in again without a proper sounding?” Zachariah asks, and we’re reminded of the flashback in the pilot during which Boyd and Raylan were nearly killed in a mine. There’s a sense that things are coming full circle and that people are going to be held accountable for their past actions.
That’s especially true of Raylan when Ava states: “There’s got to be a special place in hell for a man who breaks a promise to a woman”. Their kiss at the end of the episode is an important moment, one that brings it all back around to the original relationship of the show. Is it a moment born out of desperation and fear, or is it something else? One thing’s for sure: Raylan wants to finish what he started, and it’s only going to get more dangerous from here on out.
-Great Joelle Carter acting moment: Ava composing herself in the kitchen before going back out to Boyd.
-Also, Joelle Carter looked damn good in this episode. Even more so than usual.
– “Honestly, I’d kinda like to yell at you some more.”
– “Bump it. Took that shit like a man.” Watching Albert Fekus on the receiving end of a cattle prod is fairly satisfying, I must admit.
-Well, Brad Leland, it was certainly nice having you on the show for a bit. It seems like he is yet another person in a long line of actors and actresses who pops up on this show, and you go: “Oh yeah, he’s perfect…why did he take so long to join?”
– “Hell yeah, I got a badge…and I got balls like Death Stars.” Seeing Constable Bob back is always a treat. Patton Oswalt is awesome, and it’s interesting to see how his relationship with Raylan has changed a bit; yes, Bob’s still good for a laugh, but he seems more confident and resourceful now, more worthy of Raylan’s respect…and he gets it.
-Seeing Limehouse and Errol back is a treat as well. I’m not sure if the show should delve anymore into their characters, though, considering there are so many other balls that need to be juggled.
– “You ask me, he gets Amtraked!”
Photo credit: FX, Justified