As the season quickly winds down, I have a feeling that Raylan Givens is really just wishing he could get a day off from the madness. But that wouldn’t make a very interesting show (although Raylan could read me the phone book, and I’d be riveted….) so he’s got some more nonsense to deal with in this week’s episode of Justified, “Loose Ends.”

The episode starts and we realize just how much Raylan is starting to crumble. First he hides the gun that killed Gary in his apartment above the bar. Then Art tells him they have nothing on Quarles and they are officially dropping looking into him. So Rayland hit the whiskey at the bar. Ava came to see him and he gave her a big ol’ kiss. I love Ava too, Raylan, but keep it your pants. She was just there to facilitate a meeting with Boyd who wants to help Raylan take down Quarles. But Boyd’s in jail, so this is a “Raylan has to go to him” kind of scenario. Boyd shares that he didn’t blow up Napier’s car – Tanner did. And that Tanner is working for Quarles, so if Raylan goes after him, it’s a win/win. Boyd gets out of jail and Raylan gets Quarles. Good times.

Things don’t work out exactly as planned because Tanner, realizing Raylan is on to him, tries to get some money to hit the road. His first stop is Briggs, the man who made the bomb. But Briggs is not a dumb old man – he has Tanner go to get the cash by climbing a stepstool that rigged as a landmine. Meanwhile Raylan discovers Napier is for sure dirty by letting him know that he knows Tanner put the bomb there and then watching Napier go drive off with a shovel and rope in the middle of nowhere to meet Tanner. Oh Napier, subtlety is clearly not your middle name. Tanner, realizing he is going to die, give Errol (Limehouse’s guy) the money to give to his mom. When the cops show up, Tanner tells Raylan that he will tell him everything once he gets off the stool. Raylan doesn’t like that plan, but it doesn’t matter. Tanner loses the gun in his hand, which was enough weight to arm the bomb and Tanner goes boom. Oh Tanner, who were a horrible person. You won’t be missed. Raylan goes to see his mom and hears Errol come to the door and give her the money. Fun fact – when this happened I literally said “Ohhh… that’s nice.” Because I thought Errol would keep the cash. He’s a good man.

Raylan heads to Nobels Holler where he has a bit of a confrontation with Limehouse. Raylan wants info on Quarles but Limehouse pretends he doesn’t know who that is. But he does remember all about Arlo and beating him up. Raylan says that won’t upset him. What does upset him – Limehouse talking about his mama. Not cool, dude. Not cool. So Raylan leaves because Limehouse seems sure that the Holler will survive all this and that’s all that matters to him.

Now, why did I run through Raylan’s day first? Because this episode wasn’t about him for me. It was about those beautiful Crowders, Boyd and Ava.

Boyd may be a criminal, and a nasty one at that, but the man can give a speech. And, boy howdy, did he give a doozy of a speech today. There was a debate between current Sheriff Napier and his opponent in the election, Shelby. The moderator was put on Quarles’s payroll so the debate was going the way of Napier, who pointed out that Shelby was suspected of being an inside man on the heist in the mines and now works as a greeter at a store. But in walks Boyd Crowder and the tables turned.
He was let out of jail once Raylan turned suspicion onto Tanner. And he walks in and does one of those crowd rousing speeches that we have all grown to love about how Shelby is just like them and Napier is a company man who feeds off the public. I wanted to register to vote in Harlan County just so I could vote for Shelby. Because, damn, Boyd Crowder can string some words together.

His girlfriend isn’t so bad either and she had some stuff to deal with this week! Delroy, the pimp at the trailers, took three of his girls, including Mary Ellen (the hooker who saw Tanner shoot up the clinic), on a heist. One of the girls was shot and killed, another killed someone in the check cashing place. So Delroy got them to calm down, had them put the dead girl in the lake, and then killed the other girl. Mary Ellen ran, knowing she was next, and went straight to Ava at Johnny’s bar. Ava took care of her, saying it would be okay. But with Boyd in jail at the time, the only person there to help was Johnny.

She suggested Johnny take her on as his lady, but he seemed a little bit too interested in Ava to want to look at some other girl. Better not tell Boyd that, buddy! He said it wasn’t there business and to give her back. So Ava said she would, and called Delroy to come pick up his girl. Ava tied up Mary Ellen, brought her out at gun point to Delroy, and as soon as Delroy put the money down (Ava’s finders fee – smart girl) Ava shot him dead. Atta girl. She and Mary Ellen cleaned up and when she told Boyd, he seemed a bit upset but smart enough not to really say it. Then she said she wanted to take over at the trailers as being in charge of the girls. In my head, this is going to turn into The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Kentucky-style. (Look it up, kids)

I am so in love with Boyd and Ava this week that I don’t even know how to say it. Boyd gives me chills when he gets going on one of his causes. And Ava is a BAMF with a shotgun who has never been afraid to use it. They may be bad, but they are oh so good to watch.

Next week: A Raylan/Quarles standoff that is sure to scare the crap out of me.

Written by Melissa Miller. Find her on Twitter @serrae

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