“I’m not going anywhere.”
– Raylan Givens
Surprisingly, this episode was all about two (possibly dysfunctional) relationships. Both Raylan and Boyd have moments of truth with the women they love (albeit in two dramatically different circumstances).
Winona comes to town with Raylan’s baby girl and while the two try to play it cool at first, ultimately Winona lays her cards out on the table, telling Raylan she wants to be with him. “You can be with me and still be you,” she tells him. She doesn’t even care where they live or if he continues to be a marshal, she just wants him there with her at night.
It’s touching, though it feels a bit akin to that old cop movie trope where one veteran officer is a week away from retirement, then he’s gunned down tragically by the villain. Art has warned Raylan several times to just walk away. Now Winona is accepting him no strings attached. A wise man would collect his chips and walk away from the table. But Raylan seems intent on having a final showdown with Boyd.
Although, impressively, he does leave a manhunt to meet Winona, so perhaps there is some hope for him after all. Of course, he takes his daughter into the office to check in on the case, so he’s not totally capable of walking away, but baby steps, I suppose.
Ava and Boyd’s moment of truth has a much more menacing undertone to it. Boyd takes Ava out to his cabin in Bulletville in order to question her about running off to Limehouse. He bullies her and intimidates her before finally coming out with it. And he even goes so far as to “Hans Gruber” her – giving her an unloaded gun to see if she’ll use it on him.
Surprisingly, Ava comes clean. She admits she’s working with Raylan and recommits herself to Boyd. And Boyd apologizes for pushing her to a breaking point and forgives her. Worst of all, now that he knows she’s a double agent, he wants to use it to his advantage to send Raylan on a wild goose chase. (Which means Raylan may have brought her back from Errol only to have her turn on him.)
I find myself wondering which relationship is healthier. Boyd and Ava’s seems more volatile, but now that all of their cards are on the table, they may finally be on the same page. Winona, on the other hand, says she’ll accept Raylan for who he is, but she’s simply brushing their problems under the rug in order to get him to come back. She wants him to change, realizes he won’t and decides she wants to be with him anyway. That’s not exactly healthy.
I really enjoyed the look at their respective relationships and it puts our hero and villain in interesting headspaces as we approach the end game. It raises the stakes in a way, giving them both something to lose. And it completely changes the investigation into Boyd, perhaps leaving Raylan no choice but to settle it outside of the law.
On the fringes of this episode, we also have Ty Walker patching himself up and throwing the law off his trail. He still remains a very dangerous wild card who could change the balance if he chose to reach out to either side and help them take down Avery.
Good stuff this week. Can’t wait to see what happens next.
And another thing …
- Tim calling Raylan Norma Rae really cracked me up.
- I really dug the song they played while Ty was patching himself up. In case you were curious, it was “The Preacher” by Jamie N. Commons.
- Can Art just continue to hang around the office for the rest of the season?
Written by Joel Murphy. If you enjoy his recaps, he also writes a weekly pop culture column called Murphy’s Law, which you can find here. Follow Joel on Twitter @FreeMisterClark or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.