“What’s next is entirely based on the next choice you make.”
– Raylan Givens
Raylan Givens just can’t help himself.
In this final season, he’s tasked with bringing down Boyd Crowder. But in investigating Boyd, Raylan discovers Avery Markham, who is buying up houses in Harlan because he believes weed will be legalized in Kentucky and he wants to have a monopoly on all of the available farmland.
In the scene that gives the episode its name, Raylan explains to Art that if you see a snake while taking the trash out, you don’t pass it by just because you weren’t explicitly told to kill it. But Art warns him that there will always be new snakes if he keeps looking for them. A marshal’s work is never done. And Art once again warns Raylan that there will come a day when he isn’t fast enough and he’ll get “bit.”
But we all know there’s no turning back for Raylan. Even though he goes to Art for counseling, he’s unable to listen to Art’s advice. No warning will get him off the case at this point. And even as he sits across the table from Markham telling him what happens next depends on Markham’s next move, it’s Raylan once again putting a bad guy in a position where he hopes he draws so he can gun him down. (Much like he does moments earlier in the episode with Ty after asking Loretta to step to the side.)
What we have to wonder is what Raylan’s refusal to walk away will mean. Every season ends with “You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive.” Art’s warnings all revolve around warning Raylan about the dangers of his current path. Will Raylan die? Or is there a happy ending for him? I’m increasingly curious about what his ultimate fate should be. The show doesn’t seem like it’s willing to let him off scott free. So I have to wonder what the writers have in store for him.
We see a few familiar faces pop back up this week. First it’s Dickie Bennett, there to be an obnoxious ass before letting Raylan know that LM Consolidation bought his house. Which, of course, leads us to Loretta, who finds herself in the middle of Raylan’s battle with Ty, which gets Raylan face-to-face with Avery. I liked both of them resurfacing and thought they were used really well. The scene where Loretta poured the Apple Pie for Ty, which Avery ends up drinking, was perfection.
I also really enjoyed everything involving Ava and Katherine Hale. Like Ava, we could never really be sure how much Katherine knew and how much was just her testing Ava. Clearly she is suspicious, but it’s hard to tell if her suspicions were quelled after their lunch date. Ava managed to keep it together in front of Katherine, so there’s a chance that that’s enough to put her doubts to rest. But maybe it isn’t.
This episode managed to have a lot of tension and intrigue, even though not a whole lot happened. There were a lot of scenes with characters feeling each other out, sizing up their enemies. It worked for me though. I’m very excited to see what comes next.
And another thing …
- I enjoyed Jake Busey’s bizarre cameo as the explosives guy. For someone who was so talented with bombs, you’d think he’d do a better job checking for cellphones though.
- The exchange between Raylan and Tim about what a horrible teacher Betty Hutchins was was highly entertaining.
- Boyd shifts his endgame once again. Now, instead of killing Markham, stealing his money and leaving town, he wants to stay in Harlan and secure farmland of his own. Much like Raylan, he doesn’t seem to know when to leave.
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.