Justified, Season 6 Episode 5: “Sounding”

“It seems like with that much cash, we could be King and Queen of wherever we want” – Ava Crowder

“I don’t want anyone after me, especially Boyd. I just want to disappear, I just want to be left alone” – Ava Crowder

Justified is a show that rewards longtime viewers; there has been more than one episode in this final season that has referred to the pilot in one way or another. This week it comes again in the form of Bowman Crowder, who was Boyd’s brother, and Ava’s husband before she killed him in her kitchen. I want to know why we keep coming back to Bowman, a character unseen by the audience because he died before the start of the show. To show how resilient Ava is? There are a few critics who have theorised that both Raylan and Boyd are going to die, and Ava will make it out alive; I’m starting to see where they’re coming from. In the season premiere, Raylan encouraged Ava by telling her that she could be a criminal informant, because Bowman had no idea that she was going to kill him. Last week, Katherine asked Ava what it was like to kill a man that beat her. This week, Boyd brings up a previously unknown (but understandable) feud between the Crowders and Ava’s family, the Randolphs, when he explains why her uncle vowed to shoot him. He then told the uncle (I didn’t take note of his name), that everything should have been square when Ava killed Bowman. Then, at the end of the episode, Ava tells Raylan that she needs his help, just like she did when he came back to Kentucky in the pilot. Then she kissed him softly, almost like she did in the pilot. So much has changed since then. Raylan has a child (he also cheated on Ava), and now when Ava sees Raylan, she’s not relieved, she’s scared. But all of the reminders of how she managed to survive an abusive marriage make me think that she is the one who will make it out alive.

Unfortunately for the viewing audience, one man who won’t be leaving Harlan alive is Calhoun, aka Buddy Garrity from Friday Night Lights, because Choo Choo accidentally killed him when he and Sea Bass were trying to torture information out of him. Justified is great because even characters as seemingly inconsequential as Choo Choo have backstories; we know that he’s ex-military, and also that he has shrapnel stuck in his brain, so that’s why he’s a bit stupid. But still smart enough to notice that the bartender is skimming from the till at the pizza parlour/bank. Calhoun’s dead because Raylan talked to him last week and found out which properties Markham was after (I’m fairly sure it was Raylan, because I don’t think Calhoun had a scene with Boyd). Markham’s angry, and Garrett Dillahunt knew it was either Boyd or Raylan that got to Calhoun, so they sent Sea Bass and Choo Choo to get the information out of him. Calhoun isn’t going to appreciate another setback, so I’m curious about what he does when he’s really mad, because he wasn’t happy when he realised someone had found out about their plans.

Over in Wynn Duffy’s corner of the world, they’re dealing with Albert (Danny Strong), who is the prison guard that stabbed himself with a shiv and then claimed Ava stabbed him while she was in prison. Because Ava’s spooked, Raylan knows that they’ll be after Albert, and luckily Tim and Rachel get there before Wynn and Mikey. Katherine Hale likes Ava, but is worried that she’s an informant (she’s right, she just doesn’t know it yet), and really doesn’t want to have to kill her. So Ava doesn’t know it, but she doesn’t need to worry about that particular issue any more. Except she’s worried about everything, as the above quotation proves. As Raylan suspected, Ava travelled to Noble’s Holler to buy a car from Limehouse. She said she could get money for him, and I wondered for a while if Limehouse was going to get into the property market as well, but as soon as Ava was with Errol, she regretted her decision. Luckily Raylan was able to get her out, thanks to the help of Constable Bob! Patton Oswalt is always my favourite.

What the audience doesn’t know at the moment, is exactly what Boyd is doing with an old obsidian mine, and why he needs help from Ava’s uncle to access it. My current theory is that he’s going to dig a tunnel to the pizza parlour (not a likely theory, but a fun one), but it’s probably going to involve explosives that were in the mine when it collapsed. Except the mine is full of methane and then the entrance blows up, and apparently it will need a few days to air out. The episode also gets its name from Boyd’s ventures, when Ava’s uncle says “Didn’t you say you’d never go in without a good sounding?”, and Boyd replies, “I did.”

Other thoughts:

  • Watching Justified and Better Call Saul at the same time, I noticed that Constable Bob was rehearsing his words to Errol the way Jimmy McGill rehearses what he’s going to say in court.
  • I thought it was really clever the way that Raylan and Tim created a roadblock in order to get some state troopers (I really have no idea what kind of police they are) to check on how Ava was doing.
  • My notes on that last scene between Ava and Raylan: “Are Ava and Raylan going to make out? Kissing please.”
  • I hope Joelle Carter gets nominated and then wins all the awards for her work as Ava, she’s been phenomenal this season.
  • Last week, Vanity Fair’s Joanna Robinson pointed out in her podcast about Justified that each episode is opening and closing with shots of Ava, and it was the same this week.
  • I’m generally not a fan of scenes where characters that aren’t Boyd or Tim play scrabble, but the argument about whether ‘aplex’ is a word (it isn’t) was great. Also, if you Google ‘aplexed’, you just get a bunch of Justified articles.
  • Man, Raylan has changed thorughout the course of this show. At the beginning, he would just shoot people, and now he’s using all the resources available to him, including the Marshal’s office, Ava, and now Constable Bob.
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