I knew the title of last night’s episode, but I wasn’t expecting it to be quite so literal. I lost count of the bodies by the second or third commercial, but I think they included...
Note: Read on if you're spoiler-proofed!
Freshly dead include 1) the Canadian mobster who told Art about Picker in the last episode; 2) Lee Paxton; 3) Elias Marcos; 4) Sheriff Mooney; and 5) the Haitian? Did I get everyone or did I miss someone in the general bloodbath?
This episode wrapped up the Theo Tonin/Detroit crime family connection that’s been marinating since Season 3 and Quarles (who is still my least favorite villain on the series!) with a really big machine-gun-armed bang. I loved Art’s confrontation with Elias Marcos, Theo Tonin’s terrifying enforcer, played by a dead-eyed Alan Tudyk (whom I remember so differently from Firefly.)
For me, that scene was the absolute highlight of the episode, because first of all, Art was so cool and collected, and secondly, Wynn Duffy’s sardonic disinterested commentary (as though he wouldn’t be in the line of fire himself) was so perfectly done. I was terrified for Art during that entire scene because I was sure Marcos would have no qualms about murdering a marshal to get to Picker. Luckily, I was wrong about that. Although Marcos’s subsequent actions made no sense at all to me, since he was perfectly willing to walk around with a giant machine and blast two Federal marshals until one of them got the drop on him (I feel like Marcos was wasted as a character to be honest; I thought he would have made a good antagonist for a couple of episodes, especially after his chilling threat in Greek to Picker. I have no idea what he said, but it sounded dreadful.) And then he went and did something tremendously stupid, and that was the end of that. (Was he just protecting Theo Tonin?)
Still, the Tonin thing was Art’s opportunity to shine and shine he did. Sometimes I forget what a good lawman Art is, how clever and dogged he can be, so it was great to see him really triumph (and a nice touch of his getting a congratulatory phone call from the Attorney General!)
Am I bad person for being slightly disappointed that Marcos didn’t kill Picker so the theat of blackmail still hangs over Raylan? On the other hand, I was really proud of Raylan for not taking the easy out and letting the rogue (now dead) FBI Agent Barkley take the fall for orchestrating Nicky Augustine’s death. Art, I think, knows the truth and that Raylan could have walked away with that convenient lie to protect him, and instead, Raylan came back and, though he didn’t exactly confess, and I think doesn’t feel ashamed of what he did to protect Winona and their child, still put enough of the truth out there that the ball is in Art’s court again. Will he be satisfied with just knowing the solution to the mystery himself? Or will he press Raylan on it further? I’ve always felt that Art partially regards Raylan as a son and partly as a particularly exasperating and violent toddler, and so there’s a question of which of those elements will take the fore.
On the criminal side of the ledger, Boyd and Johnny both proved that Crowders are smarter than your average baddie. They seem particularly to be smarter than your average Crowe, but more on them later. Boyd took care of everything he needed to get his beloved Ava out of jail, and moreover made a brilliant deal with Hot Rod Dunham, but even the best laid plans of Boyd can’t survive an encounter with either the deeply irrational prison guard or Johnny’s malice and foresight. So Ava is still in prison (at least for the foreseeable future) and Johnny has upended Hot Rod’s deal by suborning his two associates (which gives me the delight of seeing Wood Harris and Steve Harris continue to be awesome for a bit longer.)
Meanwhile, the Crowes continued their path of wanton destruction and stupidity; the only smart one is Wendy though Darryl certainly has some low cunning. Though they are superficially similar to the Bennetts of season 2 - the smart one is a woman, and Danny has a lot of Coover Bennett like characteristics, while poor Kendall might end up as this season’s Loretta - they just aren’t as compelling because there is much less history between them and our main characters than there was between the Bennetts, Crowders and Givenses. With that said, I did very much enjoy the confrontation between Darryl and Boyd in the bar - though I’d bet some Monopoly money that Darryl knew all along he was talking to Boyd. Alas for Darryl, Danny has now wantonly disposed of his cleverest henchman, the Haitian (according to Graham Yost, that was the result of difference between the actor and the showrunners. Too bad, because I found the Haitian so intriguing!)
And then there’s Dewey, who is apparently haunted by guilt over the death of Wade Messer. This wasn’t my favorite episode of the season, but any episode which contains a scene of Dewey confusedly discussing existentialism with hookers and giving them gifts of a “turtle dog” and a gator tooth is a winner in my book!
Regina Thorne is an avid reader of just about everything, an aspiring writer, a lover of old movies and current TV shows, and a hopeless romantic.