Justified Episode 5: Loose Lips


Ava nears the breaking point and is seeking a way, any way, to escape her personal hell, but by this episode’s end she receives only the world’s most boring kiss for her troubles. Also, more and more of Harlan’s denizens are drawn into the Ava-Boyd-Raylan nexus and learn of the big pile of money that’s out there, guaranteeing more plot complications and hijinks.

Although we should have been building toward it all season, that kiss between Raylan and Ava felt like an afterthought. It’s as if Raylan is dawdling with the notion of being a three-dimensional human again — or at least more than a cardboard cutout used solely to move plot forward, as he has been reduced to thus far this season.

The show opens with Boyd and Ava stuck in traffic, and that mirrors how Ava feels: stuck with Boyd and going nowhere. She’s approaching meltdown mode. After preparing Boyd a special breakfast with biscuits and gravy and smiles and down-home smarmy charm, she ducks out to demand that Raylan get her the hell away from Boyd and everything else she’s being sucked into against her will, given how she’s out of prison only because she’s agreed to be an informant.

Patton Oswalt as Bob Sweeney: Strutting His Stuff
Patton Oswalt as Bob Sweeney: Strutting His Stuff

That gives Raylan an excuse to call Patton Oswalt’s character Bob Sweeney, the lawman wannabe, and ask him to keep an eye on her and to let him know that she’s his informant, but don’t tell anyone. Oswalt is always fun to watch as he plays the toothless “constable,” even if he is now shorn of his Gremlin.

Ava in desperation reaches out to another old frenemy: Limehouse, King of the Black Holler, where the white folks know to keep their distance. She asks him for a car, and she lets it drop that Boyd will be coming into a lot of money, so it will be worth his while to help her. So someone else is added to this brew.

Limehouse, the BBQ king, sends Ava off with his minion Errol, driving an old Caddy (fulfilling a certain stereotype). Errol is soon zapped in the balls with a Taser by Sweeney. Yes, another castration image. We just can’t ever get enough in this show.

Boyd, too, brings someone else in to help with his planned heist: Ava’s uncle Zachariah. He’s apparently good at detonating things. And drinking whisky.

Thus the rings spread outward.

I’m guessing that the final season-ending conflagration — whichever direction it takes — will likely involve explosives and a good chunk of Harlan. My mind flashes to the end of Little House on the Prairie, when they literally blew up the town/set up to end the show so that it could never, ever return.

We also got to see the miserable Alert Fekus — the guard who tried to rape Ava last season — tortured with a cattle prod while Rachel and Tim just let it happen as they watch from the next room. They are the law, after all. Rachel does offer to take him to the hospital after it’s all over, in a voice dripping with condescension. It was not appealing.

By the end of the episode, when Raylan finds himself in Ava’s kitchen trying to keep her in line, with Boyd expected at any time, and he stares at her saying that he plans on “finishing what we started, together,” and they kiss, the scene felt more like an inevitable plot point then a moment filled with tension and danger that had been building throughout the episode, or season. There was no heat, no light. When he tells her he wants to hang around for a while, it certainly doesn’t seem to be for sex.


Ava had asked Raylan, “Are you gonna take care of me?” I wondered if he’s using sex to try to keep her in line. Has Raylan turned into just another predatory male? Uck.

But Ava, perhaps, will feel compelled to use sex to keep herself alive. She’s desperate, throwing out lifelines, and looking for someone to trust. He’s begging her to trust him. Would you?

(As I’ve written before, Ava’s dilemma and choices mirrors pretty much exactly Nina Sergeevna’s on The Americans, the other Graham Yost show.)

So many of the characters seem to heading toward becoming seriously and permanently unappealing. Weird.

What the heck is going on with Raylan/Olyphant? He seems almost completely absent on his own show this season, the last. We have had absolutely no sense of the internal life of his character, his tensions, desires, or his feelings about leaving Harlan for good. His kiss with Ava seemed theoretical at best. I am “aplexed.”

As far as I can recall, we have not seen Raylan — or anyone else — shoot a gun this season. Not that’s I’m saying reducing gunplay is a bad thing, but it seems odd, as it was the show’s premise: Raylan’s amazing prowess with a gun that he used when “justified” to do so.

A hilarious moment when Katherine’s grandkids are confronted with the specter of the Botoxed and oddly-colored Winn Duffy, and then rendered speechless. I would be, too.

Graham Yost, I suspect, has a Scrabble obsession. Last season it was Tim and Boyd who somehow found a board in Boyd’s bar (!) to play; in this episode it was Winn and the thickheaded Mikie, who offered “aplex.” It also showed up in the last episode of The Americans. Just saying.

OK, am I the only one who thinks that the “Choo-Choo” character is a direct descendent of “Mongo” from Blazing Saddles (played by football great Alex Karras)? Not only is Choo-Choo also called “Mundo,” but the actor playing Choo-Choo seems to be affecting Mongo’s speech. Also, come to think of it, the dim-witted Mongo uses the phrase “choo-choo train” (scary, but I know much of the dialogue from that movie).

Alex Karras as Mongo in Blazing Saddles
Alex Karras as Mongo in Blazing Saddles
Duke Davis Roberts as Choo-Choo
Duke Davis Roberts as Choo-Choo

But Choo-Choo the character feels simply annoying and not particularly scary. Mongo punched a horse. How much more badass can you get?

Mongo v. Horse
Mongo v. Horse


Ava’s set to make Boyd fried chicken for dinner. Isn’t that what she served her husband before she blew him away?

Use of the word “pussy”: 0.

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