“Outlaw” is certainly one of the more exciting episodes of Justified we’ve seen in a while, with plenty of murders going down and a whole lot of double-crossing to boot – not to mention the death of one of the show’s major characters. In fact, let’s talk about the untimely demise of Arlo Givens first as it seems the fallout from that will be addressed more next week.
Raylan approaches Mosley about the identity of Drew Thompson and the guy squares up the situation toot-sweet, wondering aloud why Raylan wants to screw his old man out of a deal so badly. After not giving Raylan squat Mosley goes to kill Arlo at the prison barbershop with the help of a guard (this show really doesn’t trust people who work in corrections) only to be out-foxed by the old man some. Mosley survives but Arlo only does long enough to tell Raylan one last time to kiss his ass. Though Raylan claims to be handling the loss okay, I’m guessing somebody’s gonna pay for his old man’s death next week, and the first guy on his list to question will be the former sheriff himself.
Over back in Harlan county we’ve got Colt not only looking for Ellen May but being blackmailed by “her” too. In order to raise the twenty grand “she’s” asking for he rips off the heroin dealer who wants all his clients to strip for him from a couple episodes back. But after he’s killed the man he finds Marhal Tim’s army buddy hiding out in the john. Colt gives him a cigarette out of courtesy to a fellow serviceman before blowing him away as well, meaning that Tim’s gonna be after Colt awful soon. Colt gets the money and we learn that, of course, “Ellen May” was Johnny Crowder all along toying with the idiot.
Before we get back to Johnny though we’ve gotta discuss the myriad of cool moves Boyd makes throughout “Outlaw.” Instead of killing the slurry guy the Clover Hills assholes told him to take out last week he pawns the job off on Wynn Duffy. Tonin’s guy Nick Augustine has been breathing down Duffy’s neck for Thompson’s scalp so Wynn starts to put pressure on the guy who he pawned the job off to: Boyd Crowder. So Boyd tells him he’s got Thompson narrowed down to two guys and gives him the slurry guy and one of the three Clover Hills assholes. Neat trick.
When Johnny tells Wynn that no indeed, those guys were sure as hell not Thompson candidates, Wynn responds with that once he’s done killing Boyd then it’s up to Johnny to find Thompson. But when Wynn sends the cop-impersonating Detroit button man after Boyd, the guy has the misfortune of running into Raylan at the bar. (Love Raylan’s post-shootout line, delivered with exasperation, “Jesus, I hope I got that right.”) Before Tonin or Duffy can send anybody else after him, Boyd speaks with Augustine and tells him to cut Duffy out of the deal and deal with Boyd directly. Augustine goes for it, even giving Boyd a hand with subverting the Clover Hills boys hold over him. Boyd then meets with the remaining Clover Hills boys and tells them the score, even lets them know that they owe him a hundred grand a piece and a DQ franchise to boot.
Boyd and Ava seem to be getting closer and closer to a bright, well-to-do country club future while Raylan’s future prospects seem to consistently be getting away from him. He’s lost his stash and his old man (though maybe there’s some assets to be handed down now that don’t just go to the state) and now he’s been taken off the Thompson case for a few days for bereavement leave. We learn in this episode that he’s really gunning for Art’s job to help take care of Winona and the baby, hence why he’s working so hard on this huge case. So with that determination in mind we get ready for next week’s episode, wherein Raylan no doubt has a fairly eventful leave of absence.