Expectations were high for “Decoy.” You’ve got Raylan and the gang trying to protect Drew Thompson and get him the fuck up to Lexington. Boyd and Tonin’s crews are after him, a bunch of bombs and a fucking helicopter in place to aide that mission. We were all excited as shit to see the big show-down go-down annnddd…good God did this episode ever fucking deliver.
Wynn may have bailed last week but Boyd sticks around, assuring Tonin’s man Augustine (man-oh-man did Mike O’Malley ever knock that role outta the park this week) that he’s the only chance Augustine’s got in catching Drew on account of him knowing the county and Raylan himself. After taking a beating from douchebag henchman YOLO, Boyd manages to convince Augustine and sets about stopping Drew’s escape.
A sniper in Tonin’s crew and Colt set up a IED roadblock that holds up Art and Tim, Tim calling up Colt while Colt and his sidekick have the drop on him. Their exchange was one for the ages, with Tim dubbing Colt’s “character” “Lt. Dan” from Forrest Gump. Tim “circles the wagons” and then takes out the explosion-rigged car. Before they roll out Colt shoots Tonin’s man, making me wonder how he’s gonna explain that away next week.
I thought maybe Boyd was gonna have some sort of coup lined up after seeing that scene but Colt’s the only character in his crew that takes out a Tonin guy. Ava and Johnny babysit Augustine at the bar while Boyd’s out trying to kill Drew, Augustine generally treating Ava like shit. After a while it grates on Johnny and he tells Augustine to knock it off, leading to Augustine spilling the beans about Johnny’s deal with Wynn. Ava being far from the wilted flower who needs Johnny to defend her honor, gets the drop on Augustine and backs outta the bar after hosing Augustine with some yankee booze and threatening to set him ablaze. But before she is able to exit, Johnny spills some beans of his own by blurting out that he loves her. Helluva way to show it, Johnnycakes.
Rachel and Raylan are watching over Drew, taking him first to Arlo’s digs and later to the old abandoned high school, Drew filling in some holes in his history along the way. After they leave Arlo’s, Constable Bob swings by the place only to run into YOLO. Bob knows that Raylan is now at the high school but keeps mum through a ridiculously nasty beating by YOLO. But like Bob’s been trying to tell everyone lately via what he did to that ol’ boy down in Florida, you don’t underestimate Constable Fucking Bob. He kills the son of a bitch before Raylan even has a chance of coming to save him in what is another scene for the ages from this episode. (That said, YOLO needn’t have wasted his time interrogating Bob on account of Boyd having already figured out where Raylan would head next.)
Then shit gets all Assault on Precinct 13 at the high school with Bob, Raylan and Rachel all protecting Drew. (And was that some wonderfully “Carpenterian” soundtrack music we heard?) Boyd shows up with some Tonin boys and it’s all set for a big stand-off, but before shots are fired Bob and Raylan reveal that Drew and Rachel have already escaped Harlan County, hitching a ride not on a car or helicopter but the coal train.
I love that the writing on this show is so goddamn strong that they can subvert the crazy bloodbath you’re expecting and replace it with a bunch of amazing verbal confrontations and I am actually happier than I’d be if I saw a bunch of brains blown onto passenger side windows. If you’re at all familiar with the Nerd’s bloody tastes, you know that’s fucking saying something. I am just straight-up fucking jazzed about “Decoy” and wanna run down the street hoping some schmuck I bump into has seen it just so I can gush about it like a teenage girl who just got her hand touched by one of the One Direction kids.
So next week we know something’s gotta be done about Johnny and that Tonin’s not gonna take Boyd and possibly Augustine’s failure to kill Thompson sitting down. And what’s up with Colt’s execution of that dude? Was that just self-preservation or does he have something in mind? Sound off, Justifans!