‘Justified’ Review: ‘The Hunt’
Justified’s 6th and final season takes aim at its seventh 2015 installment in “The Hunt,” as Boyd takes a nervous Ava into isolation to confirm some troubling news, while Raylan balances work with Winona’s arrival, and Ty Walker attempts to flee both Markham and his own men.
Last week’s Justified installment, “Alive Day,” saw Markham’s men growing desperate in the wake of a sloppy error, while Boyd’s mining scheme hit a deadly snag, and Rachel began to suspect Raylan’s liability with Ava, so what does the seventh episode of Justified season 6 bring?
Read on for your in-depth review of everything you need to know about Justified Season 6, episode 7, “The Hunt!”
Seven episodes into the final season, “The Hunt” should have felt like a more eventful installment than it ended up being. Obviously, the ultimate confrontation between Boyd and Ava made up the meat of the episode, though most of the road getting to that point relied on the two characters dancing back and forth, pushing and pulling their unspoken knowledge of the situation until the pot was finally allowed to boil over.
It goes without saying that Walton Goggins and Joelle Carter were at the top of their game when Boyd and Ava finally admitted the truth of her duplicity, but most surprising was that Ava displayed a jaded courage in confessing her work with Raylan, wanting to face Boyd’s wrath more than endure the deceit and fear a moment longer. Boyd too seemed surprisingly level-headed, acknowledging his failure during her time in prison, and understanding why she might have accepted Raylan’s offer, though apparently not so recklessly as to hand her a gun loaded with real bullets.
Early on in the hour, Markham makes an interesting point in dissuading Seabass from rescuing the burned Walker, noting his value of loyalty above else, even when said allegiance comes at the bottom of a cash pile. In a way, Ava and Boyd’s ultimate resolution boils down to loyalty as well, choosing to weather the storm rather than push each other out of the boat, and while I have a feeling Ava still might end up betraying Boyd, tonight’s titular hunt offered a surprisingly peaceful resolution to a conflict brewing all season.
Elsewhere, with Ty Walker out on the run, digging bullets out of his shoulder, threatening frat bros and murdering EMTs, the rest of the hour stuck mostly to Raylan and Winona sifting through the remains of their relationship, particularly Raylan questioning his fitness as a husband and father. Natalie Zea’s other obligations have kept Winona largely offscreen for the last two seasons, in this case feeling more like an excuse to re-up the stakes of Raylan’s last pursuit than a genuine reunion, as Raylan still seemed somewhat non-committal. After all, only a few days would have passed since Raylan had another woman on his lips, and Raylan Givens historically follows his own obsessions to the bitter end.
“The Hunt” offered a few other scenes to enjoy, like Art getting a chance to size up Avery Markham at the police station, or Rachel coming into her own as Interim Chief, but it seemed for the most part like tonight was treading water until Boyd and Ava could put cards on the table. We don’t yet know Ty Walker’s ultimate fate, and the mining subplot only warranted a scant appearance, considering we don’t yet know its full scope, or how far Zachariah would go for revenge on Boyd.
Still, Ava’s realigned loyalties put a new spin on Boyd and Raylan’s final showdown, and the remaining six weeks should end up in a better position for closure.
AND ANOTHER THING…
- Like Breaking Bad, Justified usually runs on something of a compressed timeline, which might make Winona’s Uber reference a bit anachronistic, for however much time has elapsed since the show’s 2010 beginning.
- Ditto for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, but unhinged Garret Dillahunt is still the best Garret Dillahunt.
Well, did Justified hit the mark with its sixth and final season’s latest? Join us again next week for an all-new Justified review of season 6's seventh installment, “Dark As a Dungeon” on FX!