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Justified “Reckoning” 

Photo Credit: Prashant Gupta/FX

The season finale is upon us, which means I have to recap the one before it for y’all right about NOW. So, Dickie did well and truly ventilate the lovely Helen, in her bathrobe, on her kitchen floor, and we begin with a slo-mo of Raylan approaching the house as the coroners bring her out. He takes in the scene with officer hottie, and is happy to see that she clipped somebody with her shotgun on her way down. Arlo’s home now, and Raylan is immediately suspicious about why Helen was alone in the middle of the night and whether Arlo was the intended target.

Over at Ava’s, Boyd is cooking up breakfast for Johnny and the new cohort and riding just a little bit high on his laurels when Ava comes in and everything on her face tells him something’s gone very wrong. She whispers out that Helen is dead and he moves to hold her before she hits the floor. Over her shoulder, he tells the boys they need to get the reinforcements into Harlan immediamente.

Later at the Givens house, Ava and Boyd come in to offer condolences and Raylan pretty much isn’t having it (again, not digging that he can’t be civil to Ava; she has every right not to be civil in his direction, him, not so much). Raylan goes to see Mags and tells her flat out he thinks it was Dickie and she’s not listening to it, but separately she goes to find out for herself. Before she catches up to Dickie, we see him set the trap for his remaining employee, Jed, by inquiring about where he’d hide cash, etc. as he patches up the buckshot wound from Helen. It took me until this episode to realize Jed (Richard Speight Jr.) is the Trickster from Supernatural. I’m slow like that.

Raylan starts on the path to find Dickie and that puts him head to head with Arlo, whom he arrests and jails. We also have a standoff on Ava’s porch where Raylan points a gun at Boyd and gets “15 reasons and one in the chamber” not to step any closer as Boyd levels his own gun at Raylan and Ava backs him up with her trusty shotgun. Raylan smartly takes them at their word that they had no hand in Helen’s death but they tip him off about the heist and Arlo’s involvement, which was info he didn’t have.  He goes back to the jail and smacks Arlo around before demanding that he (threaten to) reneg on his deal with Mags so she’ll give up Dickie. Arlo does it but things don’t go exactly as planned, but it does get Raylan closer to the right direction.

When Mags arrives at Dickie’s, he tells her that Doyle’s going to make it all OK because he’s going to kill Jed while he’s resistsing arrest. Mags and Doyle fall silent at what they’ve wrought. Why she doesn’t shoot him right there is a mystery. Raylan goes to visit one of the gals we last saw partying with Dewie and she sets him on the path to Jed, too. He figures out pretty quickly that Jed’s a dead man, and fortunately for Jed shows up right about the same time as Doyle.

Raylan send Doyle on his way and Jed comes clean that he was in the Givens house and that Dickie did kill Helen. That’s enough for Raylan to go get Dickie, but he takes Doyle with him. Doyle cuffs Dickie and then Raylan knocks Doyle out and chases Dickie into the woods. In a scene that wasn’t lit worth a damn so we could see their faces, Raylan comes very close to killing a frantic Dickie but as he tells Dickie that it was Helen who sent him away, who saved him and wanted him to have any life but the one there in Harlan, and that’s the kind of woman he took away, he breaks down and can’t kill him.

Mags signs the paperwork on the mine, Dickie’s arrested, and then Mags has a chat with an older lady who goes to see Jed. Raylan, Winona, Ava, and Boyd attend Helen’s funeral at the Givens homestead, and in a scene that made me want to stand up on my couch and applaud, Boyd puts Raylan in his place about disrespecting Ava in front of him. Separately, Ava offers her condolences again to Arlo and tells him honestly that Helen had no regrets about her life with him. Behind her, we see Boyd taking that in, wondering perhaps if somebody will be telling him that about Ava somewhere down the road.

On the Loretta front, we have a little throwaway scene where she clues in her foster mom that she’s not your average 14 year old. The woman tells Loretta they genuinely want her in their home, but Loretta’s got the thousand-yard stare.

Back at the funeral, officer hottie arrives and drops the bomb that Jed has recanted. We see Dickie walk out of jail to Mags and Doyle waiting on the street. Mags tells him Doyle’s family is set with the mine deal but she’s staying in Harlan, with him. She takes him into her arms as he begins to weep. This can’t end well.

And all that leads us up to tonight. Will Raylan hesitate again if he gets another chance with Dickie? Will he and Winona get out of Harlan? Will Boyd well and truly start a war? So many threads left to resolve in about 44 minutes tonight. Cliffhanger, anyone?

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