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Justified “Burned” 

Photo Credit: James Minchin/FX
Photo Credit: James Minchin/FX

I agree with Raylan. Boyd is gonna go after that money harder and stupider, but let’s take a closer look at how we got here.

I don’t know about you, but I had no idea Wynn was the snitch. Like Mike, I honestly thought Wynn would never turn on his own people. I mean, I guess I don’t even really know who “his people” are, so how would I know who he’s gonna stay loyal to? Still. The fact that he’s in league with Katherine to take Markham down because she thinks he’s the snitch – that takes some big freaking balls. I honestly don’t know if I thought Wynn had it in him. I guess he does.

Photo Credit: Prashant Gupta/FX
Photo Credit: Prashant Gupta/FX

Who else marks their territory this week? Well, both Markham and Loretta make an effort, but only Loretta succeeds. As we all know Loretta took over the Bennett land and weed business. She’s looking to buy up some properties – the same places Markham’s been after – but she’s got the advantage. She’s local and she wants to keep the business local. Harlan might be dying, but she’s not going to contribute to that by sending jobs out of the area. So when Loretta goes to Markham’s party, she lets the people of Harlan know that. But why should they trust her? She’s local, but that only goes so far. Her trump card is Boyd. With him as her partner, the people of Harlan know who to back. He’s just not that excited about being outed as such.

But this isn’t going to make Markham back off. In fact, it’s just going to make Markham want to look for a more permanent solution to his Loretta problem. And that will definitely involve his new muscle, Boon. I can’t tell you how excited I was to see Jonathan Tucker on my TV screen. If you’ve seen DirecTV’s Kingdom (and if you haven’t, you are missing out), you know how phenomenal Tucker is. He plays a very different type of character here, but he gets the point across. He’s menacing and he’s just waiting on any opportunity to assault Loretta. I hope someone shoots his balls off.

I’ve also got to take a moment to talk about Katherine. I think I’m gonna move away from my focus on “big balls,” and instead call her a bad bitch. I like her more and more with every passing episode. Do I agree with what she’s doing? Of course not. But I like that she’s not afraid to stand up for herself and do what needs to get done. In “Burned,” she’s the trigger man (or, she is at the beginning of the episode). Avery thought he’d bought Seabass’s loyalty, but after putting out that ransom on Walker, Seabass reconsiders his position. So when he comes looking for a bigger payday, Katherine manages to surprise him and Markham. I thought the gun in a bag was an obvious ploy, but it worked. So those two seem to be okay. For now.

Photo Credit: Prashant Gupta/FX
Photo Credit: Prashant Gupta/FX

Ava, on the other hand, can’t seem to catch a break. She’s tested by both Raylan and Boyd in this episode and it really does seem more and more likely that she won’t make it out of this alive. Boyd thinks Ava had something to do with Zachariah’s plan to bury him in the blast, along with his greed. Carl comes to his rescue – that man really is continuously and consistently earning his keep. And it would’ve been so anticlimactic to see Boyd go out like that. Part of me still wants to see him get away with it. Part of me wants to see him in jail. Now that he’s more determined than ever to get that money, it looks like Raylan has at least one more chance to get him.

[Note: Since this is the last season of Justified, we find ourselves a little wordy as they wind down. Heather is going to chime in next with her thoughts on Loretta’s big moves.]

Photo Credit: Prashant Gupta/FX
Photo Credit: Prashant Gupta/FX

If you’ve watched Justified for a while, you’ve learned some certain truths about each character, and among those truths is the fact that Loretta McCready will abide no bullsh-t. And you will get the jump on her exactly one time.

After the kitchen pow-wow earlier this season, when Markham sat across the table from Loretta and Raylan, squared off with Ty behind him, and Tim behind Raylan, the point was made that Loretta was a) not interested in selling and b) protected in a roundabout way by the U.S. Marshal Service. Markham went on his way and Raylan told her to add a few burlies to the premises.

A few weeks have passed in Harlan, and Loretta comes home, alone, to her sweet little house and finds a headless snake on the living room rug. While she’s processing that, a bizarre young man barrels through the unlocked door and starts making passive boasts about his prowess with a gun. He never mentions Markham, but the message is received, and she’s spooked.

Cut to Markham hosting a soiree at his pizza place, where the guests include Boyd, with whom Loretta has a good faith deal to buy out significant pieces of property around the county, and Raylan, to whom she lets slip that the doofus with the gun threatened her at the behest of Markham.

Markham gets up to speak and talk about his plans when Boyd steps up and asks how many people in Colorado benefitted from his work there. Before he can dive too deep into that, Loretta comes forward and says she’s born and bred Harlan and she has their best interests at heart. She wants to buy their properties and let them live there while she turns their land into cash crops of weed. This is of course met with cheers all around, and Markham has nothing to counter.

So, Loretta has thrown her gauntlet down to rightfully ascend to the role Mags probably had in mind all along in leaving her the money–and she’s publicly told Markham that she’s not afraid, no matter how many goons he sends her way. It was reminiscent of that church scene a few seasons back when Mags stood up against the mine.

When Loretta comes to see Boyd and stands her ground with him, too, he’s so impressed he just howls, and he’s happy to hand his piece of the pie over to her, assured that it’s in good hands because she’s not going anywhere. Raylan backtracks on his offer to sell her Arlo’s place once he realizes what she’s planning, but I have a feeling he’ll find a way to come around, unless by some strange happenstance he stays in Harlan and his girls join him there. Unlikely, but you never know.

I love the idea that Loretta just sauntered in and told everybody what she’s planning, period. And she’s supposed to be 18 or 19–Kaitlyn Dever is 18, going toe-to-toe with Sam Elliott. Love it.

Justified airs Tuesdays at 10/9c on FX.

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