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The Evolution of a Snitch, Justified “Fugitive Number One” 

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

[Warning: Spoilers for “Fugitive Number One.”]

It’s always been an interesting facet of Justified to see who lives and who dies, and somehow, late in the game in the sixth and final season, Wynn Duffy is still with us. When Katherine comes to kill him, summoned by a disillusioned (and dare I say heartbroken) Mikey, we could have easily been forgiven to expect that Wynn was a goner. Not so fast.

Instead, Mikey intervenes to save Wynn’s life, and gives his own and takes Katherine’s, too, in a brutal, bloody showdown. All the while, Wynn is cuffed and cowering beneath the table. When the bodies drop, Katherine is dead, and Mikey is dying, and he asks Wynn to hold him. Wynn does, and then, uncuffed, he surprisingly calls 911, telling them he doesn’t even know where to begin.

When we found out a few weeks ago that Wynn turned over Grady way back there, it wasn’t a huge surprise, but it also wasn’t the worst thing we’ve seen him do. When he was introduced, he was violent and torturous. The subsequent years have softened him considerably–even zapping Danny Strong’s lecherous prison guard earlier this season was mild in comparison.

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

This year, he’s been dapper, charming, and funny–and beholden to his tanning bed–but in the back of our minds, we know he can be deadly again on a moment’s notice. He’s a bit of a kindred spirit to Boyd in that sense–always in the mix, working his own angles, and sort of bemused at the chaos swirling around him. And he’s survived that way, the same as Boyd.

He also always had Mikey. Now he’s alone, and potentially off the hook for the latest deaths because of his CI ties. But what’s next for him? He’s out the money Katherine had hoped to take from Avery. When our last image of Katherine was a close up on her tennis bracelet and engagement ring, I almost wondered if we’ll learn next week that Katherine’s body was relieved of them by the time the cops arrived.

We never truly got a bead on his history with Katherine, or why they trusted each other, but it was interesting to watch them hold court with, and dance around, each other, never really sure that the truth was on the table. I’d love to know what their backstory was, but I’m guessing that ship has sailed, unless they throw us a bone before they wrap (doubtful, but I’d still be thrilled for a passing mention of how they came to be friends, and how Wynn managed to dupe her for all those years–she had a right to be pissed and want to kill him).

Whether Avery will hold Wynn responsible for Katherine’s death, or perhaps be revealed to be in league with him all along about Grady’s arrest, we have two episodes to find out. When Jere Burns first showed up, Wynn was nasty and awful and a keeper of secrets shackled in back rooms, and I was just nauseous about what he was up to–so much heard but not seen. Now, I find Wynn hysterical, and I have no doubt the role has been a dream for Burns. Who’d have thought he’d be on the list of characters I’ll miss?

Justified airs at 10/9c Tuesdays on FX.

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