Justified Season 4 Review “Ghosts”

I don’t like being wrong. However, I was happy to have mis-predicted events in the Season Four finale of Justified. I was actually going to be disappointed if my prognostications turned out to be correct, because there is no fun in watching a show that is completely predictable. Ava did not end up taking a dirt nap, but is now incarcerated for the murder of Delroy. The person who helped bust her is none other than the preacher’s sister. A fitting retribution for Boyd’s role in her brother’s death.

The episode shot out of the gate with bad guys holding Winona hostage in her home. Raylan arrived on the scene and was presented the ultimatum that he hand over Drew Thompson or Winona and the baby would die. I briefly thought that Raylan might buckle to intimidation and try to comply with their request. That did not happen. Raylan refused to give them Thompson then shot two of the captors. In a spectacular moment of couples bonding, Winona and Raylan dispatched the third guy together. As a result of the assault on his family, Raylan went into full revenge mode.

Again, I expected Raylan to do something irrational, despite Art’s admonition that if he went after Nicky Augustine, he’d lose his Marshals job. Particularly when Raylan and Nicky faced off in the limousine, I thought Raylan was going to lose his cool and shoot the guy. Instead, Raylan used his brain, something he doesn’t always do, and set Nicky up to be murdered by Theo Tonin’s son. This solved Raylan’s problem and ensured that there will be no future threat to Winona and the baby.

We may not see a whole lot of Winona next season. Her appearances have already been sparse, most likely because of Natalie Zea’s role on The Following. At the end, she leaves to stay with her mother until the baby is born. During the course of the kidnapping ordeal and aftermath, Raylan and Winona say that they love each other. For Raylan’s character, this was like putting a salve on a festering wound. We’ve seen Raylan struggle this season with the idea of fatherhood, his questionable choice in female companionship, and the loss of his father. Even though Winona is not in his life as much, her love is still a constant. The fact they can’t be together, though, must add to Raylan’s sense of isolation.

How do things end up for Boyd? Not so hot. He’s lost Ava and with her the dreams of suburban life. He’s ultimately a broken man. At his lowest point, in comes Wynn Duffy to offer him the role of controlling Duffy’s heroin trade in Kentucky. Boyd is back to being a lowlife criminal, with no shot at a better life. If Boyd is going to step into the heroin trade, you know that Raylan will be on him.

Looking back at this season, there were more good moments than bad. We said goodbye to Arlo and witnessed the impact of that loss on Raylan. We had some hilarious dialogue courtesy of Art and Constable Bob. We also now have fresh ground for the story to move in a new direction. Boyd’s loss of Ava will irrevocably change him. Raylan’s loss of Winona, while a different kind of loss, will also change him. The preacher and trashy bartender girlfriend stories fell flat, but all in all a strong season that makes me look forward to Season 5.

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