Justified “Noblesse Oblige” Review (Season 6 Episode 3)

Justified Noblesse Oblige 4

We’re getting all the pieces on the board in this week’s Justified. We now know for certain that the big boss standing between Boyd and the bank stash is Avery Markham. This is a man who oozes sinister. Boyd is going to have his work cut out for him if he wants to outwit Markham. But my money is still on our loquacious psychopath.

We start with Ava continuing her campaign to gain Boyd’s trust. After a long night of drinking together, it seems like Boyd is starting to forget some of his concerns about Ava’s sincerity. What’s most impressive is that Ava is able to drink for that many hours and not confess her arrangement with Raylan. I guess breakfast Bourbon helps you build strong bones and a high level of tolerance.

It’s interesting that when Ava meets with Raylan and the AG the next morning, still drunk, she doesn’t tell them about the safe at the pizza place. She simply says that she needs more time. I’m kind of thinking that at the end of the series, Ava is going to walk away triumphant – all the cash and none of the baggage (aka Boyd & Raylan).

Boyd’s day doesn’t start out much better. Walker goes to see Boyd and warn him off the pizza joint/bank. This gives us some quintessential Boyd lines, like “Damn son, you like to talk as much as I do.” It’s Boyd’s hillbilly sidekick who gets in the best jab, “You best get to walking. You and your beard.” The downside of the encounter is that Walker now knows what Boyd and his men look like, so they won’t be able to scope out the pizza joint. The solution? Send in one of Harlan’s best liars.

Ava sneaks down to the pizza joint basement and snaps a bunch of cell pictures of the bank vault. It’s a marvelous thing to watch Ava switch from panic to manipulative seductress. As Raylan can attest, Choo Choo isn’t operating on full steam, so it’s not that hard for Ava to manipulate him. Her treatment of Walker, who discovers her outside the vault, is equally smooth but not as convincing. It’s evidently not hard for Markham to make the connection between Ava and Boyd.

While all this is going on, Raylan and Rachel try to figure out where Boyd is getting his explosives. Rachel keeps hassling Raylan about how slow the case against Boyd is moving. This self-restraint is new for Raylan, and it feels like he’s the tortoise—moving slowly, but steadily towards the finish line. It’s always fun, though, to watch Raylan rough up Harlan’s finest. With little effort, they manage to catch the two morons trying to steal more explosives. Raylan rises to the occasion, “You understand me, Earl? I’m going to shoot your dick off.”

Things take a darker turn for Boyd when Markham’s men kidnap him. You know that Boyd will not back down and will be out for blood. He’s not the only one who gets an unpleasant visit. Ava gets a meet and greet with Markham and Walker. Markham presents an interesting theory to Ava. He says that there are two types of women who exist in this world of crime. One caves to fear and the other doesn’t. We know that Ava is going to fall into the latter category. In that way, she has a lot in common with Hale. What if Ava actually ended up working for Markham? That would be an interesting twist.

When Boyd joins the meeting, he finally understands what he’s dealing with. Boyd plays the role of the penitent, but we all know Boyd is lying. When Markham taunts Boyd and says that Boyd is “playing pretend,” it’s like he’s waving a red flag in front of a bull. Boyd is no amateur and knows that Hale has a connection with Markham. He calls an emergency meeting with Hale and Wynn Duffy and confronts her. I’m still not clear on Hale’s true motives, but I think we’ll be learning more soon. Every time I see Hale, I want Boyd to take her out.

This was another solid episode. We had some time with Rachel, who has been on the periphery for a while. As much as I like her, I miss Art. His sarcastic one-liners are so fantastic and he is one of the few people who can influence Raylan. We got a bit more of Wynn Duffy than I would have liked. I could’ve gone my whole life without seeing him tanning in his banana hammock. We also saw how far Ava is going to go for her end game. Using sex on Boyd is an expert maneuver. For a moment, I thought he might resist the temptation, but nope. Nice move, Ava.