Justified “Alive Day” Review (Season 6 Episode 6)

Justified Alive Day Season 6 Episode 6 13

This week’s Justified maintained the standard of excellence that we’ve been seeing this season. It had a little bit of all the things I love about this show – Gutterson/Raylan banter, Raylan/Boyd stare down, hillbilly foibles, and good old fashioned killin’. I know most shows want to go out on a high note, but the quality of this season is making me really sad that it’s the last.

The episode starts with Boyd returning to Ava’s house and finding Raylan there. I found Boyd’s reaction odd. I would’ve thought it would have triggered his suspicions about Ava’s release from prison, particularly since Hale previously hinted about this to Boyd. Instead, Boyd worries that Raylan is trying to put the moves on Ava. This feels a little out of nowhere. Ava and Raylan haven’t been together for several years now, and the two haven’t exactly maintained a friendly relationship. Why would Boyd all of a sudden suspect a romantic entanglement? This is a minor glitch where I feel like the writers are trying to create a conflict that doesn’t have a proper foundation laid. Even Rachel jumps to the conclusion that Raylan may be sleeping with Ava. I suspect that the only reason Raylan hit on Ava is that he’s manipulating her. I think he has as much of an interest in hooking up with her as with a sack of potatoes.

Boyd proceeds to be totally creepy and rubs Ava’s leg in front of Raylan. The best part about this is how unconcerned Raylan looks. He has a semi-plausible excuse for talking to Ava; he says he’s looking for Dewey Crowe. Raylan is no fool and knows that Boyd has information on Dewey, but we also know that Raylan could care less what happened to him. I enjoyed this pissing match between the boys and have to say the win went to Raylan.

Back in town, Markham’s gang is trying to figure out what to do with dead Calhoun. All the blame for Calhoun’s death is heaped on Choo Choo, but this is unfair. They know Choo Choo is not the brightest bulb, so maybe they shouldn’t be giving him any tasks. They decide to dump Calhoun in the woods and then take care of the only witness who saw them at Calhoun’s office – the hooker girlfriend. Again, they give Choo Choo these assignments, so of course they don’t go well. The local police find Calhoun’s body, which still has Raylan’s business card in the suit pocket. Raylan and Gutterson quickly deduce that Choo Choo is the culprit. I loved it when the police asked why he had the card and Raylan replies, “He was my realtor.”

Raylan and Gutterson go in search of Choo Choo at the pizza joint. Markham is there and has another tense exchange with the lawmen. He refers to Gutterson as Raylan’s “side-kick,” which is a serious underestimation of Gutterson’s ass-kicking abilities. Markham is clearly not pleased to learn about Calhoun’s death from the Marshals. Gutterson gets in a spectacular jab on their way out, “Silver lining, you keep that card on you, cops ever find you buried in a shallow grave, they know to give us a call.” Gutterson is almost like the new Art with his sarcastic comments.

Calhoun is only one of Markham’s problems. In a surprise move, he proposes to Hale. Hale didn’t see coming. He says that he wants her to be truthful on whether she ratted out Grady to the authorities. She swears she didn’t and they hug it out. But, we get to see what a hug between shady people looks like. Both of them have deeply distrustful looks on their faces – the kind a criminal has before plunging a knife in someone’s back. Hale later discusses the proposal with Wynn Duffy. He suggests that Markham may have been the rat. This theory gains some support in a conversation Rachel has with Art. Rachel says that they couldn’t get Hale to talk back during the Grady investigation. This is all intriguing, but we need to wait a bit to see the import of the betrayal if Markham committed it.

Predictably, Choo Choo hesitates when it’s time to kill the prostitute. Luckily for her, she’s empathetic and is one of the only person we’ve seen treat Choo Choo kindly. He can’t bring himself to do it. Miller and Seabass realize that Choo Choo can’t be relied upon and decide to go kill him and the prostitute. But, Raylan and Gutterson foil that plan. There’s another awesome Justified shootout, which leaves Miller and Choo Choo wounded. Choo Choo jumps into his car and speeds off. When next we see him, he’s parked on the railroad tracks trying to get hit by an oncoming train. I appreciated the irony of death by locomotive for Choo Choo, but I laughed out loud when the train stopped just short of hitting the vehicle. Even in death, Choo Choo couldn’t get it right.

While all this is going down, Boyd is continuing with his mineshaft plans. Ava has a reunion with her uncle and we learn a bit more about Ava’s past. Her father was killed in a terrible mining accident when she was a child. This explains a lot as to why she’s had problems. We also see that Zachariah has his own plans. Boyd almost falls down a hole in the mineshaft. It turns out Zachariah is secretly trying to kill Boyd. I’m going to make an educated guess that this will not turn out well for good ole Zachariah. Don’t poke the bear.

The episode closes with Limehouse calling Boyd to rat out Ava. I’m confident that Ava will be able to talk her way out of this, but Boyd is still going to be angry. What do we think the odds are that Limehouse will make it out of the season alive?