The tensions building on all fronts finally exploded on Justified Season 5 Episode 11.
Individuals were shot, blown up, honored, blackmailed, and manipulated. It started out somewhat positive with Ava getting away with murdering Judith, Boyd drinking away his broken heart and a light-hearted fun conversation between Art and Allison.
It quickly shifted when shots were fired and Art's life was on the line. That life or death situation set the morose tone for the rest of the hour.
Art and Raylan have been at odds all season long. Raylan's disobedience and belief that he doesn't have to follow the rules was too much for Art to tolerate. When Art went to protect Allison, it was nice to see him outside the office with someone he could talk with about Raylan. His joke about her taking custody of Raylan was pretty funny.
Of course, that light-hearted chat ended quickly when Art was shot. Who shot him? Was he the target or was Allison? The Marshals believed Theo Tonin had ordered a hit on Art, while the more likely scenario put the blame on Darryl Crowe. Both men had reasons to shoot to kill.
Tonin named Picker has the shooter, but Wendy Crowe called to work out a surrender for her brother. As usual, nothing is ever simple in Kentucky on these cases. The conflicts run deep and it's complicated when people are playing both sides. The end results was quite shocking.
Wendy set Raylan up. She had him come to meet her to keep him away from Darryl. While Raylan was out of the office, Darryl and Kendal turned themselves in. I have to say that was a slick move and unexpected from the Crowes. They aren't stupid, but that level of cunning was more than I expected.
After Darryl beat up Wendy, I was disappointed that she stood by his side and let her own son take the blame for shooting Art. Of course, it is possible that Kendal pulled the trigger. I re-watched the shooting scene a few times and I couldn't tell for sure whether the shots came from Kendal or Darryl's height.
Either way, Kendal was the patsy. He took the Crowe blood pact seriously. It's not too late for the truth, whatever it may be, to come out. I had high hopes that Wendy and Kendal would find a way to escape the Crowe family. They could have had a somewhat normal and honest life out of constant danger.
I'm not quite sure what to make of Wynn Duffy and Katherine Hale right now. Since Ava dumped Boyd, he's taking chances he would probably not otherwise make. He had a death wish when he told Jimmy to take the drugs and hide them. On the surface it appeared to be a way to guarantee he wasn't killed, but it was the opposite.
With Katherine Hale in the game now, it will be interesting to see if this fight finishes this season or if it carries over to a big war next season. I was surprised that they were taken into custody and then released so quickly. What
Boyd betrayed the deal, caused problems in Mexico, and really the whole thing was a disaster. Picker was furious. And Duffy just wanted the drugs, but Boyd had other plans. He would give them half of his half the shipment (Raylan took that other half). The result, Boyd blew up Picker with a bomb in a pack of cigarettes.
The Old Boyd is back! No more messing around. It's a dangerous new world.
In prison, Ava seemed to be in the clear for killing Judith. While the officials haven't been able to connect her to the murder, the inmates knew she was responsible. She was worried that Judith's disciples would turn on her, but instead they gave her ice cream. We'll have to see what exactly that means, but I took it to be them pledging their allegiance to her now. Though, it could just have been a sign of gratitude.
I'm still not loving the prison storyline, but it has the potential to get more involved if Ava becomes the Queen Bee. I'd still rather she get out and get back to Boyd in time to save him. With next season being the last, it would be disappointing for them not to be reunited. As much as Raylan is the center of the series, Boyd and Ava became the heart of it.
The final moments of Raylan outside Art's hospital room were heartbreaking. Their relationship became so broken and it would be a shame if they weren't able to clear the air. While I don't want Art to die, I love the idea of Rachel taking his place. She'll have a difficult time handling Raylan, but she can do it. Perhaps, Art can recover and retire in peace with his wife leaving Rachel in charge.
Who shot Art?