SPOILER WARNING: This post will appear following a new episode of Justified. It is intended to be read after seeing the show’s latest installment as a source of recap and analysis. As such, all aspects of the series up to and including the episode discussed are fair game.
Well folks, I’m man enough to admit when I’m wrong. And boy was I wrong about the Crowder/Givens Alliance I thought was hinted at in “Get Drew” before getting into motion in “Decoy.” We bloggers aren’t always perfect, if you can believe it. As it turned out, Boyd and Augustine’s mutual doublecrossing was a lot simpler than all that. Each side planned to work with the other for as long as they had something to gain from it and not a moment longer. Because there was no way of knowing when that moment would come, they each had contingency plans in place. Plans that moved forward even while the partnership was still (ostensibly) in place, including Colt shooting Mort, the aptly named Tonin sniper. But as we saw this week, inter-gang alliances can reassemble just as easily as they fall apart. Because in the crime business it’s less about what you’ve done for me lately than what you can do for me now.
With Drew Thompson in custody, the game should be over, but he refuses to cooperate with the investigation of the Tonins until he knows Ellen May is safe, a fact that’s relayed to the Tonins via a mole in the Marshals’ office (or perhaps the U.S. Attorney’s). So begins another game of hide and seek, only the tables have turned: this time, it’s the bad guys who have the inside scoop and the Marshals who have to do the seeking. Suddenly, Nick Augustine needs the Crowders again, so he goes to see cousin Johnny. It makes sense, Johnny is easily the most vulnerable of the bunch. Both Boyd and the Tonins have put a target on his back, the former due to his now public betrayal and the latter because betrayal or not, his last name’s still Crowder. So a new alliance is forged when Johnny calls Limehouse on Augustine’s behalf, and ends the moment he fails to broker an agreement. But Augustine doesn’t have time to waste, so he immediately calls Boyd and offers him the deal of the century: the money to get Ellen May and his cousin Johnny. He does all this with Johnny standing right in front of him, using the man’s own cell phone. As Omar Little would say, “It’s all in the game though, right?”
So Ava heads to Noble’s Holler to buy back Ellen May. She and Limehouse have one of those conversations that’s meant to get right to the heart of a person, to show who they really are. In so many words, Limehouse asks her if buying back Ellen May will really give her that eponymous peace of mind she’s been seeking all season. He tells her he’s “been wonderin’ lately what it is makes us forget who we are,” referring to the fact that he’s been forced to sell off parts of the Holler his clan has owned since Emancipation. But he’s also talking about Ava, and how he doesn’t even know who she is anymore. “I can’t do this,” he says, “and you shouldn’t either.” It’s no coincidence it’s the proposed buying and selling of a human that gets him thinking about all this.
There’s just one issue though, and it’s that Limehouse has already get Ellen May go. He’d already pondered the last question he asked Ava, “All these things you’ve done, with no mind to the consequences to other people, are you gonna have peace of mind when this is all over?” And his answer was no. Limehouse offered Ava the opportunity the make the same decision, to strive to be a better person, but she never even considered it. None of that matters though, Ellen May is gone, so the choice was purely hypothetical. Maybe part of the reason Limehouse let her go was out of fear that he’d have a harder time sticking to his convictions with the temptation of $300,000 cash being stuck in his face. But the more important factor was the similarly themed conversation he’d had with Ellen May earlier, one of those “hatchet conversations” that “cuts through the bullshit.”
Tags: Arlo Givens, Art Mullen, Ava Crowder, Boyd Crowder, Brent Sexton, Colton Rose, Ellen May, Elmore Leonard, Erica Tazel, Hunter Mosley, Jere Burns, Joelle Carter, Johnny Crowder, Justified, Justified Blog, Limehouse, Nate Kreichman, Rachel Brooks, Raylan Givens, Raymond J. Barry, Ron Eldard, Sheriff Shelby, Timothy Olyphant, Walton Goggins