March 25, 2014

Episode Review: JUSTIFIED, "The Toll"

It may have taken a while, but Justified finally got interesting in "The Toll," and that's probably because there were actual stakes that made all of the twists feel... well, justified.

After tangling with the Crowes all season, Raylan asked Art to protect Alison, and the grizzled chief was doing just that when an unseen assailant opened fire on them and hitting him. While he was critical condition, the rest of the department made it their mission to find the perpetrator but were led on a wild goose chase when Theo Tonin fingered Picker for the shooting. The interim chief from Detroit took the bait and brought in Picker (along with Wynn, Katherine Hale, and Boyd). As it turned out, Picker snitched on Daryl Crowe who turned himself in but Kendall ended up confessing to everything.

Back to Boyd. He was summoned to a sit-down with his associates (hence why he was there when Picker was arrested), but he knew that the likelihood of him walking out was slim so he made arrangements for his half of the dope to be hidden as an insurance policy. While being evaluated by Duffy and Hale, Boyd insisted on having a smoke but it was Chekov's cigarette pack because he turned it into a bomb that blew up the Detroit gangster and allowed him to walk free.

Oh, and Ava became the new drug kingpin in the prison after killing the old lady.

Justified's bread is buttered by its twist and turns, and the show suffers when they don't quite work, and even though you could what was coming from a mile away, everything landed and made for a solid episode. It was nice to see the tension between Art and Raylan have some kind of payoff (despite the "cop gets shot right before retirement" trope), and it didn't hurt that Daryl finally became worthy antagonist that this show needs. The final showdown between Raylan, Daryl, and Boyd should be electric.

Even Boyd's B-plot had the right amount of tension in spite of the fact that the exploding cigarette pack was sloppily handled, and it was a reminder of what he does best and how he's been able to survive for as long as he has. It's just a shame that he still has Ava around his neck.

I don't know if "The Toll" made up for a lot of the wheel-spinning that took place earlier, but it was effective enough to get me excited for the last two episodes so at least there's that.


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