In this week’s episode of Justified: The Toll it looks like payback is going to be a b*tch for more than one person in Harlan. After Boyd decides not to “deal” with the little prison guard who set his wife up, he prepares for a meeting with Winn Duffy and Picker about the heroin and Crowe problem. Art goes to take Alison into protective custody and as they start to leave they come under fire from an “unknown” person. Art is hit and Alison calls 9-1-1 for the stricken lawman.
The Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal is hospitalized and Raylan takes Art’s wife to the hospital. On the way she asks him why he wasn’t where he was supposed to be. Raylan and the other deputies believe Daryl Crowe shot Art but decide to follow the temporary chief, a friend of Mullen’s, and go whichever direction he goes with the investigation.
Daryl is the obvious suspect as he believes Raylan killed Danny, despite his death being a freak accident brought on by his own actions. Boyd tells his guys to hide the heroin so that “God can’t find it” to ensure he gets out of his meeting with Duffy and Picker alive.
Theo Tonin gives up Art’s shooter and signs an affidavit which declares that Picker shot the Chief Deputy and the U.S. Marshals break into Boyd Crowder’s meeting with the two men and surprise guest Catherine Hale. The one that Tonin fingers for the shooting is Picker. Raylan has a quick word with the “suspect” and Picker says he heard that Daryl Crowe Jr is the one who got Art.
Justified: The Toll is pulling no punches after last week’s build up. Danny Crowe’s death combined with the brutal beating of Wendy by her brother Daryl and Boyd finally catching up to the little guard who set up Ava, only to let him go, has kept events all heading toward the same place. By the time the end credits roll, the only Crowe who is still unaccounted for is the hapless Dewey, who disappeared last week just a few steps ahead of a very angry Danny. This episode is all about payback and it looks to be a b*tch.
Timothy Olyphant and Nick Searcy, even though Nick’s character gets shot pretty much at the very beginning of the show, continue to shine. As do the other regulars in this season, Amy Smart and Alicia Witt along with Erica Tazel and Joelle Carter as the female performers in the show also continue to hold up their end of things.
Special kudos to Witt whose reactions to her son Kendal’s confession are poignant and tragic. This actress gave what could be considered the best performance in the show without ever opening her mouth. Mary Steenburgen shines this week just as she did last week, and despite the fact that he will probably not be seen again after Boyd spared his character’s life, it was great to see Danny Strong playing a smarmy little creep.
Of course any hero is only as good as the villain he’s after. In Justified Michael Rapaport continues to portray Daryl Crowe as one of the lowest of the low and willing to do anything to keep his freedom. Including getting his underage nephew to take the fall for Art’s shooting. The only Crowe that was worse than Daryl died last week by stumbling into his dog’s freshly dug grave, Danny’s death was almost karmic, as well as blackly comic. Now Daryl is the only real threat standing, although Dewey may yet prove to be a real player before the season’s end.
By the end of this week’s episode there were two stand out moments. Art being shot while trying to protect Alison was a sequence that happened so fast that most viewers believed that it was the woman who’d been shot, despite last week’s preview. Boyd Crowder’s cigarette trick with Picker was equally brilliant, again, because of the speed of its occurrence.
Director John Dahl has been lauded by other reviewers for his work on Justified: The Toll and deservedly so. His twists, turns and clever editing made this week’s show a great build up to the last two episodes of the season. Explosive and compulsive and one that will no doubt prove that payback, for someone, is going to be a b*tch. Hopefully it will be Daryl who finds that he will be paying the ultimate “toll.”
By Michael Smith