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BY SAL NINER

"Bulletville" episode Rewatch

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Saturday June 28, 2014 All Day





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PRE-THOUGHTS:

Raylan, Boyd, and Ava together in taking cover from enemy fire.  Raylan, Boyd, and Ava, people.  Sound familiar?  It should.  This is the trio that the series creative team will be tooting as the central characters in season six's story...except, I don't think they'll be taking cover together then.  But, let us see how they got into the predicament that groups them on the same side... for now.

INTRODUCTION:

Raylan is wanted by Miami cartel leader Gio Reyes.  In an attempt to get squared off with Gio, Bo tries to hand Raylan over and tries to enlist Arlo to help him while kidnapping Ava to entice Raylan.  Meanwhile, Boyd comes after Bo for slaughtering his Church members.

PLOT:

Immediately after the last events of "Fathers and Sons", it is still night and Boyd steps up to Ava's door.  From inside, Ava asks who it is and that she wants Boyd to leave.  Ava comes out with a shotgun as Boyd wants a word with her.  Boyd apologizes to Ava about all that he has done to her, including what happened in her dining room in "Fire in the Hole" and for lusting after her.  Boyd also apologizes for not stopping Bowman before he got to the point of beating Ava and she being forced to shoot him dead for it pre-"Fire in the Hole".  Ava orders Boyd to leave her place and to never have him see her again.  Boyd turns to leave and Ava goes back in her house.

Meanwhile at the bar, Johnny is anxious to see if the ephedrine shipment has gotten in yet, as Hestler, Rufus, Heckle, Jeckle, and a few of Bo's other men are sitting around playing games.  Johnny leaves and goes to where Boyd is; Boyd gets in Johnny's truck to report on what happened at the end of "Fathers and Sons".  Johnny gets upset that Boyd let Ernesto and Pilar go, blew up the shipment (instead of disappearing it all), and their plan to take over after Bo goes down due to the disappearing shipment is not going to result in anything.  Johnny is also concerned that they might get caught, even though Boyd is ready to take the fall, but Johnny warns Boyd that if he doesn't stay clear away from him, Johnny will kill Boyd.  Boyd gets out of the truck and Johnny drives off.

The next morning, Art and Raylan enter the Marshals office as Art reports about the truck blowing up at the end of "Fathers and Sons".  Raylan and Art speculate about Boyd now turning against Bo and cleaning up Harlan, and maybe them staying clear from Boyd while he does that.  Art wants Arlo to come to the Marshals office instead of meeting Bo at Johnny's bar because of the truck blowing up.

Meanwhile at Johnny's bar, Bo orders some of his men to watch Arlo and they leave.  Ernesto and Pilar tell Bo and Johnny about Boyd blowing up their shipment, but Bo holds them both hostage as security from Gio coming after him.  Back at the Marshals office, Arlo is told that the Boyd Crowder case is being put on the backburner because the Bo Crowder case will have a lot more attention due to the ephedrine shipment that was intercepted by Boyd; and this is why Arlo will become the star CI for not only the Marshals but the FBI and DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) who will be forming part of that investigation.  Arlo asks how much more it will now pay; and at his request, Art tells Arlo that he will have to meet with AUSA Vasquez to discuss those details, but because the AUSA will be out all day due to a grand jury, Arlo tasks Raylan with finding Arlo a place to stay in the meantime that is not in Art's office.

Later, Bo, Johnny, Rufus, Heckle, Jeckle, and their other men arrive at Boyd's camp.  Bo orders Johnny to beat up Boyd before he orders the rest of Boyd's flock to tell them where they are hiding the guns.  Bo's men are told by one of Boyd's and they grab the weapons out from under the fire by digging them out with shovels.  Bo orders Boyd to leave but Boyd refuses, even as Bo tells Boyd they will tie up his flock to give to Raylan so he can put them away on numerous parole violations.  Boyd insists on going with his flock and Bo threatens to shoot one of Boyd's unless he leaves.  Boyd looks back at his men before he walks away from his camp, Bo calling after him that anything happening now at Boyd's camp will fall on Boyd's shoulders.

Meanwhile, Raylan takes Arlo to his motel room and puts him there for the rest of the day, even as Arlo tells Raylan that he's supposed to meet Bo tonight in Harlan.  Raylan tells Arlo to cancel it with Bo.  At the same time as Boyd is walking away, he hears gunshots and runs back to his camp to find his men dead and hung from trees which prompts Boyd to fall to his knees and scream out his grief.  Bo gets a call to check up on Boyd before releasing Ernesto and Pilar from the room they were being held hostage in.  Ernesto threatens Bo with the alligator again before Bo slaps Ernesto and threatens with throwing him down a mine shaft.  Bo hands Pilar his cell phone to call Gio and notify that Boyd is now out of business of blowing up drug shipments.  Bo promises that Gio will get the two million dollars they talked about in "Fathers and Sons", despite the drugs getting blown up, in addition to a 'little something extra' (later revealed to be Raylan).

Raylan is just coming back to the courthouse to head into the Marshals office when he runs into Winona at the stairs by the elevators.  Art comes by to tell Raylan they are both going to meet with AUSA Vasquez as he has a fifteen-minute break from his grand jury, in order for the Marshals to bring Vasquez up to speed on the case and talk about Arlo.  Raylan and Winona agree to meet up later to talk about what happened with their rendezvous in "Fathers and Sons", including the fact that Gary is living at the athletic club now, all before Raylan turns away from Winona to meet Art at the elevator.

Arlo is watching T.V. when he hears Bo knocking at the motel room door.  Arlo opens the door, lets Bo in, and tells him that Raylan and the Marshals are not supposed to know Arlo's working with Bo.  Bo checks Arlo for a wire or any indication that the place might be bugged.  After he finds no such indication, Bo is let known about the Marshals being onto the fact that Boyd blew up the shipment and that he's not working with Bo anymore, which is the reason why Arlo and Bo's meeting at the Pine Top will not happen like they had agreed to in "Fathers and Sons".  Arlo also tells Bo that since he'll now be working with the FBI and DEA in addition to the Marshals, he feels he'll provide Bo with better information.  Bo can't figure out why Arlo would back him, not knowing whether or not he can trust him, but Arlo tells Bo that he scares him much more than any federal agent.  As a way of knowing once and for all whether or not Bo can trust Arlo, Bo asks Arlo for a favor.  They go sit at the room's round table and Bo recounts the last time they talked about their sons in "Veterans" when comparing who was more trouble.  Bo admits that Boyd wins that one because of his blowing up shipments.  Bo is concerned that he has a lot to do to repair his relationship with Gio and money alone isn't going to make that happen, in addition to Gio losing a captain and a few more button men to Raylan.  So to get square with Gio, Bo asks Arlo to help him give Raylan to Gio.

That night after Boyd buries his men back at his camp, he sits in front of their graves with his Bible.  Boyd talks to God about not understanding why his men had to meet this fate for believing in Boyd and in that he could lead them into a path of righteousness.  Boyd asks God for a sign that their sacrifice meant something to Him, but it doesn't come.  Boyd wonders if he's been talking to himself the whole time of his conversion.

Meanwhile, Arlo sits out in front of the porch to Raylan's motel room as Raylan drives up.  Raylan tells Arlo that the meeting with AUSA Vasquez has been set up for the morning.  Arlo complains he has not been able to do anything cooped up in the motel room, but watch T.V. and sleep; and Raylan tries compromising with Arlo by offering to get him his own room with his own T.V.  Both go inside and Raylan calls the front desk to make the request.  Arlo pours Raylan a drink of his own liquor and as they sit Arlo makes small talk about marriage, girls chasing Raylan, and Frances hoping that he and Raylan would have gotten closer.  Arlo hears a truck pulling up outside and repeatedly checks his watch in a nervous way, Raylan noticing the latter.  As Arlo turns to pull out his gun, Raylan has his out trained on Arlo already and orders Arlo to put his down.  Raylan hangs up the phone, asks Arlo about when he's going to be handed over.  Arlo tells Raylan that it wasn't something he wanted to do to Raylan, calling him son, but Raylan stops him and orders not to call him that.  Arlo tells Raylan that the plan was to shoot Raylan in the leg and then Bo would take Raylan alive, as suddenly Raylan shoots Arlo in the shoulder.  Heckle and Jeckle enter the motel room, train their guns on Arlo as Raylan trains his on them before shooting Bo's two men dead when they don't drop theirs on Raylan's order, then Raylan calls 911.

At Ava's house, Johnny baits her outside with her shotgun before Bo and his men grab her and put a blindfold over her head.  Bo takes Ava's shotgun and knocks her in the head unconscious with it.  Johnny asks what they will do with Ava, and Bo shoots Johnny in the stomach for knowing Johnny tipped Boyd off about the shipment.  Johnny goes over the banister and lands on his back on the lawn, bleeding.  Bo figures it'll be a theory that Johnny will be found bleeding because Ava shot him due to being harrassed by another Crowder and Ava would have made a run for it, when in reality Bo's plan is for Ava to never be seen again.

Back at the motel room, Raylan is tending Arlo's wound.  Boyd comes into the motel room and finds the dead men on Raylan's floor.  After Boyd reveals that his own men were killed by Bo, Raylan gets a call on his cell phone from Ava's phone.  Bo, on the other side of the line, instructs Raylan to come alone to Bulletville as he has Ava in the trunk of the car he's currently in.  Bo threatens that if he sees any indication of law, he will kill Ava; Raylan reassures that he'll be alone.  Bo insinuates Raylan trade his life for Ava's, then they hang up.  As Boyd knows Brogie Holler where the cabin in Bulletville which Ava will be placed in is, Raylan is convinced Boyd should come with him.

On the way there and just before sunrise, they are driving when Raylan wonders about Boyd having been genuine in his conversion but Boyd doesn't know anymore as he's confused.  They talk about God.  Boyd believes he himself set all of this situation in motion, but Raylan deduces that he himself shooting Bucks in "Fire in the Hole" had something to do with all that.  It is morning and just before they get there, Raylan tells Boyd to go in from the back as he goes in from the front.  Boyd asks for a gun and Raylan reluctantly gives one to him, warning Boyd that if he tries anything, Raylan will hunt him down assuming neither of them gets dead first.  They part ways.

Raylan drives up to the cabin and gets out of his Lincoln, where Bo and Rufus are there waiting for him.  Rufus takes Raylan's weapons and both men guide Raylan back towards the cabin.  Boyd creeps up into the space where Ava is at the back of the cabin, shoots Hestler dead who had his back to them looking out at Raylan.  The shot distracts Bo and Rufus as Raylan shoots right through Rufus several times, and kicks the gun out of Bo's hand.  Now in possession of his own firearms again, Raylan guides Bo back towards the cabin at gunpoint.  Boyd comes out of the cabin with his gun trained on Bo, ordering Raylan to get back but Raylan refuses.  As Boyd tells Bo that there is more than one way to kill a man, a bullet passes through Bo's chest and he falls dead.  Boyd gets hit on one side of his chest before he and Raylan run back into the cabin.  Raylan shoots out in the direction the bullets are coming from.

Raylan, Boyd, and Ava barricade themselves in one of the rooms in the cabin as Raylan suspects that the Miami gun thugs are going to kill all of them.  On Raylan finally making Ava see she should get out of Harlan, she acknowledges so if asked.  Raylan takes out the thugs one by one.  Ava passes a rag to Boyd to press over his wound and Boyd finds out that Johnny has been shot.  Raylan warns the remaining thugs that he got two of their men, but Ernesto takes a shot at the cabin with his automatic rifle.  Immediately, Ava, Boyd, and Raylan duck for cover with debris from flying bullets raining down all over them.

The shots die down before the trio hears Pilar yell that all they want is Raylan, and he identifies himself; but Boyd then says he himself is Raylan.  Raylan wants both Ava and Boyd to leave since Ernesto and Pilar are giving them that chance.  Boyd wants to stay because he wants to kill the ones that killed Bo.  Raylan finally convinces Boyd to take Ava out of the cabin, which they do.  As Pilar lowers her weapon on Raylan saying he'll come out unarmed, she instructs Ernesto to shoot Raylan in the stomach.  Pilar comes out from the back of the SUV with her hands up at the same time that Raylan comes out of the cabin in the same state.  Ernesto creeps up from behind Pilar and both her and Raylan draw out to shoot at each other, Raylan ducks for cover behind one of the cabin's stone pilars.  Boyd, to the side of Ernesto and behind a tree, shoots Ernesto before Raylan then takes another shot at Ernesto and kills him.  Pilar runs back to the SUV and drives off as Raylan comes out running from behind the cabin's stone pilar, shooting at the retreating vehicle and blowing out the back windows.  Boyd stops Raylan at gunpoint from going after Pilar, convincing him with betting Raylan to be the only friend he has left, when replying to how he knows that Raylan will not simply shoot Boyd in his attempt to go after Pilar himself.  Raylan allows it, as Boyd gets into Bo's car and drives off.  Raylan points his gun at Boyd's car driving off while making the motion as if to shoot.

(for a more detailed outline, visit:  http://justified.wikia.com/wiki/Bulletville)

CHARACTERS:

Ava Crowder.  Doesn't make much of an appearance other than serve as a vehicle to plot progression in getting kidnapped.  But she is nonetheless someone whose relationship woes with Raylan are finally resolved and we see that she has started to move on with her life.  Ava begins an extremely tentative association with Boyd that will eventually end up in a relationship later in the series, thus her journey from the "right" side of the law to the "wrong" side of the law shifts as that association changes, but it's important to note that it starts in this episode.

VILLAINS:

Bo Crowder.  Has a few things to lose with being in Gio's crosshairs, one of which is his life; therefore, his fate being sealed.  Did we ever find out how his relationship with Gio ended up in such a state of disrepair?  Did he not let Gio know that he was going to give him Raylan?  Maybe Gio did know and decided to kill Bo anyway.  Bo did have a chance to let Gio know when he had Pilar call him to let him know they had neutralized Boyd's men...so maybe Gio never knew and just assumed that Bo didn't have anything to get squared with.  One thing's for sure:  Bo got what he gave, death for death.

Arlo Givens.  Does the man even care about Raylan at all?  Back in "Fathers and Sons" I had speculated that maybe Arlo did care for Raylan deep, deep, DEEP down; and that was only because he had acknowledged a truth about his son, one seemingly nice but a truth only it seems now.  Raylan fighting since he came into the world.  And I wonder if Arlo even acknowledged, at least to himself, the fact that part of that fight was against him as a father...perhaps this is why he said those words.  And in this episode, he seems to demonstrate his own words about his son in a big way.  In addition to all of this, what will happen to his status as confidential informant (CI) now that Bo is dead?  Will he continue or resume it once Boyd starts to fall into criminal tendencies?  His eventual alliance with Boyd later in the series tells me he might not, or at the very least that CI status will end.  Also, here in this episode we get how Arlo jeopardizes the Marshals case, like I had wondered last episode...I wonder if Art even acknowledges this.

FAVORITE MOMENT(S):

When Ava warns Boyd to leave her property at the beginning of the episode:





Like in the episode "The Hammer", Raylan calling 911 (this time when he shoots Bo's men in his motel room with Arlo present) can't help but have some semblance of humor to it:









As Boyd and Raylan are driving up to Bulletville to meet Bo and save Ava, talking about Bo's men:





If someone is as good at or better than Raylan with a gun, our hero is going to be in big trouble...or at least it might prove interesting in some way, not that it's already interesting of course.

When Raylan tells Boyd to take the back of the cabin and try to get Ava out just minutes before arriving at Brogie Holler:















Raylan's look says it all...so, Boyd, do you REALLY have to even ask?

Boyd asking to do an act that is very similar in avenging his father Bo is so ironic that it's funny.  I'm not sure exactly what he was thinking here...maybe he's not sure what he was thinking either.  Or, it must be a Kentucky culture thing:













GENERAL REFLECTIONS:

Though we wont get to see any more of Bo Crowder after this episode, the following exchange between him and Arlo made me think:





What was their association like all these years?  It must have been, at best, an uneasy one.  Both criminals and men of family.  Obviously Bo and Arlo came into the criminal life very differently from one another...or at least that's what I suspect from the tidbits of history we've gotten about each of these men (more so about Arlo than Bo).

This is the episode where we not only start to see Boyd's faith wane but where we start to realize that his conversion could have been genuine after all.  And for me, it was in this moment right after Boyd has buried his church members:









It was too bad that Boyd didn't have any support from family by this point to get him through the grief of losing his church members to death.  His very father did away with them and that would be a hard pill to swallow for anyone.  I'm not sure, given what I remember from how he eventually gets together with Ava in the second season of Justified, that even she would help him through that grief; I don't think it happens.  And if it doesn't, then I will know that this is the point in which Boyd started to turn to the criminal life again.  What would have happened if his men had not been killed by Bo and his men?  Would Boyd have turned out to be a "good" man on the "right" side of the law like Raylan?  We can only speculate in what ifs here...  But one thing is for sure, Boyd and Raylan's conversation later in the episode in Raylan's car at pre-dawn on their way to Bulletville further confirms for us Boyd's shaken faith:











I will say this, though:  Dewey getting kicked out of Boyd's church back in "Veterans" turned out to be a blessing in disguise.  If that hadn't happened, he would have met the same fate that Boyd's other men did.  I'm glad that Dewey survived this first season, and I will note that this is not the first time he survives the season (SPOILER ALERT FOLLOWS):  Dewey repeats that history at the end of season five.  Talk about having at least one angel on your shoulder...

Raylan finally knows that Arlo would have given him up to the bad guy eventually, when Arlo asks him:







A heartbreaking thing for any son to get from his father, not to mention getting betrayed by someone who is supposed to support and protect you to begin with.  I know this is one of many heartbreaking things that Raylan will have to endure from Arlo in the seasons of Justified to come, but here we, along with Raylan, start to become really distrusting of Arlo.  I highly doubt that Arlo can do anything to repair this betrayal...in fact, I don't remember him even trying to correct himself in Raylan's eyes.

I know people love to quote the following as a possible sign of subdued friendship between Raylan and Boyd, but given that by this point Boyd is lost and I see that his fate will lead him into a life of crime, his words to Raylan just sound, to me anyway, that he is manipulating both him and the situation to get Raylan to let him go after Pilar himself:












Being a LEO, I'm not sure why Raylan just lets Boyd go like that.  Maybe Raylan's firearm was really empty...but if that was the case, why did he make the motion/sound like he was going to shoot and not instead just pull the trigger?  I get the feeling Raylan still had rounds left and could have stopped Boyd, but for some reason did not... Will we find out what that reason is?  You'll have to stay tuned for next season.

And with that, we come to the end of the first season of Justified.  See you back here tomorrow for the start of the second season!