On January 20th, FX’s Justified began its sixth and final season. Based on several Elmore Leonard works, Justified follows Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant), a US Marshal who is “exiled” to his hometown of Harlan, Kentucky. Raylan frequently finds himself in conflict with erstwhile mining buddy, now criminal mastermind, Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins), as the two attempt to coexist in a world that seems a little too small for both of them. Justified highlights the local culture and explores numerous themes, such as family, religion, history and the thin line that divides the good guys from the bad.
Join Jeff (of Slazenger1) and me in the coming months as we honor this criminally underrated drama with a series of “RayActions” to each of Justified’s Season 6 episodes. These posts will not be particularly formal, but will give us the chance to make some observations and reflect on each episode, likely culminating in a full Season 6 Dead Season Discussion after the finale.
This week’s RayAction is focused on Justified Season 6, Episode 6 – “Alive Day.” It contains SPOILERS for the entire series of Justified. Fire in the Hole!
This is it! The mid-season mini-climax I’ve been waiting for. So much happened in this episode and it wasn’t even a super-sized one. Let’s break it down.
First and foremost, we say goodbye to our beloved Choo-Choo. We only met you 4 episodes ago, but you’ll be in our hearts forever. How can you not feel for the guy after Seabass insults him and the camera cuts to him looking like a confused, hurt puppy. He’s does the honorable thing and agrees to clean up his own mess. Unfortunately, he sides with Walker in the end, drawing on Raylan and Tim. Still, in between there was that beautiful moment of hope when he was in the car with Caprice. Had the two of them taken the tiny Toyota out of town and into the sunset to live happily ever after, I would have loved it. But that’s not the way things work on Justified, no matter how much you close your eyes and hope things will be different when you open them. Choo-Choo simply wasn’t meant for this business of crime, as Raylan suggested to Markham earlier.
And so, in an episode where he mentions his Alive Day, and when Walker so nicely tries to talk Markham out of ordering him to do what must be done, Choo-Choo meets his end. I asked about Choo-Choo having a train-related death back in episode three’s RayAction and behold, Justified delivers with Choo-Choo parking in the path of an oncoming train. Of course, they give it the patented bad guy death subversion that we love this show for, Continue reading