'Justified' Recap: 'Kill The Messenger'
How do you follow up a pivotal episode of Justified? Break some stuff, kidnap some guys, and make Raylan Givens angry. This is basically everything that any sane person should never do, which means damned if it isn't fun to watch.
Art's already kind of drunk when Raylan finds him, which isn't a good sign. A worse sign is Art punching Raylan, which seems to indicate that Art has put all the pieces regarding Nicky Augustine's death together. The look on Raylan's face as Art leaves him there says all we need to know. And that's our entire teaser. One scene with one word of dialogue in it. How awesome is that?
Oh hey, we have an on-screen caption for perhaps the first time in series history. It's to tell us that Ava is now being housed at the Kentucky State Women's Prison. While she tries to get used to her new surroundings, her fiance Boyd is still saddened over her remaining locked up - but puts on a happy face to meet one of his old white supremacist contacts. This contact has already heard about Ava's transfer, and deduces that Boyd wants his also-incarcerated sister to look out for Ava behind bars.
Things aren't going so well for Raylan's girl, either, as Alison visits the new Crowe household. She's checking in with Daryl (Michael Rapaport) and Wendy (Alicia Witt), the latter of whom has deduced from her earlier office visit that Alison is dating Raylan. After an awkwardly polite conversation, Alison leaves the home only to be intimidated by Danny (A.J. Buckley) on her way out. You just know that's the tip of the iceberg, and indeed it is, as her car is subsequently run off the road by the same moron, who sticks around to gloat about it. He's that stupid.
At the Marshals Office the following morning, we actually get to see Rachel and Tim for the second week in a row, as they sit in on a staff meeting with Art, who's injured his hand punching Raylan, who now sports a black eye. Neither man wants to talk about it. As Raylan and Rachel head to work, Alison arrives, wanting to know what happened to his face - but he's not going to tell her until he finds out why she's there. We don't actually see the subsequent conversation, but is anyone really surprised that Raylan and Rachel decide to make a detour down to Harlan? Of course not. You don't tick off Raylan Givens, just like you don't tick off Liam Neeson.
But the Crowes have their own problems. Daryl is starting to ask where Jean Baptiste is, while Dewey (Damon Herriman) is still trying to come up with ways to get his Florida relatives to go back home. It's just like your family after the holidays, except with criminal records. Dewey and Danny decide to try once again to put the squeeze on Boyd, but he's not at the bar, so they kidnap Carl, the dude who is, hoping that Boyd will pay a ransom for him. This is followed by a preview of the new movie in which Kevin Costner plays a hitman, which just makes us miss Timothy Olyphant in Hitman.
While Boyd and Wynn Duffy have their first face-to-face meeting with their new Mexican drug contacts, and Ava meets her new prison friend Penny (Danielle Panabaker, who starred alongside Timothy Olyphant in The Crazies) before being attacked by the woman who was supposed to protect her, Wendy thinks Danny and Dewey's plan is idiotic (because it is), and does not like the fact that Raylan and Rachel have arrived on their doorstep. The one sane Crowe in the bunch claims that her brother didn't have anything to do with Alison being run off the road, but Raylan knows better and comes thisclose to walking into Danny's hiding place. Instead, he and Rachel run into Kendal and Daryl at the local hardware store, the latter of whom is holding a saw, because he's in the middle of working. He's like a regular Norm Abram.