Boyd and Tim are playing Scrabble (how awesome is that?) when Raylan returns to inform them that Wade is no longer with us. Boyd later sees Johnny chatting with Hot Rod, the drug dealer that was giving Loretta problems two weeks ago, and decides this will not do. Oh, and Dewey is in the penalty box with Darryl.
Raylan finally strides his way back into the Marshals Office and declares to AUSA Vasquez (Rick Gomez) that one of the Crowes is responsible for Wade's death. He then wonders where Art is. The answer to that question is in Detroit, interviewing one of the Canadians about the night Nicky Augustine (Mike O'Malley) got gunned down last season. The dude tries to insinuate that the late Sammy Tonin had a "Kentucky lawman" in his pocket, and tells Art to go speak with Picker, who is hanging out with Wynn Duffy.
Art's absence doesn't seem to bother Raylan that much, because he leaves work and sleeps with Alison, who chooses after sex to tell him a sob story about one of her cases. The next morning, Raylan tells Darryl his family ought to get the hell out of Kentucky, which is advice Darryl doesn't plan on taking. When Raylan tries to take the youngest Crowe with him, everybody in the room gets up in arms. To prevent a brawl, Kendall agrees to go with our hero over his older brother's objections. And Boyd uncovers a whole lot of dead bodies, none of which we will miss.
"Over The Mountain" is one of those episodes which is not necessarily fast-paced on its own, but moves pieces into place for future story developments, whether it's the meeting between Boyd and Johnny we've been waiting for since last week, or Ava having something to do in prison other than converse with her husband-to-be. Aside from possibly needing an ID chart to keep track of all the Crowes, this is forty-five minutes where we're constantly saying, "Oh, I see where this might be going" or "Hey, that's interesting." It reinforces the fact that there is never such a thing as a meaningless episode of Justified.
Besides, at the heart of Justified are less the big plot twists and more the little character moments. The things that we're still talking about as the credits roll are the quotable lines, the not so infrequent laughs, or the connections where that character we met for two minutes weeks ago is suddenly relevant to another storyline now. The mere presence of Jacob Pitts for more than twenty seconds is worth applauding. The Justin Bieber reference is worth a laugh. And how cool is it that finally Joelle Carter gets a scene to remind us that Ava is just as tough as her other half?
This show found a perfect formula early on - vividly drawn characters, blunt drama and more than a dash of cynical humor - and it wisely hasn't messed with that equation since. It's just a shame that we now know there won't be many more trips down to Kentucky for us to enjoy.
Next week's episode is one of the most important in Justified history, so executive producer Graham Yost told us. Don't miss it next Tuesday at 10 PM ET/PT on FX.
(c)2013 Brittany Frederick. Appears at Starpulse with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted. Visit my official website and follow me on Twitter at @tvbrittanyf.