When the showrunner tells you this is one of the most important episodes in the series, you come into it with seriously high expectations. But seriously, when has Justified not delivered? Bodies fall, hearts get broken, and Raylan's credibility takes a hit in this week's top-shelf episode.
An "anonymous tip" has led our resident Sheriff Jackass to find the dead bodies that Boyd uncovered at the end of last week's festivities, and he calls Paxton in the middle of the night because the tipster also stated that Paxton "made a deal with the local criminal element." Yes, Mr. Paxton, Boyd Crowder is not dead. In fact, Boyd Crowder is sitting in your bedroom, giving you that creepy dead-eyed look, and he has your gun. He intends to stage Paxton's suicide, which he then does. Ruthless efficiency.
Meanwhile in Canada, get your Firefly jokes ready because Alan Tudyk is here. He's pulling a gun on Will Sasso for having talked to Art in the last episode. "What you told them, you tell me," he insists, and Sasso crumbles like a cheap card table, repeating his info about Picker and the lawman allegedly on the take. And then he dies with a couple well-placed bullets. Well, this is shaping up to be an episode with a high body count.
At the local Social Services office, everything is a total cluster for poor Raylan. Wendy Crowe (returning guest star Alicia Witt) is back to spring her little brother Kendall, and having a nice chat with his case worker slash Raylan's latest girlfriend Alison (Amy Smart). You can see the bewilderment on Raylan's face. Wendy accuses Raylan of a "campaign of harrassment" against her family, while Alison just stands there trying to pretend she's not there. Raylan responds by insinuating that she's a lackey for Daryl. It's a big love-fest all around.
Cut to Art doing some surveillance, because Art Mullen is not one of those bosses who sits behind a desk kvetching all the time. No, he's watching Picker, and so is Alan Tudyk. Art deduces that he has company and does an overly lengthy job of running the other guy off before making his way into the diner, where he crashes Wynn Duffy's breakfast. Art's about to have a private word with Picker when Alan Tudyk makes an unwanted reappearance, making it showdown time. "Does anybody mind if I order?" Wynn says to no one in particular, causing us to laugh out loud in the tensest of moments.
The situation is eventually harmlessly defused, and we cut to Boyd finding that Daryl is drinking in his bar. The Haitian shows up a minute later to add to the awkwardness. When Daryl mentions Audrey's, Boyd realizes this is one of the misfit Crowes who've moved into town, and that he wants something. At gunpoint, Daryl finishes his beer and confronts Boyd for his treatment of Dewey. He wants "purchase price plus interest" back, but Boyd responds by kicking Daryl out of the bar.