TV Recap: Justified, ‘Fate’s Right Hand’ (Season 6 Premiere)

Written by Ryan Demarco

JUSTIFIED -- Key Art

Fate’s Right Hand Plot Summary

In the season 6 premiere US Deputy Marshal Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) and the Marshals of Lexington begin building a RICO case against the elusive Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins) by turning Ava Crowder (Joelle Carter) against him. Meanwhile, Dewey Crowe (Damon Herriman) is out of jail again and Boyd is back in the bank robbing business working for Katherine Hale (Mary Steenburgen) and Wynn Duffy (Jere Burns).

Dewey Crowe finds himself sitting in the back of Boyd Crowder’s bar wishing for the old days to return. Boyd simply looks through him sadly stating, “It’s all coming to an end.” A sad thing to hear for any Justified fan that has spent the past five seasons in the chaotic town of Harlan, Kentucky. Yet, as last night’s season premiere depicted, this story about drugs, money, blood, and death is just about wrapped up and judging from final few minutes, it won’t be tied with a pretty bow. More on that ending in just a moment.

Photo Credit: James Minchin/FX.
Photo Credit: James Minchin/FX.

“Fate’s Right Hand” does a wonderful job in a few ways. Not only does it start the season off in a great way, it simultaneously points towards the end all while looking back at the beginning. We opened the season with Winona (Natalie Zea) and the baby down in Florida. She lays wondering what Raylan has to do that’s worth missing all of this for. This scene gave us good sense of what Raylan can gain when his business is finished in Harlan — if he isn’t killed or sent to prison. Raylan chooses to put his happy ending on hold while trying to go after and put an end to Boyd Crowder by building a RICO case and using Ava against him.

While Raylan is visiting a recuperating Art (Nick Searcy), there is a great callback to the series very first scene. Art suggests that Raylan may intend to do away with Boyd the way he did with that gangster in Miami and wonders, “What if the bullet finds you?” Raylan, confident as ever, of course shoots that down simply with, “Unlikely.” However times change, people change, and shows change and in this final run anything can happen which is both frightening and promising.

As for the always entertaining Boyd, he’s back to what he’s done best — robbing banks, putting extra holes in people’s faces and being a bad ass at the same time. As the past few seasons have suggested and as Katherine Hale pointed out, he isn’t the best a dealing heroin. All while this is happening Boyd tries his hardest to win back Ava ever since he sort of left her high in dry in jail last season. Ava is put into an interesting spot where she can’t decide if she should help incriminate Boyd or let Boyd get away. What’s even more interesting is that we don’t truly know what she’s thinking, she’s not sure herself on what she should do. Which side will she fall to?

Now lets talk about that ending. Holy shit! Boyd shot Dewey Crowe in the face! Talk about mind blown. Dewey’s been around since the beginning of the show and was one of Raylan’s first run-ins when he came back to Kentucky. This show has always had a strange way of giving Dewey love by just constantly beating the hell out of him every season. He’s a character who you just couldn’t help but love to hate and feel bad for at the same time given how stupid he was. The fact that Boyd was finally over Dewey’s antics and decide to end his life shows that Justified has much more in store and have plenty more carnage on the way.

Justified has always had one clear ending since the first episode, a conclusion between Raylan and Boyd. The two have been on opposing sides since day one and their history runs back to their childhood. As the seasons have progressed the two have grown to like each other less and less. Raylan and the other Marshals always planned on going after Boyd and his organization but have been sidetracked from other great villains such as Mags Bennett (Margo Martindale), Quarles (Neal McDonough), or Limehouse (Mykelti Williamson). But now the spotlight is on these two again to finish business once and for all. Between Raylan, Boyd, Ava and even Harlan County, it’s anyone’s guess on what will be left standing at the very end.

Photo Credit: James Minchin/FX.
Photo Credit: James Minchin/FX.

The first episode of the final season was a good reminder of how great this show is. Last season things sort of dulled down and went off formula and it was certainly the weakest season in the series. Justified has always had the trademark of riding the stories on a slow burn and mashing them all up brilliantly but with odd casting choices and terribly weak storylines the show lost a little steam. That was until last night’s premiere where it seemed to have dusted itself off, gave the audience an apology for last season and created new stories heading for an inevitable collision course. The characters are all aware of the mess that they’re all caught up in. They know the end is near. The only question is how?

Rating: 8.5 out of 10

Justified airs Tuesdays night on FX.

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Bill Bodkin is the gray bearded owner, editor-in-chief and co-founder of Pop Break. Most importantly, he is lucky husband, and proud father to a beautiful daughter named Sophie. He can be seen regularly on the site reviewing The Walking Dead, Doctor Who, and is the host of the site's podcast, The BreakCast. He is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism & English. Follow him on Twitter: @BodkinWrites