TV Recap: Justified, ‘Alive Day’

Written by Ryan DeMaro


Alive Day Plot Summary:

In “Alive Day”, the discovery of Calhoun’s (Brad Leland) body sends Raylan (Timothy Olyphant) and Tim (Jacob Pitts) after Markham and his men. Meanwhile Boyd (Walton Goggins) and Zachariah (Jeff Fahey) go digging deep down in a mine.

The best way to sum up this episode is that it was simple and a little dumbed down by the writers. While it was another slow episode, it should be noted that the train has officially ended for one member this season (RIP Choo Choo). Although sad as it may be, it was a nice sendoff for a character that began to have the audience take pity in him. Rather make him just another big, strong, dumb brick wall of a henchman we began to gain a little depth into his situation, or his disabilities as he saw it as. But well get back to this in a minute.

 Photo Credit: Prashant Gupta/FX
Photo Credit: Prashant Gupta/FX

First, how did we get here? Well it all started when the real estate tycoon Calhoun was found dead in the woods. When Raylan and Tim are called to the spot, the’re told that Calhoun was killed with a single blow to the head. This instantly tips off Raylan. “More like hit by a train”, he says to Tim. This leads the Marshals to another pleasant visit to Avery Markham (Sam Elliot) where it appears that they break the news of Calhoun’s death. Instead, they inform him that they know it was Choo Choo (Duke Davis Roberts). This begins the internal problem within the Markham group. Markham tells Ty (Garrett Dillahunt) he wants him dead. Ty tries to come up with another solution but ultimately can’t.

Choo Choo is told to take care of the call girl that Calhoun was with the night he was killed. Given she is the only one who could pin the murder to them, she obviously must disappear. Once Choo Choo finds her, he finds that he can’t do it. He doesn’t think she should pay for his mistake. He opens up to the girl and wishes that things could be different. Choo Choo comes off as the misunderstood dope that has always wanted more but was just never seen as anything significant by anyone else. That worked for me for some reason. I really began to start taking pity in his character. But alas it was a discovery made too late.

By the end of the episode, we find Choo Choo and the girl in a standoff with Ty who has no choice but to kill them both. That is until Raylan and Tim arrive and the bullets start flying. Ty manages to get away but it was really Choo Choo’s ending that was focused. I loved how he parked on the train tracks, all shot up, and ready to go out in a style that really symbolized the character. Then the train stopped just feet from his car. Poor guy could just never get what he wanted.

Photo Credit: Prashant Gupta/FX
Photo Credit: Prashant Gupta/FX

The rest of the episode focused mainly on Boyd and Zachariah (Jeff Fahey) in the mines. Boyd is almost killed by walking on a weak spot in the flooring. We later find out that good old Zachariah cut the boards in order to have Boyd knocked off. Interesting twist. Let’s see how that works out for the rest of the heist that Boyd has planned.

The end is what really got things moving with Lime house telling Boyd that Ava almost ran off. AH HA good old scum bag Lime house is back and just got the rest of the season rolling.

Rating: 7.5/10

Justified airs Tuesday nights on FX.


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