TV Recap: Justified, ‘Dark as a Dungeon’

Written by Ryan DeMarco


“Dark as a Dungeon” Plot Summary:

The episode finds Raylan (Timothy Olyphant) going to Markham (Sam Elliot) to solve their “common problem”, while Walker (Garret Dillahunt) teams up with Boyd (Walton Goggins) and Ava (Joelle Carter) to hack into Markham’s vault.

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

Every once in a while a show will have an episode in its lineup that completely goes in unexpected territory, putting an extra spin on all the stories and gives us something fresh. “Dark as a Dungeon” does just that. This is an episode with not just brilliant one-liners and exceptional character moments, but an episode that is setting us into the final act.

What a great job by the writers for delivering another stellar episode, and what a great episode for Raylan. He was smart, funny, and just firing on cylinders. Literally. While the Marshals are busy chasing Walker, who is still on the run, Raylan thought outside the box and went straight to Markham, having him offer on the radio $100,000 for the capture or kill of Walker. This allows every Tom, Dick, and Harry with a gun in Harlan (everyone) to lookout, but it also set Raylan’s plan in motion knowing that Walker was going to turn up at Boyd’s. It was only a matter of moments before Raylan showed up to shoot and kill Walker which was satisfying and a little sad. No more peacocking I suppose. Raylan’s line to the dying Walker was hilarious too. Classic Justified. But even though I found Walker’s demise a little premature it just reminds us that this season is meant to be between Raylan and Boyd.

Now that Walker was out of the picture, Raylan took Boyd straight to Markham to collect the reward, to which Markham wasn’t too happy about. Upon retrieving the reward money, Raylan and Boyd caught a peek inside the vault, to which Boyd estimated at about 10 million dollars. The temptation is set even higher now, like cheese with a mouse. Which was all part of Raylan’s plan. Not bad. So now the question Ava and Boyd have to ask themselves, do we want to just keep the 100 grand or go for the whole thing? The game is set now for Boyd. We know he’s going for the safe.

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

Besides the Walker portion, Raylan has some nice personal moments scattered throughout the episode. When he’s cleaning out his parent’s house he finds a bunch of Arlo’s belongings including war photos and dog tags with a key. His burning of Arlo’s stuff is a fitting farewell to the asshole that was his father. Closing out the episode Raylan uses the key to open an old shack that his dad used. The scene was great with Raylan talking to the ghost of Arlo, and figuring out that the shack that was. Turns out this place which was always a mystery to Raylan as a boy is just an empty place where Arlo went to get away from everything. In the end they dug up the graves of his family along with the rest of the land, breaking all ties Raylan ever had with Harlan. He officially has no reason to stay there anymore.

With Boyd being the final piece of the puzzle, I can’t help but get the sense that things might not turn out the way Raylan has been anticipating them … and he really won’t leave Harlan alive.

The Zachariah story is a little dull and we still haven’t figured out what his plan is exactly besides having a tiff with Boyd. The Catherine Hale story isn’t very interesting either on whether or not she or Markham are responsible for ratting out Hale’s ex-husband causing the death of him and one Simon Poole. I honestly have no idea where that story will lead or how it will affect the main story. Unless the writers have something great planned I don’t have a big interest in this.

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

Overall “Dark as a Dungeon” was great surprise by shaking up the storyline of the season and really some excellent personal moments with Raylan. With Boyd setting his sights on making the big move on Markham and Raylan looking to end his time in Harlan with burying Boyd the end is near and I’m anticipating one hell of a blowout.

Rating: 9/10


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