By Penny Clift
Season Six Justified Review – The Hunt – Watch it here
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Week seven of the final season brings us “The Hunt”. Everyone is hunting for something in this episode. Boyd is hunting for the truth about Ava. The marshals are hunting for fugitive Walker. Walker is hunting for a way out. Winona is hunting for the man she loves. Raylan is hunting for what matters in his life. All these stories run through “The Hunt:.
Raylan and Boyd are changing in opposite directions. Boyd becomes more paranoid and violent. He can barely hold the mask he wears in place. His psychopathic nature is rising to the top. Raylan on the other hand is realizing that his job is not the most important thing in his life. Things that would normally have him out the door, such as Rachel telling him Ava is in Bulletville, he blows off to stay with his family. He has no interest in the manhunt for Walker. He is only interested in seeing Winona and Willa. Even Rachel reads this wrong, accusing Raylan of wanting to track Walker down himself. That is what Raylan would usually have in mind.
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I enjoyed this episode more than any in a long time. It brought the element that has been missing from the show for two years, a personal storyline for Raylan. He has wandered through two seasons with no real storyline. He has just drifted through his own story with no real purpose. This episode reminded me of why I loved the show in the beginning. I love the chemistry and banter between Raylan and Winona. I love seeing the other side of Marshal Givens
. Winona shares how hard it is to deal with a baby all alone. Raylan seems totally mesmerized by his baby daughter. I enjoyed him interacting with little cranky Willa. Later he takes Willa for the day giving Winona some much needed rest. Willa and Raylan visit the Marshals. Art is the only one of Raylan’s colleagues to welcome Willa. Rachel was down right rude, refusing to hold the baby as she displays nothing but irritation at Willa’s visit. I can’t say I blame Raylan for wanting that transfer.
Raylan and Willa return to find Winona in better spirits. Winona then lays it on the line for Raylan. She tells him she loves him and in an about damn time moment, she tells him she accepts him for who he is. She doesn’t want to change him. She has finally came to the realization that worrying he won’t come home is better than knowing he isn’t coming home.
Winona then asks Raylan if he wants to raise their daughter together. Raylan is visibly surprised to hear what she has to say but it obviously makes him happy. Their conversation ends with them tumbling into bed together.
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The rest of the show featured Walker on the run. Markham has written him off and he is on his own. When his car breaks down he calls 911. When the paramedics show up, he kills them both in an over the top violent shooting scene. He steals their kit and heads for the woods.
Boyd takes Ava on a forced hunting trip. After groping her in a skin crawling moment, he tells her they are going to his daddy’s cabin. Ava tells him she would rather stay at home but he tells her he wasn’t asking.
Once they arrive at the cabin, Boyd continues to terrorize her. Boyd relates stories about his father and mother, telling Ava his father beat his mother when she didn’t “obey” as promised in her wedding vows. This leads to a conversation about Ava and Boyd’s brother. It becomes more intense with Boyd telling Ava to hit him. She hits him twice and he begins to choke her. Amazingly enough, this leads to sex.
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Ava is obviously attracted to men who treat her badly. The next day she displays bruises on her neck from Boyd’s “love”. The mind games continue as Boyd takes her hunting the next day. This all ends in Ava confessing that she is a snitch.
After some intense back and forth with a gun, which we later learns has no bullets, they declare their love and trust for one another. They are both lying. These two are quite a pair. They are both narcissistic survivors. Their one goal is self preservation, no matter the cost.
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I intensely dislike both characters. Boyd is a violent psychopath and Ava is a self serving, hollow woman. She can certainly dish out retribution but she is not so good at accepting it.
Let us know your thoughts on “The Hunt” in the comments below.