Synopsis of Justified 6.03 “Noblesse Oblige” from the FX network’s Website: Raylan follows a trail of illegal explosives in an attempt to pin Boyd, who discovers he has run afoul of a dangerous new player in town. Okay, it’s official. I’m an idiot. My mushy brain was incapable of assembling the pieces of the plot while I watched last week’s “Cash Game”. Fortunately, the “previously on Justified” intro before “Noblesse Oblige” assembled everything in a linear fashion so dim clods like me could have everything made clear for us. Part of my problem was that I did not expect the primary plot (Boyd Crowder’s schemes) and the secondary plot (Ty Walker’s schemes) to firmly connect together quite so quickly—loosely by this point, yes, but not so tightly. You see, Boyd was hired by Katherine Hale* and Wynn Duffy to steal three million dollars from Calhoun Schreier—the real estate agent who has been working for Ty Walker (the man who tried to buy Raylan’s father’s farm from Raylan). However, Boyd has been unable to determine where Calhoun has been keeping the money. Duh! The money is in the vault of the pizza restaurant that Ty Walker (Garret Dillahunt) owns; the building used to be a bank back when Raylan and Boyd were kids. At the end of “Cash Game,” I didn’t understand the significance of the pizza restaurant being a former bank—because, you know, my neurons weren’t correctly firing across my synapses (. . . or something). Anyway, one thing I did get right in my review of “Fate’s Right Hand” was my assumption that this season is partly based on the 1952 film High Noon that starred Gary Cooper as Marshal Will Kane. In commenting on the upcoming series-ending episode, I noted the following as one possible way for Justified to conclude: Raylan gets his wish of having a final showdown with Boyd in a High Noon-styled standoff in the streets of Harlan—with Raylan as Marshal Will Kane (obviously) and Boyd as nemesis Frank Miller. At the end of High Noon, Kane kills Miller and then throws his badge in the dust as he leaves town to spend the rest of his days living the peaceful life of a pacifist shopkeeper with his Quaker bride. Indeed, the writers of Justified appear to have been thinking of High Noon as they plotted out this final season. Well, in this episode the writers made it obvious that they are thinking of a High Noon connection, as “Noblesse Oblige” has one direct reference and one indirect reference to High Noon. First, after he learns the identity of the man who actually owns the three million dollars he’s been hired to steal (Avery Markham played by Sam Elliott), Boyd contacts Wynn to arrange a meeting in which he can discuss the situation with both Wynn and Katherine. However, Wynn is suspicious of Boyd’s intentions and says Boyd might be intending to “High Noon it” by getting everyone in one place so he can kill them. However, getting everyone together to kill them (High Noon-ing it?) is not Boyd’s intention at all—but I’ll come back to that meeting at the end of this review. Later, Acting Chief Rachel Brooks** (played by Erica Tazel) asks Raylan what he’s going to do with Earl—one of Boyd’s men who was caught trying to steal explosives for Boyd: Raylan: I’m goin’ to let him go; send him back to Boyd, jumpy; get ’em all spun up before I swoop back down on my white horse. Rachel: That’s actually how you see this going down, isn’t it? Raylan: Why not? Worked for Gary Cooper. So, yeah, I think it’s clear the writers have High Noon in mind for this final season of Justified—and there may have been some foreshadowing of what exactly the High Noon-styled conclusion might be. Early in this episode, Raylan has Ava meet him at his father’s farm—which is also the location of the cemetery for the Givens family. It’s where Raylan’s father, mother, and stepmother are all buried. However, there is another tombstone set amongst the others. Raylan’s is featured prominently in the foreground of one shot in the scene: RAYLAN GIVENS Beloved son of Frances and Arlo 1970 – It certainly seems like that tombstone might be foreshadowing one of the scenarios I covered in my review of “Fate’s Right Hand”: The likely twist on the High Noon story would be to see Boyd end up killing Raylan and then leave town with Ava to spend the rest of his days living the peaceful life of a farmer, preacher, or shopkeeper; it’s a life Boyd offers Ava in the episode—and he seems to legitimately yearn for such a complacent life with his own estranged “bride.” Finally, the series could end with Raylan and Boyd killing each other during their final showdown—as their respective women-folk watch in agonized horror, of course. The threat of a violent death for our protagonist and two of our three main antagonists was amped up in this episode. Not only does the tombstone foreshadow Raylan’s possible series-ending death, but Boyd’s meeting with Avery Markham carries a substantial threat to Boyd’s own life separate from Raylan being the cause. Sitting in the dining room of Ava’s house, Boyd apologizes to Avery Markham for trying to steal his money that he thought belonged to Calhoun, and he promises to abandon his plan to steal it from the vault in the pizza restaurant (which is called The Portal). Avery mulls over Boyd’s apology and then glances across the table at Ava before turning his gaze back to Boyd: Avery: Hmmm. I hope you’ll understand when I say . . . I don’t want to see either of you at The Portal again. Next time you want a slice, order in . . . have it here in 30 minutes or it’s free . . . but if I see you in my place of business again . . . I’ll kill ya. (Rising from his seat at the dining table, Avery references the time he and Boyd first met back when Boyd was a nine- or ten-year-old kid pretending to be a big-time criminal like his father Bo Crowder.) Avery: Come to it, I guess you ain’t all that big now. Grown . . . but still just playing pretend. The threat to Boyd is palpable, as it’s clear Avery does not fully buy Boyd’s act of contrition. Avery is clearly the big shot crime boss of Kentucky and neighboring states while Boyd is only the big shot in the impoverished mining community of Harlan County. Yet, as I watched the scene I thought, you do not want to threaten Boyd Crowder . . . especially in front of his “fiancée” (as Boyd has once again been referring to Ava). Foreshadowing this mistake Avery has made by threatening Boyd is the fact that the chair Avery was sitting in at Ava’s dining room table is the same chair that Ava’s husband (Boyd’s brother) Bowman Crowder was sitting in on the night that Ava shot and killed him. Finally, the threat to Boyd brings us back to the meeting I mentioned earlier—the one Boyd had Wynn set up so he could speak to Katherine and Wynn together. Boyd has figured out that Katherine knew all along that the money she hired Boyd to steal did not belong to Calhoun because Avery was the business partner of Katherine’s late crime boss husband. During the meeting between Wynn and Katherine, Boyd learns that Katherine cheated on her late husband with Avery. When he asks Katherine what her relationship is with him now she says, “I’m sleeping with him”—which is how she knew about the three million dollars. This news sets Boyd off on a tirade because he knows Avery has now figured out how Boyd knew about the money. When Wynn and Katherine then accuse Boyd of backing down and wanting out of the plan now that he knows Avery is the actual target of the robbery, we get a scene that is typical Boyd Crowder—and one that I knew had to be coming after Avery threatened Boyd and his “fiancée”: Boyd: No, I ain’t backin’ down. I’m goin’ to rob him, and then I’m gonna stick a bullet in your boyfriend’s head. Katherine: You know what, Boyd? From the moment I met you I just knew you were the man of my dreams. All the pieces on the board seem to be in play now. We’re heading for one hell of a conclusion with 10 more episodes remaining! * Katherine Hale is the widow of Wynn Duffy’s former mentor, Grady Hale. Duffy brought her in as a special consultant last season. ** As the acting Chief Deputy of the US Marshals Field Office in Lexington, Kentucky, Rachel Brooks is Raylan’s boss while Chief Deputy Art Mullen recovers from the gunshot wounds he sustained last season. Justified 6.03 “Noblesse Oblige”4.5Overall ScoreReader Rating: (1 Vote)Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related 2 Responses The Americans 3.02 “Baggage” - Psycho Drive-In February 11, 2015 […] Justified 6.03 “Noblesse Oblige” […] Log in to Reply The Americans 3.04 “Dimebag” - Psycho Drive-In February 25, 2015 […] aren’t capable of connecting them very well on their own. A couple of weeks ago in my review of Justified 6.03 “Noblesse Oblige,” I indicated how such a connecting of the dots helped me understand a plot point that had completely […] Log in to Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.