The none-too-subtle title of tonight’s Justified, ‘Foot Chase,’ refers partly to Josiah’s severed foot that Raylan found at the end of last week’s episode and partly to the race to find Drew Thompson. But who would have thought the bloody race would all add up to A Very Special Justified Valentine, with Boyd proposing to Ava.
Raylan found Josiah’s foot at the end of last week’s episode, and has called in law enforcement backup. The paramedic on site says he once treated a guy who’d gotten his foot similarly caught in some mining machinery. Appropriately dubious, an officer asks him what kind of machine (seriously: farm equipment would be more likely to amputate, and frequently does), but is more concerned with how long anyone could live sustaining that kind of blood loss. The EMT estimates maybe through the night, with a tourniquet or cauterizing (an obvious detail we’re meant to remember).
Raylan wants to know if the state police have been notified, and the locals speculate that Josiah could’ve done it to himself for all they know. But why would he be that desperate? “What do the marshals want with a piece of shit like Josiah anyway?” they ask.
“He owes us money,” Raylan jokes. But they’re suspicious this case might be something special. “He might have intel on a fugitive,” he admits. Which fugitive? “Jimmy Hoffa,” he deadpans.
Art calls to tell Raylan to put “his best foot forward,” and to let him know there’s no luck in delaying Arlo’s deal. Arlo’s (dirty) lawyer isn’t returning calls. Just in time, Raylan uncovers a lead in the bloody bootprint of Josiah’s stepdaughter at the scene (the wire-stripping flasher teen).
Back at Boyd’s, Ava is scrubbing the bar down with a toothbrush, which either means she’s tweaking (meth heads are known for trying to scrub the pattern off linoleum) or she is racked with guilt for ordering Ellen May’s death. But Colton is the one beset by that demon, smoking crack (or heroin?) in the bathroom, and delaying the strategic meeting as to how they plan to find Drew Thompson. Door-to-door seems to be Boyd’s initial plan, based on his ski-masked interrogation of one Clover Hill resident from the cold open. Ava thinks Arnold, the judge executive with the Furry proclivity whom Ellen May shot, would be a better helper.
Next, Raylan has tracked the bloody-booted teen to her new boyfriend’s trailer. Just as he has escorted the boyfriend to the prone position, the sheriff drives up and interrupts. Getting nowhere with the kid, the two join forces and drive to the shack of the new, new boyfriend, Teddy, or “Rapes-With-A-Smile,” as Raylan calls him. Mystery solved. Flasher teen Roz is there.
She doesn’t want to give up any info from the Josiah scene, since Teddy is “half Cherokee” and they could do their own tracking. But when Raylan threatens her new beau with a statutory rape charge, she confesses that Josiah’s abductors drove an ugly panel van and called him Drew Thompson.
Sheriff Shelby and Raylan confer as they depart. Neither is willing to admit to the other what they know about Drew and his faked death. “Drew’s dead,” Shelby says. “Maybe she heard it wrong,” Raylan responds.
“Cut the shit,” Shelby finally says. He knows Raylan won’t cooperate with law enforcement because he thinks he’s in cahoots with Boyd. “I think Lynyrd Skynyrd’s overrated. I know you’re in Boyd’s pocket,” Raylan says.
Shelby admits he used Boyd to get into office, but “my loyalty’s to the law.” Raylan calls “bullshit.”
Next, Deputy Marshal Tim shows up to pick up a war buddy, Mark, who’s called for help. The oxy addict says he’s clean, but does need help settling old drug debts. Tim doesn’t have any money, but he’s just been asked along for muscle and moral support. They run into Colton, in search of a heroin dealer, and Mark correctly IDs him as a fellow addict.
Back at the Office, Ava is pushing Boyd to agree to using Judge Arnold to gain access to a snooty swingers’ party that might help them find Drew, just as Shelby interrupts and tells Boyd to come along (“I ain’t asking,”) and then handcuffs him.
Colton is busy tossing Ellen May’s trailer for clues, and then backhands one of her colleagues in the search for leads. He’s both contrite and menacing, threatening to cut out her tongue if she tells anybody he was looking.
The Sheriff wasn’t really arresting Boyd, as it turns out; he was just delivering him to Raylan, who has a few questions. Boyd is downright indignant that they would implicate him in Josiah’s amputation, when he can thank Raylan for his airtight alibi of being handcuffed to a tree all night.
Boyd questions Shelby’s integrity — this sheriff hasn’t stayed bought at all (the definition of a good Eastern Kentucky politician) — impugning his law enforcement history as a “greeter at a big box store.” Raylan commiserates: “before the academy, I worked cleaning bathrooms in dive bars”; not to be outdone, Shelby counters, “I used to work for a crime scene cleanup crew.” Raylan: “I think you got me beat.”
Boyd, having no inclination to “participate in writing your occupational resumes” insists that the handcuffs be removed before he picks the locks. Shelby then fires a figurative warning shot across the bow: if he doesn’t know anything about Josiah, maybe he has info on another missing person: Ellen May.
Then Boyd’s lawyer shows up, who also happens to be Arlo’s attorney. Raylan asks her point blank why she’s stalling Arlo’s deal.
Meanwhile, Cousin Johnny has discovered the bruising Colton inflicted on his girlfriend, the pro. Under pressure, she refuses to identify Colton and instead, blames a regular customer.
At last, we see what has become of Josiah. A couple thugs are holding him hobbled and hostage as he insists he isn’t Drew Thompson. “You’re a criminal. How do you get bloodstains out of upholstery?” one of them asks (the one who also plays Axel on The Walking Dead).
Just as Josiah has convinced them they won’t get paid if they hand him over dead and not alive, and they debate the merits of cauterizing his stump with a blow torch, their boss walks in. And it’s Boyd and Arlo’s dirty lawyer.
Next, Ava has taken matters into her own hands. She’s sipping wine with the wife of the Judge Executive in his kitchen when he arrives home, thoroughly displeased to find her there. When the wife ducks out for a moment, Ava threatens to expose his furry fetish unless he can get her and Boyd into the next evening’s Swingers party. Done.
Just as blow torch meets stump and the dirty lawyer has told Josiah that Arlo fingered him as Drew Thompson, Raylan and Shelby bust in to save the day. Axel tries to run off. The other thug tries to blowtorch Raylan, and Shelby wings him. As everybody gets cuffed, Raylan wants answers. Josiah explains he was planning to get rid of Raylan via the Hill People, then he would find Drew himself, and get rid of that electronic monitor tether. Mission accomplished, in a manner of speaking. Then he identifies his potential source, cackling about the former lawman who tried to kill Raylan in Season One.
Back to Deputy Tim, who’s accompanying his war buddy to his dealer’s to settle his debt for stolen oxy. The dealer draws on Tim’s pal. Tim draws on him. Another Mexican standoff, which Tim manages to negotiate successfully. This skill is surely foreshadowing for a later episode.
Cousin Johnny and Colt have now shown up to mete out justice to Max, the poor regular who did not, in fact, smack Johnny’s girlfriend. Halfway through the beat-down, even crazy Johnny has to protest, “lesson learned… check his pulse.”
And now, time for the Very Special proposal. Ava tells Boyd she has no regrets for the death of Devil or Delroy, but ordering Ellen May’s death is tearing her apart. She loves him. She’ll do anything for him. She wants him to declare his intentions. He takes her to a hill overlooking the town lights. To answer her questions, he hands her a box. It’s a box filled with cash (the cash we saw him hiding in the season premiere, just as Raylan hid his bounty hunting cash). “It’s a down payment on a house, Ava. This is why we’re doing the things we’re doing. It’s for the future. In three generations time, we’ll be an old family name” he explains. Betraying his interior potential for a soft heart, he says, “Won’t nobody think twice about their kid and a Crowder kid playing together after school.” He tells her to look underneath the money. It’s a ring.
Then Clyde goes down on one knee to ask for his Bonnie’s hand in marriage.
Season 4: Justified Episode Recaps