The sad thing about the season finale of “Justified,” the episode entitled “Ghosts,” is that it will be the last “Justified” until next winter. That is not the only sad thing about that episode, as the reader will find in due course.
Spoilers surely follow.
Boyd and Ava have a problem, concerning Delroy’s body at the bottom of a mine shaft that Ellen May, the hooker with the heart of gold, knows about. They had planned to kill Ellen May, but instead she is under the protection of law enforcement and, because of the murder plot, is talking. Their one last chance is to switch the bodies in the funeral home before the medical examiner can confirm the identity and rebury the body some place where no one can find it.
Alas, this operation goes sideways, with the result that Ava is likely going up the river for murder and Boyd is left alone and forlorn, contemplating the blissful married life that might have been.
Meanwhile, Raylan and Winona have their own problems in the form of Nicky, the current head of the Detroit Outfit. Nicky has sent three gun thugs to Winona’s house to insist that Raylan lead them to Drew Thompson, the fugitive that Raylan and several criminal gangs have been hunting for most of the season, since Drew knows too much to live. The first mistake they made, to quote Riddick, is that they came light. Raylan and Winona between them manages to shoot the lot of them.
Raylan, who is under suspension for his somewhat casual approach to law enforcement, has a meet with Nicky. Nicky knows of Raylan’s tactic of goading bad guys into throwing down so that he can shoot them, so he is unarmed. Nevertheless Raylan gives him a chance to confess and turn himself in. Nicky declines to do so and tells Raylan that he intends to come back after attending to business in Detroit and kill everyone.
Raylan might have shot Nicky then and there. Instead, after leaving Nicky alone, he casually mentions to one of his lieutenants, an underboss named Sammy, that he is on Nicky’s list as well. Sammy has come prepared for that and has only to ask what would Raylan’s reaction would be if he witnessed a crime being committed against Nicky. Raylan informs him that he is under suspension. Satisfied, Sammy has Nicky machine gunned as Raylan walks away.
The end of the episode sees Raylan sitting quietly in his backyard, looking at the grave of his much hated but perhaps much missed criminal father, Arlo, who had at last suffered the wages of sin.