Justified: Alive Day – Review

Justified took a surprising turn this week with a new episode about a lot of poor choices and a little bit of lust. This episode, “Alive Day”, continued the important plotlines from the final season and took the characters to all new depths, sometimes to fatal results. Ultimately, Justified’s latest episode proved to be a great time with a few sad moments and one random storyline. So, how did it all tie together?

“Alive Day” mostly followed Boyd on his continuing quest to break into the safe at the pizza parlor. To complete this quest, Boyd had to recruit Ava’s uncle for one last mine digging operation. Unfortunately, this uncle (played by Jeff Fahey) swore to murder Boyd the next time they met. The strange thing is that Uncle Zachariah agreed to help Boyd, despite his raging hatred for the man. Even when they spend time together in the mine, Zachariah still doesn’t attempt to murder Boyd. Zachariah even rescued Boyd from a near-fatal “accident”. This strange turn of events will probably come into play as the season finishes.

Ava and her Uncle Zachariah

Ava and her Uncle Zachariah

While Boyd and Zachariah were spending time together in the mines, Raylan and Tim were investigating the murder of the realtor Calhoun. Of course, this investigation became very interesting for the duo when the coroner discovered that Calhoun was punched to death. In fact, “it looked like he was hit by a train”. This discovery put Raylan and Tim on another collision course with Ty Walker, Seabass, and Choo Choo, leading to some more great moments between the characters. Actually, much of the episode is spent following this investigation and the fallout that made Choo Choo a more prominent character in the episode.

Sadly, not all of these other storylines worked out quite as well as the murder investigation and the mining hijinks. Katherine’s story, in particular, came out of nowhere and kind of forced itself onto the episode. Katherine is a fun character, but the random story about whether or not she is a snitch was a little boring. Even Sam Elliott couldn’t make that story better. I do quite enjoy Katherine’s time on the show, especially when she is spending time with Wynn Duffy, but certain parts of her story are tiresome.

Despite the irritating story involving Katherine, “Alive Day” is a fantastic episode. Trying to figure out Boyd and Zachariah is one interesting puzzle, and the continuing dynamic between Ava, Boyd, and Raylan is absolutely fascinating. This story brings back some of the tense situations from earlier seasons. Plus, the scene involving the Crowders and Raylan in the kitchen was reminiscent of the fantastic pilot that started the series. Raylan even mentioned the pilot in a throwaway line about shooting Boyd.

Of course, nothing can beat the combination of Raylan and Tim while they are working on a case. The fast talking and gunfights are just so much fun. These investigations are made even better by the fact that Choo Choo and Ty Walker are great bad guys. Both villains are completely chilling, but slightly stupid at the same time, something that Justified has mastered during its run. Thankfully, most of the entire episode revolves around this murder investigation, which is also how we get some of the best lines. Seriously, every week Justified gives us lines like, “I like to sow seeds of doubt in fields of assholes.” Solid gold.


“Alive Day” may not have been perfect all the way through, but the episode was still very enjoyable. Unfortunately, there were some sad moments, which I won’t spoil, but these moments still played into the episode’s quality. Thankfully, the better moments far outweighed Katherine’s less-than-stellar side story. Even better, “Alive Day” finished very strongly by setting the stage for the upcoming episodes. I can’t wait to see how these major events play out next week.