With Shelby and Ellen May squared away, it's time for Raylan to serve his suspension, so he goes up to Winona's in answer to a call regarding some confusion about multiple rocking chairs. When he arrives, though, he learns that the situation is a bit more involved than a delivery mix-up -- some Detroit men we haven't had the privilege of meeting before have guns on Winona, and as such they'd like Raylan's assistance on a little excursion -- to collect Shelby. But Raylan and Winona, both separately and together, are not to be underestimated, and they end up decorating their baby's nursery with the three thugs' blood -- but not before the leader warns Raylan that even if he escapes them, he and his will be on Augustine's marked list for eternity.
Boyd and his crew are preparing for the salvage effort for Delroy's body, which is a bit involved given that the mine hasn't been operational in decades, and a mine in disrepair can apparently be dangerous? Unfortunately, by the time they get to the site, the Sheriff's Department has already recovered the corpse -- possibly having been tipped off by Ellen May in her deposition -- which Ava thinks means they have no choice but to flee. Boyd, however, calls a meeting with Deputy Mooney and Lee Manners, the latter of whom you may recall owns a funeral home, and tells them that Delroy's body is currently within the walls of his business -- lawmen often use funeral homes as field morgues, apparently. After confirming from Mooney (he's in Clover Hill's pocket, btw) that an official ID has not yet been made to the corpse, Boyd offers Lee Manners the chance to wipe their slate clean by switching out Delroy's body for that of some other poor sucker, and just like that, Jimmy and Boyd are out on a nice grave-robbing errand. It may be illegal, but it's great exercise!
Raylan gets some ammunition when he learns from Art and Vasquez that Tonin has departed for Tunisia, apparently never to return, and his son Sammy -- you remember him from his little conflict with Quarles last season -- apparently has no love lost for Augustine. Art also tells Raylan that he's sympathetic to his plight, truly he is -- but if he goes after Augustine, he can save himself the trouble of coming back, so the seasonal theme of people having to choose what's right in the abstract versus what's right for them is coming to a head -- especially when Raylan assures Winona that he's going to take care of the situation.
Boyd brings the other body back to the bar and sends Jimmy off to get Lee Manners' funeral truck, so everything's going as well as can be expected -- until Raylan shows up and demands Boyd take him to see Augustine. When Raylan threatens Ava's liberty, Boyd seethes but acquiesces, so Ava and Jimmy are forced to finish the errand on their own. Ava, presumably not wanting to spread culpability around more than she has to, drops Jimmy off and goes to put Delroy's body in a slurry pond -- but Mooney, double-crossing Boyd on Lee Manners' order, picks her up. When Boyd arrives at the scene and sees Ava in the police car, he completely loses it and attacks Mooney before the other deputies subdue him, but despite that, Lee Manners sneeringly has Mooney let Boyd go -- but not without it being revealed that it was Cassie, not Ellen May, who gave the police the information about Delroy. I don't know what Boyd's reaction is going to be, but it wouldn't surprise me if Emulex is involved.
Augustine and Picker have a little confab in which we learn they're already overdue to head back to Detroit and kiss Sammy's new ring, and which also reveals the idea that Sammy isn't the only one who thinks Augustine is a hothead blowhard -- Picker's getting a little tired of his recklessness too. Meanwhile, on their way to the meeting, Boyd and Raylan have a little chat in which they each essentially accuse the other of being a hypocrite -- that they'll sacrifice principles to get what they want and still convince themselves they're not the bad guys. Then, to punctuate that idea, Raylan meets with Augustine in his car, and Augustine tells Raylan he's not armed, and he's sure Raylan won't just kill him -- although that is the only way he can save his family, whom he'll be back for just as soon as he murders Sammy. But Raylan, as it happens, has an ace in the hole -- he's called Sammy and let him in on everything, bringing him down to Harlan, and after Raylan tells him everything that's happened, he walks resolutely away as Sammy's men execute Augustine without even waiting for Raylan to exit the scene.
The season ends with Winona and Raylan sharing a loving kiss before Winona heads off to visit her mother and the triumphant return of Wynn, who tells Boyd he's now Sammy's man in Kentucky -- and he'd like to honor his promise for Boyd to run his heroin business. Boyd is so lost and shattered he can barely nod his agreement, and he sadly returns to that house on Clover Hill he and Ava were going to buy. Raylan, for his part, symbolically spackles up the hole in Arlo's wall that started this whole season before sitting his suspended self in the yard and contemplating who he is in light of what he allowed to happen, showing that what made this season so amazing is that it never forgot the character beats even when plot alone would more than have sufficed.
First off, congrats to the show on being renewed for a fifth season! Obviously, we don't have to discuss what a boneheaded move it would have been on FX's part to do any different, but I'm sure the writers, crew and actors were thrilled for the news to become official. As am I! Now:
In Lexington, Art is genially noting that everything has been squared away, and Raylan confirms that Shelby is on his way to a safe house, while Ellen May is in "a little no-tell motel until we figure out what to do with her." It's unusual for her, I know, but given her current venue and her chosen profession I'd think she might have some ideas. Raylan tosses a folder onto Art's desk and adds that the paperwork's all done; Art asks if there isn't one more thing he needs to do before his suspension, but Raylan tells him he's all set. Art: "That was supposed to be withering sarcasm." And that, Art, was you giving up too easily. You could easily have ridden that joke for another couple of lines.
Surprisingly, though, Raylan takes the bait as he defends himself for being "thorough," but Art's like, Raylan, you'd move all the hills in Kentucky if it meant you'd get out of attending a birthing class. Raylan chuckles, at least, before telling Art that, as it happens, he's off for some fatherly duties now -- he got a call from Winona about getting two rocking chairs. I don't know if the call was made under duress, but if not, does that mean Raylan got her a rocking chair too? I guess the fact that he doesn't mention it makes it unlikely. It's not like he has many other attentive-father achievements to brag about. For the record, Art tells Raylan he can consider himself suspended, and after Raylan's like, kthanksbai, he asks Tim if he's all right about the guy he shot. Tim's like, right as rain, and Raylan tells him that if he needs to talk, "you got Rachel"/"I got Rachel," they say at the same time. Aww, those boys. Speaking of Rachel, she tells Raylan to avoid the color pink when decorating the baby's nursery, and Tim mutters, "I coulda told him that." This show rarely fails to meet my expectations, but if there isn't a Season Five Uncle Tim/Aunt Rachel scene, I just don't even know what.
Boyd, Ava and Jimmy have loaded up the van with the equipment they'll need to retrieve Delroy's body, and the fact that it's now daylight suggests getting everything together was no minor errand. Jimmy is not thrilled at the logistics of the mission -- the fact that they can expect their quest to take him a hundred and fifty feet down into the mine shaft is fairly insalubrious, not to mention the fact that the mine has been out of operation for some three generations. Ava then calls Boyd up to the van's cab and expresses a different concern -- he always told her moving a body is an excellent way to get caught, but Boyd tells her that's exactly why it's only an option when you have no other. I guess they're pretty sure Ellen May is going to roll on them, but if they're so convinced, I'm not sure why they don't think it's already happened. Maybe they're counting on the time it generally takes for Ellen May's brain to process thoughts. Boyd raises his voice to ask Jimmy if they're good, and Jimmy closes the van's rear doors with a "lock and load," because he really is That Guy.