Episode Report Card
Couch Baron: A | 12 USERS: A+
Shades Of Grey

Raylan wearily thanks Art for the "news" before lying that he'll sleep well that night, and Art tells him he'll see him in thirty days. They hang up, and as "You'll Never Leave Harlan Alive" continues to play, Raylan's intense look suggests he's wondering if, like Boyd said, he's not such a good guy after all; to punctuate that idea, he looks over at Arlo's fresh grave, probably remembering Hunter's last words to him: We both know whose voice it is makes you do what you do. We get one final shot of Raylan, having all the time in the world to contemplate just who he is, and then we're out of this incredible season.

When you're treated to a TV season that's as subtly (and seemingly effortlessly) thematic, it's worth an extra nod to everyone involved; I think the Emmys are bullshit, for the most part, but I still think it will be a travesty if this show isn't much more heavily recognized in their next iteration. As I mentioned in the recaplet, the plot alone of this season would have made it worth watching, but the fact that the show managed to economically and organically integrate so many already-rich characters and even develop them further is really an impressive achievement. Like everyone, I thought Season Two was amazing, and I wouldn't be prepared to say that Season Four is better, necessarily, but it did manage to achieve greatness without the incredible arch-enmity of Mags Bennett. The examination of who people are, how their choices define them, and what they have to do to survive both physically and spiritually -- with there sometimes being no way to do both -- is heady stuff, and not something you'd necessarily expect from a show set in a backwoods spot like Harlan County. (In that, it shares something with American Horror Story: Asylum, which also just enjoyed a thoroughly brilliant season.) I can't wait to see what Season Five holds, but before then, I hope to see you over in the Mad Men section. Thanks for reading!

John Ramos is a writer and film producer living in Los Angeles. His new film, a documentary on online privacy and the sale of personal data called Terms And Conditions May Apply, recently premiered at the Slamdance Film Festival in January. You can get news on it from the film's Twitter account. Also, you can email John at couchbaron@gmail.com, follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/couchbaron, or check out his blog, "Pull Up A Chair," which he'd just love for you to stop by.

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