SO MUCH IN THIS EPISODE, my God. Having been told to use fecal matter as dinner by his own father, Raylan goes straight to Hunter, and the two of them have a conversation as rich as you'd expect given their history, but though he takes some convincing, Hunter seems more open to playing with Raylan than Arlo is. However, next thing we know, Hunter has gotten a guard to set up him with some alone time with Arlo, whom he's apparently drugged. Whether he's trying to ensure that no one discovers Thompson's identity or merely trying to eliminate competition for the deal, Hunter means to kill Arlo, but when his back is turned, Arlo shows that he was faking catatonia and attacks, beating Hunter down. When the guard enters, Arlo knocks him down too – but then Hunter, not as easy to kill as your average prisoner, stabs Arlo in the chest with a pair of scissors. In the COLD OPEN this happens, you guys.
Boyd is entertaining the plan to kill Frank the mine owner, but he is smart enough to wonder whether he's going to end up dead in the deal. In response, Johns tells Boyd that if he doesn't cooperate, he'll use his influence to make sure Boyd is issued a one-way ticket to the pen. Boyd then goes to see Browning, and Browning supposes Boyd's been hired to fix it so his bosses can get their hands on Superfund money, but Boyd fills in the little detail about how he's supposed to kill him and offers to let Browning beat the Clover Hill syndicate's price. Browning prefers to take his chances, though, and his large guns and rather hot security chief speak well for that position.
Despite the pessimism he displayed for the idea last week, Raylan indeed has Thompson's ex-wife Eve check current DMV photos for anyone in Clover Hill she thinks might be him. Unhappy at how many choices she thinks are possibilities, Raylan accuses her of holding out on him, but their session is interrupted when Raylan then gets the news that Arlo has been mortally wounded, and although he valiantly doesn't go to pieces right in the station, he is feeling FEELINGS about it. Raylan eventually makes it to Arlo's deathbed and asks him to give him something – not fatherly advice, not an apology, but something. In response, Arlo summons up enough breath to tell Raylan to kiss his ass, and Raylan gets this look on his face like "Well, at least he's consistent."
With the chips on the table, Boyd tells Colton he's going to need him for the Browning operation, but Colton is distracted by the blackmailing texts he's getting that purport to be from Ellen May but are of course actually from Johnny (and even drug-addled Colton guesses that Ellen May isn't doing this on her own). Boyd's life gets complicated further when Wynn turns up to the bar and tells him that the way the Cairn situation played out has "alarmed" Tonin, and he wants Thompson found – now. As such, he's sending a new enforcer type down who "has killed more people than malaria," and they need to supply him with a name if they want to live to see another Harlan summer. Boyd, seeing an opportunity, tells Wynn he's narrowed the list down to two people, and they should tell the enforcer to kill them both to be sure. I'm guessing this won't be a problem for him, given that he shows up to Browning's door in a deputy uniform and sadly shoots the security guy and then Browning.
The enforcer's next victim is that bland guy who was hitting on Ava at the sex party last week. But unlike, as we'll see, Colton, he doesn't check for witnesses, so the piece of tail the guy had in his bed is able to recount the conversation to the authorities. This brings Shelby and Raylan back together, as apparently Raylan had asked Shelby to look into the list of names supplied by Thompson's ex-wife, one of whom was the bland guy. Shelby informs Raylan about Boyd's earlier visit to Browning, so Raylan goes to the bar to see Boyd, only to find Wynn's fake deputy there about to take Boyd away, presumably to his death (you'll see why in a moment). But Raylan, having just seen Shelby and heard nothing about this, smells a rat, and what follows is a HILARIOUSLY intertwined conversation in which Raylan learns of Ava and Boyd's engagement before shooting the fake deputy dead. A little confab at the Marshals Office ensues, and when Art realizes just how much ground they have to cover (there are still twenty-six names on Eve's list), Shelby offers to keep an eye on Johns and Lee Manners, as he knows Boyd's been seen with them lately. Art agrees, but when Shelby's gone, Raylan reveals he still doesn't entirely trust him. When Raylan then confesses that he got the call an hour earlier that Arlo just passed, Art forces him to take the week off, but Raylan negotiates it down to two days, against Art's better judgment. In the end, Raylan stands over Arlo's corpse, and even though he tries to appear stone-faced, enough emotion leaks out that it seems like Art might have had a point. Also, it was probably time for him to go, story-wise, but damn if I'm not going to miss Arlo Givens, that old bastard.
Having been hit up by "Ellen May" for twenty grand, Colton goes back to the scumbag drug dealer with whom Tim had that run-in – this is apparently who the guy in the bathroom with the gun pointed at his junk sent Colton to – and asks for a loan. When the guy doesn't show Colton the proper deference (i.e., any), he ends up with several bullets in his neck, and Colton may be out of control but he certainly did the world a favor there. He quickly finds the cash he needs, but he then hears a noise and realizes he's not alone – and soon, he's discovered Tim's buddy Mark, who's apparently using again, although I'm not sure how the drug dealer started supplying him again when he couldn't possibly have paid off his debt to him yet. Colton ends up putting a bullet in his head and then leaving the money for Johnny like a good little blackmailee, but I'm thinking it's not going to end here for either of them.
With some information from Johnny, Wynn realizes that Boyd simply handed Wynn an enemies list, and in response, he informs Johnny that he'll be disposing of Boyd immediately (hence the enforcer showing up at the bar) – but in return, Johnny will have to be the one to locate Drew Thompson or die trying. Not one to let others hatch plans all around him, though, Boyd gets in touch with Nick Augustine, Tonin's right-hand man played by Mike O'Malley, and points out that since he so easily duped Wynn, he might be the man he should be working with, not just in the Thompson affair but after. Augustine tells him they'll talk when he has Thompson, but Boyd asks for a loan of sorts – and soon, Boyd has Lee Manners, Johns, and Judge Executive Furry over to the bar for a little come-to-Jesus meeting in which he tells them that the bland guy who hit on Ava last week is dead, and also that Detroit has fixed it so their influence among state authorities and judges is gone. He basically then gives them the Justified version of Walter White's "I am the one who knocks" speech before hitting them each up for a hundred grand and the presence of a Dairy Queen in Harlan, which is so amazing I can't even take it in. Ava expresses concern at the magnitude of the friends and enemies Boyd is making, but he assures her he can handle it. I don't necessarily doubt him, but I can't help picturing those words on his gravestone.
So Raylan apparently didn't even break for lunch before coming to see Hunter, who comes in and immediately asks, "Hasn't anybody killed you yet?" This is both a reasonable question and an auspicious start. Raylan affably tells him not to sound so disappointed, and they exchange a bit more of whatever passes for banter between an attempted murderer and victim before Hunter asks Raylan's errand, and Raylan tells him it concerns Drew Thompson. Hunter initially plays dumb, but clarifies that Raylan is broaching the subject a little too casually, considering he heard Josiah lost a foot over the business. Raylan promises Hunter protection, which doesn't stop Hunter's progress toward the door -- but then Raylan informs him that there's someone else at the prison considering a deal for "Club Fed," and Hunter listens up as Raylan goes on that the deal is first come, first served and "last time we spoke you said you weren't too happy with your circumstances."
Hunter, no fool, asks if the other possible informant shares a last name with Raylan, and even though Raylan tries to pull a Jackie Nevada poker face, Hunter goes on that he knows Arlo is in there -- he did murder a trustee, after all. He notes that Raylan apparently wants to screw Arlo's deal so bad that he's willing to play ball with Hunter, and when Raylan replies that he likes Hunter better, Hunter points out that he tried to kill him. Raylan: "I still like you better." Hee. Raylan doesn't give specifics, but he tells Hunter that Thompson is "done" regardless of what happens between them, and besides, even if Hunter doesn't care about the deal, maybe there's enough lawman still in him to motivate him to help? Hunter, however, thinks Raylan's only a lawman when it's convenient -- "gives you cover to do things you would have done anyways." You'd think this would hit a nerve, given his little side job and how incredibly pear-shaped it all went, but Raylan merely points out that Hunter's one to talk, given that he "sold his badge to a drug cartel."
Raylan goes on that if he cracks this case, he'll be able to write his own ticket; Hunter doesn't think Raylan ever cared about rank, but Raylan drops the façade juuuuust a little bit as he replies that priorities change. He asks if Hunter wants the deal, and Hunter's face likewise goes serious...
...while someone else not looking particularly light is Boyd, who is sitting as Johns draws him a map of the mine owner Frank Browning's house. Boyd is naturally dismissive of someone with no practical experience telling him how to break and enter, but Johns makes it clear that Boyd needs to pull off the job between two and five PM. Upon being asked why, he says it's because Browning's wife "Trish" will be out of the house then, and he wouldn't want her to end up as collateral damage, but Boyd of course thinks that committing the crime in daylight will make it much more likely he'll end up caught or even killed, and wonders if that might be welcome for Johns and his associates? Johns, however, disabuses him of that notion by saying he's got a boy to do his lawn and one to do his shoes. "And you, you are gonna be the boy who takes out my trash." There, don't you feel better? Johns goes on that if he wanted to put Boyd into the hands of the law, he's got plenty of favor-owing judges and troopers who would be more than willing to help, and if Boyd doesn't kill Browning by the end of the week or even tries to "act smart," that's what's going to happen. Well, I'm not saying Boyd isn't going to kill Browning, but the odds on him acting smart I'd say on general principles are pretty high.