"Justified" The Gunfighter (TV Episode 2012) - Plot Summary Poster

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  • The arrival of a dangerous new player in Lexington puts Raylan on a collision course with a sadistic Dixie Mafia hitman.

  • Still recovering from his gunshot, Raylan takes himself off of desk duty when one of Wynn Duffy's associates is involved in a murder. Meanwhile, Ava takes over Boyd's business while he is back in jail.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • Winona (Natalie Zea) drives away from town when she is pulled over by a police car. The Kentucky State Police Officer (Michael Broderick) informs her that it's a "courtesy stop" as the ex-Mrs. Givens has been called back to town by Deputy U.S. Marshal Art Mullen. Later, she walks purposely toward Art (Nick Searcy), who explains that Givens has been shot but is still alive. "He's a lucky son of a gun," Art says. Winona then walks into the hospital room to find Givens sleeping.

    Three weeks later:

    Givens takes target practice -- and winces not just at the pain in his side, but also at his poor marksmanship. Later, Givens arrives at his desk to find Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins) waiting. Boyd explains that Ava, like Givens, is "healing." Givens then questions Boyd about a flurry of activity after the death of Mags. Turns out the marijuana stash was raided and the various storehouses were overturned -- as if somebody was looking for something. Boyd, naturally, denies all knowledge before demanding that the Deputy Marshal hand over Dickie Bennett as he had agreed to when Boyd rescued Raylan, who was hanging upside down from a tree, from a beating by Dickie. Givens, naturally, refuses -- sending Boyd into a fury. He punches Givens and a grappling match ensues. It concludes when the tussling pair burst through the glass in Art's office. A still angry Boyd is dragged away by other Deputy Marshals.

    Later, we meet Robert Quarles (Neal McDonough), an icy man representing the criminal bosses in Detroit who visits the real estate offices of Emmett Arnett (Steven Flynn) to demand payment on a debt. Emmett agrees to pay within 24 hours and then, after Robert exits, asks a dangerous looking hoodlum named Nix (Desmond Harrington) if he wants a job. Nix agrees.

    At Boyd's house, Arlo (Raymond J. Barry) and Devil (Kevin Rankin) are offering burlap sacks of marijuana for sale. Ava (Joelle Carter) arrives. "You figure Boyd's locked up so you might as well go into business for yourself?" she asks Devil. Devil tells her not to worry about it. He then becomes furious when the potential buyer from Memphis, Rodney "Hot Rod" Dunham (Mickey Jones), notes that the marijuana, having been bagged damp, is rotten with mold -- it's value having plummeted from more than $100,000 to maybe $2,000-$3,000 after sitting in the shed out back for three weeks. Oops! These boys clearly need Boyd, after all.

    Later that night, Givens and Winona cuddle in bed after making love. Givens suggests looking for a house for their future family. They can't stay in the motel forever.

    Using a hijacked pizza delivery man as a front, Nix breaks into the house of the well-to-do Delmer Coates (Richard Lineback) to steal a safe full of expensive watches. Nix explains that he easily disabled the house's security system because he was one who installed it. He then plays a sadist "game" with the home-owner, who is quickly shot to death, along with the hapless pizza man soon after. Nix takes the watches and exits.

    The next day, Deputy U.S. Marshal Tim Gutterson (Jacob Pitts) approaches Givens with news of the killings, explaining that the security system was installed by Wynn Duffy's company. Givens very reluctantly agrees to escort Tim to Wynn's offices in a single-wide trailer.

    "It'd be so much easier to just beat a confession out of me, wouldn't it, Raylan?" Wynn (Jere Burns) taunts. Tim asks if Wynn ever employed a criminal named Fletcher Nix, known as "the Ice Pick." Wynn refuses to answer any questions and, after the authorities leave, calls Emmett to ask why they're asking about Nix. Wynn then warns Emmett that Givens will soon be looking for him. Later, Ava visits Boyd in prison and explains that marijuana has gone bad. Boyd is disappointed -- then orders her to burn it all lest it attract any more unwanted attention.

    Givens goes to Emmett's office. After unwittingly riding up in the elevator with Nix, Givens is met by Yvette (Jennifer Birmingham Lee), Emmett's secretary/lover. She takes Givens to a nearby bar and starts talking. She explains that Emmett's clients are creepy -- especially some new guy named Nix. She then says that Emmett and Nix are scheduled to meet later that evening at a cab stand. Givens urges the woman to quit her job as Emmett is heading for a fall. Later Yvette goes outside to meet Quarles for whom she was working all along, passing Givens the exact information Quarles wanted planted.

    Back at the office, Givens explains to Art that the information from Yvette came easy -- almost too easy. But Art assures Givens that "we'll be fine."

    At Boyd's house, Ava tells Devil and Arlo to burn the weed. "Those are Boyd's orders," she explains. "You ignore Boyd and I get ornery." To make her point, Ava bashes Devil in the nose with skillet. Her point is taken.

    Tim, Rachel Brooks (Erica Tazel) and Art, meanwhile, stake out the spot where Nix and Emmett were supposedly meeting. A black SUV pulls up and the man inside, an Emmett employee sent by his boss, has a gun. He is immediately surrounded by cops after being approached by a suspicious-looking character. Nix, nearby in a cab, pulls away unnoticed.

    Givens and Winona return "home" to their motel room to find Nix waiting with the drop on them. He orders Givens to carefully put his pistol and holster on the ground before sitting down across the table from Givens and asking Winona to count to 10. Nix lays the gun on the table, explaining that Givens is free to reach for it when Winona reaches zero. It's the same game he played with the home-owner earlier, having sadistically pinned his hand to the table with an ice pick before shooting him to death.

    Winona reaches two as Nix reaches for his concealed ice pick, intending to pull the same stunt on Givens when the Deputy U.S. Marshal reaches for the Nix's gun.

    Givens, however, anticipates the ploy. He yanks the table cloth toward him, making Nix lunge, and then easily shoots Nix with his own gun as Nix impales the table with his ice pick. "Sorry about your tablecloth," Givens tells Winona.

    Quarles meets with Emmett and Wynn. "You had a good thing going here, Emmett, but you let go of the rope," Robert says before shooting Emmett and then Yvette. He turns to Wynn. "You know me now?" Quarles asks. A shaken Wynn can barely speak: "Yeah." Quarles exits, leaving Wynn alive -- at least for the moment.

    Later, Dickie Bennett (Jeremy Davies) and a disheveled Dewey Crowe (Damon Herriman) wait in line in prison when the former's eyes suddenly go wide. A guard is escorting Boyd into the facility. Boyd looks meaningfully at Dickie as he passes, on his way to his cell. Uh oh.

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