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Season 6, Episode 5
Air date February 17, 2015
Written by Dave Andron and Leonard Chang
Directed by Jon Avnet
U.S. Viewers 1.73 million
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"Sounding" is the fifth episode of the sixth season, and the 70th episode in the series overall. It was written by Dave Andron and Leonard Chang and directed by Jon Avnet. It first aired on February 17, 2015.



When Ava makes a drastic decision, Raylan turns to an old friend for help. A suspicious Duffy looks into Ava's release from prison.


Boyd and Ava are returning to Harlan, discussing a revised strategy for their future. As Boyd places a cellphone call to Carl to arrange for security for Ava, they come to a Kentucky State Police check-point. Two Officers talk to both of the truck's occupants before letting them go through, then walk across the road to where Raylan and Tim have remained out of sight of the highway traffic. Raylan questions the Officer who'd spoken to Ava and asked how the woman had seemed... "On edge," was the reply. Raylan thanks the KSP Officers who go off to strike the check-point, and tells Tim to head off to Lexington post haste and get together with ex-jail guard Albert Fekus before he screws up the cover-story on Ava's release from prison.

Katherine Hale is minding two grandchildren, Thomas and Fia, when Wynn Duffy knocks and gains entrance to her hotel suite. They discuss their primary concern out of hearing of the children, and Wynn tells her that he has a man on Fekus' house to alert him if any law enforcement shows up to move or question him. If so, then they will know that Ava's release from the system was bogus, and that she's acting as an informant. If not, then they will question the man themselves. "You know," Katherine tells Wynn, "the last time I worried about someone being an informant was when Grady went away." Wynn assures her that they "will settle that as well" — meaning Avery Markham. "I like Ava," Katherine says with a certain wistfulness, "Be a shame to have to kill her."

Back home, Ava has cooked a delighted Boyd some pancakes, eggs, ham, biscuits and gravy for breakfast. Before she rushes off to an early call at her salon job, she tells Boyd that if he really believes they can have a life together in Harlan, "then I am behind you!" She's clearly stressed and very nervous when Boyd delays her exit by sitting her down at the breakfast table, taking a ring from his watch fob and slipping it on her third finger. They have a moment before she says she'll see him that evening and leaves.

As exits the driveway, she calls Raylan as soon as she is out of sight of the house. He wants to meet her at "the junkyard." Again she is at the end of her tether and despite Raylan's assurances, she wants out of her undercover role. Raylan tells her that she can't quit yet, and based on the paucity of the information she's provided to date, she'll probably have to go back to prison. That's the final straw... Ava flips out, hangs up and throws her cellphone out the window. 

In Lexington, as Tim and Rachel approach the house where Albert lives with his mother, they spot Wynn's man Trig surveilling the Fekus home, and proceed cautiously, anticipating Wynn's and Katherine's plan.

Wynn and his ever-present gunman Mikey are playing Scrabble when Trig calls in to report that Albert Fekus is on the move. Wynn instructs Trip to follow the man and report his actions.

Raylan is waiting, in vain, at the junkyard for Ava. When he calls in a request for a location on her cellphone and is told that it's "beside the road" and hasn't moved in half an hour, the Deputy U.S. Marshal knows what that portends. "Shit," he exclaims. He stomps around a bit muttering darkly to himself, then puts in a call to Constable Bob Sweeney asking for his confidential help in locating Ava. Bob, remembering the stunning former Ava Randolph from their school days, agrees enthusiastically. Raylan tells him where she'd gone once before when she was on the run. 

Sure enough, Ava is in Nobles Holler with Ellstin Limehouse, pleading for his assistance in getting her a fresh vehicle with which to distance herself from.... "Boyd or the law, or both," Limehouse correctly assesses, and takes a hard line refusing the woman in distress when she offers a wad of cash, and even the ring Boyd had slipped on her finger that very morning. When she ups the ante to "a lot more money," Limehouse gets interested. He has heard about a certain bank robbery associated with Boyd, and when she plays into that, he asks her why, if she has access to that kinds of money, had she come up to his place for a car, she tells him truthfully that she doesn't want anyone coming after her, especially Boyd. "I just want to disappear; I just want to be left alone," she says, plaintively. Limehouse thinks long and hard before signaling with his hat to one of his men, who joins them. "You remember Errol, don't you?" he says, "you tell him where to get the money, and he'll take you to a friend's garage." They bicker a bit about the sequence of things, the money or the car. Finally, Limehouse relents, accompanied by a dire warning if he discovers that Ava is playing him.

Boyd is at home doing paperwork when Carl returns to report that he'd carried Boyd's message far and wide for other property owners to not accept Markham's money, along with a lethal threat about what would happen if they did. The discussion evolves between Carl, "The Pig" and Boyd about how they are going to break into Markham's vault below the Pizza Portal. Carl is dubious about their drilling an underground shaft or tunnel, but Boyd, while enumerating the dangers, is confident that it can be done, with the help of yet another party who, the last time Boyd had seem him, had threatened to fill him full of buckshot.

Seabass is explaining to Choo-Choo and Ty Walker that people all over Harlan are refusing "suitcases full of cash" for their land. Ty surmises that the landowners are being coerced by someone. Choo-Choo is distracted by the waitress/bartender Natalie he has been observing who he is sure is skimming cash from the business. Ty tells him not to worry about that and stay focused on the much bigger picture. Choo-Choo has a simple solution: "People don't want to sell, kill 'em!" Markham walks in and heads to the basement as Walker follows. They have a discussion about the reluctance of people to sell, and as they try to figure out who the bigger obstacle is, Raylan or Boyd, Markham notes that those are "two very different animals requiring two very different methods of problem-solving." The other issue he focuses on is how the obstructionists know just which properties Markham's men are targeting. Walker is confident that he knows where the leak is, and assures his boss that he will address it. When he interrupts his exit and asks for "permission to speak freely," Markham cuts him off and tells his crew boss that he should know exactly what the objective is, and just to get it done. Always the good soldier, Walker turns on his heel with a "Very well sir!" and leaves.

Carl, pistol at the ready, and Boyd approach a run-down property with what appears to be junk all over the yard. Boyd scolds Carl mildly and tells him to put the gun away. Boyd, a quart of liquor in hand, steps on the porch and knocks loudly on the door. When a voice from within demands to know who it is, Boyd identifies himself. There is a pause before Zachariah Randolph , short-barreled 12 gauge at the ready, angrily flings open the door and steps menacingly onto the porch. He seems intent on shooting Boyd, who tries his hardest to get Zachariah to hear him out. As he exercises his usual gift for gab, he places the bottle on the porch in front of the man, who considers the situation, then carefully picking up the peace offering, chuckles derisively, steps back into the house and slams the door on Boyd. He explains to Carl that the man is Ava's uncle who has never forgiven Boyd's late brother Bowman for how he treated Ava. Carl astutely notes, "Doesn't seem like that bottle is gonna get it done." "No, it doesn't," Boyd says, opening up his cellphone. "Time to bring in the big guns."

Ava and Errol are driving, arguing something Ava thought had already been settled: which comes first, the car or the money. As they drive down Harlan's main drag on their way to the Pizza Portal, Constable Bob spots them and reports to Raylan that he's been all over them since they'd left Nobles Holler. Raylan warns Bob to be careful, and Bob, brimming as always with enormous confidence, responds, "Man, I was born for this shit"

In a motel room, Albert is setting out a pair of champagne flutes and a vase of flowers when there is a knock in the door. Albert happily strides to open it only to find Wynn Duffy and Mikey. "I think you guys got the wrong room," he says pleasantly, but the two gangsters walk right in, letting Albert know they know who he is, why he is there, and that they are there for a conversation. Wynn withdraws his pistol and places it on the arm of the cheap arm chair he sits down in. "We're here to talk about Ava Crowder," Wynn says matter-of-factly.

Boyd, backed by Carl, The Pig, and Earl, all with their hands in the air, stand outside Zachariah's house and hail him to come out. "I just want to show you something," Boyd says. Zachariah lurches out onto the front porch, clutching the already half empty bottle of bourbon, and seems prepared to listen. Boyd holds up his cellphone and directs Zachariah's attention to the screen which displays a pending electronic transfer of $10,000. "All I need is your account number and to hit the send button," Boyd cajoles the man, swaying woozily on his porch. When he asks what manner of work Boyd has for him, the glib persuader tells him, "The only manner of work you live for!"

Back at the motel, Wynn is interrogating Albert about the circumstances of Ava's release. He sticks to the script the U.S. Marshals have prepared for him as Tim and Rachel watch and listen from an adjoining room, guns are the ready in case they have to effect a quickie rescue. Wynn and Mikey are dubious about Albert's credibility, and at Wynn's instruction, Mikey applies "a good old fashioned cattle prod." Albert somehow withstands eight 2 million volt jolts from the device before Wynn decides his story is genuine.

When the two members of the Dixie Mafia leave, Rachel and Tim enter from the adjoining room and congratulate Albert on his convincing performance. "Took that shit like a man," Tim says as he fist-bumps the reluctant former jail guard. "Uncle Sam thanks you for your service."

In Harlan, Ava tells Errol to pull over, that she needs to get a shovel with which he can dig up the money. Errol insists on accompanying her into the hardware store, and proves impossible for her to ditch even when she says she's going to the rest room.

Outside Raylan pulls up behind Bob's impressive new vehicle and slips into the passenger's seat. He explains that, because Ava is his confidential informant, he needs Bob to go in the store and get Errol outside so that he can ease in the back way and get Ava out. "Um, Errol's a big guy," Bob says. "What if he don't listen to me?" "Well, you got a badge and a set of balls, don't you?" Raylan says. When Bob nods in affirmation, he says, "There you go... use those," and exits the car. "Hell yeah, I got a badge," Bob says to himself. "And I got balls like Death Stars. Let's do this!"

Inside, Errol is still sticking to Ava every step of the way as they go to pay Hardware Mike for the shovel. Bob approaches them and uses a flimsy excuse to try to get Errol outside, but has no more success than Ava had in her dealing with the man. Errol becomes bellicose with the constable until a retreating Bob is forced to taze him to the ground, unconscious. Raylan takes hold of Ava's arm and instructs Bob to apologize to Errol after he regains consciousness, tell him it was all a big misunderstanding and let him go. 

Zachariah, Boyd and his crew are tromping down a shallow stream loaded down with picks, shovels and a heavy-duty circular saw until they get to the entrance to the abandoned Number 14 Obsidian Mine shaft. By this time Zachariah is positively voluble, talking about mining history, much of which he shares with Boyd.

Raylan takes Ava for a ride out into a deserted spot outside of Harlan, interrogating her about her actions that day, pressing her about her thoughts as to why she tried to take off, and what her plan was. Raylan paints the desperate and confused woman a grim picture of what her life on the run would be with no money and without a new identity. She's so dejected that Raylan relents a bit.

Back at ol' No. 14 with Boyd and Zachariah directing the crew's actions, they warn about sparks from the power saw setting off the trapped methane. Forewarned, they continue trying to cut the bolts holding the heavy iron shaft cover when a low rumbling sound is heard. Zachariah yells for everyone to get out of there, but Earl is a step too slow, and when there is an explosion and the cover blows into the creek, he goes with it. Aside from some temporary deafness, though, the quintet of criminals are intact, and are forced to take some time to relax while the shaft "vents for a few hours." 

Calhoun escorts Caprice to the door of his office and pays her off after their date. As she exits, Seabass and Choo-Choo enter and force the realtor to sit down while Seabass, with a high degree of intimidation, interrogates him about how anyone else found out which properties Markham's people were targeting. Calhoun knows he's in a situation but very calmly asserts that he has no idea. Seabass casually directs Choo-Choo to deliver "a starter tap" to the man. A powerful punch is delivered instead, and Calhoun drops face-forward onto the floor, dead. Confirming the man's state, an angry Seabass reproaches his associate. "What the hell, man? I said 'a starter tap!'" "You want him slapped like a little girl," the enormous Choo-Choo replies, "you do it! All right? You ask me, he gets Amtrak-ed!"

Ava enters her kitchen with a bag of groceries, closely followed by Raylan. They are still arguing, and Raylan is trying to get her to agree not to run again. Ava is still rattled about her situation, and accuses him of only caring about building his case against Boyd. Raylan insists that his overriding interest is in finishing what the two of them started. Ava softens a bit, and demands $100,000 in cash and a place somewhere out of the country, and no Witness Relocation Program! Raylan thinks that $50,000 is a more realistic goal, but promises "I will find you a place where you are safe, you can be happy, and where you can start over. Now isn't that what you want?" Ava is searching his face, trying to determine the level of trust she can invest in her former lover. "You going to take care of me? Like you did when you came to my door after Bowman? The answer to my prayers?" she chuckles derisively. There is a moment when each look at one another, then Ava grabs him and kisses him. Raylan doesn't fully respond, but doesn't push her away.

Her cellphone buzzes. "It's Boyd," Ava says. "He should be back soon. You should go." Raylan looks at her a second, then says, "If you don't mind, I was thinking I'd just stick around for a bit."

- Created by Dean Speir for IMDb


First Appearances[]

  1. Zachariah Randolph - Ava Crowder's uncle who holds strong resentment toward the Crowder family due to Ava's abuse at the hands of Bowman. Zachariah is recruited by Boyd to help get inside of a mine shaft, which is 187 yards from the bank vault inside of the Pizza Portal.


  1. Calhoun Schrier - Punched in the head by Choo-Choo while being interrogated.



Starring cast

Guest stars