|Season 6, Episode 7|
|Air date||March 3, 2015|
|Written by||Taylor Elmore and Keith Schreier|
|Directed by||John Dahl|
|U.S. Viewers||1.73 million|
"Dark as a Dungeon"
"The Hunt" is the seventh episode of the sixth season, and the 72nd episode in the series overall. It was written by Taylor Elmore and Keith Schreier and directed by John Dahl. It first aired on March 3, 2015.
A visit from his baby daughter threatens to pull Raylan away from the hunt for a dangerous fugitive. Boyd, having learned that Ava's been lying to him, takes her on a hunting trip that she may never come back from.
Deputy U.S. Marshals Raylan Givens, Tim Gutterson and Nelson Dunlop, under the command of Rachel Brooks, are at one of the road blocks trying to apprehend fugitive Ty Walker. When Rachel gives out assignments, Raylan begs off because "I got a thing." She reluctantly lets him go with the admonishment to not take on Walker alone if he "happens" across the wounded mercenary.
Walker is in bad shape, having pulled off the road somewhere. He calls Seabass and tells him to put Markham on the speaker as well. Informing the boss that the mission didn't go well and that he needs an extraction, he tells them he's holed up in a certain church and signs off. When Seabass heads out to track Walker's phone's GPS signal, Markham stops him and calmly tells Ty's former sergeant that "he's burned, and we both know that he's not going to be where he says he is." Deliberately placing four stacks each of $5,000 on the desk between them, Markham tells the undecided man that he's "buying your loyalty." Seabass hesitates, then slowly takes the money to sell out his former military commanding officer.
Boyd, displaying no hint of the information Ellstin Limehouse had just given him on the phone, romances Ava who's cleaning up in the kitchen after dinner. Embracing her around the waist, he purrs in her ear that he's thrown some of her things in a suitcase and that they are going up to his daddy's cabin in the mountains. When Ava tries to beg off for a day, Boyd tells her, "Baby, I wasn't asking ... meet you in the truck in five."
Raylan lets himself into a guest cottage where Winona and his infant daughter, Willa, await him. As he holds his baby for the first time, his ex-wife says she knows he probably has to rush off. He tells her that he's not going anywhere, and Winona is pleasantly surprised.
Down in the No. 14 shaft looking at the "rotten boards," Carl and Zachariah argue about the next step in retrieving The Pig's body, and how the notification to his family should be made. Carl stands up to Zachariah and prevails.
Winona tells Raylan that Willa has a "Grade 4 heart murmur," one of the reasons they've returned to Kentucky, to visit a pediatric cardiologist who had been recommended. Then she raises the issue of their unsigned joint custody agreement, and how they are to proceed from there.
At the Crowder family cabin in Bulletville, as the couple starts to settle in, Boyd opens up a cache in the floor and pulls out "one of the last surviving bottles of the Pappy Van Winkle warehouse fire of '95." Even though Boyd had planned to keep the bottle unopened 'til the night he gets married, he opens it and coerces Ava into having a drink with him. She says she prefers they wait until their wedding night, she agrees to a sip. Then he looks at the engagement ring he'd given her and under the ruse of their writing their own marriage vows, says he wants to talk to her about "commitment, trust, loyalty... those are important words." Boyd briefly recounts his father's abuse of his mother, which leads Ava to recall how Boyd's brother Bowman used to beat on her. "Ava, have I ever hurt you in any way? I ain't my brother." "No," she retorts, "but you are a Crowder, aren't you!" The argument escalates to the point where Ava, at Boyd's insistence, hits him, with an open hand, twice. In return, he grabs her hard by the throat. Ava is terrified, but as he draws her closer to him and releases his grip, they kiss and begin frantically shedding clothes.
At a roadside comfort station, Walker enters and takes off his outer garment to reveal a painful entry wound to the rear to his upper right shoulder. He removes his Kevlar vest, locates the expended projectile lodged just under the skin, and with a pocket knife, digs it out of his upper arm. Making expedient field repairs with some antiseptic power and conveniently dispensed paper towels, he patches himself up just as there is an impatient pounding on the bolted door.
He opens it to discover a pair of college frat boys, a definitely drunk Chad, the other slightly less fueled by alcohol, both too dim to properly assess their circumstances. Troy, who had been pounding on the door, starts with "About time." Walker looks them up and down, and says "Let me guess... fraternity brothers?" This emboldens Troy, encouraged by the snickering of his beer-swilling pal Chad, to really get mouthy with Ty. The mercenary plays it straight in the exchange 'til Troy mocks his military service. Troy tries to push past Ty to answer the call of nature, but is blocked. "Begging the question," Ty says, his face inches away from the younger man, "will your brother step in... when I split your skull open." Troy quickly realizes that he's over-stepped, and looks like he might momentarily lose control of his bowels. "I was just kidding," he says in desperation. Ty suddenly smiles and allows as how he was kidding as well. Chad, still chugging beer, is oblivious to how messy thing has almost become. Eliciting the information that the two young men are on their way to Disney World, Ty says "Orlando, huh?" Handing them $300 in cash and the bloody ballistic vest, he directs them to deliver it to an old Army friend at their destination, adds some money for their "incidentals," gives them the address, then heads off to his own vehicle.
Back in the guest cottage, it's 3:00 am where Raylan and Winona are trying to talk above Willa's squirming and high volume fussing. With increasing exasperation, Winona is trying to elicit something concrete about her ex-husband's intentions while the Deputy U.S. Marshal tries to answer but seems incapable of verbalizing anything definite.
In the mountain cabin, it is still dark when a fully dressed Boyd awakens Ava with the news that she needs to get up and get dressed because it's the first day of Kentucky's razorback season. "We gonna bag us a shoat!" he says with enthusiasm.
At the guest cottage where Winona is getting a still fussing Willa ready for the day, Raylan returns with coffee for the two of them. Winona apologizes for going off on her ex-husband earlier, but is still exasperated at how exhausted she is with the duties of mothering their infant daughter. Raylan agrees to take her out for a ride-around with him so Winona can get some sleep. "What is this sleep you speak of?" she says.
Avery Markham sits alone in a conference room in the U.S. Marshals Lexington HQ, a huge screen with Ty Walker's driver's license and photo displayed on the wall behind him. Avery is impatiently drumming his fingers on the table when Art hobbles in on his cane. Art allows as how the man looks awfully familiar as he sits down across from him with his cup of coffee. When Markham identifies himself, Art is off and running, conversationally bringing up just about everything he knows or has heard rumors about Markham's activities, summoning up the names of Avery's old partner Grady Hale, and his widow Katherine now being involved with Avery, and U.S. Attorney Simon Poole's having his head blown off, and Poole's secret snitch. Markham doesn't rise to the provocations, but says that he's confused. "Are you calling me a murderer or you calling me a rat?" he asks Art. The two men play it cool, even as Art continues to prod the crime boss.
As Art leaves the encounter, he meets Raylan coming into the office with Willa. There ensues some snappy insult banter. Tim arrives, and along with additional snappy insult banter, reveals that he's tracking Walker's credit cards from one county to another, and then to Tennessee. Both U.S. Deputy Marshals are aware that someone else has possession of the credit cards at this point. Rachel and Nelson Dunlop arrive and more snappy insult banter ensues. Raylan follows her into her office pumping her for information on the manhunt, but she is not forthcoming. When her phone rings, she answers it, then has Raylan excuse himself so she can take the call in private.
In the middle of nowhere, Ty is trying to fix the overheating problem with his Mercedes sedan to no avail, and momentarily considers putting a pistol round through the hood in frustration. He reconsiders and tries to find someplace where his cell phone has a signal... when it does, he calls 9-1-1.
Boyd and Ava are deeper in the woods talking about different parts of their lives when he brings up the betrayals of his cousin Johnny Crowder and Devil. "If they were unhappy with their lot in my crew, why didn't they just come to me? I'm a reasonable man," he asks an uneasy Ava. "Maybe because they were afraid of what you were going to do to them," she answers quietly. "What you did to them." Boyd closes in on Ava as she takes two steps backward, and asks with dark intensity, "You scared of me?" With the bruises still visible on her throat, she says, "Sometimes."
The tension is temporarily broken by the grunt of a nearby boar. Boyd steps away, telling her, "Stay right there." He disappears as she calls after him. "Boyd?" she calls out fearfully and repeatedly. A gunshot is heard and Ava screams in fright. Panting, she weakly calls out his name again. He reappears at the edge of the clearing, laughing, and tells her to stay right there as he goes to get the truck. "First hog of the season... baby, we're gonna have us some pork tonight!" He lets out a whoop the way he once did when he'd blown up something in his Aryan days.
Raylan returns with Willa to find a freshly rested and dressed Winona. She thanks him for the respite from their daughter, and asks what they'd done together. Raylan tells her they'd driven around and went to the park for a little bit.... "Is that why the office called and said you'd left her pacifier there?" she asks straightforwardly. Busted, Raylan can only ask, "Did they wake you?" "Raylan," she says in the same tone, "you don't have to tell me stories. You know I trust you with her, don't you?" She levels with her ex-husband, that she knows him well enough to know how important work is with him, and she's accepted that.
Later, Willa asleep in her crib, she tells Raylan that she needs to come clean about something else, that when they were married and he was working late at night, she'd lie alone in bed worried that he would never come home again, and how unbearable and unfair it was, something Raylan acknowledges. She compares it with her present circumstances when she lies with Willa next to her at night and she knows that Raylan is not coming home. While she finds it a bit confusing, she's discovered that she thinks she liked it better the first way. Raylan is the one confused now. "Winona, are you saying...?" he starts, but she interrupts him. "I'm saying... Goddamnit... I'm saying that I love you and I miss you and I want you to come home and I don't care where home is. I don't care if it's here or in Miami or in the hills. It doesn't matter to me. But if you want it, I want you by my side raising our daughter. So I guess what I'm saying is you can be with me and still be you... if that's something you want."
(The man is never going to get a better deal than that... can he possibly screw it up?)
It certainly caught Raylan off-guard, but before he can answer, his cellphone goes off. He looks at the display, sees it Rachel and says he'll let it ring through to voicemail. "Did you not hear a word I just said?" Winona says. "Answer it!"
Rachel tells him that they've tracked Ava's phone and that she is up at Bulletville where Boyd has a cabin. "Any reason she'd go to it?" the acting Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal asks. When Raylan says he can't think of one and acknowledges that he hasn't heard from her in a day or so. There is an expectant silence from Rachel, and Raylan tells her he's going to need some more time, but that he'll stay by his phone. A displeased Rachel sighs and tells him, "Get here when you can." Raylan and Winona embrace and kiss. It's a long one, and when she straddles him and pushes him back on the bed, it appears that marital-type relations are about to be resumed.
The requested assistance arrives in the form of an ambulance and two EMTs, driver Abraham and Dorr. Ty Walker tries to point them up the hill where he insists that his brother has fallen and is bleeding from a head wound. In turn, they insist that they attend to his injured arm and shoulder first, and that protocol requires that they call in a medivac in case the brother's injury is serious. As Dorr prepares a syringe with what he asserts is an antibiotic, Ty is able to identify it as a sedative. Ty overpowers him, knocks him to the ground and empties the syringe into his upper back. He quickly figures out that there's an all-points description of him on the air, and that the two EMTs have recognized him as the object of the manhunt. He shoots the stricken Dorr twice in the back, then turns his attention to Abraham who pleads for a non-lethal resolution to his predicament. "All I wanted was that kit to patch myself up," a frantic Ty says, "and they send me a pair of heroes." Now in a kill mode, he shoots the hapless Abraham three times, then for good measure once more in the face. He grabs their medical bag and takes off on foot.
Back at the boar hunt, Boyd has fully dressed his kill and is cooking it over an open fire. Ava's not hungry. When he asks her if she believes in God, she decides it's time to stop the cat and mouse act. "Why'd you bring me up here, Boyd?" He gives her an obviously B.S. answer, and she calls him on it, telling him to say whatever it is he has to say. Just then her cellphone rings and the words start flying. He tells her that he knows that she ran, that Limehouse gave her up on that, and that someone helped her get away from Errol and it wasn't just Constable Bob, and then he comes home to find Raylan in her kitchen. "So how about you come out, and say what you got to say?" Ava pauses, then tell him, "I'm a snitch." Boyd is in disbelief, but she continues. "I'm Raylan's C.I. I sold you out, Boyd." Apparently stunned, he stalks around the clearing in thought. When he draws his pistol, Ava wants to know if he intends to kill her. "That it, you gonna kill me now?" She launches into an anguished defense of her actions, essentially that Boyd left her in prison where she had to fight for her life every day, that the only deals he made, he made for himself, "I was going to die in prison, Boyd," she tells him, "don't tell me that you wouldn't have done the same Goddamn thing yourself!" Boyd's sole response? "You sleeping with Raylan Givens?" Ava is incredulous, but Boyd repeats the question, rushing across the clearing and thrusting his pistol into her hands. "'Cause if you are, just put a bullet right in my head!" he says melodramatically tapping fiercely on his forehead! "No!" cries Ava, near tears. "It's you! It's always been you!" she cries, thrusting the handgun back at him. "Take that and do whatever you got to do!" Boyd steps back and holds his face in his hands, telling her "I let you down and I'm sorry. I understand what you did... why you did it. I still ... love you!" His passion and conviction evokes the same declaration from Ava.
He asks her to trust him, to tell him everything she's told Raylan, so that they can get them out of the mess they're in. He focuses on the trust issue and has a sincere Ava swearing absolute fealty to the Harlan gangster. He breaks away for a moment to return to his truck where he swaps out the empty magazine in the pistol he'd given Ava for a loaded one. He looks darkly back across the clearing where Ava is trying to pull herself together.
Winona and Willa are packed and dressed for their trip back to Florida, and are exchanging goodbyes with Raylan. "So, we going to do this, then?" she says, and he responds, "I don't see how we don't try." They joke about the odds of their success. He kisses both his ladies. "See you soon?" Winona asks. "Yeah," Raylan tells her. "Yes, you will."
- Created by Dean Speir for IMDb
- No first appearances.
- Dorr - An EMT attempting to turn Ty Walker into the police when a BOLO is placed on him. Shot twice in the back by Walker.
- Abraham - An EMT attempting to turn Ty Walker into the police when a BOLO is placed on him. Shot to death by Walker.
- Timothy Olyphant as Raylan Givens
- Nick Searcy as Art Mullen
- Jere Burns as Wynn Duffy (credit only)
- Joelle Carter as Ava Crowder
- Jacob Pitts as Tim Gutterson
- Erica Tazel as Rachel Brooks
- Walton Goggins as Boyd Crowder
- Sam Elliott as Avery Markham
- Garret Dillahunt as Ty Walker
- Justin Welborn as Carl Lennon
- Jeff Fahey as Zachariah Randolph
- Scott Grimes as Seabass
- Natalie Zea as Winona Hawkins
- Austin Bowerman as Chad
- Mel Fair as Nelson Dunlop
- Nick Fink as Troy
- Ron Morehouse as Thin EMT
- Chris Warner as Husky EMT
- Unknown as Willa Givens