Spoilers are bleeding out all over the place for Justified’s “Fugitive Number One,” so be warned.

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It pains me every single time I talk about Justified, knowing that it’ll be gone by the middle of April, exiting with what I hope is a masterpiece of a finale. Tonight’s episode made some enormous changes to the show’s lineup, and I’m not just talking about Art shaving his Velcro-stubble. Audiences said goodbye – or rather, ohmygodohmygod – to Katherine Hale and Mikey, two characters I somehow thought would live longer than Boyd, and Carl, who lasted longer than I’d have guessed. I’d say R.I.P., but I don’t really care if any of these characters are peaceful at this point.

It’s not even just that they died, is it? It’s the brutal manner in which they were each taken out. Let’s go in the order of severity, shall we?

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Carl. As one of Boyd’s latest henchmen, Carl was mostly a grimy dick who stood in stark opposition to his dim-witted (and somewhat kind-hearted) younger brother Earl. It was their bond that kept them tight during this hectic-ass Season 6, and it was a threat on Earl’s life that put Carl in the hospital room with Boyd. Here, the magical Crowder tongue not only talked Carl out of killing him, but even managed to woo the gun out of Carl’s hands, which Boyd then used to murder his “friend.” I mean, this happened AFTER Carl learned that Boyd set him and Earl up to be arrested. Blind devotion is one thing, but this was just stupidity to the Harlanth degree. Can’t wait to see if Earl tries (and fails miserably) to get revenge at some point.

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Katherine. I don’t think for a single second that Katherine ever saw her future as anything but “rich and drunk somewhere far from Kentucky,” with Boyd, Duffy and Markham in her rear-view mirror, living or dead. But her attempt to kill the handcuffed rat Duffy was interrupted by the flip-floppingly loyal Mikey, whose misguided actions were what brought Katherine to the RV in the first place. After a brutal brawl, Katherine’s throat got bashed in, and I had to physically will myself to start breathing again afterward. Suddenly, her magnificent engagement ring didn’t mean a goddamned thing anymore, except maybe to a pawn-friendly Duffy. I’ll definitely miss Mary Steenburgen’s form of villainous class, and the look on Markham’s face when Raylan announced her death was one of the show’s most pierced reactions.

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Mikey. Seriously, though, Mikey jumped to the lead in terms of hardcore badassery in the Justified ranks. If Raylan or Boyd ends up dying in the next two episodes, there’s no way they go down fighting like Mikey did. He took five blistering gunshots to the body in an effort to keep Duffy safe, and still managed to WWE bodyslam Katherine onto the table and then kill her. That blood on the ceiling and that blood dripping through the bullethole in the table…well, I think Duffy is going to need a new home. Let me take back my original thought. R.I.P. Mikey Michael. You were a soldier. One who could have easily avoided this fate by sticking to his code and leaving Duffy behind, but a soldier nonetheless.

Who will bite the bullet on Justified next week? Ava? Zachariah? Tim? Regardless of if or how any of these characters make it, can we please see Boon die by drowning in a bathtub of his own bullshit?

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