“Peace of Mind” followed many paths that the show has travelled in the past, but effectively put a new twist on familiar ground. Like “Decoy,” the episode concerned a hunt for one individual; except this time Boyd, Augustine and Givens were after Ellen May rather than Drew. Like “Decoy,” there was a constant threat (and enactment) of violence.
The tension provided a warm simmer rather than last week’s ferocious boil. Colt and Ava used the episode to reflect on who they truly were – in Colt’s case, for the very last time. The more controlled, aloof camerawork suited the change in mood. Raylan was the odd one out, acting without forethought or reflection and – suggested by the final, chilling moment – likely to pay a cost for his arrogance.
As the penultimate episode of this excellent season, it also reminded me of how comprehensively the show has righted itself after season three. Season three had a lot to recommend it, but too often struggled to juggle the countless narrative balls the writers had tossed into the air. “Peace of Mind” has the confidence to resolve hanging plotlines and character arcs while still providing momentum to push the season forward to the finale.