Justified Season Five Review: Restitution -Miss this episode? Watch it here
By Penny Clift
This season of Justified has been a hodge podge of meandering storylines and head scratching plots. But here we are at the end and finally some of the storylines come together. This episode lays the groundwork for the last season and it proves me right. We have spent the last five seasons heading to a Raylan and Boyd showdown. Rather ironic since we had that showdown in Season One. Rather unfortunately, Boyd survived that encounter and made Justified a different show.
Compared to former season finales, Restitution falls short. It does not deliver the tension nor the excitement of the past finales. Its sole purpose is tying up all the endless stories the writers have tried to weave this season.
Let’s see how it all plays out for our characters.
Thankfully the Crowes have flown the coop. This bunch was never worthy of a whole season as antagonists for Raylan. They are dumb, crude and inept. A little bit of Crowe goes a long way.
Darryl dying by Wendy’s hand is supposed to shock us I would guess but given this clan’s penchant for killing each other it really doesn’t. Raylan set this one up and got his restitution without firing a shot. Cold but effective. Art’s would be assassin paid the ultimate price.
I did have a few problems with the belief factor. Given Darryl’s character, I find it hard to believe he confessed to Wendy. He seemed suspicious of her as soon as she entered the room. Confession didn’t strike me as one of Darryl’s weak points.
Like Raylan’s jeans? Get your own here
This episode did give us one of the best scenes of the season. Raylan’s chat with Kendall was classic Justified. Not only does Raylan show Wendy how wrong she is about Kendall, he gives us a glimpse into himself. His story about Arlo forcing him to shoot the pig, is both poignant and heartbreaking. Raylan is a man damaged from childhood. His resentment and anger at his father made him the man he is today. Even Raylan isn’t sure if he became a marshal because he didn’t want to be like his father or if he did it because he knew his father would hate it.
Love the Raylan look? Get the shirt here
Raylan looks across the table at Kendall and he sees himself. Both trapped by their circumstances growing up and both hating the world in which they found themselves, surrounded by cruelty and killing and knowing it is not who they want to be.
I believe Raylan wants to give Kendall the same chance for a different life that his Aunt Helen gave him. It was a wonderful scene and Timothy Olyphant played it beautifully. Olyphant portrays more emotion with a look than Walton Goggins can portray in 3 pages of flowery dialogue. He lets you see into Raylan’s soul with an expression. If they only send one scene for Emmy consideration, this should be the one.
Thank goodness the Orange is the New Black, portion of the show is over. I hated this storyline. It made no sense from Ava never having a trial to a murder a day in prison. The story was out of place and did not flow with the rest of the show.
Ava is out thanks to Raylan. She keeps him informed of Boyd’s activities and she remains free. I hope Raylan doesn’t trust her too much. Ava is disillusioned with Boyd after he seemingly abandoned her to her fate. Time will see if that feeling lasts.
Watch the Best Season of Justified. Get it here
Rachel and Tim
This episode saw more of Marshals Rachel and Tim than the entire season. They get lured into an ambush by Boyd in an attempt to save his own life. I found it a little too easy that all the cartel gunmen obliging stepped out onto the porch to be shot.
Boyd seems to have angered Rachel as she vows to him she will take him down. There is the start of Season Six.
Art is recovering in the hospital when Raylan pays him a visit. Art expresses surprise that Raylan is still there since his transfer to Florida came through. This seems to hit Raylan hard. You can see that the fact Art actually put his transfer through hurts Raylan. Raylan starts to say something but decides against it. Art at least thanks Raylan for bringing Darryl to justice.
Boyd spends the episode spouting flowery dialogue and trying to save himself. Of course, everyone around him dies including Jimmy. But as usual Boyd manages to stay alive, ironically by texting Raylan.
For the life of me I can not understand why the show’s creators decided to throw their hero under the bus to create some kind of romantized folk gangster. Boyd is a cold blooded murderer among other things. He can spew his line of BS all day long and it doesn’t change his character.
I have to wonder about people who root for Boyd. Do we really want the murdering drug dealer to come out on top because he talks like he is in a Shakespeare play? What does that say about us. Especially in today’s climate of violence, I would hope the hero we root for is the one on the right side of the law. Say what you want about Raylan, he doesn’t tolerate murderers.
Raylan threw up the first time he killed a man. I dare say I doubt if Boyd had the same reaction.
Boyd is coming full circle it seems and is going back to robbing banks. Damn seems like we are going back to Season One.
Show your love for Raylan with this great Raylan T-shirt
Raylan took care of Darryl Crowe and seems to be done in Kentucky, but then gets drawn back in by Rachel’s drive to take Boyd down. I just don’t see Boyd as that big of a prize. Small time gangster at best, but then we knew this was where we were headed.
Raylan seemed to actually be looking forward to joining Winona and his baby daughter. Much to our surprise Winona actually wants him there. It was a sweet scene between them.
This season has mostly relegated Raylan to the sidelines. Each season has seemed to focus a little more on Boyd and a little less on Raylan and that is a shame. Graham Yost created a series introducing us to one of Elmore Leonard’s coolest characters, Raylan Givens. A cowboy hat wearing gun slinging cowboy who drew a line in the sand and heaven help you if you crossed it. He was charming, wry, funny and cool under pressure. He would chat with the bad guy right up until the time he shot him. I fell in love. A hero with flaws. The coolest lawman since Dirty Harry.
But instead of leaving us with the coolest lawman to ever stroll across our screen, they decided to elevate Boyd Crowder to star status. Walton Goggins may very well be a great actor, but that does not justify the damage done to Justified by keeping him alive. By keeping his character in the story, it compromised the show. The show lost its focus and lost its way, each season becoming less and less about Raylan and more about hillbilly crime lords. In trying to top each season’s bad guy, they sacrificed the hero we loved and the story that Justified should have told.
Next season the showdown will begin. Justified has actually ask who you are rooting for Boyd or Raylan. I am on record to say if Boyd wins out over Raylan, what a sad day that will be. Evil wins over good. Boyd the serial killer rides off into the sunset and Raylan dies. What is the moral of that story?
My advice to the writers don’t go there. For one thing they have no right to kill Elmore Leonard’s character. Only Elmore had that right and Raylan was alive and kicking when Elmore passed away. And secondly if they kill Raylan, the fans might have to hunt them down for a little Raylan restitution. (wink wink)
The perfect last scene should be a mirror of the scene in Season One, Episode One. Raylan walking through the airport, back in Florida. Only this time Winona and his baby daughter are there to meet him. Full circle.
Raylan to Darryl – Didn’t I tell you you were going to wish I would kill you. Well don’t you?
Raylan to Winona – Gdam she is beautiful.
Tell us your thoughts on this season in the comments.