Justified Season 5 Review Episode 4: Over the Mountain-Did you miss this episode? Watch it here
By Penny Clift
I counted at least seven running storylines in this one episode. Now call me picky but that is just a few too many to leave any one story satisfying. You can only slice a show into so many pieces before it becomes a big ol’ mess.
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This week featured Raylan and Tim tracking down a missing informant, Ava having a nasty encounter in prison, Dewey trying to commit murder, Lee Paxton being conned into thinking Boyd is dead, Boyd tracing his troubles to cousin Johnny, Art trying to get dirt on Raylan for Nicky Augustine’s death and Raylan and Allison’s bedtime romp. Confused yet?
I had several problems with this episode. Let’s go through them!
Number One – I don’t think Dewey has what it takes to be a killer. I was extremely surprised when he actually pulled the trigger. This is just completely out of character for Dewey. Dewey likes to talk big but when it comes down to it he just doesn’t have the balls to be a badass. So this whole scenario did not ring true to me.
Number Two – I doubt very seriously if anyone especially evil undertaker, Lee Paxton, is going to accept a hand as proof Boyd is dead. His head maybe, anything else is a leap of faith.
Number Three – Plot number one that seems a little familiar, Johnny is sabotaging Boyd. We have been there and done that. Seems it doesn’t take six seasons to start repeating yourself.
Number Four – Art starting a whole investigation into Augustine’s death as if Art himself has a vendetta against Raylan. Shades of Art believing Raylan stole money from the evidence vault. Shouldn’t Art know Raylan a little better by now? Raylan may do things that are a shade in the grey area, but being on a mobster payroll is something we will never see Raylan doing. It would go against his black and white ethic rules. Raylan doesn’t see things in shades of grey, just wrong and right. Plus, Art doesn’t have any qualms about beating a man suspected of killing his friend, but Raylan shouldn’t step over the line to protect his family from a mob hit.
Number Five – I am not in the Free Ava camp. Ava somehow evolved from a decent woman who wanted to be free of her abusive criminal husband to a cold hearted murdering madam. She made her bed, she can lie in it and justly so as far as I am concerned. She is hard and cold. I also had a little trouble with the guard choosing Ava to harass out of all the inmates at hand. I am going to go out on a limb and say there were probably younger, more attractive women to catch his attention.
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Once again Justified has taken some old and very familiar roads. I really feel that the decision to keep Boyd alive in Season One has crippled the show in a lot of ways. The plot always has to have a connection to Harlan. That limits the plot possibilities and sometimes stretches belief just a bit. I just don’t think Raylan’s job would constantly take him to the little town of Harlan. Not to mention the fact he no longer has any family left to connect him to Harlan. But since we have to cling to Boyd’s character, the writers have to contrive a plot that does exactly that, keeps Raylan in Harlan.
So all in all this wasn’t the best episode of Justified. Crowes are best done in small doses. They seem to be the Bennett clan clones of the season. The problem is Mags Bennett was no fool. The same can not be said for any member of the Crowe clan. I have to admit I have never been a Michael Rappaport fan and he has done nothing to change my opinion. I don’t believe the dimwitted Crowes are a suitable match for Raylan.
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I do like the chemistry between Raylan and Allison. They have a wounded warrior bond that could form a strong relationship. However, Raylan’s removal of the youngest Crowe could bring trouble to Allison if she is involved in that removal. It is nice to see a love scene involving Raylan, so I will hope for more of that storyline.
Favorite line of the show and it is oh so true – Johnny to Boyd “Blah Blah Blah. You use every word in the Webster’s and don’t say a damn thing.”
Leave us your thoughts on this week’s episode in the comments. We love to hear from other fans.
Justified Season Five Episode Three aired January 21st. This week’s episode was titled “Good Intentions”.
Meanwhile Boyd and the Russian lady seemed to be headed for a tumble in the sack. Guess we will see how this plays out. Is she really double crossing her husband or is she playing Boyd?
Justified Review Season 5 Episode 2: The Kids Aren’t Alright
Did you miss this episode? Watch it here.
Raylan Finds Romance in The Kids Aren’t Alright
Justified Review Season 5 Episode 1: A Murder of Crowes
Did you miss this episode? Watch it here
Justified Season Five premiered Tuesday, January 7th with A Murder of Crowes. I have been a fan of this show since the first episode when Timothy Olyphant strolled across the screen looking like Gary Cooper, Clint Eastwood and John Wayne all rolled up into the coolest cowboy ever to walk the face of the earth. His cold unflinching stare could make your blood run cold. His crooked little boy smile could melt any ladies heart. He was a badass that oozed charm.
The Raylan Givens we met in Episode One, Season One was a troubled man. Returning to his home state of Kentucky, a place he never wanted to see again, Raylan was forced to deal with all his old demons. His ex-wife and her new husband, his estranged father, his beloved aunt, his old friend Boyd Crowder and a girl from high school who had harbored a crush on him, Ava.
Shop Amazon – 20% Off $75 on BootsThe viewer got to know Raylan through his relationships with all the people he had left behind. He had witty banter with the criminals he pursued, often telling them personal things he didn’t reveal to the people close to him. Raylan always had a story and a funny one liner for the bad guys.
Now fast forward to Season Five and Raylan is hardly recognizable as the guy we met in Season One. For some bizarre reason known only to the writers of the show, every personal storyline has been taken away from Raylan. What could of been a very interesting love triangle turned into an unlikely relationship between Boyd and Ava while Raylan went back to being a doormat for ex Winona. Raylan’s aunt is murdered by Dickie Bennett. Winona makes the mystifying decision to leave even though she is carrying Raylan’s child. His father is killed off in Season Four. And that leaves Raylan with no storyline at all.
I believe Justified went wrong after Season Two. So much was made of Mags Bennett and her clan being the most interesting baddies ever. And so every season since has tried to top the baddest of the bad guys. It has ruined the show in a lot of ways.
Justified is like two shows in one now. You have Raylan and then there is Boyd. Boyd’s story has taken over too much of the show and it interrupts the flow of the story. I have never found Ava and Boyd’s relationship to ring true. Why would a woman who hated her husband and his criminal life and his abusive ways so much so that she killled him, why would this woman turn around and get involved with his brother who is cut from the same cloth? Totally out of character in my opinion.
So now the show is split into three parts. Raylan, Boyd and the new crop of bad guys.. We hardly ever see the marshals, the people the show was supposed to follow. So lots of wasted talent most notably the gifted Nick Searcy.
Season Five’s first episode seems to be about the body count. Graham Yost has stated many times that they did not want to show to be just about violence and yet A Murder of Crowes was full of gratuitous violence. 10 count em 10 dead bodies in this episode. More than a whole season in some cases.
We find Raylan testifying in court as to what has happened between himself and Dewey Crowe. It seems somehow Raylan has become responsible for Dewey’s prison escape and subsequent mishaps. This is a surprise to me as I don’t recall Raylan having anything to do with Dewey’s prison escape.
But then we have to set up the unlikely scenario of the Crowes coming to Kentucky. Dilly Crowe sets this in motion by killing a member of the Coast Guard. Art then sends Raylan to Miami on a mission that is never quite clear. It seems Raylan is the only person in the marshal service that can locate a Crowe in the swamp. Once there he teams up with another Marshal whose purpose seems to be to explain to the viewers why Raylan doesn’t want to visit his baby daughter.
Boyd meanwhile gets to visit Ava in prison. He assures her he will get her out by any means necessary. But in the meantime he continues to make drug deals. The drug deal goes bad and that is our first three dead bodies all before the opening credits. Boyd shoots one man in the head without blinking an eye. He then travels to Detroit with Wynn Duffy to find out what happened to his drugs. In Detroit we are treated to an off camera chainsaw mutilation. Apparently if you owe someone one million dollars and can’t pay, you just cut off body parts with a chainsaw. Ridiculous. Here we get our next 3 dead bodies.
But somehow Boyd and Duffy come out alive. The duo then meet with some Canadians who have the drugs they are seeking. Then for some reason I still don’t understand they hand over their case full of money without receiving the drugs. Really? The man who had just shot someone in the head for attempting to double cross him just hands over his money.
Meanwhile Raylan tracks down the Crowes and makes a deal with them to capture fugitive Cuban Elvis. The Crowes decide Dilly Crowe has to go so he becomes body number 8. Raylan catches up with Elvis as he tries to escape to Cuba. Elvis becomes body number 9 in a shootout overkill when Raylan and his fellow marshal both empty their weapons when the fugitive draws a gun on them.
Raylan returns to Kentucky where he Skypes with Winona. Apparently he is ok with seeing his daughter on the computer just not in person. He assures Winona he will visit soon, not telling her he has just returned from Miami.
Meanwhile Boyd thinks the local undertaker can help him get Ava out of prison. He visits the man who arrogantly refuses and insults Ava. Boyd then beats him to death. Body number 10. I found this episode very disappointing. Too much needless violence. The plot was boring and sometimes just plain confusing.
I don’t think the band of dimwitted Crowes is going to be a great nemesis for Raylan. I find Boyd and Ava’s characters to be more unlikeable in every episode. Ava is after all a murderer and belongs in prison as does Boyd.
Justified has managed to take the coolest character on television and turn him into a bit player in his own story. Here’s hoping they wake up and get back to what made this show great if it is possible at this point.
Favorite quote from this weeks episode
Raylan- “If I start arresting girls how’s that going to look for you Dewey? You and Wade the only two pussies left in this whorehouse.”
We must note that we loved the tribute to Elmore Leonard at the beginning. What did you think of the episode?
Let us know in the comments.