Justified Review Season 5 Episode 5 Shot All to Hell



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Episode 5 of season five was a blood spattered exercise in violence and mayhem. It appears the people behind Justified have decided what the audience wants to see is killing and blood spatter. Now don’t get me wrong, I love the tense showdown between the good guy and the bad guy, but watching planned, cold blooded executions carried out in detail is not my idea of good storytelling. It is violence for violence sake. Body count – 5.

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That being said, let’s move on to the other parts of the episode. I had to check my watch every so often to see how long passed between the leading man’s appearances. I would be surprised if Raylan was in this episode more than ten minutes. It seems to me the writers have forgotten that this show is about Marshal Givens. I am reminded of an interview Graham Yost gave last year where, after reading an episode they had written, he asked his writers “What about the star? Where is Raylan?” So they actually had to go back and write Raylan into a couple of scenes. You see the problem here? The show has completely lost its focus.


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If I stumbled across Justified today, I would probably not tune in a second time. It is nothing like the first season which hooked me on the first episode. It has evolved into the Boyd Crowder show and who can be the best bad guy. Guess what, I don’t care.

So let’s talk about Boyd and his fans. I have to wonder about the people who see Boyd as some kind of folk hero. This man is no hero folks. He is an opportunist, con artist, manipulator, drug dealer and a cold blooded murderer. The fact that he struts around spewing dialogue like a Shakespearean actor on stage doesn’t make him any less psychotic. If someone stands in his way, he just kills them. Nice guy. I wouldn’t care to have him for a neighbor.

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And then there is Ava and her free Ava fans. Let’s face it, Ava made her choice. She chose the criminal life. She has been right beside Boyd, even urging him to kill the less than bright Ellen May in order to save herself. She has embraced drug dealing, prostitution and murder. So forgive me if I am not in the Free Ava camp. I also didn’t know you could be sent to prison before you even had a trial. Hmm.

As to the storyline, where do I begin. The writers have confused cross and double cross with a plot. Who is stabbing who in the back. You need a scorecard to keep up. And frankly, who cares.

The whole Detroit Mafia thing is wearing a little thin. Anyone follow that plot? Why is Tonin in a metal box in Kentucky? If he wants to kill Picker himself he could just have him delivered. Why does he need to be in Kentucky hiding in a box? And his guy just lets fly with bullets knowing he is inside one of these boxes? Please, this whole thing smacked of BS. Contrived and confusing. This only exists to move forward Art’s interest in Augustine’s death, a plot  that has grown very weary.

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Now to the Crowes. Like I have stated before, Crowes are best in small doses. This plotline seems to just get stuck in between Boyd and Raylan. Where is it going and why? I guess they are the obligatory hillbilly element. Psychotic morons. Alicia Witt and Michael Rappaport are two of the worst cast actors Justified has ever seen. Bad accents and bad acting.

They have managed to take Dewey Crowe and ruin his character for those who looked forward to his occasional appearances. Dewey is all bluster and hilarious bravado. I still don’t believe he could have pulled that trigger.

And then there is the worn out plot of Art mistrusting Raylan. Been there done that. Let’s move on. I am also tired of the equally worn out plot of Boyd attempting to build a drug empire. Let’s face it he is bad at it. For someone we are supposed to believe is highly intelligent, he sure comes out on the losing end a lot.

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I do not understand why they have systematically taken away everyone who is connected to the leading man, Raylan. For what reason? That leaves them with the contrived and boring storylines they struggle to come up with for the star of the show. Now they seem bent on ending the one relationship Raylan has left, Art. Why does Raylan have the sudden need to come clean to Art? I don’t buy it.

Justified was lost when the focus shifted from Raylan to Boyd and Ava. The writers spent so much time on that storyline, they forgot what the show was about. I didn’t become a fan to see a Bonnie and Clyde outlaw love story. I never thought this relationship rang true and I still feel the same. Boyd should end up on the wrong end of Raylan’s gun and Ava should stay in prison. I am also equally sure that is where the sixth and final season will take us.

All in all this was a very disappointing episode. Too much violence, too much Boyd, pointless scenes with the Crowes, Raylan drifting along with no storyline, no humor and the list goes on and on.

Justified is just going around in circles. I wonder if the writers are still wearing their What Would Elmore Do bracelets. I can tell you what he wouldn’t do. He would not have written this crap.

Here’s hoping Episode Six will be better.  

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