You know what I like about Justified? I’ll tell you. It’s a show that knows exactly what it is. It doesn’t do leisurely hour-long detours like Mad Men, or slow burns leading to furious fits of intensity like Breaking Bad, but it also doesn’t scream through plots at breakneck speed like a Scandal or a 24. It’s got its own pace: a steady march that seems laid back and relaxed … until you look back at all the things that took place over the past hour. Take last night for example. We had trips to Detroit and Florida, a low-level scumbag striking it rich and buying a whorehouse, a game of naked Marco Polo, multiple drug deals going very bad, a body count approaching double digits, airboats, a Diana Nyad reference, and an introduction to the perplexing family dynamics of the Florida branch of the Crowe family. And yet, despite all that, nothing felt rushed, and I was genuinely surprised when the “Next week on Justified” hit, because it didn’t feel like 60 minutes could have possibly elapsed by then. That’s the mark of a good show. Welcome back, Justified.
Before we get to the bullet points, a quick reminder: Raylan is a terrible marshal. Great character, quick with a gun and a joke, looks great in a cowboy hat, but just a terrible, terrible member of law enforcement. Case in point: Both streams in last night’s episode — the Crowes preparing to come to Kentucky, and Boyd and Wynn’s blood-soaked Detroit adventure — flowed directly from his, oh, let’s say “questionable” tactics. Daryl is free to leave Florida because Raylan helped him get a deal for turning over one of his associates who (a) was not the one who was really responsible for the crime, and (b) was just working for Daryl’s larger criminal enterprise, and now he’s on his way to Raylan’s backyard because his cousin Dewey struck it rich due to Raylan’s insistence on injuring and/or threatening him every time they meet.
And speaking of Harlan, Boyd and Wynn’s drug game has turned into a violent free-for-all because Raylan helped orchestrate the shady, decidedly not legal plot that put an incompetent boob in power in Detroit, and, shockingly, that did not turn out well. I mean, yes, in the short term he almost accidently cut off the Canadian drug pipeline into Kentucky, but call me crazy, I see this getting worse, quickly. Point being: Raylan has chickens all over the country right now that are planning to roost in Harlan. Bless his itchy-trigger-fingered soul, but professionally, the man is just a disaster. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
And now, the highlights:
- I cannot possibly express how how happy I am that Dewey’s new-found fortune is a direct result — kind of — of him thinking he had four kidneys. That whole opening scene in the courthouse was just perfect. It made me so happy I could just … I mean …
- ALERT: THE BOYD CROWDER HAIR THREAT LEVEL FOR SEASON FIVE HAS BEEN ELEVATED TO LEAD SINGER OF POWERMAN 5000.
- For real, though. Did you see my man’s hair when he was meeting with Ava in prison? It was glorious. I wonder if he got it like that special for her. I bet he did. He’s a real romantic.
- Oh, and while I’m on the subject of Boyd, I really hope I never have to say this at any point in my life: “I had to kill three delivery men, I got no dope, and my ears damn near been shot off. Back a bag, we’re going to Detroit.” I can’t figure out what’s worse, the thing about losing part of your ear, or going to Detroit.
- … so, there’s that.
- The best part of that drug deal on the bridge — Side note: If the Harlan police set up a surveillance camera on that one bridge, crime in the county would drop by 600% — was that Boyd’s partner in crime, Wynn Duffy, was just chilling out in his mobile home watching late-night women’s tennis on satellite television while it was going down.
- “Well it sounds like we need to have a conversation with the Canucks.”
- I equally really want to know and really DO NOT want to know what went on with that Detroit mannequin party last week.
- R.I.P. Chainsaw Guy.
- Between Stephen Root as the judge and Dave Foley popping up as a member of the Canadian mob, Justified was 1/4 of the way to a Newsradio reunion. I hope they bring in Khandi Alexander as a mob lawyer next, or Maury Tierney as a candidate to replace Art.
- And Dave Foley wasn’t the only notable guest spot either. We also had David Koechner, Will Sasso, Edi Gathegi, and Alicia Witt. If you were playing Hey, It’s That Guy/Girl bingo, you might have won after one episode. If not, Amy Smart and Wood Harris are on next week, so you’ll collect that lamp from the prize table soon enough.
- “Hey Raylan.” “Wade.” “Can I get you a blowjob or something?” “Just water.”
- DAMMIT, RAYLAN. YOU RUINED NAKED HOOKER MARCO POLO.
- So the Crowes are the most Florida family ever, right? I mean, Daryl is a gator farmer slash low-level mob boss who has an affinity for cut-off flannel shirts, Dilly has a Confederate flag that may or may not have had horns coming out of it tattooed in the dead center of his chest, their legal mastermind, Wendy, is a paralegal with a tribal tramp stamp, and their father, Daryl, Sr., died after he got drunk and flipped his airboat. Put their faces on the state flag, for Chrissakes.
- I like to think David Koechner’s character was actually the Florida love child Champ Kind conceived with a Tampa exotic dancer.
- Winona’s in Miami, Ava’s in jail, and Hot Bartender is nowhere to be seen after last season, for obvious reasons. Raylan can really chase them off, huh?
- The unifying theme from last night’s episode is that you should really avoid getting lippy with people who have guns: Dewey lost his pool, the Coast Guard guy took a bullet to the forehead, and Boyd beat the everloving hell out of Lee Paxton with the butt of his handgun. Lesson learned.
- Oh, and LOL forever at Boyd insisting he’s not a violent man during an episode that saw him put a bullet between someone’s eyes and end up with his face splattered with blood two separate times in two separate states.
That about sums it up. Feel free to add your thoughts and observations below. If anyone needs me, I’ll be cruising around on my airboat. It’s the sophisticated way to travel.
Thanks to Chet for the GIFs, as always