January 14, 2014

Episode Review: JUSTIFIED, "The Kids Aren't All Right"

While last week's episode set the board for the upcoming season, "The Kids Aren't All Right" slowly started to move pieces around, but unfortunately everything involving the larger story-arc fell a little flat. Thankfully, we got to see Raylan on his own hooking up with some old acquaintances and making new friends.

Boyd's problems continued to escalate after his dope shipment from Canada was hijacked, the guy he tried to kill was still alive, said man's wife was trying to scam him out of $300,000, and he still had to figure out a way to get Ava out of prison. Just another day for the Crowder clan.

Elsewhere, Raylan was once again off on his own little side adventure. After the Marshals seized some rich guy's property, Givens was summoned to Lexington to help out with a situation. It turned out that Loretta was caught selling weed to a cop's son, and she name-dropped him for help. Naturally, he showed up but was ready to dish out some tough love until her social worker (played by Amy Smart) gave him googly-eyes. Rather than let her rot, Raylan decided to free Loretta from her riff-raff boyfriend but got more than he bargained for. You see, Loretta was stealing money from her supplier, Hot Rod Dunham, and he sent some thugs to find it, but Raylan saved the day. His reward: dinner with the social worker in his newly acquired house. It's just too bad all of his bad behavior has led to Art asking some important questions.

Oh, and Daryl Crowe showed up at Dewey's whorehouse.

Right now, I cannot say that I care about what's going on with Boyd or Dewey. I'm convinced that the Crowes are not interesting enough to shoulder a major storyline like the Bennetts were, and Boyd's grab for power becomes far less interesting when it doesn't involve Raylan. At least he has Wynn Duffy to play second fiddle.

"The Kids Aren't All Right" would have been a busted episode if it wasn't for Raylan's plot. Kaitlyn Dever has always been great as Loretta, and she hasn't lost that special chemistry she shares with Timothy Olyphant. It doesn't hurt that whenever her character's on the scene, Raylan becomes less of a gun-slinging superhero and more of a human being. On top of some great moments involving the two, we also got a pretty entertaining crime yarn that picked up the slack left behind by Boyd.

Other Odds and Ends:
  • It looks like Boyd and Wynn are a match made in scumbag heaven.
  • The only relationship more interesting than the one Raylan has with Boyd is the one he has with Art. I'm intrigued to see if there's a rift being created, and if so how large the chasm will be.
  • Everything involving the cop and the woman blackmailing Boyd was unnecessary and exhausting to sit through. I hope all of this non-sense gets wrapped up early.
  • "God damn it, Loretta!"
It's not uncommon for Justified (or any show for that matter) to have a few dud episodes at the beginning of every season, and it has been a slow-starter in the past so I'm not too concerned at such an early point in the run, but I have to admit that Season 5's stumbling. Like I mentioned last week, I've come to trust the show's creative team, but I wouldn't mind some course correcting sooner rather than later.


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