January 7, 2014

Episode Review: JUSTIFIED, "A Murder of Crowes"

Justified opened up its fifth season with the perfectly sufficient "A Murder of Crowes" which did a decent enough job at setting the table for what's to come but not much more than that.

Most of the episode took place outside of Harlan County as Raylan was sent to Florida to help bring down a Cuban mobster named Elvis Manuel Machado who killed a dirty Coast Guard officer. The catch was Raylan had ties to one of the baddie's known associates, namely Dilly Crowe. Since Givens was responsible for Dilly's cousin, Dewey, getting a nice $300,000 settlement from the government for being assaulted by an officer, he figured he was owed some information. Our favorite Marshall shook down Dewey but that was a dead-end so he was off to Miami. Once there, he teamed up with Deputy Sutter (David Koechner) to track down Dilly, which led them to his brother Daryl (Michael Rapaport). As it turned out, the Florida Crowes were working with the Cubans to smuggle in illegal sugar that was being sold to knock-off candy companies. Since the death of the officer put the Crowe's business in jeopardy, Daryl agreed to turn on Machado for reduced parole. When it was all said and done the hitman and Dilly were dead, the Crowes were on the outs, and Raylan was heading back to Kentucky but he wasn't the only one. While on the case, he let it slip that Dewey came into some money, and the news got back to Daryl.

Meanwhile, Boyd was focused on getting Ava out of prison while still trying to run the dope business in Harlan. It was at while buying some drugs from the Detroit mob, things went sideways, and Boyd decided to recruit Wynn Duffy for a trip up to Michigan. They quickly learned that Sammy Tonin was in deep with the Canadians and was eventually betrayed by his right-hand man. Somehow, Boyd and Wynn were able to get out of Detroit but had to entertain the thought of partnering with Mexico instead of the Canucks. With the drug side of things back on track, Crowder headed back to Kentucky to work on helping Ava. Since the judge assigned to Ava's case was a friend of one of the Knobb Hill boys, he went in with the intentions of bribing him with $300,000, but his temper took over and he ended up with a dead body on his hands. Rather than let that get to him, Boyd decided to buy-off the dead man's trophy wife.

Admittedly, neither one of the two plots wowed me by any means because of the mechanical nature they had, but I do have to give the episode credit for giving the audience an idea of where things could possibly go this season. And yet, I don't know how confident I am. Right now, I'm not convinced that the Dewey Crowe is a strong enough character to center a season around, and it feels like that's what is coming down the line. Maybe I'm wrong and we're in store for something totally different, but all of the allusions to the money were a little heavy-handed. It also doesn't help that I've kind of lost interest in Boyd and Ava.

Other Odds and Ends:
  • In a somewhat significant subplot, Raylan was trying to avoid seeing Winona and his daughter who live in Florida. I don't know if I love where the writers are taking his character with this one.
  • One bright spot of the premiere: Jere Burns has been promoted to a series regular, which probably means more Wynn Duffy, and that's a good thing.
  • I'm sure some will protest the idea of Michael Rapaport being added to the cast, but I didn't hate him and I'm willing to give him a shot.
  • While Rapaport's presence could be sketchy, I am intrigued to see what Edi Gathegi does as the Haitian.
While I didn't love "A Killing of Crowes" it was far from the worst episode of television ever, and I did appreciate some of the heavy lifting that it tried to accomplish, but ultimately it was good to have Justified back. I've come to trust Graham Yost and his crew, so I'm willing to sit back and enjoy the ride even if we can see the bumps in the road a mile away.


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