April 8, 2014

Episode Recap: JUSTIFIED, "Restitution"

While most of Justified's fifth season was somewhat hit-or-miss, the show really got its act together towards the end of the run, and while "Restitution" tied up some loose ends it was an excellent place-setter for what should be an electric final showdown between Raylan and Boyd.

Raylan's "try Kendall as an adult" gambit ended up working as Wendy was convinced that her son was taking the fall for her brother, which led her to take matters into her own hands and killing Daryl when it was all said and done. Elsewhere, Boyd had to slither his way out of the grasps of the Mexican hit squad, and he actually had the U.S. Marshals do his dirty work for him under the guise of helping them save Daryl's life so he could confess to shooting Art. The silver-tongued devil lived to see another day, and it looked like he was turning his back on a life of crime until Wynn Duffy and Katherine Hale made him an offer. Oh, and Ava tried to survive prison until she was released... so she could help Raylan take down Boyd once and for all.

For the most part I thought "Restitution" was a solid episode. Watching Raylan convince Kendall and Wendy to wake up and realize that Daryl's been manipulating them this entire time was captivating, and seeing a defeated Boyd regain a glimmer in his eye was reinvigorating. Since this entire season was a drawn-out plot to put Givens and Crowder back into each other's sites, I can forgive the show for its early wheel-spinning because it's always entertaining to see them go head-to-head. All that said, it was not a perfect episode.

I found myself somewhat torn when Wendy killed Daryl. Sure, I got that it was somewhat poetic since her brother was responsible for all of the bad things that had happened to her and her son, but it also felt kind of anticlimactic because most of the season was leading up to a faceoff between him and Raylan. Also, Ava's time in prison made sense in hindsight but it still wasn't interesting enough to keep my attention. Add to that the fact that the runtime was too long and the last fifteen minutes felt like a Season 6 prologue, and we ended up with an episode that was good but a tad too bloated.

All-in-all I cannot really complain about what we got during Season 5 of Justified. Sure it had a rough start and it was a too busy at times, but Daryl earned his stripes towards the finish line, and we got some great scenes involving Raylan, Boyd, and Wynn. When those three are on their game, Justified is still one of the better shows on TV, and I'm confident in saying that it's still in the top echelon.


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