Justified 5.7: “Life only ends one way”
Justified Season 5, Episode 7 recap.
We’re back after a week off for the Olympics, and during the break the guys at UPROXX put together this helpful refresher on which parts of the previous season are f*cking up Raylan’s sh*t right now (mostly the part where he practically arranged a mob hit). Also during the break—last weekend, to be exact—Nick Searcy, the actor who plays Art, had a nasty Twitter meltdown. It started with homophobia, dipped into fat-shaming and then made a break for “the LA Times knows who I am”, the bizarro cousin of “do you know who I am”. You can read the whole thing here if you want, but suffice it to say I no longer particularly care if Art makes it to retirement.
After two super-sized episodes, we’re back to a regular-sized episode, but we’re still moving at a pretty quick pace. Almost breakneck, even. We’re dealing with three simultaneous plots, so let’s tackle the simplest one first: Ava In Lady Oz. Her new prison buddy, Penny, introduces her to Judith, a prison yard preacher who facilitates getting heroin into the jail. If Ava joins their smuggling ring she’ll get protection, but she doesn’t want to bone a prison guard in order to obtain the heroin, so she sabotages the supply chain and promises Judith she can bring heroin into the prison instead. On the one hand, it’s semi-reckless because Boyd’s heroin business isn’t exactly booming, but on the other it’s neat to see Ava taking some initiative and making moves of her own. I am convinced that Justified will end with Boyd dead and Ava running Harlan County a la Mags Bennett, and this feels like a step in that direction.
Meanwhile, in The Crowes Ruin Everything. Boyd’s trip to Mexico to seal the deal on his new heroin supply goes south (see what I did there?!) when Johnny turns up like the bad penny he is. Johnny’s all, “hahaha, I got you, and I’m going to go bone your fiancé as soon as I kill you/get her out of jail” because surely Johnny knows she’s in jail. He sort of acts like he doesn’t. Anyway, Johnny’s smug but Boyd is three steps ahead. Just when Johnny thinks he’s won, Boyd turns the tables, having pre-arranged the whole thing with Mr. Yuen (the super cute Asian head of the Mexican drug cartel) as a way of both stealing Johnny’s money and getting him out of the way.
But nothing in Boyd’s life can go smoothly. He brought the Crowes as muscle and wouldn’t you know it, Danny Crowe murders Hot Rod’s guys after Boyd said they could go. Bad news on several levels, starting with “Hot Rod probably won’t be happy with that” and ending with “you just killed a bunch of Americans in Mexico, which Mr. Yuen expressly told you not to do”. I presume Danny did this because he’s batsh*t crazy—if there’s some kind of plan here, it is not immediately apparent. It culminates with Boyd finally killing Johnny, and Boyd is now the last Crowder standing. The look on his face says he knows this.
Over in Everything Raylan Is F*cked, everything Raylan is f*cked. He’s engaged in a passive-aggressive struggle with Art, getting stuck with crap assignments, but it does result in him getting on the case of a computer hacker trying to make off with some money stolen from that guy they shut down at the beginning of the season. We get a couple scenes from the Tim & Rachel Show in which Tim is a punk bitch and Rachel is running sh*t like a boss. (According to HitFix’s Alan Sepinwall, we aren’t going to be seeing much of Gutterson and Brooks this season—boo.) There’s also a lot of fantastic dialogue (courtesy VJ Boyd) like this: “The guy has one leg, slid down a flag pole and flipped me off. I love him, let me catch him.”
The one-legged computer hacker is entertaining, but the sub-plot of Wendy Crowe attempting to f*ck up Raylan’s life (Crowes ruin everything) feels more important. She gets Allison suspended, she lodges a complaint against Raylan as a means of upholding Darryl’s parole being lifted, and, perhaps most importantly, she blows off Kendall when he tries to talk to her. He ends up calling a mysterious Uncle Jack, and the moment is given enough weight that you know everyone ignoring Kendall is going to come back in a major way.
So Ava’s setting herself up as a prison drug kingpin (queenpin?), Boyd is trapped in Mexico with the Crowes, and Raylan shuts down Wendy’s attempt to seduce him in favor of trying to turn her against Darryl, invoking the name of the Crowe brother Darryl killed. Oh yeah, he also demanded that Art transfer him anywhere else because he deserves to be treated as a marshal. Except for the part where he arranges mob hits, that is.
Raylan’s body count so far: 2/19