Justified 5.3: “Who’s going to be the last man standing?”
Justified Season 5, Episode 3 recap
How are we already three episodes into Justified?! Now that we’re on such a finite schedule, it’s going too quickly. And things are moving quickly this season. It was like, episode five before season four really got into gear and the disparate threads started to come together and make sense as a larger narrative, but three episodes into season five and the connections and contentions are already becoming clear. I’m not exactly sure how Raylan is going to get mixed up with Boyd’s business, but he circles closer to Boyd’s drug trafficking as this episode brings Raylan into contact with Wynn Duffy.
Raylan/Wynn scenes are always good and this one is no different, featuring a classic Raylan line, “If I tried to kill you, you’d be dead.” In fact, this episode had tons of good dialogue, including rousing speeches from Boyd and terrifying death threats from Boyd, Wade Messer mumbling, “There’s a lot of expense in taking care of whores,” and Dewey Crowe saying, “This is my whorehouse, this is my dream.” You cannot beat Justified’s dialogue.
Boyd is a little more under control this episode, attempting to find out who stole his coke shipment, though his situation is still pretty dire. He’s promising all kinds of people all kinds of money he does not have, he’s entered into a pact with Mara Paxton to kill Lee Paxton (for real this time), he’s trying to gain control of Sheriff Mooney (who will totally die this season, he’s such a pawn), the Family Crowe is breathing down his neck about Audrey’s and the fact that he not only over-charged Dewey for the place but has had Wade Messer skimming from the till, and, as if all this wasn’t enough, it turns out Johnny Crowder is the one who stole his coke.
Wynn Duffy loses his temper a little, too, taking it out on the schmuck who got suckered into giving Candy the Multi-Talented Hooker the info about the coke shipment, but for the time being he’s still aligned with Boyd, despite all the cock-ups. One wonders how long that will last; Wynn has survived so long because he knows how to pick the winning side and also when to cut bait. Boyd does not present much of a winning side right now, and even Ava, at the end of her rope in prison, is looking ready to cut bait. (If she gets wind of Boyd flirting with Mara Paxton, she’s likely to arrange his death from her cell.) Things don’t look good for Boyd right now, but he’s most dangerous when cornered. Half the joy of this season is going to be watching him dig out of this hole.
On the other side of the line, Raylan’s latest hot blonde, social worker Alison (played by Amy Smart—remember when she was a thing?!), is not all sunshine and cupcakes. Raylan finds himself embroiled in what he initially thinks is an intimidation plot set up by Monroe, for seizing his house I guess, and this sets off a chain reaction of misunderstandings and hidden motives. Turns out Monroe has gold stashed in his house and he damn near kills his girlfriend/maid over it, thinking she sold him out after he was arrested. Raylan’s assumption that it was Monroe who sent a sh*tkicker with a baseball bat after him almost gets an innocent(ish) woman killed.
But it doesn’t stop there. Raylan and Brooks bait a trap for Monroe, leading him to think that Wynn Duffy was trying to rob him, thus the distraction sent Raylan’s way, and that ends up damn near getting Monroe killed. They arrest Monroe in the end for going after Wynn, even though he’s half-shot to death, and I can’t help but feel Raylan engineered the whole “Wynn Duffy is trying to rob you” gambit as a means of ensuring Monroe stays in jail longer this time so that Raylan can keep living in his sweet house.
Brooks questions his motives, too, but not just with the house and the gold. She’s highly suspicious of Alison, and if Brooks is suspicious, something is probably wrong. She is, after all, the best deputy in their office. It does turn out the sh*tckicker with the bat is there for Alison, not Raylan. Given Raylan’s terrible taste in women (Winona aside) Alison is probably not to be trusted. She basically says as much, pointing out that Raylan will never be able to really know if she was involved in some kind of plot with the sh*tkicker. I don’t know how she could have known about the gold specifically, but now it’s on the table that Alison could very likely rip Raylan off at some point. She’s Lindsey the Hot Bartender all over again.
Raylan’s body count so far: 1/18
Attached – Timothy Olyphant at the Writers Bloc tribute to Elmore Leonard last night