Justified 5.2: “You lawmen only know one way”
Justified Season 5, Episode 2 recap.
A while back I heard that Justified was on a seven-season arc, and while I would happily have Justified forever, seven seasons seemed like a nice, healthy run. That’s 91 episodes, good by any measure. Well, you can knock 13 of those episodes off. Yesterday at the TCAs, FX chief John Landgraf confirmed that Justified will end after six, not seven seasons. He made it sound like a story-based decision made by series creator and showrunner Graham Yost and star Timothy Olyphant, but it’s hard not to imagine the ratings didn’t play a part, too. Justified has never been highly rated (which makes NO SENSE), and last week’s premiere was the lowest-rated yet, losing over 20% of the audience that watched the season four premiere, and, worse, being beaten by not one, not two, but three episodes of The Big Bang Godd*mned Theory. (PEOPLE SUCK.)
Anyway, if I did my math right (and I very probably did not), we have 24 episodes of Justified left. Enjoy it while it lasts.
Last week’s premiere took us on a trip to Florida to meet Dewey Crowe’s extended family, headed by cousin Darryl. This week, we’re back in Kentucky, setting up more pieces on the board. We get a dose of Gutterson and Brooks as they, along with Raylan, arrest some racist redneck who had ties to the Detroit mob. I guess he got caught as things unraveled up north? It’s not clear and doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that at the end of the episode, Raylan has moved into his bowling alley-having mansion, just in case some errant mob connection shows up and can be arrested, too. So Raylan is living well this season.
Another piece on the board is Loretta McCready, now of driving age. Loretta is, of course, mixed up in a weed plot, along with her douchey boyfriend, Derek. They’ve gotten into some kind of deal with Hot Rod Dunham, the Memphis weed dealer Boyd and Ava tried to do business with at the beginning of season three. I love these callbacks—it makes the world of Justified feel like a real community, where consequences and relationships carry on ad infinitum. Presumably Dunham has taken over the Kentucky weed business after the Bennett family came down on the wrong side of a Givens-Gutterson special, and the ever-enterprising Loretta has graduated to distribution.
Watching Loretta grow into the smartest person on the show is delightful. Everyone is dancing to her tune, including Raylan. She’s not entirely likeable—she makes a risky gambit with Derek’s life, which is especially cold given that she’s like, 16—but as Raylan says, she’s the daughter of a murdered weed grower. She is who she is. At least she’s got Raylan, and her sharp social worker Alison, in her corner. As Alison is both hot and blonde, Raylan will undoubtedly be boning her in the next episode.
Raylan manages to save Derek and get him and Loretta out of hot water with Dunham, at least for now, but it’s feeling like a drug war is coming to Harlan. Raylan demanded that Dunham leave Kentucky—if he actually does, the Harlan County weed trade will once again be up for grabs. Enter the Crowes? Dewey’s derelict Florida cousins show up at the end, already looking right at home in Audrey’s. Dewey, however, looks less than thrilled. Maybe he isn’t a complete moron.
Meanwhile, on the cocaine side of things. Ava isn’t holding up well in prison, and Boyd has less control than ever. Lee Paxton survived his assault, though he is in a coma, and now-Sheriff Mooney has a serious hard on for arresting Boyd. Mara Paxton describes Boyd as Paxton’s assailant, but then says it wasn’t Boyd when Mooney goes to arrest him, despite the resemblance to her description. She wants Boyd’s non-existent three hundred-K so she can go home to Latvia. Also she and Boyd seem to conspire to finish off Paxton because she signed a pre-nup? Doesn’t work out as Paxton wakes up. And now Mara has an enraged Sheriff Mooney after her, too. He gets pretty rapey, so that’s A Situation.
And things keep getting worse for Boyd. Lee Paxton is alive and awake, Sheriff Mooney is a nutcase, he and Wynn are barely holding their fed-up dealers at bay, and then someone jacks their final shipment of Canadian snow. Yup—there’s gonna be a drug war. The only question is how and when the weed and coke interests end up clashing. And how exactly Raylan will end up in the middle. Undoubtedly it will involve Loretta.
Also on the horizon: Sammy Tonin called Raylan just before he was killed, and Art knows. I am deeply worried for Art. Everyone keeps talking about his pending retirement, and if he pursues Raylan’s connection to Sammy Tonin (and by extension, just how Nicky Augustine ended up murdered on a Lexington tarmac), he’s going to step right into the crashing dominos resulting from the implosion of the Detroit mob. Raylan, if you get Art killed…
Raylan’s body count so far: 1/18