Justified Season 5 Episode 8 recap

Wendy Crowe has 99 problems and being a Crowe is all of them. It starts with sketchy “Uncle Jack” arriving—in a sweet Chevelle—at Kendall’s behest and ends with, well, actually Wendy pretty much gets her way in this one, but you can’t help but feel like the ruinous Crowe luck will catch up with her sooner rather than later. Things look good for her Kentucky, for the moment, but she doesn’t know what a colossal mistake Daryl just made down in Mexico.

But let’s stick with Wendy to start. Kendall’s Uncle Jack is a no-good hustler type and is, unsurprisingly, actually Kendall’s dad. And Wendy is actually his mom. Why that was a secret is unclear—they expressly state she was twenty-two when she had Kendall, so it’s not like it was a teenage pregnancy cover up, but at any rate, Kendall’s mom is a Crowe and his dad is the world’s worst con artist and a giant, child-abandoning chicken to boot. (POOR KENDALL.)

Kendall called Jack for help but ends up in even more immediate danger since a guy, Michael, followed Jack to Kentucky, looking for revenge after Jack ripped off Michael’s son and left him in a coma. And since Jack practically serves up Kendall on a silver platter when he bails at the first sight of Michael, the situation is moderately urgent. Because the Crowes ruin everything—which is the unofficial theme of this season—Wendy ruins Raylan’s would-be Florida vacation with Allison to help find Kendall. Since Allison actually does care about kids, she makes Raylan go help.

This is clearly a one-episode arc so there’s no question that Raylan will settle things as he sees fit, which he does—both Jack and Michael end up arrested and Kendall gets the radio contest money the one-legged hacker helped Raylan win. “For the future,” Raylan says, because he sees what is plain as day—Kendall is actually a good kid who could still cut bait on his useless family and turn out some approximation of okay. He’s like Boy Loretta.

For the larger narrative, though, Raylan doesn’t get what he wants at all. Wendy doesn’t actually know what her brothers are up to in Mexico, so he spent all day getting his chain yanked and ended up with nothing to show for it. And to cap off a really sh*tty day, it ends with Allison dumping him. So he’s got no leads on Daryl, no money and no girl. Oh, and just to twist the knife a little more, Jack says to him, “You’re clearly not legit.” Even a lowlife loser like Jack can spot Raylan’s moral compromise in two seconds flat. Jesus, Raylan. Get your sh*t together.

Meanwhile, in Mexico. The Crowes shooting the Mexican cartel guys was definitely not a random act. Boyd spends the whole episode basically talking their way out of Mexico, getting them a second chance from Mr. Yuen by promising to discreetly dispose of the bodies. He manages to do it, pawning them off on some corrupt Federales who think they’re getting a truck full of marketable drugs, but instead it’s just full of dead people.

Daryl is doing his best to ingratiate himself with Boyd, who is at his most inscrutable. The Crowes claim to have a contact in Texas who can get the drugs across the border for them and damn if I am not fully invested in Boyd smuggling heroin. The Crowes are detestable but I am legit worried about whether or not this heroin thing is going to work out for Boyd so that he can finally get Ava out of prison. Speaking of, Ava managed to get a pipeline set up in the prison. Now she just needs Boyd to get back and deliver the product. Ava and Judith have an uneasy partnership at best and Boyd is going to have to do some unnamed favor for the nurse smuggling in the drugs for Ava, but she’s clearly pleased to have organized the first step in her prison drug business.

But first Boyd has to get home. Jimmy overhears Daryl’s Texan friends talking about how they’re going to kill Boyd and his men. And that’s Daryl’s big mistake—thinking for one second that he’s smarter than Boyd. I don’t know if Daryl is ignoring Dewey’s warnings re: Boyd or if Dewey is too sunk in his I-just-wanted-to-run-my-own-whorehouse regrets to issue those warnings in the first place, but either way, Daryl has vastly underestimate Boyd. His mistake, but then, isn’t it always?

Raylan’s body count so far: 2/19