Justified Preview: Anything and Everything You Need to Know About Season 5

Anything and everything you need to know before season 5 of Justified returns to FX on Tuesday night…

By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer

Justified will return for its fifth season on Tuesday night at 10pm on FX and there’s plenty of new stories and plot lines headed our way. There were some very dramatic twists and turns during season four that saw Raylan and Boyd both become embroiled in a Kentucky wide man hunt looking for a fugitive that managed to evade authorities for 30 years while the Detroit mob started to invade Harlan county and the rest of the state one hour at a time.

Our preview today will look back at some of the major stories from last season while looking ahead at what you can expect kicking off on Tuesday’s premiere of Justified. The characters we’ll meet for the first time as well as the return of some old favorites (yes, Dewey Crowe is back and he’s bringing relatives with him this year!).

When We Last Left: Raylan Givens

Season four was a major career achievement for Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens, but that came at the expense of his personal life. His estranged wife stayed absent from his life as she got ready to give birth to their child while Raylan could only stand on the sidelines while trying to earn some extra money to help make ends meet. He also happened to track down Drew Peterson — a criminal who evaded capture for 30 years while still living and breathing right under the noses of the very people who were looking for him. Following the arrest and capture of Peterson, Raylan had to dole out a little justice of his own after the Detroit mob went after Winona and his unborn baby girl.

He ended up handing over Theo Tonin’s right hand man Nicky Augustine over the heir apparent Sammy Tonin while turning a blind eye to the machine gun fire that cuts him down a second later. With Sammy Tonin in charge and Augustine out of the picture, Raylan’s family is safe, but not all of those close to him are still around.

Raylan was still dealing with the fallout from the death of his father Arlo, who was buried in a family plot in the backyard of the house he shared with his wife Helen. The end of season 4 once again echoed by the chilling lyrics ‘you’ll never leave Harlan alive’ showed Raylan sitting on the porch looking out at the gravestones that mark the last days of his father, his mother and his aunt. His tombstone is still empty, but does he have a death wish or just a deep seeded belief that he’s destined to join them sooner rather than later?

Where’s He Headed?

Raylan has vanquished the Detroit mob for now but that doesn’t mean he still won’t feel their sting around town. At the end of the season he seemed indifferent to his old pal Boyd Crowder, but how long can that truce actually last until their cross a dangerous path once again? They’ve also been teasing Art’s retirement for a while now — is it possible that a new boss could be brought in to try and put a leash on Raylan or is there a chance he could be up for the job?

We are also likely to meet Raylan’s daughter this season, which should add an entirely new element to the series. We’ve seen Raylan as a law enforcement officer with swagger, Raylan the lover man with swagger, but can he carry that same kind of swagger into dirty diapers and spit up towels? He will also have to deal with a new criminal element this season but we’ll get to that a little later…

Where We Last Left: Boyd Crowder Walton_Goggins_Gallery__141_595_slogo

Boyd dealt with a prophetic preacher that almost stole away his Oxycontin business while the forces of the Detroit mob continued to seep into his territory as he tried to keep his grip around Harlan county as the resident bad ass in town. The real heart of season four of Justified was seen through Boyd’s eyes as he found true love with Ava and they started to embark on a life together in fancy houses and a generational gap that would day see the name Crowder met with pride instead of shame.

It was all for naught unfortunately as Boyd was also trying his hand at working with the Detroit mobsters on their hunt for Drew Thompson. He was gunning for the top spot in Kentucky by acting as Detroit’s swift hand of hill justice while taking over the heroin trade for good measure. As it turns out, former Detroit boss Theo Tonin had to make a run for it when Thompson was captured by the U.S. Marshals instead, which means his days of freedom were numbered.

Instead of taking a seat at the throne, Boyd ended up back among the king’s court now working with Wynn Duffy as his right hand man as they expand Detroit’s heroin empire into Harlan County. He also gave up every penny he had saved all season long to buy that house with Ava to try and purchase Thompson from Nobles holler leader Ellstin Limehouse. The cops ended up getting to Thompson instead so Boyd’s gamble didn’t pay off and he’s left penniless because there are no refunds in the outlaw world.

The most tragic part of Boyd’s season was at the end when all of his schemes and manipulations to keep his lady Ava safe and sound after she shot and killed former pimp associate Delroy backfired in a whirlwind of disaster. Ava was busted trying to switch out dead bodies so that cops couldn’t discover Delroy’s idenity and Boyd had to witness her being hauled away in a police cruiser destined for jail.

Where’s He Headed:

Well from the sound of things, Boyd is getting back to his violent ways this season according to the teasers that have begun to leak out leading up to the premiere. Executive producer and show runner Graham Yost says that Boyd will be returning to what he was like during the pilot of Justified — a wild west cowboy with a vengeance that leaves a trail of blood behind him.

He’s working with Wynn Duffy, which makes for an interesting partnership while losing the people around him that always kept him grounded. Ava’s in jail, his cousin Johnny betrayed him and is gone, his Marine buddy Colt is dead, and there’s hardly anybody left in this world Boyd can trust. It safe to say he’ll be doing everything in his power to get Ava out of jail, but the rest of the time it looks like Boyd will be unchained and out of control.

Where We Last Left: Ava CrowderJoelle_Carter_Gallery_156_V3_595_slogo

Ava definitely proved she’s a ‘stand by your man’ kind of gal during season four. She got engaged to Boyd while helping him secure his stronghold in Harlan County, but the cost of it all ended up backfiring. She tried to help Ellen May escape the abuses of her former pimp Delroy, but it ended with her in handcuffs in the back of a squad car after the prostitute turned state’s evidence and handed them Ava on a silver platter.

She proved her loyalty and love for Boyd, but now Ava’s given up her own life and sits in a jail cell left wondering if she’ll ever see the light of freedom again.

Where She’s Headed:

Ava will wake up at the beginning of season 5 in a jail cell, three months after her arrest. She’s still awaiting word on the judge that will be assigned her case (why do I have an itchy feeling it’s going to be Mike the Hammer?) while only being able to see her beloved Boyd through a sheet of plexiglass and a phone. Will this latest dust up with the law finally break Ava’s spirit and get her away from Boyd or will this only strengthen her bond to him?

Let’s not forget the jail system isn’t safe for the normal citizen, much less the lady love of Boyd Crowder so Ava’s safety could easily come into question before she finally steps foot on free soil again (if ever again).

The Best of the Rest:

Winona Hawkins — She’s now living with her mother as she awaits the birth of her baby daughter while likely spending as much time away from Raylan as possible. She was already worried about his violent life keeping him from coming home one day, but last season that spilled over to affect her life and the life of her unborn baby. Don’t look for Winona to be a shoulder for Raylan to cry upon this season

Art Mullen — He was teasing retirement last season so could this be his final stand as the chief over the Lexington branch of the U.S. Marshals service? Did Art finally have enough of Raylan’s cowboy antics to send him packing?Nick_Searcy_Gallery_167_595_slogo

Tim Gutterson — Tim hasn’t always been a bundle of excitement, but we saw him go to bat for an old friend last season, even going as far as accompanying him to a drug deal. It’s not clear how much more depth Tim will get this season, but it will be interesting to see if he straightens up or unravels.

Johnny Crowder — Last season, Johnny’s play to overthrow Boyd and take the family business for himself backfired in a big way. He professed his love for Ava to no avail and was about to be handed over to his vengeful cousin by the Detroit mob when a last minute stafu in the deal saved his life. Can Johnny earn his way back into Boyd’s life or is he outcast forever now?

Wynn Duffy — Actor Jere Burns has been upgrade to a series regular this year so plan on seeing Mr. Duffy quite a bit. He’s running the Kentucky heroin trade for the Detroit mob and working with Boyd and that’s quite a pair in any negotiation.

Dewey Crowe — Well as it turns out he didn’t lose his kidneys after all, but he is back this season and out of prison. He purchases Audrey’s from Boyd for a handsome price and he’s now running the prostitutes in Harlan County. He’s got some family coming up from Florida as well…

New Faces This Season:

Darryl Crowe Jr. (played by Michael Rapaport)Michael_Rapaport_Gallery_083_595_slogo

The new big bad in season five of Justified will be played by veteran actor Michael Rapaport when he joins the cast during the premiere on Tuesday. Darryl is a cousin of Dewey Crowe and part of his Florida family that will move north towards Kentucky after Raylan eradicates the latest moneymaker for the entire Crowe family. He’s also had past dealings with Raylan so they have a shared history already.

It appears through all the different families we’ve seen thus far on Justified (the Bennetts, the Crowders, etc), the Crowes might be a whole new kind of animal for Raylan and the Marshals to deal with this season.

Let’s also not forget that at the heart of it all Darryl is a criminal and that’s going to also put him directly in the crosshairs of Boyd Crowder, who is still trying to get a stranglehold on Harlan the same way his daddy did for decades. Rapaport teased an interaction he had with Walton Goggins already filmed for this season so that’s one encounter everyone should be excited to see.

Alison Brander (played by Amy Smart)jstamysmart-web

She will be Raylan’s new love interest this season but there’s not much more known about her than the fact that she’s dated plenty of lawmen in the past and she’s not going to immediately fall for Lexington’s most eligible bachelor.


We have two of them to get geared up for Justifed. The first is called ‘Rascal’ set to the tune ‘You Rascal You’ by Hanni El Khatib

The second trailer is a direct shot at the new enemies coming for Raylan this season — the Crowe family:

Justified will also do a special 90-second tribute to show creator Elmore Leonard who passed away in late 2013 to start the show on Tuesday night.

There you have it folks, anything and everything you need to know before Justified debuts on Tuesday night. Don’t forget to come back to Nerdcore Movement after the season premier for our recap of the episode and the same for the entire 13-episode run this year!

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One Response

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  1. abramvaldezCS
    Jan 07, 2014 - 10:18 AM

    Three quick hits: The introduction of a daughter, especially a baby daughter leaves me wary. Most great shows (even Breaking Bad) seem to mishandle the “kids-as-a-distraction/kids-as-a-character-changer” angle. The addition of kids can lead to showing more of a character’s dimension, but more often than not, kids end up being used as props.

    Tim’s character really got some shine last season. His scenes opposite Ron Eldard’s Colt were filled with tension and chemistry and very reminiscent of the early Boyd/Rayland encounters. He just needs something to do other than babysit Rayland, be Art’s echo to Rayland, or be the example of the kind of marshal Rayland isn’t.

    It seems as if Rayland and Boyd will switch roles this season. The flip-this-house-hunting, Dairy-Queen owning, domesticated Boyd is a nice side to his character and gives him so many more layers, but with nothing to ground him, it’s going to be interesting to see what he does and how much rope Rayland will give him, especially since Rayland is tethered to a great deal as well. Seeing whose string will snap first should make for a fun season.