Raylan is headed to Florida to meet with the Crowe family while Boyd tries to deal with Ava’s incarceration and a withering heroin business…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
If there’s one thing very clear about Raylan Givens that we learned tonight during the season 5 debut of Justified, it’s that he’s going to do anything in his power to avoid the state of Florida.
Now common sense would say this is Raylan’s way of dodging any more run ins with gun thugs and gangsters he once dealt with while serving as a U.S. Marshal in Miami where the infamous incident with Tommy Bucks took place. But as we come to find out there’s more to this story than meets the eye and it seems Raylan is struggling with adapting to fatherhood because his ex-wife Winona and their newborn baby girl are living in Miami so when Raylan is offered a chance to travel to the Sunshine state to apprehend a fugitive instead of jumping at the opportunity go visit his daughter, he instead fights, kicking and screaming to avoid the trip.
Dewey Crowe is back ladies and gentlemen and after a rough and tumble season three appearance that saw him become best buddies with Dickie Bennett before escaping prison, having his kidneys removed to sell on the black market (he didn’t really have his kidneys removed) and being generally abused, he’s on the lookout for some payback. It’s not hill justice that Dewey’s looking for, however, it’s a federal payoff because his lawyer opens the episode grilling Raylan about his continuous abuse of her client along with the suffering he went through while a prisoner and guest of the Federal government.
Instead of letting the lawsuit go too far, Judge Mike the Hammer (Stephen Root is back, which is fantastic) decides to change the offer from the court — instead of $20,000 they will offer him 300. Dewey is outraged by this number. After all he’s gone through the government’s only going to give him a measly $300?
“$300,000 you nitwit,” Judge Reardon says as Dewey’s jaw drops as he covers his mouth in disbelief at the amount of money he’s about to win.
Naturally the case is closed and off we go into Justified season 5.
We kick things off by meeting Dilly Crowe and his partner Elvis as they are looking to payoff a local Coast Guard agent who is helping them steal sugar that they will then sell at a discounted price to cheap candy makers looking to save a few bucks. You know the knock off candy that looks like a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup except it’s not a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup? Yeah those. Dilly — for those curious is part of the Crowe family, the Florida alligator poaching cousins of one Dewey Crowe — and he’s not the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree because when the Coast Guard officer begins to make fun of his stutter after he can only muster half the cash for their current deal, the hot headed dullard decides to shoot him down. Dilly’s partner Elvis, a Cuban mercenary, follows up with a couple more gun shots and with that the sugar importing business is dead (literally).
Back in Kentucky at this point all the news is surrounding this murder of a Coast Guard agent, who was suspected of being dirty, and Art is ready to send Raylan down to Florida to hunt him down because his partner in crime was none other than Dilly Crowe. As it turns out, Raylan is well acquainted with the Crowe family beyond his dealings with Dewey over the years. He played a part in arresting and sending Darryl Crowe Jr. to prison several years ago and since it’s his brother involved in the shooting, Raylan is the perfect person to flush him out.
This is where we get a keen sense that Raylan is avoiding Florida at all costs. He tries to find a location on Dilly and his partner Elvis by paying a visit to Dewey at his new place of business. It’s there that Raylan runs into Wade Messer (remember the guy that has twice tried to kill Raylan?) who is now working as a bartender at Audrey’s under Dewey’s employ. Dewey — ever the businessman — took his payoff from the government and bought Audrey’s from Boyd and he’s now the man in charge of the whore business around Harlan County. He’s enjoying the fruits of his labor with a little mid-afternoon skinny dipping session with a couple of his ladies. I’ll give Dewey this — the girls he has in the pool are a big upgrade from Ellen May and some of the ladies that Boyd and Ava employed.
Regardless, Raylan is looking for answers from Dewey about his cousins in Florida but despite his best efforts the dimwitted pimp doesn’t have any clue about his wayward family down south. That means Raylan is headed to the swampy sun of Florida.
On the trip, Raylan is joined by a local Florida Marshal named Sutter (played by David Koechner — WHAMMY!), who continuously imparts fatherly words of wisdom upon his new partner while they are searching for Crowe and his partner Elvis. He finds the Crowe’s house, but doesn’t find Darryl or Dilly and instead has a conversation with their gator hunting friend Jean Baptiste. It’s there that Raylan lets slip (or not) that cousin Dewey back in Kentucky has recently come into some serious cash after his settlement with the government. That raises Jean Baptiste’s eyebrows and the info will soon find its way to the rest of the Crowe clan.
We also finally meet Darryl Crowe Jr. (played by New Yorker Michael Rapaport). He’s the family patriarch with his father gone, but he’s on parole and trying to keep his bloodlines going, flush with money and opportunity. Unfortunately his brother Dilly’s hot temper and ill fated decision making is ruining their latest scheme so now Darryl has to clean up the mess. To deal with Raylan, Darryl sends his baby sister Wendy (played by Alicia Witt) to negotiate with the U.S. Marshals. Wendy has a deal for Raylan — Darryl will give up Elvis if they can agree to pardon the rest of his time on parole. A few minutes later once Raylan agrees, Darryl shows up to go face to face with his old nemesis for the first time in many years. Darryl may seem like a backwater hillbilly, but as it turns out when he was in prison he took several classes and became a bit of an educated man. He agrees to turn Elvis over and when Wendy asks what happens if the Cuban decides to give in while also giving up the Crowe family, Darryl clues her into some valuable knowledge — knowing Raylan like he does and known Elvis as well, he’s betting neither one of them make it out of Florida alive.
Turns out Darryl is a smart man.
While the elder Crowe brother does indeed turn the tables on Elvis to get him in a location to allow the Marshals to take him down, the Cuban criminal is smart enough to smell a trap and instead kidnaps Wendy to help him get to a marina so he can escape by boat. She ends up crashing the car to get out of a bad situation and proceeds to call Raylan to sick him on Elvis.
At the marina, Darryl’s plan half pays off because sure enough Elvis pulls his gun and both Raylan and Sutter pull theirs and you can take a wild guess which ones land first. Back at the Crowe estate, Darryl has to make an even tougher call to get rid of the other half of the pair of Dumb and Dumber that killed a Coast Guard agent. Sure enough, Dilly turns and finds a knife stuck deep in his throat courtesy of his other brother Danny. With the family’s business in Florida dead and no other prospects around, Jean Baptiste mentions Dewey’s recent windfall of money and right away we know that the Crowes are about to migrate north for the winter.
On the way out of Florida, Sutter suggests that Raylan could delay his trip to run to Miami to see his newborn baby and ex-wife who are now living there. Once again Raylan balks at the idea and the next time we see him, he’s back in Kentucky at his desk talking to both of his girls via video chat. He never mentions that he was just in Florida and promises to find time to visit them soon. It’s clear fatherhood is not sitting well with Raylan.
On the other side of town, we pick up with Boyd, who is visiting his lady love Ava still sitting in a jail cell awaiting the assignment of the judge who will handle her case. Boyd’s got a lawyer, but in reality he’s just waiting on the judge to be named so he can quickly move to either bribe or intimidate them. He promises Ava before long she will be back home with her engagement ring back on her finger. Their country home is a self-made prison for Boyd because it’s just lonely without her there.
Onto business, Boyd is still running heroin in Kentucky for the Detroit mob but during his latest pickup things turn for the worse when he realizes that the drug runners showed up without any product just looking to hijack his cash. Boyd quickly turns the tables, kills all three of the conspirators while taking a bullet to his own ear in the process.
Boyd calls up his partner Wynn Duffy and they head to Detroit to seek out Sammy Tonin and the rest of the Detroit mob to see why they were just set up for a downfall. Once they arrive in Detroit it’s clear that the organization isn’t what it once was under Sammy’s father Theo. The entire group are holed up in a dilapidated building where they are hiding out on the 14th floor with some local gang members acting as security.
Once they get to the top floor, Boyd and Wynn run into Mr. Picker (if you remember him from last season) and they insist on seeing Sammy, who is in the back with another cohort going straight up Scarface with a chainsaw on somebody who obviously turned on them. Before Sammy can get much of a conversation in with Boyd and Wynn, Picker pulls his gun and blows his brains out all over their partners from Kentucky.
As it turns out, Sammy is over his head in debt to the Canadian distributors who are responsible for the heroin they’ve been dealing and Picker negotiated to kill his boss and take their money in exchange for his own life being spared. Well, Boyd and Duffy quickly turn the tables and end up at a meeting with the Canadians where they negotiate one final heroin deal before the groups sever ties. It’s here where we hear the tale of how Tim Horton was once known as a Stanley Cup winning hockey god but now he’s only known as the name of a coffee and donut shop. They’re bummed to find out no one in Detroit has heard of Tim Horton’s although I will say there are plenty of them in Ohio (for all the Canadian’s curious when traveling abroad in the U.S.)
Obviously, Boyd and Duffy will both be looking for a new heroin source once the Canadian’s fly back north and it appears they will continue to deal with Picker while securing a new dealer from Mexico.
Back at home, Boyd has one other piece of business that has to be handled. Ava’s judge has been assigned and his name is Bishop — he’s an honest, word of the law kind of judge who can’t be bought and as it turns out he has no family so there’s no way to intimidate him into playing ball. That means Boyd only has one play left to make.
He visits Paxton — the funeral home magnate that orchestrated Ava’s downfall in the first place — and offers to pay him $300,000 to get Judge Bishop to back off and dismiss the case. It’s clear Boyd is desperate to do anything to get Ava out of jail and back in his arms. Not only is she the love of his life, but she’s the anchor that keeps him at least somewhat grounded. Without Ava around, Boyd is slipping more and more into his old, murderous, vengeful ways and each passing moment is another where his sanity is slipping.
Paxton quickly turns down Boyd’s payoff — he clearly doesn’t need the money. He then humiliates Boyd by asking him to beg for his help, for which he complies. It’s at that point, Paxton lays out his real deal to get Ava free — Boyd has to turn himself into the sheriff and admit it was him that killed Delroy Baker and put Ava up to the job of switching the bodies. Boyd hesitates in his response and Paxton quickly pounces to say that it proves no matter how much he claims to love Ava, there’s still not enough there for him to sacrifice his own freedom for his ‘white trash’ princess.
Boyd has taken enough abuse and decides to dole out some of his own.
He attacks Paxton, pistol whipping the Clover Hill socialite until his skull is caved in. In the background, Paxton’s Latvian internet imported wife (played by True Blood’s Karolina Wydra) is subdued in her response to seeing her husband killed. Boyd quickly offers to double up tonight’s body count, but she offers to say it was a burglar that killed her husband and so he shuffles out the door. I would wager his wife will re-appear this season given the strange and off putting response to her husband’s murder.
The monster inside of Boyd is returning in quick order and one has to wonder the longer Ava stays in prison, how much does the animal start to take over while the human side he’s developed begin to wither away for good?
Tune in next week for another episode and recap of Justified — Tuesday night at 10pm ET/PT on FX!