Review: Justified – “Starvation”
Season 5, Episode 12
Air date: Tuesday, April 1, 2014, 10PM E/P on FX
“Once you fire this bullet, it don’t go back in the barrel.” – Judge Reardon
“Starvation” is the penultimate episode to the season five finale. While there are moments of intrigue and complexity, a lot falls flat. After last week’s explosive (all puns intended) showing in “The Toll,” my hopes were high for a continuation of exciting episodes leading into the finale but alas, “Starvation” leaves me…hungry.
How Far Will Raylan Go?
I certainly wouldn’t put it past Daryl Crowe, Jr. (Michael Rapaport) or Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins) to do some dastardly things to get what they want, but I’m a bit perturbed at Raylan’s (Timothy Olyphant) behavior in “Starvation.” The shooting last week that left Art (Nick Searcy) in intensive care, it gives Raylan the extra kick in the pants he needs to start getting himself in gear. But the whole Nicky Augustine (Mike O’Malley) thing just won’t go away.
I appreciate the dilemma Raylan is in as it provides a stark contrast to what we normally conceptualize as the typical criminal. Raylan is a U.S. Marshal, sworn to uphold the law, but can he be considered a criminal if he didn’t pull the trigger? After all, he only watched Nicky get shot all the hell. Does doing nothing to save a criminal make Raylan a criminal too? In a word, yes. The choice Raylan made then is haunting him now and hurting people he loves.
What’s interesting is how Raylan reacts when Boyd confronts him about the whole ordeal. Here’s Raylan throwing all of Boyd’s misgivings and ill deeds in his face, yet when Boyd says something about the Nicky Augustine case…well, Raylan’s face says it all. The fact that Raylan doesn’t dispute it or utter a single word also gives Tim (Jacob Pitts) and new interim Deputy Chief Rachel (Erica Tazel) pause.
Throughout “Starvation,” Boyd and Wynn Duffy (Jere Burns) try desperately to get the Mexican cartel off their backs and keep themselves in one piece. Time and time again, though, their plans falter. And I have to hand it Daryl. He’s smarter than he looks. Maybe his sister Wendy (Alicia Witt) did rub off on him – at least her knowledge of the law did. Daryl’s hands are filthy but there isn’t a speck of dirt to be found to link him to Art’s shooting or the heroin. I’m not sure if the arrangement Raylan and Assistant District Attorney (ADA) Vasquez (Rick Gomez) made with Judge Reardon (Stephen Root) will work out like they want but it’s a bold move. It’s poor Kendal (Jacob Loflund) who will suffer if he is tried as an adult. I wonder how strong the bonds of family are. Do you think Daryl will turn himself in or let Kendal take the wrap?
Ava (Joelle Carter) is in a tight spot in prison. Now that she’s taken out Judith (Dale Dickey), she still has to prove herself. I felt sorry for Ava when Raylan stops by. Not only are she and Boyd no longer together, she can’t catch a break with her ex-lover. Raylan wants her to help him in his desperate attempts to get Daryl so much so, he’s willing to threaten her safety. “How much of a nudge do you think I need to give the screws in here, get them to look the other way as concerns your welfare?” And what Boyd asks for in return for his own cooperation…well, let’s just say it might be really over for Boyd and Ava.
“Starvation” isn’t quite the lead in to the season five finale I wanted. It opens too many more doors without shutting some of the ones that have been left ajar all season. Will Boyd and Ava get back together? Will Raylan be fired for his involvement, or non-involvement, as the case may be, in Nicky Augustine’s murder? Will Art survive? Will Dewey (Damon Herriman) ever catch a break? I don’t know what to expect for the season finale and I don’t even know what to hope for.
Let me know what you thought of “Starvation.” Leave a comment below and/or tweet me @judybopp.
Tune in to the Justified season finale, Tuesday, April 8 at 10:00 PM ET/PT, only on FX.
For more on the show, go to http://www.fxnetworks.com/justified.