Season of the Back Stab.
Justified, Season 5, Episode 7 – “Raw Deal”
Air date: Tuesday, February 25, 2014, 10PM E/P on FX
“You interested in staying alive?” – Penny
Ask and you shall receive. At the end of “Kill the Messenger,” I mentioned in my recap that I wanted to see the Mexican heroin deal go down, and for Boyd (Walton Goggins) and Johnny (David Meunier) to square off. “Raw Deal” gives us that and so much more. As much as I like Boyd having antagonists nipping at his heels, his cousin Johnny is really becoming more of a nuisance than formidable adversary. Meunier has played Johnny down this season and the answer to why is revealed in “Raw Deal.” Meunier is a good actor, but he’s been carrying on with a nonchalant attitude like he can’t be touched.
The aftermath of the Art (Nick Searcy) and Raylan (Timothy Olyphant) debacle is coming to a nasty head. With both Tim (Jacob Pitts) and Rachel (Erica Tazel) doling out orders “via the Chief” to Raylan, you know a face off is bound to happen before “Raw Deal” ends. Art is pissed off but I think more than anything, he feels betrayed. He thought his friendship with Raylan was deeper but it seems like Raylan doesn’t trust Art enough to tell him the truth. But isn’t Art acting a bit like a petulant child with all the crap detail he’s giving Raylan? Making Raylan come in early in the morning to handle “walk-ins” is really beneath Raylan’s qualifications. Regardless, the conversation between the two really is more an ultimatum, of sorts. Will Art really reassign Raylan? You know Raylan isn’t quitting.
What can I say? Ava (Joelle Carter) is looking a bit worse for wear after a beat down and hair cut from Gretchen Swift (Casey McCarthy). But, if that’s a prison hair cut, I’d like to book an appointment. Considering Ava only used a razor to trim up the ends, her cropped bob doesn’t look half bad. I digress. Ava is need of protection. Boyd hasn’t been visiting and she needs to find her own sanctuary within the prison walls. An unlikely venture leads Ava down a rocky path. Are Penny (Danielle Panabaker) and “the Heavenly Mother” Judith (Dale Dickey) trustworthy? Can dealing drugs inside the joint really be Ava’s salvation?
Adventures in Mexico
After failing to find Johnny in Tennessee, Boyd, Daryl (Michael Rapaport), Danny (A.J. Buckley), Dewey (Damon Herriman), and some of Boyd’s henchmen head down to Mexico to conduct their business with Mr. Yoon (James Kyson). Little do they know, Johnny beats them to it. Again, Johnny has been walking around with his chest out like he’s untouchable. For him to be in Mexico striking up a deal with Yoon to outbid Boyd is a bold move—stupid, but bold. All I can say is Justified season five is the season of the back stab. The double crossing going on is epic, and what goes down in Mexico is one of the best swindles I’ve seen. I thought Johnny double crossing Hot Rod (Mickey Jones) was a jaw dropper but what Boyd does takes the damn cake.
Raylan gets his bank account wiped out by a computer whiz. I know this whole plot point is tied to Charles Monroe (Xander Berkeley), the crazy Detroit accountant that had everything seized by U.S. Marshals. I find this plot to be really boring … well, except the part where the guy with a prosthetic leg jumps out the window giving Raylan the slip, and the bird. That was hilarious. Tim thought so, too. I know this computer hacker will pop up again before the season is over. And I’m sure the whole Theo Tonin (Adam Arkin) storyline will be revisited soon.
Wendy (Alicia Witt) is really trying to goad Allison (Amy Smart) by asking her what turns Raylan on but there is an endgame, at least for Wendy. She knows Allison isn’t the cleanest social worker and capitalizes on the fact Allison is dating Raylan to get some retribution for the Crowes.
What is Raylan up to asking Wendy to rat on her brothers? Does he really think she’s going to betray her kin? Yes, they wreak havoc on her life. Yes, they make her uproot and move around to help them. Yes, she’s never been able to finish law school because of her idiotic brothers but does that mean she is going to work with Raylan to put them away? Maybe. Wendy is a wild card this season. I can see her helping Raylan but at the same time, this season is full of double crosses and we still have a few more episodes left. We may see Wendy give us the most dramatic betrayal yet.
“Raw Deal” is an exciting episode because of the double crossing in Mexico. While I’d hoped for a bit more drama, I got more bloodshed instead. Is it just me, or is Justified waning a bit? With it being season five, are the writers/producers trying to wind things down for a series finale? With Raylan asking for a transfer and taking a two week vacation, I’m feeling a bit like things are coming to an end. I’ve got mixed emotions about that.
Let me know what you thought of “Raw Deal.” Leave a comment below and/or tweet me @judybopp.
Check out the interviews with some of the cast at the season five red carpet premiere.
Tune in to Justified, Tuesdays at 10:00 PM ET/PT, only on FX.
For more on the show, go to http://www.fxnetworks.com/justified