Review: Justified – “Restitution” Ultimate Double Cross
Season 5 Finale, Episode 13
Air date: Tuesday, April 8, 2014, 10PM E/P on FX
“Well, if my survival is a happy by-product of my selfless act, so be it.” – Boyd
After a lot of bumps this season with some mediocre episodes, Justified pulls a genius move with its season finale, “Restitution.” The twists, turns, and cliffhanger will leave your jaw gaping while you scratch your head at the audacity of the Justified writers. How in the world does such a crazy, haphazard season go from ‘what the hell are they playing at,’ to ‘hot damn, I’m SO ready for season six?’
As we saw in “Starvation,” Raylan (Timothy Olyphant) and ADA Vasquez (Rick Gomez) pulled a daring stunt to lure Daryl Crowe, Jr. (Michael Rapaport) into confessing to the shooting of Art (Nick Searcy). The District Attorney’s office was going to try 15-year-old Kendal (Jacob Loflund) as an adult for shooting a federal officer. I knew Daryl wasn’t going to budge. But Kendal’s mother, Wendy Crowe (Alicia Witt) …well, she isn’t about to let her degenerate brother go free while her son rots in prison for 40 to life.
Throughout the season, Wendy’s role has been a bit of a mystery to me. If you look at the season as a whole, you understand why she was a necessity. She has been pretending to be Kendal’s sister because she didn’t know how to be his mother. She’s put her son’s life into the hands of her dimwitted brothers thinking he would be safe somehow. Of all the things Wendy has done wrong in her life as a mother, she makes up for them by what she does to save Kendal from a terrible fate. I was shocked by her actions but I felt every ounce of her built up rage and resentment when she looks her brother Daryl square in the eyes and says, “Thank you, I got what I needed.” Witt’s performance in “Restitution” is the best she’s done all season. As you recall, I said season five of Justified was the season of the double cross…well, Wendy provides us with the ultimate double cross!
What angers me a bit is Raylan’s tactics with Kendal. The poor boy can barely hold onto his cup of cocoa when Raylan casually mentions he’s going to be tried as an adult. I commend the writers for keeping Kendal as youthful as they do. The fact that the boy consistently wants hot cocoa for a beverage shows us that despite his ornery exterior, he’s still just a young boy inside.
The Mexicans vs Boyd Crowder
Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins) is, hands down, one of television’s most beloved criminals. Boyd exudes swagger, intelligence, and cunning in such an unassuming package. Many have underestimated him, including the Mexicans. Alberto (Justin Huen) thinks he has Boyd stuck in a corner but little does he know, that’s how Boyd works best – under the gun, literally. Even in the face of impending death, Boyd doesn’t shy away, telling Alberto, “You see, I know real pain; shit you can’t even imagine. Now, you want to put me out of my misery? How ‘bout you stop runnin’ your goddamn mouth and do whatever it is you got to do.” Outnumbered, Boyd uses his brains to get out of this intense situation and by jove, he does it with panache. Goggins has been a shining light throughout throughout every season of Justified. His acting is nothing short of brilliant; the way he conveys pain and anguish when one of his men is taken from him sends chills down my spine. I empathized with him completely.
Interesting Moments/Things to Ponder
- Art and Raylan finally have a moment to speak. The conversation is revealing and could mean Raylan’s departure from Kentucky.
- As much as I hate it, the Nicky Augustine (Mike O’Malley) case is still lingering over Raylan’s head. I know Tim (Jacob Pitts) and Rachel (Erica Tazel) still have it on their minds but if Raylan leaves their district, will it matter? This dark spot will follow Raylan no matter where he goes and if he does go to Miami, how safe will his family be if this Nicky thing rears its ugly head? Remember, Boyd knows what happened.
- Speaking of Boyd, the next season is lined up perfectly to be a Boyd-centric season. The cliffhanger and Ava’s (Joelle Carter) surprise release have a lot to do with it. The question is, will Ava go through with it to keep herself free? She knows Boyd didn’t ask for her exoneration when he had the chance – he asked for his own clean slate. Will that influence her choices in the future when push comes to shove?
- Have we seen the last of Dewey (Damon Herriman) after his arrest in “Starvation?” Never say never, right? Dickie Bennett (Jeremy Davies) returned for a hot minute this season…who’s to say these two knuckleheads won’t sync up in prison and come up with some hair-brained schemes?
- Wynn Duffy (Jere Burns) and Katherine Hale (Mary Steenburgen) are concocting another wicked plan to make money and they want Boyd in on it. Despite his epic failure at the heroin business, he’s still got a unique skillset that could be very lucrative to what Wynn and Katherine have in mind. We also learn a tidbit of information about Katherine’s background that seems to have piqued Boyd’s interest and maybe even impressed him a little.
- Rachel is one of my favorites on Justified but she’s not getting the screen time she deserves. She does, however, get a great moment and line of dialogue while talking to Boyd after the fiasco with the Mexicans. “You’re going to walk away from all this and we’re going to have to live with that but I’m gonna go back to Lexington, take that file Raylan has on you, and make it my sole purpose on this earth to ensure you receive every ounce of punishment you have coming your way, and then some.” I hope the writers explore more of Rachel’s background if there is a season six. By all accounts, it seems like there might be.
- Raylan has really shown his darker side this season and I like it. He was a bit too cordial at the outset; however, slowly but surely, he got angry. Raylan is so good at saying “I told you so” without saying those exact words. When Raylan looks Daryl in the eyes and says, “Didn’t I tell ya, you were gonna wish I’d killed ya? Well, don’t ya,” I was in awe. It was a low blow to a man who is already down but after all the shit talking Daryl is dishing out, he kind of deserves it.
“Restitution” is a great season finale. It wraps up a few loose ends and sets up a potential season six for greatness. If you would have asked me four episodes ago if I was looking forward to another season, I would have said, “Meh…maybe.” After watching “Restitution,” I’m more than anxious for the official word from FX about a season six pick up. I’m sure the network is waiting to see how the finale will fare before making their decision.
Let me know what you thought of “Restitution.” Leave a comment below and/or tweet me @judybopp.
We’ll update you once we confirm Justified season six renewal.
For more on the show, go to http://www.fxnetworks.com/justified.