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Review: Justified, Season 5 – “A Murder of Crowes”

Justified Season 5 Episode 01 "A Murder of Crowes"

Rating:
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Justified, Season 5, Episode 01 - "A Murder of Crowes"
Air date: Tuesday, January 7, 10PM E/P on FX

Dewey Crowe and some of his nefarious kin are shaking things up this season. Meanwhile, Boyd is dealing with backlash from Detroit, Canada, and Lee Paxton.
Photos ©2013-14 FX Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

“So what? You figured you’d drive south anyways, rip off the simple people? Well, we ain’t that simple.” – Boyd

Justified comes back with a new season that’s fresh but still has that familiar feeling we’ve all come to know and love. “A Murder of Crowes” is chock full of dark humor, sarcasm, new characters, and lots of back stabbing, no good, old-fashioned double-crossing fun.

As “A Murder of Crowes” opens, we find Dewey Crowe (Damon Herriman) sitting in a courtroom facing Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant), who’s on the witness stand. When we left Harlan, KY at the end of last season, I was quite skeptical about what would happen on Justified for season five. The last time we saw Dewey, in season three, he thought two of his four kidneys had been removed (I know, I know, we only have two, but Dewey didn’t know that, bless his heart). It wasn’t until I started seeing the promos and tag lines for season five that I realized the creator of Justified is pulling some old aces out of his sleeve. While still keeping the series familiar, he shakes it up and invigorates an old story arc to infuse a like-new feel to the award winning show. Bringing Dewey back into the fold is genius. Dewey is about to be tested when some of his unwanted kin from Florida decide to come to Harlan after hearing about his recent good fortune. As the title of this season premiere suggests, yes, there is a murder or three. But who’s counting?

“A Murder of Crowes” introduces us to some new characters, as well as reestablishing old friendships. One of the new characters is Daryl Crowe (Michael Rappaport), a headstrong, no-holds barred red neck trying to make do in Florida while keeping the Crowe family together as best he can. His ‘involvement’ in the “sugar” business with the Cubans goes slight awry when his dim-witted brother Dilly (Jason Gray-Stanford) screws up a deal with a corrupt Coast Guard officer. The heat is on and Raylan must take a trip to back waters near Miami, FL to get some answers.

“A Murder of Crowes” is a jolt of vitality for this tried and true show. Changing the scenery, adding dynamic characters, and injecting some intricate and sometimes complex story arcs are just what the doctor ordered. It doesn’t go unnoticed that Raylan seems to dodge any opportunity to go to Miami throughout “A Murder of Crowes.” He even tells Art (Nick Searcy), “Look Art, I’d love to see my child but before we go spending tax payer money on the ticket, I’d like to remind you that we’ve got a perfectly good Crowe right here in Harlan.” Perhaps Raylan is trying to keep his professional life as far away from his personal life, I mean, he has been shot at a few times. Either way, it seems Raylan is shying away from his fatherly duties now that baby Givens is here…well, living in Miami with mother Winona (Natalie Zea). Parenthood isn’t easy and something tells me the resounding theme for this season will be about family ties.

Speaking of a change of scenery, we do get to go someplace else in “A Murder of Crowes,” when Boyd (Walton Goggins) and new business partner Wynn Duffy (Jere Burns) head up to Detroit, MI after a confrontation leaves Boyd wounded and without his shipment of narcotics. If you’re at all squeamish, be warned, some really bloody scenes take place during the trip to Detroit. Just hearing the chainsaw sends shivers down my spine.

While many questions from season four are answered in “A Murder of Crowes,” many remain unanswered.” Remember Ava (Joelle Carter), who was carted off to prison at the end end of last season? Boyd is desperate to get her out. Boyd wants to be her knight in shining armor but isn’t sure how to go about it.

Funny lines:
Raylan goes to Audrey’s bar /brothel to see Dewey and runs into Wade (James Le Gros), an old acquaintance.

Wade (surprised): “Well, hey, Raylan.”
Raylan: “Wade.”
Wade: “Can I get you a blow job or somethin’?”
Raylan: “Just some water.”

“If I start arresting girls, how’s that for business, Dewey;you and Wade the only two pussies in this whore house.” – Raylan to Dewey (who’s playing nude Marco-Polo in an above ground pool)“I’m gonna shoot your balls off and feed’em to the squirrels if you don’t tell me what you know.” – Raylan to Dewey

“Oh, well, I have been to Iraq; it’s a lot like Detroit except you have better music.” Boyd to some henchman.

There is much more to “A Murder of Crowes,” including Canadian thugs who love Tim Horton’s donuts; a sister who wields her paralegal skills to help her brothers; and a new thorn in Boyd’s side by way of Lee Paxton (Sam Anderson), and his new, Latvian bride Mara (Karolina Wydra). I’m very much looking forward to seeing how all these story arcs unfold. Let the season commence!

Tune in to Justified, Tuesdays at 10PM E/P only on FX.