Justified – “Kill the Messenger”
Season 5, Episode 6
Air date: Tuesday, February 11, 2014, 10PM E/P on FX
“I can tell you’re a man that would run into a burning building without blinking an eye. Thing is, I think you’re the one setting the fire.” – Allison to Raylan
“Kill the Messenger” starts off with a punch in the face, literally. And if you think there was double crossing going on in “Shot All To Hell,” you ain’t seen nothing yet. In this week’s installment, there is goading, betrayal, and a lot of bruises. “Kill the Messenger” is a bit more complex in the story arcs as we are introduced to several new characters. Some of the plots are moving forward while others are stewing on the back burner.
I knew Art (Nick Searcy) wasn’t going to take what Raylan (Timothy Olyphant) said in “Shot All To Hell” very well and their awkward silence is now raising eyebrows and curiosity for Tim (Jacob Pitts) and Rachel (Erica Tazel). I’m not sure what Art is going to do but I think this is something that will fester a bit before action is taken. I can’t say it enough – both Pitts and Tazel are vastly underutilized actors on Justified. I’m grateful for the extra screen time Rachel gets in “Kill the Messenger,” showing she is more than a pretty face behind the badge. She’s a badass. I’m glad she insists on tagging along with Raylan during their elevator ride because she knows he has no intentions on doing inventory; he’s going to see Danny Crowe (A.J. Buckley) about the attack on Allison (Amy Smart).
Rachel: “How come you pushed ‘basement’?”
Raylan: “That’s where you count bullets.”
Rachel: “Please; I’m going with you.”
Raylan: “Where am I going?”
Rachel: “You’re going down to Harlan to kick Danny Crowe’s ass.”
Raylan: “Fine. You can drive.”
Danny Crowe is a piece of work. His maniacal barking and flashing that huge chip on his shoulder are going to get him into a lot of trouble. Buckley completely becomes this arrogant son of a bitch, giving us a performance so compelling, you would love to shoot Danny just to wipe that smug look off his face.
Boyd (Walton Goggins) is in a world of hurt. His Ava (Joelle Carter) is in the Kentucky State Women’s Prison so he seeks the aid of an old friend to help him protect her while she’s in the joint. I should have known right off the bat that Gunnar Swift (Branton Box) isn’t to be fully trusted. He’s still all about ‘white power’ and Boyd’s long moved on from that soap box. Swift warns Boyd about his sister Gretchen’s (Casey McCarthy) bad attitude and from the looks of her, she seems to hold her brother’s belief in white supremacy. I feel for Ava because if it isn’t Gretchen coming for her, there are others who would love a piece of her in more ways than one. This sudden hitch in the protection plan causes Boyd to seek an alliance with someone he probably never thought he would – Daryl Crowe (Michael Rapaport).
As Boyd tries to get his ducks in a row, he and Wynn Duffy (Jere Burns) meet with their new drug suppliers, Alberto Ruiz (Justin Huen) and Mr. Yoon (James Kyson). It’s a brief scene but it leaves quite an impression, not only with the “kimchee in the salsa” comment but Yoon’s message to Boyd about what will happen if things don’t work out in his boss’ favor. While I don’t care for the addition of more characters, Yoon is a breath of fresh air. He’s cultured, wears a nice suit, and articulates his points with precision and a touch of foreboding. I don’t think Boyd is going to cause ripples deliberately but it’s not Boyd who is causing a fuss. Hot Rod (Mickey Jones) sends a clear message that only Boyd would understand, forcing Boyd to do something he didn’t think he would do again so soon.
The one person to watch on Boyd’s team is Carl (Justin Welborn). He’s smart, cunning, and has a lot of gumption. He isn’t afraid of a fight and doesn’t back down easily. I’m keeping my eye on this dude.
Justified isn’t known for its comedic prowess, but it has its moments. The funniest moment of “Kill the Messenger” is the cell phone conversation among Dewey (Damon Herriman), Jimmy (Jesse Luken), and Boyd.
Dewey is desperate to be rid of his Florida kin. He shouts out, “I ain’t giving up on my dream” when he fails to sell his beloved above ground pool – a symbol of his grand dream to be his own boss.
Does Daryl really believe his buddy Jean-Baptiste (Edi Gathegi) actually went back to Miami? I think he knows something is up but maybe Daryl is wary of Danny’s unpredictability.
Wendy (Alicia Witt) is still a mystery to me. I know she’s there to help her brothers but she knows what they do isn’t always legal or moral. I’m hoping the writers have something up their sleeves for her character.
Is Allison right about Raylan? Is he a pot stirrer? She’s becoming Raylan’s Achilles heel. Danny goes after her and sure as a bear defecates in the woods, Raylan goes gunning for him. Is Raylan tired of the Marshal life? Perhaps he’s restless and needs to prove he’s still got what it takes to kick someone’s ass.
- Raylan to Wendy about Danny’s barking at Allison: “Well, your brother is a world-class dumb ass, no offense, so I hesitate to try and analyze what goes on in his head. But if I had to guess, I’d say it was his way of trying to call me out.”
- Raylan to Rachel: “You’re not a kiss ass; I’m sorry I said that. You know I think the world of ya and I trust you with my life, but Rachel, I ain’t saying a goddamn thing about me and Art.”
- Boyd to Gunnar: “Now Gunnar, I know it’s gonna be real unpleasant for you to talk for a little while, but you need to let your sister know that if anything else happens to my woman, if she cuts her leg shaving, I’m gonna take it out on you a hundred fold.”
While “Kill the Messenger” is an engaging and surprise-filled episode, I feel the show is dragging things out a bit too much. I’m ready to go to Mexico with the heroin and see the showdown between Boyd and Johnny (David Meunier). I also want to see Ava kick some ass too; I know she’s got it in her.
Let me know what you thought of “Kill the Messenger.” Leave a comment below and/or tweet me @judybopp.
Justified is taking a short break and will return with the new episode, “Raw Deal,” on Tuesday, February 25 at 10:00 PM ET/PT, only on FX.
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