Justified Premiere Recap: Counting Crowes

Justified Season 5 RecapA new Justified season hath brought new adversaries for U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens and new headaches for his frenemy Boyd Crowder.

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The FX drama’s Season 5 premiere opened with daft Dewey Crowe reaping a payday in court, for wounds physical and otherwise inflicted upon him by Raylan. But then the action moved over — and about 700 miles south — to another dimwitted Crowe, Dewey’s Florida cousin Dilly, who is short by half his payoff to a Coast Guard officer. When the guy makes fun of Dilly’s stutter once too often, he gets a bullet for it, as the Crowes’ sugar smuggler associate Elvis (Amaury Nolasco) looks on.

The murder leads Raylan down to Florida — begrudgingly, even though Art suggests it’s a fine opportunity to get face time (versus Facetime) with his baby mama and their little girl. Accompanied to the Sunshine State by Deputy Marshall Sutter (David Koechner), a genial sort with many a story of fatherhood, Raylan sits down with the Florida Crowes’ front man, Darryl Jr. (Michael Rapaport), who in trade for giving up Elvis wants the balance of his parole pardoned.

Elvis senses which way the wind is blowing and thwarts Darryl’s plan by holding his paralegal sister Wendy (Alicia Witt) at gunpoint during a drive to the motel where the Marshals are to nab him. Wendy forces a car crash and escapes, leaving Elvis to make an utterly lame bid to take the tiniest boat to Cuba — before getting gunned down, in self defense, by Raylan and Sutter. Once back at the office, Raylan Skypes with Winona and their daughter, marveling over mother and child yet not revealing that he was just in their neck of the woods without knocking. Issues!

But that is far from the end of Raylan’s dealings with the sun-baked murder of Crowes. Rather, their gator-poaching Haitian cohort Jean Baptiste (Edi Gathergi) — having overhead Raylan mention Dewey’s windfall — suggests that they and Darryl’s other brother Danny (A.J. Buckley) relocate to Kentucky and pay their Crowe kin a visit….

Meanwhile in Harlan, it’s nothing but bad, worse and the worst news for Boyd. For one, his latest drug buy turns deadly when the delivery man attempts to cheat him. With partner Wynn Duffy along for the ride, Boyd seeks out “the clear water at the top of the stream” in Detroit, but even after an umpteen-floor walk-up, again he comes up empty, when Nicky Augustine’s onetime boy Picker pops Sammy Tonin and attempts his own hold-up. When Boyd and Wynn gained the upper hand, they demand a meet with Detroit’s supplier, “The Canadians” (aka Dave Foley and Will Sasso), who agreed to one last shipment at a date TBD.

Back home, things don’t pick up for Boyd at all, as he learns that Judge Bishop, the man who will hear the airtight case against Ava for the murder of Delroy Baker, has no family to threaten. Boyd thus leans on Bishop’s buddy Lee Paxton, offering $300K for his help in turning the judge — but the Clover Hiller laughs in his face. Instead, Paxton offers to get Ava sprung if Boyd takes the rap for the murder. When Boyd hesitates, Paxton questions his love for Ava — prompting Boyd to lash out and beat the businessman to a pulp… just as his Latvian trophy wife Mara (Karolina Wydra) walks in. (“I think he bumped his head.”) Will she agree to blame the assault on a “burglar,” as promised? And was that the scene Walton Goggins told us “permanently altered” the way he sees Boyd?

What did you think of Justified‘s season opener and the new players that were introduced?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. jon says:

    I love this show!

  2. Pat D. says:

    Kinda disappointing premiere…although it was cool seeing “Pure Evil” Boyd again—havent seen that since the pilot episode.

    Just seemed that other than Mike Rappaport’s character (honestly, what on earth was Graham thinking casting this guy as a SOUTHERN crimelord? He was so awful in this episode—hopefully he does a better job as the season goes on) nobody of any interest on the evil side of things will exist after this episode—Nolasco’s Cuban villain was killed, the Funeral Home guy was killed, etc.

    Just a little bit of a letdown compared to past seasons, IMHO.

  3. Jenna says:

    Best opener of the season! The guest cast was seriously loaded, and the episode was amazing. Welcome back, Raylan and Boyd!

  4. What?! says:

    Awesome! Pretty dark opener! The Detroit scenes were great. The Canadian meet was hilarious, hope we see them again. I look forward into seeing more of Darryl Jr. too, Rapaport was great! I’m also going to enjoy the Boyd and Wynn combo this season. Boyds not messing around, he’s just not the same without Ava. Raylan continues to have “Issues!”. It’s going to be a great season!

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  6. Patrick Maloney says:

    Did not hook me like the previous seasons have but I’m sure the villain will gel more with me as we move through the season

  7. Britta Unfiltered says:

    Get out of my head, Matt. I was just wondering the exact same thing about Boyd’s ending scene and Walton Goggins having his opinion change on the character. Because that scene did change my thinking on Boyd. I also thought he was really going to kill the wife in cold blood.
    I would have to say it wasn’t my favorite season premiere of the show, but I realize this was a set up episode for bigger things to come. So I graded it a B. I think Michael Rappoport is going to have a pretty interesting character this season.

  8. Blackfel says:

    If I had to guess, the moment Walton Goggins is referring to is the conversation with Lee Paxton, but not the part where he kills him. Boyd Crowder is a character that is constantly in control of every situation, even when the situations in question are uncontrollable. We’ve seen Crowder as a schemer, a murderer, a brother-in-arms, and a planner. What we’ve never seen from him is true fear and absolute desperation. He’s running out of options to save Eva, and that has him terrified, so much so that he is starting to lose control. The act that stands out to me was Boyd Crowder, one of the proudest villains on TV, begging a man he absolutely despises for his help in getting Eva out of prison. His murderous fury came as a result of that man watching him beg, then throwing it in his face, refusing to help out of pure spite.

    Brilliant scene, and brilliantly acted. Well done.

    • Pat D. says:

      I actually dont agree with the pure romantic analysis of Boyd/Eva, because as we saw, Boyd is only willing to go so far in sacrificing himself for her. Paxton offered him a way out, and Boyd only considered it for a second before he visibly rejected the idea of taking the blame (kudos to Walt [yet again] for brilliantly portraying this with his face).

      • Pat Green says:

        Boyd was considering whether Paxton could be trusted to drop charges against Ava and was also totally pissed about Paxton’s comment about Ava’s character. Just my take after watching this 3 times and paying close attention to his facial expressions.

        • Pat D. says:

          Don’t really agree—it looked like Boyd was a bit bothered that Paxton was right—that he WOULDN’T give up his freedom for Eva’s—but I’ve been wrong a billion times before. ;)

  9. ScorpionGlow says:

    A really good episode, though a bit actor heavy in terms of guest stars for my taste. Loving this new season already!

  10. I would have given it an awesome rating but for the scene between Boyd and Paxton and then with Paxton’s widow. It just didn’t work for me.

  11. Maya says:

    I’d give it an A-. It was really good but Michael as Daryl was the weakest link. His southern accent was horrendous and I wasn’t feeling him as the Big Bad. I hope his character gets better. Walton was on his A game once again as Boyd. How this man doesn’t have any Emmy or Golden Globes for his work astounds me. Dewey was a highlight as well along with Wynn.

    I really missed Tim, Rachel and Art.

  12. James D says:

    not the best season premier of the series but still very good, I will wait a few episodes to judge Rappaport, As always I really enjoyed Boyd. And Jare Burns as a series regular is gravy.

  13. knd says:

    Loved it! Also Boyd and Wynn totally reminded me of Vincent and Jules from Pulp Fiction and it was awesome.

  14. M.E. says:

    Loved seeing Jason Grey-Stanford (Randy Disher from Monk) as Dilly Crowe, but was sorry to see him killed off so soon.

    • SonOfCoul says:

      I really hope the Crowe’s are a Lee Toric-esque red herring big bad that only ends up being around for 4-6 episodes. Everything that was non Crowe(minus Dewey, he’s always entertaining) were the most enjoyable parts of the premiere.

  15. Ed says:

    No doubt best season premiere of Justified. Just cant wait to see what happens next. Boyd is out of control. GOOD STUFF!!

  16. Carol says:

    Justified is a good show. We have watched every episode. But unless the writers develop the main characters, their life backgrounds and motivations, childhood experiences and upbringing etc., such as in the movie series “The Godfather”, the show will be running out of soap fairly soon. You can only stand stand so much dope, dummies, trite and worn-out wife-husband conflicts. Only the good acting has saved the show. For example — Boyd and Raylon are actually half-brothers fathered by Bo Crowder and Arlo was not Raylon’s father. Winona is not having Raylon’s child but the child’s father is the Judge and Raylon finds out by accident and Waylon confronts her. Ellen May and Drew Thompson get together in Witsec and find a life together. Bring back Mag’s character showing her as a young 16-year-old girl as hot as a firecracker and young bride. Raylon’s mother meeting-up with Bo Crowder and fathering Raylon.

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