A new Justified season hath brought new adversaries for U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens and new headaches for his frenemy Boyd Crowder.
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?