Raylan (Timothy Olyphant) is back on parental duty as he helps Loretta Macready (Kaitlyn Dever) out of a jam. Meanwhile, Boyd’s (Walton Goggins) bad luck continues.
Let’s bitch it out…
Justified has long been the story of two best friends: one, Raylan, who grew up to become a Marshal. The other, Boyd, who became a criminal. The plot thus far in this fifth (and penultimate) season has been evenly split between the two (like many other seasons thus far, the pair have yet to cross paths). Although I always look forward to when the former friends meet, I’m just as happy to see them apart when they’re both juggling full plates, which just so happens to be the case in ‘The Kids Aren’t Alright.’
Boyd’s problem remains more or less the same as last week: his drug connections in Canada have dried up, creating a shortage (and irate demand) in Harlan. This might be less pressing if that didn’t create a money shortage for Boyd, just at a time when he most needs it. Turns out last week’s attempt to silence Lee Paxton (Sam Anderson) didn’t end with a fatality, so Boyd is being fleeced by the wife Mara (Karolina Wydra) for a return trip home or she’ll give in to the strong arm of the law in the form of doughy Deputy Sheriff Nick Mooney (William Gregory Lee). Add to this the impending countdown to Ava’s (Joelle Carter) trial – t-minus 10 days – and the hijacking of the sole remaining drug shipment and Boyd is essentially up shit creek.
Things are rosier for Raylan. At the top of the hour he more or less inherits a reposessed McMansion from a money launderer named Monroe (Xander Berkeley in a thankless role) and by the end he’s chatting up Loretta’s flirty new social worker Allison (Amy Smart). The trade-off is that in between he’s forced to clean up Loretta’s mess as the precocious teen once again gets him to do her dirty work. After she and her idiot boyfriend run afoul of the Memphis pot crew headed by a pair of amusing brothers (Wood and Steve Harris) as well as “Hot Rod” Dunham (Mickey Jones, unseen since S3), it’s up to Raylan to make the peace and ensure the teens don’t end up buried.
It’s a fairly typical case for Justified that doesn’t require Raylan to do much more than roll into a dangerous situation with a wisecrack and not-so-idle threat, but I do like the callbacks to previous characters. Plus the return of Loretta is a solid reminder of Raylan’s (unconscious?) parental leanings; if ever there’s a child or teenager in trouble, regardless of the risk, the Marshal will move mountains to ensure their survival. Mind you it’s usually accompanied by stern talking-to, but when it’s Timothy Olyphant doing the delivering, we wouldn’t have it any other way, would we?
- The other big plot point involves Art’s (Nick Searcy) investigation into Raylan’s involvement in Nicky Augustine’s murder in last season’s finale. This doesn’t bode well for Raylan considering he is guilty of giving Nicky up to Sammy Tonin, which is more or less the one time Raylan has truly broken the law (not just bent or overlooked it). It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out given Art’s impending retirement and the fact that the writers are laying the groundwork so early in the season. Could Raylan be fired or in jail by season’s end?!
- I love me some Jere Burns, but his promotion to series regular has done nothing but reduce his screentime. He barely does anything in tonight’s episode. This is not what I was hoping for when I found out we’d be getting more Wynn Duffy
- Just in case you forgot who this season’s true villain is, Daryl Jr (Michael Rapaport) arrives in Harlan to visit cousin Dewey (Damon Herriman). By the alarmed look on Dewey’s face, this is not going to be a happy reunion
- Finally, Alan Sepinwall makes a good point about Chekhov’s Confederate Pistol that Raylan handles in the repossessed mansion. Clearly that thing is going to get used at some point, so the only question is when?
- Raylan (when the brothers suggest they considered law enforcement): “So what held you back? High school?”
Over to you: what do you think of Boyd’s no good, very bad day? Do we care at all about Mara Paxton? Should Raylan be worried about his shady involvement in Nicky’s death? Were you glad to see Loretta back? And how long before we see Amy Smart in the hot tub? Add your two cents below
Justified airs Tuesdays at 10pm EST on FX