I’ve got to make this one shorter than I’d like it due to time constraints but there also wasn’t that much to really chew over beyond repeating how happy I am that Justified is back in my life.
“A Murder of Crowes” is quintessential Justified. A straight forward opening course of Justified, a solid bit of TV that might entice some new viewers and remind long time fans why they missed this show. Raylan finds himself sent to Florida on the hunt for Elvis Machado, an associate of the Crowe family. Boyd and Wynn Duffy, a now regular Jerry Burns, drive down to Detroit on a quest to get the weed they wanted to pay for. Sadly this misadventure was not done in the style of Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle, that’d have been awesome. Patriarch of the Florida Crowe clan, Darryl (Michael Rapaport) is set up as Raylan’s seasonal big bad or at least a nuisance for a while. It’s all a bunch of table setting but that isn’t a bad thing.
Now, this will seem an odd thing to say when talking about Justified, but was it a bit too violent last night? Bodies seemed to drop every act in “Murder of Crowes”. The deaths weren’t in a random or nihilistic manner but it all just happened in a blink of an eye. This is a show that made a big deal out of the fact that Raylan Givens had gone 2 episodes (I think it was more like 4) without shooting someone. Doesn’t worry, Raylan shoots someone up real good. The majority of the episodes deaths come from the victims trusted circle or in a sudden emotional rage. Raylan gunning down Elvis is the only death and Darryl offing brother Dilly(the dimmest Crowe) were the only calculated murders. Mr. Picker turning on the Tonin family was done out of self preservation. Boyd, apparently, killing Lee Paxton was done out of rage (if Paxton isn’t dead his wifes promise to take care of him was both loving and totally creepy).
Justified has done a fantastic job casting actors for rolls. When I heard Michael Rapaport was cast, I was completely for it, he was on The Mob Doctor guys. I enjoyed Rapaports time on screen, there is just one major flaw: I don’t buy Rapaport as a swamp rat leader of the Crowe clan. If this was the leader of the New Jersey Crowes or a not quiet prodigal Son, I’d buy it easier. Rapaport just looks like a East Coast gangster. Rapaport also doesn’t really try to affect an accent causing a bit more dissonance. Reservations aside, Rapaport is the kind of actor that is made for Justified. Hopefully he is joined by Edi Gathegi and more David Koechner wouldn’t be bad either.
Boyds attempts to be both an “outlaw” as he proudly decried last season and respectable, proper, high class criminal like Paxton and Duffy should be fruitful ground. He is by far the most competent criminal in the series and is only shut out do to his low class upbringing. The Canadian weed distributors opine the lack of organization in Tonin’s organized crime outfit, Boyd is by completely organized. The Great White North is closing off so now Boyd via Picker turns to Mexico for their narcotics needs. Just another eventual turn to some kind of massive FX miniseries crossover between The Bridge, SOA, Justified you guys.
You guys, Justified is really good and utterly competent in what it does.