“Kill the Messenger” final two scenes do an excellent job showing the what I’ve found totally lacking with the season thus far and on the state of Raylan Givens.
On there way back from another Marshal Misadventure(imagine the spinoff potential), Rachel tries to get Raylan to open up as to why he has a black eye and Art has a swollen hand. Mommy and Daddy have clearly been fighting, just no one will talk about it. That’s the problem with Justified this season and in general, everyone is so segregated from one another despite the close proximity. Last season did a better job fleshing out Deputy Marshall’s Tim and Rachel (mostly Tim) but that hasn’t followed through in Season 5. Marshal Tim is left all alone as Raylan and Rachel to go “count bullets” but really kick Danny Crowes ass. Raylan is an excellent character and is brought to life by a fine actor everone around him though is so bland.
This feeling of narrative isolation continues in last nights episode, even though there is cross over between the three main threads. A cross over that is brought about by a convenient and annoying plot engine. The lack of a big bad thus far to have Raylan slowly crash against and Boyd to slowly try and ally before turning on has robbed the season of its spine. The Crowes, while criminal in nature are the typical seasonal bad. If anything they have become a poor whipping boy for Raylans righteous morality to run out of town. Killing the Haitian was bad but not exactly the work of a master criminal. Annoying your family isn’t exactly Mags Bennet levels of infamy. If it hadn’t been set up by Raylan’s hate for all things Crowe, you could see them as sympathetic victims of a rogue Deputy Marshall.
Raylan has always been a great and terrible man. Such views have been expressed before and are done so last night. The way Allison puts it though frames Raylans actions against the Crowes perfectly. He is the type of man who would run into a fire and save people; he’s that type of old American Hero. He is also likely the one who started the fire. Previously, Justified had explored the duality of Raylan and Boyd asserting that Raylan is merely a legal outlaw due to his badge. Calling Raylan a heroic arsonist is much more fitting. He’s a gunslinger sure but all of these things are driven by an adrenaline addiction. He gets the high and he is given opportunity to act the hero. It’s a twisted way of showing your worth in a world that increasingly seems to forget the old school morality of Rayalan Givens.
The Crowe clan are many in numbers but I didn’t realize the larger one with the dog was named Danny until tonight. Not that Danny until the previous episode had anything to do, suddenly show at minimum emotionally and on the verge of physically abusing little brother Kendal along with killing the Haitian. Danny Crowe is crazy for the sake of crazy, he’s a bigger Loony Bin Jim. It’s the type of character that is an easy plot device and will inevitably bring down his family due to an unearned sense of importance. Tonight, he was all set to go out in a blaze of glory ahd it not been for Carl’s peaceful resolutions. Bringing the Crowders and the Crowes together dose begin to lessen the segregated feeling of the show narrativly at least. Hopefully we get many scenes between Walton Goggins and Michael Rapaport.
Ava in jail really sucks. She’s a strong female character ad Joelle Carter played well off Walton Goggins. AS she enters the yard in the State Prison, random prisoner tells her the best way to get by is by yourself, o how meta. Cut off from Boyd and Harlan however, there just isn’t much catching my fancy. A prison story is outside of the series wheelhouse and they have already played out Boyd pinning for his would be bride. Her lack of presence is still felt it is just no longer novel or that interesting. Her attack in the yard by the female Neo-Nazi’s was shocking and her move to cut her hair was a well done. Of all the segregated narratives this is the most obvious one and it’s a total bummer.
Well darn, I finally have a chance to write about Justified again and it’s off for two weeks.