Dewey Crowe is exactly the sort who would mess up a hit. Bumbling with his hand gun; dropping the bullet on the ground (an odd point of drama/comedy for modern firearms). He fails to properly beat a man to death, with a travel shovel. All of this started because he attempted to kill Messer before the putz managed to dig his own grave. His look of confusion as he returns to the scene of the would be crime was perfect. Wondering around the Harlan County woods mumbling, suffering from heatstroke, praying to God for help in killing this man but don’t worry after this he’s going straight. None of this should be all that surprising, this is the man who was duped into believing his kidneys had been harvested and sent on a Crank-esque “crime spree”.
“Over the Mountain” mostly table sets. The procedural search for Wayne Messer isn’t really a big deal, mostly because Raylan doesn’t much care for the man who tried to have him killed. The searches only seasonal importance seems to be alerting Raylan to the presence of the formerly Florida Crowe clan, in a particularly hilarious scene involving a dog. Even the majority of Boyd’s thread is spent in a car tailing Cousin Johnny. As table setting goes, “Over the Mountain” isn’t egregious in its lack of momentum, providing a couple of entertaining scenes overall.
If there is on thing Justified seems to have lacked as it went on, it was the lack of reprisal aimed at Raylan Givens. Sure he would get “suspended” and have to do paperwork or other such menial non-cowboy duties that would cause Timothy Olyphant to sigh eyes and complain, but in the grand scheme of things that isn’t all that bad. Raylan’s punishments are more of a rote dance than punishing. By no means is Justified of the style or moral composition as The Shield, but the latter show at least made a constant nuisance of the bodies left Vic Mackey’s wake. Raylan’s Skeletons have stayed in his closet for a good while, mostly because all of his killings were “justified”, except for one: Nicky Augustine. The Bonnie and Clyde/Godfather inspired death of Augustine never seemed to sit right with the morality of Justified. Sure Raylan kills plenty of people but he gives them the chance to surrender. He is not the “I won’t kill you but I don’t have to save you” type. He’s the I’ll not kill you and still arrest you and still win type. That isn’t how it went down with Augustine, he didn’t just not save him, he didn’t even say “duck”. Manipulating the mob into doing his dirty work. It is by far the dirtiest thing Raylan has done (so far). Now with Sammy out of business and Art likely leaning on Mr. Picker (still no clues as to if that is an assumed or given name), it dose not look good for Raylan. His associations with Boyd always had a bond to it that was more than dueling criminal and outlaw, they dug coal together. The orchestration of Augustine’s death was Raylan on the other side of the line.
Joelle Carter as Ava Crowder is the type of performance that is easy to overlook and under appreciate in a show lettered with exceptional acting. Ava being behind bars certainly makes using her harder and it is with her lack of presence that she is truly being felt. That said, did we really need to have the first Ava centric thread of the season involve her choosing just how rapey her sexual assault from the short Stormtrooper would be? That whole sequence was just grimy in an un-Justified more Sons of Anarchy way. Than to have the short guard beaten by another guard, it’s supposed to be the inciting incident of something but I don’t really care any more.
Michael Rapaport as a swamp rat kingpin was a bit hard to buy. Now relocated to Harlan County he is infinitely more believable and naturally fitting. Beyond Dewey however the rest of the Crowe clan isn’t that recognizable, that’s how family relations tend to go in this show. What’s nice is Darryl isn’t trying to be 10 steps ahead of everyone else and clever. He is clever but his size gives him a more physical presence than say Neal McDonough. He isn’t coming in from the city and transforming Harlan from the top down, he’s coming in at the bottom and pulling everything else down to his level.
The season so far has been playing with the formula a bit, tossing Raylan into several single episode or two part arcs while Boyd deals with his weed problem. Season 5 lacks a clear spine that is slowly tying everything together. The spine is intended to be the Crowes but with their lack of interaction with Boyd the connection isn’t quite there yet (that appears to change next week). Still, Justified is better than most even when it’s average.