Last weeks premier left me a little surprised at the constant violence. Thankfully, it appears Justified writers were just continuing the tradition of making Florida a living hell (just follow @_FloridaMan). “The Kids Aren’t All Right” returns to the tried and true Justifiedformula. Raylan must deal with his other “daughter” Loretta, while Boyd’s arc continues to be the more serialized. Have I mentioned how utterly competent and consistent Justified is y’all?
After driving Loretta home, from saving her and her now boyfriend, Derek, from Hot Rod Rodney Dunham, Raylan lets it be known that he doesn’t take kindly to be played like that. Loretta showing up about how her boyfriend was missing, forced to find their buried treasure by associates of Dunham, was all a play for Raylan to fix everything for her. She counters that she never played him; he would have saved the day as soon as she told him Derek was in danger. It’s a funny reaction for Raylan to have, fighting his stoic heroic nature. Maybe he doesn’t like the fact that his actions helped the less than noble residents of Harlan County. Still “The Kids Aren’t All Right” is a nice reminder that while Raylan Givens is a terrible asshole to friend and foe alike, he’s still a real good guy at heart and will save the day because that’s what cowboys do.
Brining Lorretta back into the fold was a nice way for the show to begin dealing with Raylan and his roll as a parent beyond ham fisted Skype calls. He relays a story of a con his Father Arlo was running at one point where he would send mining equipment down south in exchange for cocaine. Arlo was not there as a father even though he was present and when he was it meant trouble. With a childhood like that, it’s understandable that Raylan would try to be an absentee father. Even if he isn’t slinging dope or some other illegal activity, his presence would still just bring trouble. Imagining Olyphant shrugging with a quip about how “that’s my cross to bear” is entirely reasonable and something the season explores further.
Raylan might be a good person at heart, but he isn’t above pulling a Batman “I don’t have to kill you” either. Plenty of times throughout the series run, he’s given people the chance to not be shot or an out to their situation but in the end always kills them since they never take it. It’s kind of a sick game of SAW really. His chances at redemption have led to some less than proper associations, mainly Sammy Tonin. He called for Raylan while he was down in Florida, right before he died. It’s the kind of association that is pushing Art to look into things like Nicky Augistines death once again. Raylan may have given him a chance to get out and he didn’t pull the trigger but he certainly lined him up for the firing squad. With the show ending with Season 6 (the next one), this is the kind of endgame ground that should be covered. Raylan isn’t Vic Mackey by any means but he certainly isn’t an angel.
Whereas Raylan is trying to properly shirk his parental responsibilities, Boyd Crowder is doing his best to keep the figment of his alive. That light is getting dimmer and dimmer. It turns out Boyd did not kill Lee Paxton in his fit of rage, just bludgeon him into a coma. This act turns Paxtons Latvian trophy wife, Mara (Karolina Wydra) into a much bigger player. Toying with Boyd’s quest for the American Dream has always been fertile ground, right now it feels like cheap plotty melodrama.
Mara doses a lot this episode, embarrassing Paxton’s dirty lieutenant and blackmailing Boyd for $300,000. But she Karolina Wydra continually plays the silent wife as unconfident and kind of meak. She goes from being a femme fatale with a e-cigarette in once scene too totally at the mercy of said embarrassed cop in the next. With the later scene never indicating she plans to blackmail or threaten him either. By the end of the episode, Paxton is awake once again so dose any of this really matter?Justified using an amnesia plot could be mildly entertaining.
Bits At The End
· It’s always nice to see Wood Harris pop up. Sadly he won’t be doing that for awhile.
· While it’s a bummer that Justified will be ending next year, it’s a good call. If this and season 6 continue to be of quality, Justifiedmight go down as one of the most consistently entertaining shows in the past 15 years.