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Justified S05E01: "A Murder of Crowes"

I hate jumping to conclusions (and any form of exercise, really) but I'm already thinking that Justified's fifth season has a shot at being its best one yet after watching the fantastic premiere, "A Murder of Crowes." More than most other dramas out there—if you can call the incredibly funny Justified a drama—this show has embraced the idea of individual seasons being separate parts of a whole. The Wire is the best example of this notion that I can think of, and Justified is probably a close second. Season 1 was Boyd and Raylan, Season 2 was that hoedown with the Bennetts, Season 3 brought in Detroit and one scary BBQ master, and Season 4 was the one with the mystery. Now, only an hour into Season 5, it's very clear that Raylan Givens versus Daryl Crowe and the rest of the ginger clan will occupy the 13 episodes, and that's more than okay with me because what we've seen so far is so, so good. 

Genetically, Season 5 looks to be the kissing cousin of Season 2, which is widely considered Justified's best, at least around these parts. And while repetition is often looked down upon, I'm not the slightest bit worried about pitting Raylan against another family of hillbilly criminal masterminds because it worked so well the first time around and the Justified writing staff does amazing things with dysfunctional-yet-strong family relationships. Plus, after Season 4's experiment with the absence of a Big Bad, which worked at some points and didn't at others (Season 3's use of two Big Bads wasn't spotless either), I'm pretty comfortable knowing that Daryl Crowe Jr. will be the one Raylan puts in a box—either a jail cell or coffin—by the time Season 5 is through.


And maybe the simple idea of Raylan versus a clear-cut enemy is where Justified should live out its days, because it's already so good at doing everything else a TV show should do that adding too much of anything else could be distracting. The dazzling dialogue, the solid sense of place, the characters that feel so real after being on screen for three seconds that each and everyone of them deserves a spin-off, the easy way the plot settles in rather than beating you over the head, and the occasional one-off self-contained story were all sparkling in "A Murder of Crowes," and that's a busy-enough formula as it is. I can't tell you how many times I rewind Justified to make sure that every little detail and word sinks in, and that's before I figure out what's going on. So, as far as coming right out and pinning a black hat on Daryl Crowe, I'm all about it. 

However! Raylan versus a family is only as good as the family itself, and so far the Crowes don't look like they'll have us missing the Bennetts. Although their names—Dewey, Dilly, and Daryl—bring to mind Donald Duck's troubling nephews, they could be a formidable bunch. Let's see who we have here:


  • Darryl Jr. (Michael Rappaport) seems to wear the smallest dunce cap of all the Crowe boys, which puts him in charge. With his shitty sugar business tits-up after Dilly blew it by offing a member of the Coast Guard, Darryl is looking for a new avenue of revenue to keep the Crowes crowin'. I liked his talk with Raylan at the end, when he said he promised his daddy on his deathbed that he would do everything he could to keep the family together. Raylan said that was bullshit, and that Darryl's daddy died flipping a boat, as Darryl had told him previously. We don't know which tale was a lie, but it almost doesn't matter. Both stories indicate that Darryl idolizes his father and has taken on the responsibility of filling his shoes as the family's provider. Both stories also indicate that Darryl is a lying sack of shit, and possibly a psychopath.
  • Dillon or Dilly (Monk's Jason Gray-Stanford, yep that was Randy the cop with that huge handlebar on his face) is the dolt, this season's homage to dumb ol' Coover from the Bennetts. And just like Coover, he's dead. I was not expecting that, and frankly, I'm a little upset about it. I liked seeing Gray-Stanford s-s-s-s-stutter through lines and get treated like a bad dog by Daryl Jr.
  • Danny (CSI:NY's AJ Buckley) appears to be the muscle, the dog that does the biting for Darryl whenever Darryl asks. He stabbed Dilly in the gut and then presumably fed him to the Haitian's alligators to make him disappear through the gators' digestive tracks.
  • Wendy (Alicia Witt) is the poor sister who's stuck with these buffoons, and obviously the smartest of the lot, as she's made it out of the swamps and all the way to answering phone calls and fetching coffee for a lawyer in Miami. It will probably be through her common sense, or possibly Danny's volatility, that Raylan gets the Crowe family to turn on itself. 

In the opening of the episode, we saw that Dewey, cousin to the Florida Crowes, landed a windfall of $300,000 from a court settlement to avoid a potential class-action lawsuit by just about everyone whose jaw has been unwillingly adjusted by Raylan. It was a good time to be Dewey; he used the money to purchase Delroy's old whorehouse business and made his dollars work for him rather than spending everything on White Power tattoos and mullet wax. But now it's going to be a sad time to be Dewey, because with Darryl jobless, broke, and fresh with the knowledge that his cuz Dewey has a "boatload of money" (the Haitian overheard Raylan talking about Dewey's settlement and relayed the info to Darryl), them Florida Crowes will be flocking to Kentucky and knocking on Dewey's trailer door. I'm curious to know whether Raylan talked about the money like that on purpose, in hopes that it would draw the Crowes back to Dewey so Raylan wouldn't have to travel to America's Penis (a.k.a. Florida).

It wasn't just humidity and bandwagon Miami Heat fans that Raylan was trying to avoid, though. The most emotionally wrecking part of "A Murder of Crowes" was seeing Raylan dodge his newborn daughter and Winona like a deadbeat dad. The man went all the way down to Florida—where Winona and his daughter live—for work, and couldn't even muster up a drop-by? Both Art and Greg Sutter (David Koechner), Raylan's Marshal chauffeur in the Sunshine State, even suggested that he see his little spawn and the mother of his child, but all Raylan did was avoid them in favor of a Skype chat when he got back to 'tucky. For as broken as his relationship with his own dad Arlo was, you'd hope that Raylan wouldn't fall into the same pattern, but I guess it's true what they say about falling apples. 


As for our dear old friend Boyd, my oh my this was one shitty episode for him. He started off making promises to Ava that he would get her out of jail, but ended up losing part of his ear, going to Detroit, getting hustled by Canadians (of all people!), hearing stories about the legend of Tim Horton, and beating Mr. Paxton to death or as close to death as he could possibly go. I expect a bit of a fight for a funeral home director with a wife like he had. Plot-wise, what Boyd did was insane. He tried to keep his heroin business alive by trekking to D-town to get the package he was promised, but Detroit is in such shambles that he got caught in the middle of a war between Detroit and the Canadians. Now he might have to develop some new connections in Mexico just to keep his piece of the Harlan drug pie. To me, all the Boyd stuff wasn't about what he was doing as much as it was how he was doing it. "Normally I'm not a violent man, but my back is against the wall," Boyd told Paxton's hot wife as her husband's blood and face pieces dripped down his chin. We just might see Boyd step back into Psycho Boyd as the season progresses and he does whatever it takes to get Ava out of prison, and that's a scary thought. 

"A Murder of Crowes" was sort of a welcome-back handshake type of season premiere, introducing us to the season's new characters while also reacquainting us with what we love so much about Justified. But damn it was good, like the series had never missed a beat. It was also the first episode since the passing of author Elmore Leonard, who created the character of Raylan Givens, and with the relocation to Miami, it just so happened to emulate lots of Leonard's other works, including the films that were adapted from them, Out of Sight and Get Shorty. The tribute to Leonard that aired before the episode wasn't included in my press screener, but this strong opener carried his unmistakable voice and was a great tribute to him on its own. Holy hell I'm so glad Justified is back.



POSTCARDS FROM HARLAN COUNTY

– Haha, Dewey's reaction to getting his settlement was so funny. I'm surprised he didn't squeal like a little girl.

– Holy moley the cast in this episode! In addition to everyone mentioned above, Amaury Nolasco (Prison Break, Work It hee hee) played the Cuban crook Elvis, and David Foley (Kids in the Hall) played a Canadian gangster. Even the kid from Mud was in this (I think). Actors must be beating down doors to get on Justified; just to have the privilege of saying some dialogue and becoming one of the characters that these writers craft is everything an actor can hope for in the TV business.

Justified's strength of setting a scene was on fantastic display in this episode as the show bounced back and forth between a decrepit building in crumbling Detroit and the lush expanse of the Florida Everglades. Everything was absolutely beautiful to see.

– And beautiful to hear! I really liked the pops of the firecrackers intensifying in the background as Darryl had to deal with Dilly's stupidity.

– Well goodbye, Sammy Tonin! I'm sure that Theo Tonin is somewhere in hiding, screaming into a severed ear. 

– Chainsaw dude? Sure, chainsaw dude. And what was up with that room full of mannequins? 

– In addition to learning that Raylan isn't cut out to be a father, we found out that he also likes to shoot inflatable things.



HEARD 'ROUND HARLAN

Because Justified is stuffed with great dialogue, I'll post my favorite lines from each episode right here. 

Raylan: "I don't remember putting that in the report," referring to busting up Dewey's nose.

Jimmy: "Boyd, he got your ear." Boyd: "I know, I'm the one who got shot."

Wade: "Can I get you a blowjob... or something?" Raylan: "Just some water." Wade: "I didn't mean me, of course."

Raylan: "If I start arresting girls, how's that for business? You and Wade the only two pussies in this whorehouse."

Raylan: "I'm gonna shoot your balls off and feed them to the squirrels if you don't tell me what you know."

Daryl: "Danny, that dog shits in the house because of all that racket I'm gonna make you two eat it."

Boyd: "Oh well I have been to Iraq. It's a lot like Detroit but you have better music."

Thug: "What happened to your ear?" Boyd: "Ceiling fan."

Canadian mobster: "Ay, you guy got Tim Horton's in Kentucky?"

Canadian mobster: "If you want, to keep it simple, we can add you and Mr. Eyebrows to the list." Boyd: "And I though all Canadians were supposed to be nice." Canadian Thug: "Wrong Canadians."

Boyd: "I think he bumped his head." 


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 4/14/2015

Season 6 : Episode 13

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It was good. Needed more Tim Gutterson and Art ramblings.
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Michael Rappaport's accent was a bit distracting for me. Great season premiere! Not as good as last year's, but looking forward to the rest of the season.

Sadly though, no Tim or Rachel:-(
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This is a very generous review. Michael Rappaport was a mess as a Floridian Crowe and surely didn't feel menacing at all, doing away with the entirety of the Detroit Mob guys was clumsy, the Canadians were a nothing of a scene, and Boyd was over-the-top as ever. The real problem was that Raylan was inconsistent and kinda wishy-washy, and just didn't deliver anything on the whole. It was a fun episode, but didn't go anywhere or do anything special. It surely didn't feel like this was the setup on the level of Mags Bennett of season 2.

Everything just kinda "happened", they threw ideas at the screen and hoped something would stick - Dewey getting a big payday, Dillie killing a federal agent who was also his sugar mule, Boyd going to Detroit, Darryl going to Kentucky, Wendy is stupid enough to get involved in a potential double-cross yet smart enough to have stayed clear of it before and run away again, Raylan not seeing his kid, David Koechner's character just existing, none of it really felt terribly organic and that kept it being kinda fun but kinda lousy storytelling.

Thanks for the callout on Dillie's actor, that was driving me nuts.

Raylan shooting the inflatable raft felt like a necessity, I was disappointed that they thought anybody would try to draw on the marshals in that situation because that should have played out longer or ended quickly on a punchline instead of a one-sided gunfight.
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Very promising start to what seems will be a great season. Not that Justified ever had what you could call a "bad" season. Even at its worst it's still much better than 90% of what else is on TV.
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TV's best show is back, I couldn't be happier. Great opening episode. I see a lot of people have an issue with Michael Rapport, I thought he was great. He captured a good blend of this character, that he is going to be a pain in the ass for Raylan, and he is a bit psycho. Good move having him kill Dilly. It shows that he is more calculating and unforgiving of f'ups, he doesn't let things slide because they are family, which could have been his weakness.
Oh Boyd, you'll do anything for your girl, except take her place in prison. Self-preservation above all eh Boyd!
Oh Raylan, you are seriously emotionally messed up. Not able to visit your baby girl. While I can see why it would be horrible to see her and have to say goodbye, and Winona too cause he is still in love with her, but don't be that guy Raylan!!!!
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I think the idea is that Boyd and Ava want to be together. Sure, he could take her place, but that wouldn't solve the problem.
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The ideal would be for them to be together, but I think the episode proved that if it's Ava or Boyd going to jail, Boyd will let Ava go down. That's why he lost it and attacked the judge. He hit a nerve with Boyd.
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"Holy hell I'm so glad Justified is back."
This.
Michael Rappaport certainly looks the part, but even I (a non-American) noticed his accent slipping at times, which kind of jarred me out of the scene. I'm hoping I wont notice this so much in future episodes.
It hurt my heart that Raylan wouldn't go see Winona and his baby. Bad form Raylan, bad form.
Dewey Crowe is hilarious.
More Art, Tim and Rachel.
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It's on and cracking in Kentucky. Loved Justified as usual and agree, I think this season may equal or be better than Season 2. We got re-introduced to who Boyd really is...he's not the hero. I think previous seasons might have blurred that line a little but this opening kind of reminds us, Boyd is well....damaged and a tadbit unhinged. As is Raylan in a way. I took Raylan's ducking and dodging his new born as this man thinks he's destine to be Arlo. Great season opening, seems Raylan's and Boyd's story will be running parallel, will be interesting to see if they meet up in the season.
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Absolutely fantastic return for Justified! The cast of guest stars was amazing as well! Such a great episode from start to finish!
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This episode was like no other, and not just because of the scenery. It felt different.
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A murder of Crowes showed some potential, altho I also doubt Rappaport's ability to accurately portray a Justified BigBaddie. His accent slipped in and out; drawing energy away from what he was saying/doing.

Dewey Crowe is one of the chaps who makes Justified unmissable and I trust that the writers won't kill him off as a plot device this season. We need Dewey peeps like him are what makes the world & the humans in it.

I was happy to see poor old Dewey cop some luck in the shape of "Three hundred thousand dollars - you nitwit!" but that Raylan was cheap & mean towards Dewey, who let's face it, is one of life's unfortunates.

Even Boyd draws the line at seriously injuring Dewey no matter how stupid or life/freedom threatening Dewey's behavior may have been.
Shooting the shit outta Dewey's pool was a new low.

Life daily demonstrates Dewey's a type who isn't likely to keep his money more'n about 5 minutes. Boyd will certainly get it if Darryl Jnr don't, so what's with the grumpiness Raylan?
Blind man marco polo with a coupla naked whores is so Dewey - fun - slightly bad but not really; Raylan's deteriorating psyche is at an all time low is what that act says to me.

I don't reckon Raylan has the slightest intention of visiting his daughter. We know he can't reconcile his need to not be his father by arresting and/or shooting anyone or anything reminiscent of dear old dad, with the keep the family safe instinct imprinted on most males.
Raylan's bullshit, avoidance way through that is to keep arresting and/or shooting the shit outta Kentucky whilst visiting his Florida family via Skype.

I'm happy about this in one way. If it keeps his dragon of an ex-wife off the screen for most of the show its a win win, a win for Raylan and a big win for me as a Justified fan.
But I suspect Raylan will get too close to Ms Crowe before the season is out. She will rip him blind as all women seem to manage with Raylan Givens. Even "her he puts on a pedestal", the mother of his child, manipulated ol' Raylan into ripping off $100,000 from the marshall's office.
Raylan who is so straight he would arrest an 80 year old widow for an overdue library book allowed himself to get so suckered by a woman he stole from his god (the US Marshall's Office)

Maybe that is because he only knows how to behave around women the same way his daddy did.

Boyd is gonna get into all sorts of trouble with the Baltic doctor - it will be interesting to see if he keeps his promise to 'Ava inside' after a coupla rounds with the 5 foot Pole he shouldn't even want to touch Duffy with.

Boyd is rudderless without 'someone to do it for'.
If Ava is slotted up too long he's gonna have to find a replacement. Otherwise he'll end up back behind bars as his reckless streak takes over from his calculating, strategic part.

I must spend too much time thinking about these people, it is only a TV show but the characters are reminiscent of a few types I may have 'bumped into' during a mis-spent youth.

If Boyd n Duffy do go south to Mexico to source their 'hammer n tack' lets hope the show stays true and manages to portray their suppliers as humans beings free of the racist "Mexican cartel" sociopaths stereotype, that thus far only "The Bridge' has tried to avoid (and there with only limited success).
I for one would prefer the canadian supply to continue, it is credible (big mobs of asian & ME heroin go through Canada to the US & Detroit is geographically spot on as the US end of the route), AND, most importantly, the Canuck Connection hasn't been done to death on about a zillion lame movies & TV shows.
It would be nigh on impossible for any show, even Justified to present a mexican drug connection in a novel, original, realistic or interesting way.

Same same for Russian and/or Albanian gangs, or Colombians or any of the other flogged to death drug supplier memes.

Canadian good, english could work, as could Indian or Israeli, Indonesian or Dutch. Actually Boyd in Amsterdam would be great. I spent a summer in Amsterdam with a geezer from Roanoke once, seeing the clubs through his eyes was like being there for the first time again - oops I digress.

I trust Justified's writers to be outta the box, but Mexican drug dealers is gonna be a yawn pretty much any way it is presented.
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I'd say Raylan is unsympathetic to Dewey because he is a criminal and Raylan is near inflexible on the issue given his upbringing, the shooting of the pool purposely gave evidence to the bald faced lie that Dewey said the gun was unloaded and that Raylan knew it, let alone that it was illegal to be in his posession, not some socio-economic predatory behaviour. I think he even apologised to Dewey and didn't arrest him despite the justification to do so. Sure Dewey is likeable as a comedy relief but capable and likely to have done some nasty stuff pre-Raylan intervention.

I get Raylan not seeing his family, he knows his own flaws in his character, as Winona once said he is the angriest man she knows even if he doesn't outwardly display it and it's behind a veneer of southern manners. Then there is his complex attraction to the criminal element, danger and high noon like showdowns.

Your dead on about "nationality" based drug dealers, such a cliche, I preferred when it was just coming from the "Detroit Outfit". Keep the show on target with what it knows and does best Kentucky characters and the wider world influence. Liked Boyd's comparison of Detroit to Iraq and at the same time effectively cutting short Wynn's insinuation about his lack of worldliness and capabilities.




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I find this review a tad overenthusiastic. The season premier was a good introductory show to prepare the viewers for the season, and it did have some really good moments, but I can't go gaga over it. I am sorry Dilly is already off the show. I was fascinated by "Randy" as white trash with a lisp and no self-control.

I personally liked last year's season the best, without a Big Bad but with a mystery. I think several of the shows from later in last season were the best Justified shows so far. I get a little tired of the creepy hillbilly family, but I still look forward to this season.

I am just waiting to see why Raylan doesn't want to visit Winona and baby before jumping to conclusions. Maybe he worries that his presence can bring danger to them.
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I wrote lisp instead of stutter. Oops.
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Presumably Canadian mobsters kill you politely...
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Lines to possibly expect from the Canadian Mob-
"I'm gonna kill you, eh?"
"Whats all this killin' aboot?"
"This is aboot the drugs, eh?"
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Or if they're Quebecois mobsters its: "I'm gonna kill you, OK la?"
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I miss Raylan- Boyd interaction.
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I also miss the Raylan-Tim interactions.
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That too! Interactions with really smart people that can get personal.

And I kinda hate Raylan- Winona, it's worn out.
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Really hoping they can put them in a room together a little faster this season.
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I was a little worried because experience tells me that Michael Rappaport is THE WORST. But he was solid here, and as usual everything else was amazing. Eager for us to get back to Kentucky though because I missed Art, Tim, and Rachel.
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The boys are definitely back in town!

Another great beginning to an incredibly phenomenal show! I enjoyed watching both Raylan and Boyd do what they do, unlike anyone else can! I'm still undecided as to which of the two are the most cool. In any given scene, one "out cools" the other....lol.

I think the Crowes are going to be interesting distractions for Raylan this season. I see something similar to his dealings with the Bennett clan, but, obviously, not too similar. Mags and Dickie Bennett are enshrined in the Justified "Big Bad Hall of Shame"! But, I'm curious to see what Daryl Crowe and his kinfolk bring to the table.

And watching Boyd be Boyd is always worth the price of admission! Rather he's in Detroit or Kentucky, Boyd has never met an ass he's not willing to kick! And, did Paxton really think that insulting Ava to Boyd's face would somehow leave Boyd emasculated and trembling with fear? Well, I think he learned that particular strategy doesn't work.

This was a great appetizer! I can't wait to see what's on the menu next week!
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I'm LOVING Michael Rappaport and his character! Those Florida landscapes were crazy cool, but I hope this season will be mostly set in Kentucky.
Say whatever you want about her, but I love Winona and I miss her.
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I love and miss Winona too. The writers weren't doing her character any favors though. I would have left too if I were the actress.
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Is Winona goin somewhere? To Hell perhaps?
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Is it bad that I was more excited for the return of Teen Wolf than the return of Justified? Probably, but I'm still very happy that Justified is back!
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Maybe it's because Teen Wolf is in the middle of its season, so there is that cliff hanger sort of feeling, whereas Justified is starting a new season. That's how I feel anyways. I'm so glad Justified is back, too!
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Welcome back Justified. As good as always :-)
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Justified had very good guest stars as the BIG BAD previously with one of them even winning an Emmy.

So I am kind of sad with the casting of Rapaport. I have only seen Rapaport on The Mob Doctor and he wasn't very good. This forgive me when I say I am not impressed with the "Big Bad" this season. It was sort of a down from Season 3 superb Neal McDonough and worse compare to Margo Martindale.

The show deserve a better big bad but I will be open to see if Rapaport gets better.

Though my main man is Raylan, I found Boyd very entertaining this episode. He always does the coolest things with his back against the wall !

It was a good welcome back to one of my favorite show. Expectation for this show is high with me so I hope it gets better.
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I'm not worrying about Rapaport for now - remember, last season we thought the snake handlers were going to be the big bad, and they lasted...what, 3 episodes? I doubt Daryl will be the big bad anyway, I think it'll be the sister.
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You have a point. I think the sister would actually make a better big bad so lets keep our fingers cross.
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"I have only seen Rapaport on The Mob Doctor and he wasn't very good."

You have missed the appallingly bad season 4 of Prison Break then. He was worse there than in The mob doctor, but the writing was worse too, so it's not all his fault.

So far I think he's doing OK here.
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You are right. I did not watch Prison Break. I did not watch Lost too.
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Amazing start into the new season! Michael Rappaport was great and I love Dewey, so this storyline is totally awesome! And I didn't expect David Koechner to be so.. pleasant. I usually truely hate most of his characters. Very, very good episode!
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Will Sasso and Dave Foley as 'Canadian' gangsters probably was a dream come true for those two. (Sasso doesn't even get a mention because the staff here only covers the pile of excrement that is SNL never remembering the funnier and far superior in every way. The unjustifiably canceled MadTV.) 'Justified' making someone that's made you laugh into someone you're scared of every year. Welcome back!

This is the perfect role for the underrated veteran Michael Rappaport. I caught from the credits that Jason Grey-Stafford was in the episode and remembered a time when USA shows weren't all interchangeable and boring. He's doing 'Justified', his former boss Ted Levine has 'The Bridge' and Tony Shaloub was wasting time in the 2 and canceled "We Are Men". Shaloub really needs to find another good part to play somewhere.

It was nice having Sam Anderson's 'Paxton' finally get what's been coming to him. He finally had a role that let him get his 'Holland Manners' (Angel) back on and it was fun while it lasted.

The other great appearance was from the janitor from Shermer High School in 'The Breakfast Club' John Kapelos. Great character actors just have endless careers. Television is awesome

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Yay! Canadian gangsters! Hehe @ casting Will Sasso and Dave Foley. That made me giggle. And I happened to be drinking Timmie's while watching.

I liked him enough on Prison Break, but I've never particularly liked Michael Rapaport. He tends to play annoying characters, or just make characters annoying. But Justified hasn't failed me yet in their cast choices, so I'll trust their decision with him. Plus, it was a little fun seeing him and Amaury Nolasco together, since they were both on Prison Break.

Raylan not visiting Winona and his daughter was a bit sad, but although you mention David Koechner's character suggesting Raylan see them, I think it was Koechner's final comment that finalized Raylan's decision to NOT see them. Koechner talked about how he sometimes preferred it when his work kept him away from his family a little longer because he hated having to say goodbye to them.

I like the bit of struggle that Boyd felt with in regards to Paxton's offer, that Ava will get out if Boyd gives himself up. The fact that he didn't try that avenue may suggest that Paxton was right; that Boyd does care about himself a tad bit more than his love for Ava.
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I'm so happy! Justified is back! I'm so happy!
And what a premiere this was. While to me the Crowes didn't leave the most intimidating or dangerous impression, they sure are going to be a fun big bad. As we all know, bad guys always have room to grow on this show.
I absolutely loved Boyd's story line. The scene in Detroit was just all kinds of awesome. It really is amazing how they jump from incredibly funny to whack-job crazy in a matter of seconds. The close-up shot of Walton Goggins's face when he left the funeral home was even more kinds of awesome.
The writers also set up a great, quiet development for Raylan, making him a more morally ambiguous character. This started with his questionable choices in the season 4 finale, was picked up again at the trial and continued with the whole Winona-and-kid business.
I'm so happy
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The greatest writing on TV is back!!! By far my favorite show, great start to what I hope is a great season. And yes let us hope Darryl Jr. is a psychopath. And that Natalie Zea come to her senses.
Looking forward to your reviews all season Tim.
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I already thinking that he is a psychopath. Having your brother killed and then feeding him to the alligators!?! That's COLD!!
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As my handle would indicate, Justified is my favorite show. But last night, while the dialog was great, the rest of the show was curious at best.

I understand that the show had to begin to set up the season and there was a lot of characters that had to be introduced; so I will give it a pass for trying to do too much with less time. And maybe a pass for being more Boyd-centric than Raylan-centric (that is not a recipe for success).

But one suspension of disbelief that was impossible last night, was the comical "fall" of the Tonin family. Sammy comes down to KY in the final episode of last season in a private jet and kills the big bad in an organized and professional way. Now nothing? No California house. No Detroit house. Just him and Pickert in the 14th floor of a slum? I understand that Sammy might not be up to the job; but that's one heck of a time jump forward for the Detroit mafia.

It also left a bigger question. Why are Boyd and Duffy working together? The original premise was the backing of Detroit letting Duffy run the business east of the Mississippi and Boyd Kentucky. Now there isn't any such structure.

Other things that had me concerned: are we just supposed to forget the talk of promotion from the last half of S4? Raylan costing the taxpayers $300 grand and not being suspended/fired? Finally "mailing in" Winona and the baby with Skype? Hard to understand if we intentionally had to see Raylan's apathy exposed, or was Natalie Zea not available and that necessitated Raylan's reaction.

I hope this first episode is a black swan. And we can look back at E1 as necessary (even as it killed as many new characters as it introduced and made SOA look like Days of Our Lives).

Am I the only one that was disappointed?
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You make good points that I didn't think of. I can never keep track of who is working for whom among the bad guys, so your point on that score didn't jump out at me. I agree the show really has to stay with Raylan to be good. Too much Boyd is unpleasant to me. I just feel that the show was disjointed and, like you, that it tried to do too much as an introduction to the season.
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It also left a bigger question. Why are Boyd and Duffy working together? The original premise was the backing of Detroit letting Duffy run the business east of the Mississippi and Boyd Kentucky. Now there isn't any such structure.

The story indicated that Detroit gave Duffy everything east of the Mississippi, then Duffy gave Boyd the heroin distribution in Kentucky. As we see at the start of this episode, Boyd was supposed to get that heroin straight from the fellas from Detroit, but because they didn't have it, they tried to rip off Boyd. Boyd then called Wynn and told him that he didn't get his shipment and that they should go to Detroit to talk to them about it. They work together insofar as Wynn is basically Boyd's boss and middleman between Boyd and Detroit, so the story made sense to me. Although, the question then might be why Boyd went along with Wynn to Detroit rather than having Wynn go himself.
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Good points David. It just seems that the plot lines were off more than usual Having said that, Justified has often sacrificed plot lines for dialog. Case in point. I pleaded on the FX message board in S2 and S3 to reveal why the "old lady" who became the "stroke lady" was willing to keep her grandson in prison and fake her disability. I guess the answer to this, is just the way these people work, which was emphasized, by the actions of Arlo and Hunter to protect Drew Thompson.

But the plot lines of this first episode were even more off than normal. What was the purpose of going to Detroit? It could have been to introduce the Canadians .. but no they don't want to do business with unorganized crime. So perhaps Duffy and Boyd now know they have to organize the US by themselves. But that stretches the reality of city gangs.

I guess like the progression of the "old lady" to the "stroke lady" to Drew Thompson ... the fans of the show just have to trust the writers.

The dialog will always be the best on television. That's what makes it a good show. When it is firing on all cylinders in plot, Justified is a great show. Thats what I hope for. And that is why I was whistling in the grave yard this morning with my post.

Probably should go back to focusing on running a corporation with numbers to be published :)
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Good start to the season but I'm not entirely sure how i feel about this season being a "kissing cousin" to season 2. On one hand season 2 was perhaps the best season so far but on the other i don't see how the Crowes can match the Bennetts.
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Awesome start to Season 5, I felt there were to many character in one episode but still a great launch pad for the season.
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I don't think season 4 had any problems.
The search for Drew Thompson was a great storyline and i liked it especially cause fugitives are the official job of marshals.
And so many great side characters and storylines, constable bob, the preacher with the snakes...
Personally i'd put it very close second to season 2.
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America's Penis (a.k.a. Florida)
LMAO
I like Justified reviews here as much as the show itself :P
Now if only all the others had such good ones too...
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Price Peterson has great reviews, too!
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Turn DOWN the volume, pls.. This link is, definitely, NSFW! (a Beavis and Butt-head link, word rhymes with "Beavis")

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMMaywaxhfY
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I don't think there's a single show that I enjoy returning each year as much as Justified, it's such a joy to immerse yourself in this world and once again it didn't disappoint. There are some obstacles the season will need to overcome to achieve greatness though;

(1) is not being derivative of itself, especially Season 2. Strangely Tim turned apologist about this in his review, basically making excuses for why it was okay for the show to maintain the status quo and not push itself. I don't agree with that sentiment and don't see any reason to be defensive about the show when to date every season has been unique.

(2) is Rappaport due to his appalling track record. I thought he was serviceable in the premiere, not terrible, not comfortable in the role either and clearly his accent is still a struggle. I'm remaining hopeful that he can grow into the role, if he improves then I'm sure we can get past him.

Finally, when Amaury showed up I thought: great, here's an opportunity for Tim to mention Work It. He may have left it to the notes section but in the end I was not disappointed.

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Already commented on Michael Rapaport below.. I don't think that we gonna have to "get past him", imo he'll do just fine - hopefully!! :-)
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I'm pretty sure those were blow-up dolls, not mannequins
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C'mon Tim, you missed Deweys best repeated line; "Marco. POLO. Marco. POLO"! So good :) I just finished watching season 4 again in time for last nights episode. The continuity of writing is amazing. GREAT to have Dewey back
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All I have to say is awesome, with a promise of even more awesome to come. This is, by far, the best show on television. The best written, and the best acted and cast. Why Breaking Bad and Mad Men win all the awards is beyond me. I totally agree with Tim in that this looks like it may be the best season yet.
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And all the same shows get nominated every year, too!
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I am just so happy Justified is back! When the network twits decided they were going to split into FXX and take Its Always Sunny and the League, I was worried they were going to bleed FX dry, but I forgot about Raylan... for a while. I absolutely agree with Tim that this show is so good that actors are clamoring to get on it, even for a cameo. (this is my nod to Patton Oswald who clearly made Hollywood take notice of what they're doing here).
I'm thinking the big bad is going to be the Canadians or the Mexicans that Boyd hasn't met yet, not the Crowes. Though seeing a Tonin get shot means the Tonin empire is clearly going to be a mess for a while, maybe next season too. Fallout like that takes a while.
Loved the inflatable doll joke. and Dave Foley and Will Sasso as the Northern Baddies talking about Tim Horton's. Had me wondering if this shows writers are connected to How I Met Your Mother, because they love Tim Horton's on that show.
Loved the alligator poacher. Not because I'm a fan of killing alligators. I am, but that is because they don't study the same animal kingdom pyramid that humans do. But he is clearly the guy in Darryl's ear, so when they hit Kentucky he will be a major plot point. Also liked his sunglasses.
Now the Harlan County office was not a factor in this episode so I don't know how that will play out, but I loved the judge and Rick Gomez in court. But I think the big thing I took away from this wasn't necessarily what Tim and the other early reviewers did concerning Raylan and his daughter. The thing to remember is that Raylan is the survivor of an abusive childhood, with his own violent past, and I think he recognizes it, and how much he likes it. So when he watched his family be taken hostage and threatened to get him to do something he decided to make sure they weren't put in that position, or any position that brought violence into her childhood... even if that means he doesn't get to see her. Part of it is protecting her from the life he lives/lived, to make sure she doesn't continue the cycle of violence. But the other part is to protect himself from seeing her in danger.
He's not a deadbeat dad. Neither was Arlo. Arlo was a bad, abusive, drunken dad. Raylan would have been better off without Arlo.
Anyway, the amount of time I spend thinking about these things while I watch the show and after are why I love it. Still haven't read the short stories, maybe when the series ends as a way to avoid getting the shakes while I detox from it.
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While I am glad to have Justified back, I find myself concerned. Concerned because if this is indeed a throwback to a big bad I am worried that the big bad is going to be Michael Rappoport. Now there are many actors that for me I just can't stand in anything that they do. Tops on the list included Zooey Deschanel, Wilmer Valderamma and one that has never failed to annoy and drag down every pro suction they have ever been in would be Rappaport.

Now ow I trust the runners of this show. This show has never let me down and brings quality episode after quality episode every time. The only slip up has ever really been Winona and I too thank goodness that she has a lowered role this season. But this inclusion of Rappaport is worrisome. I didn't buy him as a hick for the swamps of Florida nor did I buy him as a person to be feared. To be honest I thought the Haitian was a far better character. And considering that he manipulated Daryl into leaving Florida. I really hope he goes with Daryll, kills him and then replaces him as the potential big bad.

As as for the rest. Raylan is avoiding Winona, it has been fairly well established that Winona ruins things and harms Raylan's cool which he requires in order to be a badass. The daughter probably not as much but they are a package deal.

Psycho Boyd is an awesome Boyd.

That is all for now. Raylan shot someone it was awesome and Justified is back.
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Rapaport has always been hit and miss with me, I liked The War at Home when I was younger and his stints on My Name is Earl were pretty good. I guess we'll have to wait and see where he goes from here, I am willing to give him a chance because Justified has never given us terrible castings!
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He really is terrible in everything.
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My god there were bodies everywhere in this episode. I found myself more interested in the Boyd/Duffy story than whatever was going on in Florida. I agree about Rapaport. For me, it's that voice. They were able to get Will Sasso from MadTV to play a convincing thug, and even Mike O'Malley from last season who was the host of Nickeolodeon GUTS among other things was great as the Detroit enforcer. If Michael Rapaport was playing a Detroit thug, then maybe we're getting somewhere, even if it would've just been typecast. A lot of actors like Sasso and O'Malley are cast against type and it works most of the time for this show, but it doesn't seem to be working for Rapaport. You can just hear the battle between his natural NY accent and his attempted Southern accent in the voice. I actually wouldn't mind if the sister ended up being the mastermind behind the Crowe family. At least we'll get some more Dewey "I've got 4 kidneys" Crowe out of this story.

At least we got Avon Barksdale from The Wire showing up soon. Did you catch that Paxon's hot girlfriend was Jason's crazy vampire lover from True Blood? She looked pretty fucking hot in this episode. I'm also enjoying this brief duo of Boyd and Duffy. I'm surprised Wynn Duffy has lasted this long.
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No.. No, no. Michael Rapaport has gotten older, it's fine for him to be playing a role like this. (instead of some supporting, 'thug' role).
And in regards to Mate, above, mentioning Zooey Deschanel and Wilmer Valderrama in the same sentence.. It's either that: he's a little young, or -really- just clueless on what he's talking about. :-\

P.S.
The accent's just fine!..;) :)
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Like with anything people have preferences and opinion. I don't think Zooey, Wilmer and Michael are unbelievably lucky with their success. Are there worse actors out there. Yup. Are there far better. Yup. And I am 33.

And Sam is correct. Michael's NY accent and his wanna be southern accent were fighting each other the whole episode. Plus I still can't buy him as a badass. When he looked at Raylan when Raylan was walking away after Raylan told him about his dad and what Daryl said previously about his death, I know he was supposed to evoke badassery, but it just made me laugh at his poor attempt.
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Ohh, lmao, I mentioned ESL in my reply & just re-watched the episode when Rapaport says (to the Cuban): "Hell no.. trust nobody who speaks English as a second language."
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Right now, it's just too early to tell. Maybe he will improve throughout the season.
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No problem Nimd4. In a way I am new to all of this. I didn't start watching TV until within the last 5 years or so. I grew up abroad so I didn't have the TV education that most people from the US has.

I am not sure if he is miscast or not. Justified and the runners of this show have a way to bring out the best in the actors that appear on the show. I trust them even if I am hesitant about Rappaport being in the show and his character.
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Cool, we're close in age.. Sorz about the personal attack, I guess. xD
Anyway, since English is ESL for me - suppose that it would *bother* you guys more; plus, like you say, where he's from and (all) his previous roles.
I just feel like he's NOT "terribly miscast" and like seeing him on screen; I imagine I got a little bummed-out with the negative comments about him.. I should get over it. :)
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That was Will Sasso with Dave Foley as the Canadian "thugs". LOL

A.J Buckley looks ROUGH, it's hard to imagine him as a Ghostfacer on Supernatural this year. ;)

After "Under the Dome" I can barely look at Winona, so I'm glad it looks like she'll have a scaled down part this year. Though it's a little heartbreaking to see Raylan keeping his distance from his daughter.

Soooo happy to have Justified back!
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Are you talking about Natalie Zea, she's pretty hot imo!.. Not sure why there'd be a problem with having her on screen?!??

Even *regular* photos of here are nice!

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Lol, yes she's pretty. But she was so damn annoying on UTD (less her fault and more the ridiculous writing) she was Winona first (and then Claire on the Following) but now I look at her all I see is Maxine!!
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Great to have this amazing show back!
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Tim, either you don't get around much or need to look up the word "mannequins."


And as for Chainsaw Dude? We all know what he was doing.







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What's with the stupid pictures.

:-(
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