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Justified S05E13: "Restitution"


I wish I could say that "Restitution" rode in on its horse and saved Season 5 from its troubles in the eleventh (or thirteenth) hour, but it didn't. Instead, the episode was on a par with the rest of the season, meaning it was fine, but still well short of the brilliance we know that Justified is capable of (the curse of being a prestige drama!). But I'll give "Restitution" credit for resolving most of Season 5's unfinished stories by the time Raylan and Ava parted ways on Shady Meeting Bridge, as they all had to go off and prepare for Season 6, the series' final, which was looming in the distance. 

As I said in my review of last week's "Starvation," I was really hoping that Raylan's gamble in trying Kendal as an adult would backfire on Raylan because a) Raylan needs a kick in the pants, b) that would be a great starting point for Season 6, and c) things would seem too easy if Raylan's plan worked and Darryl copped to shooting Art. Well, that last part is pretty much what happened, with Wendy getting the confession out of Darryl after playing the part of a battered sister who loved her brother too much to turn on him. However, maybe next time Wendy ought to leave with the recorded evidence instead of flaunting it in front of Darryl, given his established history of killing his siblings. I am not the arbiter of who lives and who dies, but Wendy probably deserved to bite it for that dumbness. 

Instead, Raylan showed up at the right time and looked all cool with his gun barely drawn by his hip and Darryl decided dying in a whorehouse was better than living in a cell so he made a move for Wendy which was a bad decision because Wendy pulled a pistol on his privates and got Darryl's rocks off but in the bad kind of way. Another lunge, another gunshot, and Raylan didn't really have to do anything at all, which is fine because that's kind of what Raylan did all season long. He did get to say goodbye to Darryl with a real zinger, telling him, "Didn't I tell you you were gonna wish I killed you? Well don't ya?" I think Darryl's internal monologue in that moment was less concerned with Raylan's verbal vengeance and more of, "Ow my balls. My sister shot me in the balls." So that big showdown between Raylan and Darryl never happened unless you count Raylan taunting a ball-less dying man on the ground as a showdown, and Wendy probably would have shot Darryl whether or not Raylan was there at all. 

The Crowes were built as a near carbon copy of the Bennetts in Season 2 (my favorite season of Justified), but they never got a chance to be a real threat to Raylan. In fact, Raylan didn't take out any Crowes directly. Dilly was killed by Darryl, Danny was killed by a hole in the ground, and Wendy killed Darryl. The meanest thing Raylan did to the Crowes was not get Kendal a cup of coffee. Though these gingers from Florida started with such promise, I'll look back at them less as fearsome Crowes and more like pesky gnats who managed to self destruct without much interference from Raylan at all. 


As for Boyd, he was dealing with gangsters from Detroit Canada Mexico, and managed to get them off his back through smart phone slight of hand when he changed Raylan's contact information (I love how Boyd has Raylan in his address book; "sup R, where r u? hit me back") to read Darryl's name instead. So when the Mexican cartel demanded that Boyd bring Darryl in to pay for killing those men in Mexico, Boyd was actually texting Raylan. Okay, so phone trickery wasn't as cool as blowing someone up with an explosive cigarette box, but it worked when Tim and Rachel arrived (no Raylan?) and put a bunch of holes in the cartel members. It was a rather easy way of getting Boyd out of his jam, but that felt like the M.O. of "Restitution" as it had the mindset of wrapping things up by any means necessary and setting up Season 6 instead of salvaging the confusion created from sending Boyd all over North America.  

And the biggest set up for Season 6 came courtesy of... AVA? Yep, Ava finally had something relevant to do! Well, in the very final minutes. Before that, her part in "Restitution" was more of the same women's prison nonsense of watching her back and then fighting back and then getting into arguments and then me falling asleep. But once she got out of prison—YES she's finally out of prison!—Ava became important again because she was interwoven with the leading men of Harlan instead of eating ice cream and dislocating her shoulder in jail. And the terms of her release weren't that much of a surprise. She got out on the condition that she help the Kentucky Marshal Service take down Boyd, which looks like the backbone of Justified's final season. I don't think that excuses all the jail shenanigans that ultimately meant nothing to Ava's arc other than giving her a long-winded reason to break up with Boyd and get a haircut, but the idea of Ava turning rat on Boyd is a juicy start to Justified's final season because her allegiances to both Raylan and Boyd are rocky are best. 

Season 5 had about six episodes worth of story to tell and got lost in all the manufactured complexities that came with stretching things out. And some of the more interesting elements were ignored or abruptly dropped. As soon as Mara, the mail-order bride who was briefly married to Paxton, became interesting, she was shuffled off the show with little fanfare. Jay and Roscoe, the two sibling gangsters played by Steve and Wood Harris, were the most fascinating villains of Season 5 but they were relegated to second-fiddle nuisances (but they were part of the season's best scene). And Season 5's most fascinating development—Art learning about Raylan's involvement in the murder of Nicky Augustine—was scuttled to the point that the writers shot Art instead of dealing with it head on. Even Raylan's love life drama fizzled out as Allison simply faded away. 

Of course, I'm comparing Justified to itself and its past glory, and that's a high hurdle for any show. But I'll remember Season 5 as a season full of messiness and missed opportunities, unfortunately. 



POSTCARDS FROM HARLAN COUNTY


– Whatever happened with Rachel becoming interim Chief Deputy? Nothing seemed to change much from that promotion. 

– What happened with Katherine? Did we need her this season? 

– When the prison guard said, "Crowder get off that goddamn table!" I laughed a lot. I still am not sure why.

– The scene with Raylan and Kendal in the interrogation room was outstanding as Raylan swapped hunting stories with Kendal as a way to get Kendal to slip up and prove to Wendy that he didn't commit the shooting.

– Did Boyd really think he could convince those cartel members to turn on their boss? I'm not sure what the point of that scene was.

– Tim spoke Spanish. This show needs more Tim.

– For a minute there I thought Season 6 was going to be Raylan in Florida, but I guess his trip down south to see his daughter will be postponed until they catch Boyd. By that time, Raylan's daughter might be in a Boca Raton retirement home. Winona is going to be pissed

– [UPDATE] Oh crap I forgot to mention that Jimmy got killed and that was SO not cool with me. What are the chances Star-Crossed gets a second season so we can continue to see Jesse Luken on television? What are the chances any of us will be able to sit through Star-Crossed to watch Jesse Luken?



HEARD 'ROUND HARLAN

Tim: "The way this works Darryl, I follow you around."

Tim: "I appreciate your concern, this may as well be a slow night in the champagne room for how comfortably erect I'm going to be watching your bitch ass squirm about."

Boyd: "Some folk say Disneyland is the happiest place on Earth, well I promise those folks ain't ever partied with Boyd Crowder in Sin City."

Boyd: "You want me to shit my pants, Alberto, because it seems to me that would make your job more unpleasant."

Boyd: "You ever pulled off a shot like that Mr. Ranger Sniper?"
Tim: "Good guys don't need to shoot people with their hands cuffed, Crowder." 

Tim: "What you did is use us to save your own ass.."
Boyd: "Well if my survival is a happy byproduct of my selfless act, so be it."

Winona: "Did you hear that sweetie? Daddy's coming home so that mommy can finally take a nap."


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 4/14/2015

Season 6 : Episode 13

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I have just finished binge watching (and binge reading Tim's reviews of) Justified. There is still something I don't understand - why did Boyd give up on Eva? The prison guard confessed to Boyd that he shanked himself - why didn't Boyd make the prison guard make an official confession?
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And here I just did the same, years later. As noted in the review, it feels like the only purpose of Ava's incarceration was to break up her relationship with Boyd and get a haircut, and truthfully only one of those things was really served. She broke up with Boyd and he... accepted that? Stopped trying to get her out of jail? Even though he had the guy who could get her out tied up in his bar? REALLY? Sigh. It was a sloppy season and part of what made it so was having important plot pieces basically just stated for the audience to accept without justification.
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would someone please tell me what happened after boyd got to the meeting with winn? my dvr didn't records the last couple of minutes.

and did someone say the next season is the last?
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Yep. Season six is the last one.
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I actually thought that this was the best season so far. While the villains weren't as good (The Bennetts were the best IMHO), I thought it did a good job of moving the main characters along. I think the story was good, and I even started to like the prison scenes with Ava.

The worst part, IMO, was Art. He's had a bug up his ass the entire time Raylan has been in Kentucky. Raylan hasn't been that bad, and even the Augustine thing would have been something Art himself would have done. I don't see how he can ride this high horse when he beat up some dude in season 3 when one of his friends was killed.

Anyhoo, Looking forward to season 6.
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Raylan hasn't been that bad?! Sweet Jesus...
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Hasn't really murdered anyone, he's been Justified. Plus the real point was that Art hasn't been a choir boy either yet judges raylan to no end.
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He gambled a young man's life to get arrest/kill a man? You don't think that's bad?

Art isn't innocent, sure, but who is? He's still more innocent than Raylan and actually a very cool guy. Even Raylan likes and respects him.
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It's sleight of hand, not slight of hand. Yes, that's a weird one.

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That was a fair review. Even at its weakest, Justified is a better show than most stuff on TV right now but this season wasn't great. A lot of missed opportunities...
  • The Crowes were just not that interesting esp once Wendy went from being the smart one to believing Darryll's BS. That said, the plight of Kendall was a not to subtle echo of Raylan's youth which Raylan used very well in that 'choco' scene.
  • The whole Ava season was pretty unwatchable but in truth it had to get THAT bad for Ava so that it would make sense that she could betray Boyd which personally I am not loving for Season 6 where it looks like finally Boyd & Raylan will face off and it will be serious this time. Ouch for one or both.
  • Tim and Rachel are so underused. As was the mail-order bride who I hope comes back in Season 6? Although I doubt it if Ava's spy plans need her to make nice with Boyd...
  • Raylan on skype with his daughter seems always bittersweet to me. That he can stay away from his own child so easily is kind of a disappointment esp. considering how often he makes references to what a bad father Arlo was (which sure, he was). Poor Winona...
All that said, can't wait for Season 6
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ludoTV,

Your comments were extremely well thought-out. And well organized. Something that I appreciate.

  • Like you, I saw the resemblance between Raylan and Kendall. Down to the squinty eyes. I instantly thought that he would be a vehicle for Raylan to identify with and open up more of his own childhood. Great call on your part.
  • I have come to share your point. I think if Joelle Carter was to finish the show (I don't have a problem with the actress, I have a problem with the character), then she would had to have the screen time to set up the last season.
  • Tim and Rachel's use has always perplexed me.
  • Ditto on Raylan as a father.
Some other comments. I think the writers have some room for the demise of Boyd. Raylan can't die because Raylan's character is a living money-machine for Elmore's estate. But they do like to book-end. So I wouldn't be surprised if Ava ends up killing Boyd at the dinner table with ham. Add in some Limehouse there.

Some risks I would like to see the writers take. An affair between Raylan and Rachel. They have established their rapport. It would make her character more interesting by being co-opted by Raylan. They are going to need some filler. And It would be Kentucky's 2015 breakout of the 1960's Guess Who Is Coming To Dinner. Am I the only one that thinks Rachel is one of the most beautiful people on television?

While we are talking about stereotypes, is it also too risky to have Duffy and Mike come out of the closet (motorhome)?

Another filler risk I would like to see the writers take is for Raylan to find out more about his mother. Limehouse teased it out. And his father teased "that his mother wasn't St. Francis". A con is Hunter saying that his father fought for her honor. So I am not wedded to Raylan's mother having a backstory that totally floors Raylan. But I do think it is a good time to better develop her character. And give Limehouse another reason to return for a few episodes.

Finally tie up loose ends. What happened to Karl (Boyd's new henchman)? Why is the granny still keeping Jed locked up in prison for killing Raylan's mother? I could go on and on.

The point being, that 13 episodes waiting for E6 and the show's ending, is going to need some plot development to keep it interesting. I have been a critic of S5 of the show; but I am still a huge fan. I have faith in the writer's to know they have a chance to make the final season establish the show as one of the top shows ever. Knowing S5 will be forgotten. The know they can't mail it in. They have to make each episode count. If S5 was practice/set up; than S6 has to be the game and make each second count.

Thanks again ludoTV for your post. And for your continued enthusiasm being a fan of the show!

JC
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On the loose ends:

1) I'm sure Karl will be back. He was a cool character.

2) As for the granny, it was explained in an episode in season 3 why Jed is still locked up, "Guy Walks into a Bar" I believe. Mags helped granny with something and keeping Jed in prison


What other loose ends?
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Also, whatever happened to Eric Roberts??? He seemed like a good addition if shortlived unless he is coming back in Season 6?
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He was there to show how Raylan could become if he keeps on going like this, not caring for his daughter and never backing out of a confrontation.
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WOW! What you say makes total sense but it seems to have gone over my head... I must have been to excited by seeing Eric Roberts on Justified and hoping there may be some new charismatic character on the horizon...
Is it supposed to have worked then, as a cautionary tale? I honestly can't tell
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This is a really poor review of what was a well thought out strategy by Raylan - don't you get it? - he pulled the strings. Tim and the new 'boss' arrived at the country house because Raylan sent them there - he was making sure Wendy survived at the time. Danny wouldn't have made the 20 feet even if he hadn't fallen in a hole - he would have had a couple of holes in him. Writing lines such as 'Raylan needs a kick in the pants', 'The meanest thing Raylan did to the Crowes was not get Kendal a cup of coffee'. and others seems to show a deep lack of understanding and some animosity towards Raylan (who is a character by the way - this is not real life.). I guess some people just can't really follow or recognise a bit of complexity. I'd suggest that if it annoys you so much perhaps you should stay away from season 6. You aren't adding anything useful.
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I know Boyd is a bad, bad man, and I'm not usually down with villain protagonists, but I'm kinda hoping Boyd gets a happy ending rather then the finial season ending with his capture or death.
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He was walking in that direction (quiet, happy life) until someone said "bank robbery"!
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I have a bad feeling bout season 6 for Raylan he should have left for Florida. The Marshalls' can get Boyd without him. Am glad for Eva though she gets to leave prison.
The Crowthers were low life bottom feeders just scrambling to survive . I honestly felt sorry for them, Darryl was just not high powered enough to go against Raylan.And I feel Wendy manipulated the situation to get rid of her brother and claim self defence with a Marshall around to backup her story. She knew her brother well and knew what he'll do and so she told him about the recording to provoke a response when she could have just left.
Season 5 while quite good didn't deliver the antagonist we were accustomed to in the other seasons.But it sure as hell was better than 95% of crap on TV and kept me riveted too.

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I'm kind of bummed that the last season is Raylan vs Boyd. They don't really come across as harboring much animosity towards each other and Boyd is actually the more likable of the two. I hope someone bigger and badder comes in at the end of the season and drives them together. Ava will have to die which I'm cool with but so will either Tim or Rachel(money is on Tim).
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Anyone knows the name of the song at the end?
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wiE_Bk8FOY0
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Thanks
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Tim - you say Wendy should have handled the "wire" differently. Does that mean you bought even one crocodile tear she was shedding in the BS scene?? Major nonsense writing of that scene.
But - yeah I still like the show or whatever everyone else says.
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And Tim may have spoke Spanish, but he lost points by getting T-boned in an intersection in the world's sloppiest chase. Anybody who gets outfoxed by Darryl Crowe jr. doesn't deserve that much admiration.
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Good review, especially pointing out that Raylan didn't really do much of anything in this episode or this season, and why he didn't show up at Ava's to help Tim and Rachel is utterly baffling. The only thing Raylan did was get not one but two separate storylines' women to snitch - that is literally it, otherwise he showed up and was a wise-cracking hat-rack.

You are entirely right that Ava's stupid story was all for naught, we could have achieved her character arc in 3 or 4 scenes spread throughout the whole season. None of them would have required seeing what went on behind bars, just her talking to Boyd and Raylan as she degenerated from the hell, ending with her haggard at the edge of sanity after Penny got shanked. Instead we wasted countless resources and time on this stupid storyline that went nowhere. They sorta telegraphed this early on, which is why I ended up fast-forwarding through a lot of it, picking up pieces here and there, and just rolling my eyes each time.

Oh man, I totally forgot about Mara the Russian Bride! Jay and Roscoe were underwritten characters, they had good actors but weak writing. Allison sucked, she was contrived and a hot mess that went nowhere. And at no point did Raylan actually deal with his kid directly, all setup, no payoff.

Damn, now that I think about it, Darryl going to Allison's house was utter nonsense, that didn't even make hillbilly logic, it was just there to be a thing that happened to Art and drive the last act of this arc.

If this had been the first season of Justified, I wouldn't have continued watching it.

Yeah, what DID happen to Rachel taking over? No changes at all, and letting Raylan call shots seemed out of place.

Katherine... oh man, there was no point to that at all! I forgot about her, that seemed to be nonsensical foundation for something that will happen next season, but it just felt so stilted.

Boyd's scene with the cartel henchmen was meant to show us that he finally was on his heels for once, and was grasping at straws.

I would so have preferred Raylan out of Kentucky and back to Florida, he is the show's interesting character and having him stuck in Harlan is not only boring, it's limiting.
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" and why he didn't show up at Ava's to help Tim and Rachel is utterly baffling"
Didn't read this review. But isn't that obvious, because he was making sure Wendy wasn't alone when he was catching Darrel. Unless he could conjure a clone, he did the next best thing.
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Wendy's recording of Darryl could have waited, it was not THAT time-sensitive.
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Why would Raylan make a call to Wendy to stop the meeting with Darrel, who was on the run and would probably be suspicious if Wendy called him again to delay it, when Raylan made the better choice of sending two other marshals after Boyd.
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Raylan had already "cut [Wendy] loose an hour ago" when the texts came in and had no control over her, and only then found out Darryl had shook Tim, as per his conversation with Rachel. Raylan didn't set Wendy up to record Darryl, she did that independently, at that time Raylan was still just looking for Darryl and had no idea there was anything particularly time-sensitive. So Raylan was already in Harlan and could have checked in on the strange texts coming out of Ava's while he was looking for Darryl. He walks into the whorehouse and is surprised to see what's going on.
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We all knew Jimmy was never going to survive the episode, but my face was an exact copy of Boyd's face when the Mexicans shot him... so sad, he really was a good kid.

On a positive note, there was some Tim-time this week! No matter what that man says, I'm always smirking at the end of the scene... Hopefully there's a lot more of him next season!!
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Aww, Jimmy. :( Poor Jimmy.
This episode felt weird to me for some reason, perhaps because the stakes were so low compared to previous seasons. I'll admit though, I did start getting really excited when it became clear that they were setting up the Raylan vs. Boyd showdown for next season. Seems like it coming full circle to Boyd-Ava-Raylan again is a fitting end to a brilliant show. And I'm all for anything that gives us more Tim and Rachel is always welcome.
  • Thank god Ava is out of that god damn prison.
  • So cute that Boyd was fixing up the window at Ava's country house. Felt a little sad when she basically told him to get lost after she got home. Straight up gut wrenching when she met Raylan on the bridge. Boyd and Ava are really done. Kinda sad.
  • Dammit Raylan, go be a father!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • I think Katherine could be a big part of next season. Could be interesting, if only because we get more Wynn-Boyd interactions. Love Wynn.
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Agree with the review completely: A decent episode, but not great. And the same goes for the season. Here's hoping the final season will be better so the show can go out with the quality of its finest seasons.
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Pretty boring ending to a pretty boring season. I barely recognised Justified this season.
So the whole stupid Ava storyline was to get her to roll on Boyd. I get that she would have to go through some awful crap to turn on him, but surely they could have done it in 3 episodes. Also I still don't get why Boyd didn't press the guard to retract his statement and come clean? Because the guard said something that made Boyd think she was better off without him? Even if they are no longer together, would he not still help her get out of prison since it was his fault she was in there in the first place?
Is it me or did they turn Raylan in to a bit of an ass this season? He seemed much angrier, he's no interest in his family (beyond disappointed in him over this), and just a general d*ckish nature.
Just a bit of a bugbearer of mine but I hate when shows use the Cartel and then they don't follow through with how violent they should be. Sure Boyd is clever, but he seemed to come across the softer side of the Cartel. Also why wouldn't the head guy take Boyd out the back of the house and make a run for it??
Anyway, this whole season was all over the place, and reading bits from the producers, they seemed to have problems like Edi Gathegi who played the Haitian wanting off the show, which forced changes to plot. I hope they can pull it back for the last season and the show can go out on a high.
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"What are the chances any of us will be able to sit through Star-Crossed to watch Jesse Luken?" I say slim to none.
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Exactly. I am betting on him being cast in a good show since Star Crossed has 0 chances at getting renewed anyway (phew)
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''Nothing changed much from Rachel's promotion'' because she was just asked to act as ''interim chief". If she started bossing people around all of a sudden , she wouldve looked like an ass, especially when Art came back. She just took on a temporary administrative role because someone responsible needed to be in charge. Rather than a cowboy.

When you get promoted, you gotta let your colleague's know that they still have your support. You cant let em think the promotion went to your head.
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I'm okay with the season finale, it wrapped up a lot of things and let us know that the refocus for the final season would be Raylan and Boyd as it should be. I loved the eppy because we also got more Rachel and Tim, those two are seriously underused. Raylan was like a guest on his own show this season, but there was something that stood up out, he can't let go of "getting Boyd". And his relationship with Ava is different, which I like. Her welfare is no longer the primary concern for Raylan, just "getting Boyd." And now Rachel is on the "get Boyd" train and I maybe in the minority but her and Boyd's exchange was kind of undercurrent of sexy. Kendall all season has been a nuisance IMO, but that scene with him in the interrogation room was awesome. He became the only Crowe besides Dewey I liked after that scene. Even the best series have lackluster seasons, and this may have been Justified; but I'll still be eagerly waiting for the final season. "Jay and Roscoe, the two sibling gangsters played by Steve and Wood Harris, were the most fascinating villains of Season 5", no truer words have been spoken.
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"Push them off the wall and let's see if crows can fly".......I guess Crowes really cant fly
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I love Justified, but I was a little disappointed with the ending of the season. I was hoping for some serious consequences, unfortunately everyone got a happy ending (for now), and that felt very unlike Justified.

I felt that Ava should have been killed off instead of released. Her story hasn't grabbed me in a couple of seasons, and I didn't care for her prison arc this year. Sure, she's helping Raylan now, but will that last? And is she really needed for the final season? I'd rather see Boyd start the final season dealing with her death, and his role in her landing in prison.

I was hoping for Art's story to wrap up as well. I was expecting a recovery and retirement from him, leading to increased roles for Tim and Rachel next year (which needs to happen).

Lastly, I was really hoping they'd go dark and have Kendall be the shooter. I would've loved to see Art wake up and tell them Kendall was the shooter, leading Raylan to have to deal with that in season 6. Had they done that and killed Ava, both Raylan and Boyd would be in dark, difficult places heading into the final season.


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The whole damned prison thing couldve been omited. They couldve spent half the production costs and came up with something more entertaining with half as many extras. Damn that was awful. Justified was so great it doesnt seem possible it could fall so far in just a few episodes, I use to love Ava, now I'm sick of her. Next season will most certainly be better.
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Any kind of way that Wendy would get Darrlys "rocks off" would be a "bad kind of way" if you know what im saying lol
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Man that shootout was ridiculous. I'm sure someone probably already mentioned that, but I was like , Well damn, did yall train at Glenco too? Two marshalls who couldnt hit the side of a barn at 20 paces. And Tim's supposed to be a sniper?
Chalk it up to bad editing. Rachel barely took cover at all. Justified's slippin'.
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Being a sniper means long hours practicing with a rifle, not a sidearm.
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I know right...Why would a trained sniper be able to shoot a guy standing 15 to 20 feet away? No reason I can think of.
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Actually its was bad directing. In fact thats been the problem this season. it has been poorly directed.
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It's bad writing. Across the board. Directing took its lead from a weak script, so there was no driving force behind this at all.

As for the handgun battle, that's pretty much the most organic shootout I've seen on tv in some time, even a sniper can't shoot 2 people at once, and a handgun is a limited weapon at that distance. Several shots hit their target but not center mass so the shooters kept firing back. What wasn't organic was the lack of backup.
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I don't know what an organic shootout is. that doesnt even make sense to me, but watch the shootout again. you will see that there's three gunmen standing on a porch less than 20 feet away from two marshalls. you'll see rachel standing there ''behind cover'' with everything from the waist up, completely exposed, while tim ducks down next to a car in two places with no cover whatsoever, yet somehow he doesnt get hit and neither do the gunmen for the better part of the exchange. it was just stupid and poorly shot, and I'm not the only person to mentioned it.

but at least it was organic. whatever the hell that means.
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Living in LA, I've seen shootouts more than once, they're frenzied, a lot of bullets can fly from handguns without hitting targets, especially with multiple targets. It's not a shooting gallery where it's easy to plug away at paper targets. This was more believable than most TV shows would have you believe.
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Oh Justified... I never thought my love for you would be bittersweet. Alas, that's what this season has brought. LONG RANT AHEAD:

So many things went wrong that I feel that they need to be broken down:

Season 1 of Justified was arguably its worst up until this point. It lacked plot cohesion, the villains weren't really interesting, and overall there was no major plot. This season was somehow worst than that, even though it started off with a plot. Every season has had its thing besides that first one.

S2 was about a disjointed family, who along with having immense issues between themselves, also threatened to kill anybody who would cross their paths and didn't align to their wishes.

S3 was all about outside dangerous gangsters duelling each other in Harlan, with the unsavoury help of a major fucked up bossman that was Limehouse. There were so many deaths in this season that I'm sure it was the darkest.

S4 was about the search for the elusive Drew Thompson - it wasn't incredibly unpredictable half-way through the season as to who he was, but that in no way took the fun away from it, as even after the reveal it was still very interesting to see how they dealt with the extraction of Drew Thompson.

This brings us to season 5. The plot of which, was again, the troubles of a disjointed family. Not only was it bad that they were re-hashing something already done, but it got worse when it came clear that the characters were just not interesting enough and the plot was literally "dickhead villains being dickheads in Harlan".

Let's take a look at the characters.:

Dewey Crow
- A familiar figure in the Justified world. This season looked to be about Dewey at first. Afterall, his whole family undesirably made a move to Kentucky, because Florida apparently was a shithole. Yet, Dewey Crow ended up being a peripheral figure throughout the season, showing up only when convenient for the plot, didn't actually have any character arc to be spoken off, and was hushed to his end in an underwhelming turn of events, probably never to be seen again in Justified.

Darryl Crow - The supposed antagonist of the season. What was his arc again? I don't think he had one either. He was the typical asshole "in charge of the family". He killed the best Crow character in the first episode, for completely silly reasons - he was a liability. What? As a opposed to any other member of the family? It made it worse that throughout the entire season, he kept mentioning having to take care of the family. In what way did he do that? He killed a brother. He barely flinched after another brother accidentally killed himself. He beat up his sister, and he was going to let his nephew go to prison on a crime that he himself commit. Taking fucking care of a family must be the EXACT OPPOSITE of that. You know I'm not a fan of Michael Rapaport's work in general. I think he is mediocre at best. Yet, I thought he actually did pretty well as Darryl. Shame that his character was just a fuck up wanting to make money with drugs and nothing more.

Wendy Crow - The supposed best behaved member of the family. Started up as their lawyer, as a character with a conscience and responsibility. Her arc was apparently to merely end up as a terrible mother, a terrible caretaker for the family, and generally had no impact at all on the season other than being pissed off and sad at whatever was happening with Kendall and the family. Seriously she went from badass lawyer to pathetic useless mother at the ened.

Danny Crow - This character was a walking cliché. All he ended up being was the over-enraged idiotic bully. He accomplished nothing in the season other than looking at people threateningly and killing another impact-less character which in turn created an impact-less plot. He, alongside Kendal, got mixed into the cliché of clichés. I killed a guy and you saw it happen, but don't you fucking dare tell anybody about it OR ELSE!!!! What an underwhelmingly pathetic death as well. I was actually curious to see him perform the whole 12 feet rule, which apparently is a real thing, only for him to die...because he fell in an obvious pit AND stabbed himself with a knife through his face? What?!

Kendal Crow - What's to say about the kid, other than the cliché situation he was involved in? Sure, he was a "badass" kid. I wonder where I've seen that before. He was willing to be on the record for shooting a marshal, of all things, for his entire like for his dickhead uncle whom never did shit for him other than carrying him around from shithole to shithole. Clever kid.

And these were the main season characters. A bunch of boring people who brought nothing new to television. You have done better justified. You CAN do better and you have to for your final season.

Further notes of negativity
:

Ava - Ridiculous storyline. She might as well not have existed in this season. You know, after Orange is the New Black came to the surface, it was clear that the standards for TV on prison had substantially risen. Yet, what we were given with the Ava storyline was a bag FULL of clichés. I cannot believe the amount of bullshit that went on in that prison. Let's see, NOBODY was ever in the toilets other than Ava and who else was with her. Not prisoners, not guards. In fact, a totally 24/7 unguarded toilet in the prisons. That's legit. EVERYONE could get a blade-shiv when needed. Not even a toothbrush turned shiv, no no. An ACTUAL blade shiv was always there when needed. I'm not going to address the prison villains as they speak for themselves - empty characters.

The Raylan-Art conundrum. Nothing came from the fact that Art knew Raylan let a criminal be killed. Forgetting the concept of "Who gives an actual shit that a cunt serial killer that was Augustine got shot by other equally cunt-levelled killers", Art's biggest move was punching Raylan once and not addressing the issue ever? Wow. Underwhelming.

Boyd's minions
. It was getting harder and harder to give two shits about who Boyd was with. Over the years, they have come and gone. Almost all of them got killed. Cole was definitely the most interesting partner, and yet he got killed in the same season he appeared on. This left us with Jimmy, who never actually, despite his many appearances, had any character traits whatsoever other than being a minion of Boyd, got needlessly killed in the finale by some forgettable mexican minions. Just when he might have a chance to be interesting. Sigh.

Raylan's girlfriend, whatever her name was. Her plot was to bang Raylan a couple of times, and sporadically give a shit about Kendall but not really. Her two character traits were "I smoke weed." and "I don't give a shit if Marshals see that I smoke weed". Inventive stuff.

The fight between Wendy and Darryl. I mean, sure, this doesn't matter too much, but the fight between these two was hands down the worst fight on television in my living memory, and I watch a lot of TV. Wendy's punch was so atrocious my stomach turned. Nobody is asking Justified to be Banshee, a show that has upped the standards in that respect. But giving that The Americans has the same EP as Justified, it's unforgivable how appalling that scene was. Shame on you guys.

Finally, the best secondary character on this season was hands down, Dickie Bennet. This is very sad, given that he appeared for like 10 minutes this season. Yet, the acting and the dialogue in these 10 minutes blew every other character out of the water. It's hard to pinpoint the reason for this. Could the season have been better cast? Could the dialogues have been better written? Or was it just that Jeremy Davies is a fucking incredible actor? In the end it doesn't matter. He put them all to shame.

I love you Justified. But don't fuck up on your last season, or it's gonna be hard to shake-off how the show went downhill.
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Very blend....They could've gotten Ava mad at Boyd for something reason. Yep, that's my biggest problem with the whole thing. The rest, well, there's really not much to say.

I'm glad Boyd's back to blowing shit up and that I've read Tim and Rachel are going to have more of a role next season! I'll take care of that scarred soul of yours, Tim!
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Wow that was just kind of blah. It really encompassed the whole feeling of the season. Moments of Justified brilliance in a sea of mediocrity due to the actor choices for the season. It just felt off the entire season.

Did Raylan even shoot anyone this season?

The chat with Kendall was all right. But Kendall was a horrible character and really for allowing his uncle to sucker him into taking the wrap he might deserve that time in real prison. But it was meant to turn Wendy, who seriously should have known that Kendall didn't do it. I mean really that was one of the weakest threads of the whole season in a season of weak threads.

Daryl dying at the hands of Wendy wasn't that great either. Daryl was a horrible character. I am not sure how you can say this was a Carbon Copy of season 2. Although it may be and the suck acting is coloring my view of it. But the shooting was anticlimactic and it should have been done in the first episode. I have said it before this was an episode of Justified stretched into a whole season. But at least Daryl is dead, so that is good.

Tim was hilarious this episode. I would have really rather had him kill Daryll than Wendy.

The whole Boyd/Ava/ Raylan thing I think is starting out badly. Body is far too intelligent to not see that Ava getting out had to mean someone tipped the scale in her favor and the only people with the capability to do so is the DA and the Marshall's. And I think as soon as Hale meets her she is going to see right through her. Also, Boyd is hardly a kingpin, he might be the lynchpin but putting him behind bars really isn't going to do anything. They could save a whole hell of a lot a time and just offer him a huge pile of money to turn on Duffy and Hale and everyone else they want.

Ava's whole plot this season was one big long drag out to her turning on Boyd. So that was a big bag of nothing. Allison was a huge bag of nothing. This whole season was just off and the finale didn't make up for it one bit.
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I don't mean to pile on, but ugh this season! I told you before the season began that every time I catch up on a show that's 3 to 4 seasons in, the new season coming up ends up being a letdown, and that's exactly what this was. I remember about half-way through the season you thought about giving up, which you should of done. I probably should have quit looking back.

One other thing, I remember the creators saying Constable Bob would come back. Where was he? He wouldn't have saved it, but he would of been welcome. He would've totally kicked Daryl Crowe's ass. Neither Daryl and Danny would've lasted a second against the Crowder family, or the Bennett family. Hell, a guy like Colton Rhodes would've killed both of them without breaking a sweat. You're right, Daryl was a one episode villain at best. If they would've went with a better actor, the character would've slightly more tolerable, but it was still a horrible character. Fuck the fucking Crowes. If there's anything I want to come back from this season, it's the character of Mara, and the character of Jay, since Roscoe is dead I presume. Those were the only new characters I liked.
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Someone from the internets could reduce this whole entire season down to a half hour of good content.(if that) Because really that is all that there really was this season. And that would basically be just the Boyd and a little of the Raylan parts because even he was off this season. I get that they wanted him to have an off season, in order to balance out all the stuff he did the previous season. And to include the rest of the cast, but the rest kind of sucked. The stuff with Ava that led nowhere, seriously if the white supremacist chick doesn't get out of prison and come after Ava next season then it was literally one big long bag of nothing the whole season.

I would have loved to seen Patton Oswalt on this season, at the very least for some levity. But he has kind of been busy this year and he might have gotten a chance to read the scripts and say "nah, I am good". And I agree, the previous characters that we have had for big bad would have wiped the floor with the Crowes.

I am concerned over next season, I really am. The set up with Boyd and Ava seems way too predictable. Boyd kind of looked like he figured it out right when he heard her on the phone. The stuff with Hale and Duffy seems interesting, Hale and how that goes will probably be the determining factor in whether the season will be good or not.

I really can't believe how far this show dropped in quality. It had its moments of greatness, but they were mere moments and it was ridiculous that they presented this to the viewers. And Rapaport still, after all of that time couldn't get the accent down nor could stop squinting. I am officially not watching any season of any show that he is on ever again. If he shows up Hannibal I will not watch it. If he shows up on Banshee, I will not watch it. Though Hood probably would shoot him on sight.
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This season was just wrong. Mustve had different writers or producers or something. I mean there was way too many recurring characters and extras but even without them it still wouldve sucked. Elmore Leonard's rollin' over in his grave. He mustve been the reason for success in the previous seasons.
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I think they thought they had a good idea. And honestly the Crowes could have been a great over season plot. But they chose poorly on the actors and on the storyline. Leaving viewers with a lot of wonder and complain about. Whomever had that first thought of let's get Michael Rapaport should be fired. That was the worst mistake this show has ever made.

If you contrast that with Robert Quarles, Neal McDonough was a fantastic choice for a less than stellar character. Actually I wonder what the two seasons would look like if the two actors traded roles. Last season had enough great to absorb the suckyness of Daryl Crowe and McDonough is strong enough to provide a way better Daryl and raise up or over shadow the rest of the group of Crowes. But I digress.

I think you might be correct in that Elmore Leonard might have been the anchor for the show. Providing just enough insight and guidance to the writers in order to reign them in. But really, this felt like one big long episode rather than anything resembling a over arcing plot.
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I think we can all agree when I say... please writers and producers of Justified, give Tim a prominent role in season 6!
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Graham Yost has said that both Tim and Rachel will have big roles in season 6.
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Oh, that is really good news, thanks for sharing that info.
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This was a mixed ending to a season that didn't reach its potential. The Crowes were so unworthy as villains and it became harder and harder to understand why Raylan was so fixated on them instead of Boyd, who is a much bigger problem. Alas it feels like Justified may have been stalling on dealing with Boyd until the last season (and who would have thought Justified would ever stall on anything). Going to see his daughter is similar. I get that he's got issues but the obstacles to him taking the trip have often been contrived instead of character-based. Having an end date for the series may have actually harmed Justified because now it's pushing things back for the end game.
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I loved it! Its was just effortless and great.
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I did not particularly enjoy this season, and even if what it set up for season 6 is good - it doesn't make up for it in my book. Justified has always been so solid, and I didn't even want to admit not liking this season to myself but alas. One thing I will never understand about Justified is why make such GREAT minor characters and NEVER use them to their full potential?! I am of course speaking of Tim in particular, and I am not sorry because he has the most interesting backstory he says the best things and makes every scene he's in that much better. One of my all-time favourite characters, and, I don't know I just don't get it. Give him a good god damn story and just USE him jfc.
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As much as I agree about Tim, I think he's fine in the back seat (I thought he was thee best thing about the finale, his dry deliver is always great).
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Yeah I actually think part of why I go TIIIIIIIIIM EVERYONE SHUT UP when he's there is because he's there so little, so you like never get tired of him the way you sometimes get of Raylan (or I do at least). I swear to God sometimes I just want to reach through the screen and knock his stupid hat off. I'm still on the more-Tim-team though haha!
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Couldn't agree more especially with S5, Raylan was all over the place. I used to think Art was the best but Nick Searcy has made me not care about his character like I used to, Tim is probably my favorite now.
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My thoughts exactly, disappointed and disgusted does not cover my feelings about Nick Searcy's actions, and I liked/like (sorta) Art a lot so yeah that sucks. Yes Raylan has made it hard for me to root for him this season with how he's been. Tim FTW!
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I didn't like the monologues. Rachel saying she will do this and that to Boyd, Wendy opening up to Darryl, Tim, Boyd and so on. I don't mind the talking, but it didn't keep to the usual Justified standards. A bit of a lazy writing, really.

I actually feared that we would have to endure a final season full of Natalie Zea, but thank God it will be about Boyd.

I hope they use Ava in a more substantial way. Also, I guess Rachel will be Chief next season, since Art is retiring. More Tim, please!!!

I guess Raylan is on the grey side of things completely now.

P.S. I started watching Star-Crossed and I am not afraid to say it. It could be a pleasant surprise, like TVD, which also needed a few episodes before taking off.
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Poor Jimmy.

Recently went back to old school "Justified", after a rocky start to S5 I hoped they would recover (that they did). Can't wait to see Raylan Vs. Boyd next season with Ava in the middle.
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Forgot to mention Raylans last lines to Darryl, fuck that was awesome..
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This time I agree with Tim totally and this was a good review.

This season most interesting characters were Mara, Jay and Roscoe and they had too little screen time. The other exciting character was the old lady with Wynn Duffy. I am glad she will be around in season six working along with Boyd in what appears to be Bank heist again.

This season MVP would go to Boyd. From his cigarette box bomb to him texting Raylan this episode, Boyd was a joy to watch. I was not a fan of his in past seasons (the preaching part was the weirdest) but this season his journey was the most interesting.

I liked Jimmy too and kind of sad he died.

This finale was a good episode but ultimately disappointing compare to the many glories of season past. I totally call it when Ava got out of jail and called Boyd. I knew immediately it was Raylan who is giving her a deal to get Boyd. I actually wish they kept us guessing till next season but the shady bridge meeting was the last scene and we all know now.

This season sort of failed because the Crowes were just not enough of a challenge to Raylan compare to Bennetts or Robert Quarles.

We all know season six will be about Boyd vs Raylan. Hopefully this epic showdown would proved to be EPIC and Boyd does not go down too easily.

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I agree that a big chunk of the season wasn't great but I really liked this finale, and I can appreciate that it sets up the final season which I anticipate being very very good. The prison stuff with Ava was boring all season, but it did setup how/why she would now turn on Boyd. I like where all the characters are at at the moment, and should transition well into next season.
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Boyd Crowder robbing banks. AND being helped and directed by the apparent puppet master of the Detroit mob boss. Should be very interesting.

Did you SEE that gleam in Boyd's eye? He's EXCITED!

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Yeah, big bummer about Jimmy.

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This says a lot about what a terrible father (and boyfriend/husband) Raylan is/would be...

He just tells a weeping mother of his child he's coming to stay. And, then when given a chance to take Boyd down, "Well, why didn't you say so?"

Nary a thought about stiffing his family. AGAIN.

I love Raylan as a TV character, but I would totally hate him if he was a real person in my life.

I wouldn't be surprised if Raylan forgets to even tell Winonna he's not coming. She'll call him to ask why he's not there and he'll be like, "Oh, did I not tell you? I'm not coming yet. I got this little thing I gotta take care of. Should be any day now."

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I also loved that the writers did not take the easy way out and just have Raylan trick Kendal into admitting he didn't do it -- which is where I thought that interview was going. Instead, his whole goal was just to show Wendy the truth. Clever and subtle -- stuff we don't normally get on TV.

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I do agree with your summary of complaints about this season.

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QUESTION: Is Boyd going to suspect (and possibly investigate) the sudden turn-around of both ex cell mate and crooked prison guard? Or, will he just be so happy to have Ava back, he won't consider any foul play?

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I'm surprised he didn't immediately go nuts about it. He should be thinking all sorts of things, e.g. that someone is setting it up just so they can kill her more easily.

I don't see how Raylan can have any kind of leverage over Ava once the guard and the witness have recanted their stories.

I hope that Ava isn't really going to sell out Boyd.
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Yeah, that's all a bit tenuous. He's acting like he's got massive leverage on her and that if she messes up in the slightest, she's right back in prison. But, if they guard and cell-mate really did recant, where's the leverage?

And, if they didn't recant, it's easy for Boyd to discover that.
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QUESTION on previous ep: When all those prison women gave Eva their ice cream, was it it a sign of support? Or, a creepy warning?

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Support
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-- " I'll look back at them less as fearsome Crowes and more like pesky gnats who managed to self destruct without much interference from Raylan at all."

True, but in fairness, had Raylan taken them all out, himself, it really would have been a carbon coy of season 2. So, I give credit to the writers for giving Raylan an entirely different way of winning.

And true, they never really became much of a direct threat, but they didn't have the advantage the Bennetts did of being entrenched. And, if Raylan hadn't dealt with them, they WOULD have become entrenched and become a major threat.

I LIKE that they didn't just do a templated season.

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MAJOR ANNOYANCE: There is no way Tim should have gotten hit by a car when chasing Daryl. That's just stupid. He knew he was running a red light. Knew cars would be coming. And, he was coming from a stop, so it's not like he was going to fast to control.

At worst, he would have had to stop to avoid collision and thus lose Daryl. But, getting hit? Rookie move. And, BAD move by the writers. Just totally stupid.

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I do miss the days when Raylan shot anyone he could "justify", but I do think it's more realistic that he's not doing that every week. Justified or not, there's no way the government is going to keep a marshal on who's shooting 2 or 3 bad guys a week.

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MINOR ANNOYANCE: Why was Raylan letting the family get away with blaming him for Darryl's death? At least 3 or 4 times this ep and the previous one of them accused Raylan to his face of killing Darryl.

A very natural and simple response would be: "Hey, Darryl did that all on his own. Fool stabbed himself."

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The distinction isn't that important. If Danny (not Darryl) hadn't fallen, Raylan would have shot him. I don't think they're going to agree that a hole in the ground makes Raylan not responsible.
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But he could have shot out his kneecaps, stood over him and made a joke, and then got the drugs. He didn't need to kill him.
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You lost me. Who didn't need to kill whom?
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Raylan would have shot Danny, but you can shoot someone without killing him. So Raylan may have shot him in the leg or kneecap, but that doesn't mean he was going to kill him. So there is a distinction
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Doesn't matter that they agree with him. Raylan is well known for calling people on their crap and he surely should have done that, here. And, it would have been fun to see their reaction as he calls their brother an idiot for stabbing himself.

Thanks for the correction on Danny.
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ANNOYED: Two top marshalls - one a decorated war hero -- and both with weapons ALREADY DRAWN and aimed at the bad guys (who's guns are down by their side), and it takes them a dozen shots before they hit ANY of them? Good grief!

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Yes, that was annoying. I guess if they were both aiming at someone else, then it can happen. But at least one of them should have been aiming at the guy who appeared to be in charge, and was therefore more likely to make a decision for the group.

Also, if he was willing to draw his weapon to attack two US Marshals who already had their guns out, he would almost certainly have been willing to shoot Boyd first, or start shooting from the window.
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That was my thought too. They'd warned them so there was no need for the delay again.

The instant the mobsters started reaching for their guns they should have been done.

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They didn't have probable cause yet, had they shot them before drawing, that wouldn't have been a justified shoot.
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I get that, though the instant they all reached for their guns it should have legally been fair game. If a fed (or police officer) orders you to freeze with their weapon drawn, then reaching for YOUR weapon is pretty much fair game for the feds to unload. So the instant they all started reaching for their weapons, it would have been a justified shooting by the Marshals.

Granted, it's more kosher if you wait until the gun is literally pointing right at you... but my understanding is drawing a gun is game over for the criminal.

In which case 2 feds, one a former sniper, having you in their sites, should have been able to drop at least one of them before they started actually firing.
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These weren't known criminals for-sure engaging in a dangerous activity, they were still just likely troublemakers. As the audience, we know that they're armed and very dangerous criminals, but Tim and Rachel only suspect it and they have no evidence to back up that claim, they don't even know the guys have guns. Since this isn't a pursuit of a perpetrator, until they actually see an illegal activity, they cannot know the action is a dangerous one. When Agent Miller shot Roscoe before he drew on them, that was a justified shoot because Miller was able to see the weapon ahead of time, so Roscoe didn't have to flinch - the moment he didn't comply with the lawful order, he was posing an imminent likely threat. That's not the case with the cartel guys though, hence the distinction.
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Major kudos to the actor who plays Kendal. I'm mostly felt he was too wooden, but his reactions at the news he would be tried as an adult and as Raylan described killing a man was incredibly believable.

I, too, thought Wendy was an absolute idiot for flaunting the recording -- especially since she had no reason to expect Raylan was about to show up. But, I suspect her goal all along was to rile him up enough so she could shoot him in self-defense. She was pissed at him using Kendal that way and knew that she had to keep her son away from him for ever. And, the only way to do that was if he was dead. Although prison would probably have been sufficient, even then he could have a bad influence on Kendal.
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I have to agree with Tim that this season has been pretty weak. Still great television, but weak. And really the only thing the finale had going for it, was the setup for the 6th season. Which in turn was amazing! I cannot believe that Boyd is going to be the final seasons big bad. This is the greatest news! Boyd was always my favorite bad guy (Mags Bennett a close second, while batsh**t crazy Quarles comes in third) and it's going to be so much fun watching him return to his old ways - because I have say that I think he's become a lot less unpredictable and less dangerous as the show has progressed. He's still got a silver tongue, but other than that he's kinda meh... So bring back the old Boyd!

As for the show entering its final season, I'm okay with that. I'm going to miss Justified A LOT! There's no getting around that, but I'd rather it ended on a high note and while it's still ahead than getting cancelled or worse. And hopefully the writers will bring their absolute A-game and make the entire sixth season amazing.
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I enjoyed the episode,especially after the Crowe story was over.I thought the set up for the final season was brilliant.The scenes with Raylan and Kendall were very well acted,especially Timothy Olyphant.I'm ready for next season,the last season with that ominous song playing in my head "You'll Never Leave Harlan Alive".
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