Justified Season 5 Review “Shot All to Hell”

Justified Season 5 Episode 5 Shot All to Hell (2)

This week’s Justified cleared out a lot of superfluous characters – which was good. But, it also left me wondering why we needed them in the first place. The Haitian took a shotgun blast to the chest, the Sheriff was assassinated over breakfast, Boyd murdered Paxton, and Paxton’s wife got the shaft. That eliminated a lot of the distractions and left us with a good old fashioned power struggle between Boyd and Cousin Johnny, and a moment of truth for Rayland and Art.

There were a couple things that didn’t sit right. The first is Ava’s almost release from prison. Boyd creates chaos in the case against her when he kills Paxton (which begs the question why he didn’t do that earlier), and it looks like Ava is going to be back in the loving arms of her murdering psychopath fiancé. Not so fast. The night before her release, the prison guard who previously attempted to assault her shows up, finds a shank under her bed, stabs and cuts himself, and frames her. The only thing more implausible than this sequence of events is Danny Strong as a prison guard. This ends the happy Crowder reunion as Ava is shipped to the state penitentiary, where Boyd is unlikely to have any allies.

I’m torn about the Ava twist. On the one hand, her character was largely useless last season and had become pretty despicable. There were many times when I advocated killing her off. The circumstances surrounding her transfer feel way too contrived, though. I did like Boyd’s reaction to the news and was surprised that he’s still so in love with Ava. He was crushed. Now that there may be no hope for getting her out, it’ll be interesting to see what Boyd does. Since he has no qualms running around town murdering people, he should consider putting the prison guard on his list. If Boyd can get him to confess to the set up – voila, Ava is out.

The Crowe family drama is meandering. Dewey has been displaced by Daryl Crowe, Raylan turned over the youngest Crowe to child protective services, and Danny Crowe demonstrated his abilities to be amazingly lazy and psychotic. Daryl is dangerous, no doubt. He did have his own brother killed. But, is he dangerous enough to be poking the bear that is Boyd Crowder? This looks like a case of mutual underestimation. Boyd looks at Daryl like another dimwit Crowe, and Daryl doesn’t realize just how ruthless Boyd can be. Clearly, we’re going to get some kind of showdown between these two. I’m guessing sooner rather than later.

Danny’s murder of the Haitian was bizarre. Why did the Haitian come to Kentucky in the first place? He was one of those characters that they could have done without from the beginning. He didn’t add anything. Same goes for Paxton. What was the point of all the drama with Paxton, his wife, and the sheriff if Boyd just put a bullet in his head? He could’ve done that in the first place. I know that Boyd had the windfall of the dead bodies to frame Paxton, but he could’ve done that earlier. I don’t think Boyd would’ve had a hard time finding a body.

Without a doubt, the best part of the episode was the return to the law enforcement core – Raylan and Art. Art has always been indulgent of Raylan’s antics and has provided a fair amount of comic relief with his smartass one-liners. But, last night Art showed why he is the Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal. He kept a hitman from killing the one person who could provide information on Augustine’s murder, and he brought the snitch in. This culminated in the capture of Theo Tonin. Finally. It was a triumphant moment for Art that is only marred by Raylan’s confession at the end that he was around for Augustine’s murder. I can’t wait to find out how Art is going to take this news. He can’t turn Raylan in, and, technically, Raylan didn’t commit the crime himself. Sure, there’s that pesky conspiracy thing…but Raylan didn’t have a choice after Augustine came after Winona. Will Art be able to understand all that? Hopefully!

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