Justified Season 5 Review “Restitution”

Justified Season 5 Episode 13 Restitution (6)

I was very surprised by the way that this season of Justified wrapped up last night. I expected some big showdown with bullets flying and bodies dropping. What we got was something more subdued, but also strangely appropriate for where the characters are at this point. Last night reminded us that next season is the show’s last and set up the chessboard for the inevitable battle of wits between Raylan and Boyd.

Let’s start first with the closure of the Florida Crowes story. Raylan sits down with Kendal to a heart felt discussion of what it feels like to kill things. It quickly becomes obvious to Wendy, who watches behind a two-way mirror, that Kendal did not shoot Art. The actor who plays Kendal, Jacob Lofland, really deserves a lot of praise for his work – especially in this scene. He perfectly expresses Kendal’s realization that things have not gone according to plan and he’s facing serious consequences. By the same token, I’ve been impressed by Alicia Witt’s portrayal of Wendy the past couple of episodes. You really feel like she is a beaten down woman who is desperate to protect her child. The performance is subtle and realistic, where it could have the potential to be over-the-top and hackneyed.

Daryl leaves the Marshal’s office and is tailed by Gutterson. This initially felt like a waste of Gutterson as a character when there is so little time left. However, his speech to Daryl about his time in Afghanistan reinforced that Gutterson is a bad ass. After Daryl evades his tail, he heads back to pack up his things. Raylan initially wants Wendy to wear a wire to trap Daryl, but she refuses. But, you know she hasn’t given up on her son. She goes to Daryl and tells him how she understands how everything he’s done has been for their family. This was a fantastic scene. Wendy isn’t exactly lying to Daryl, but she’s also manipulating him into a confession. When she reveals what she’s done, Daryl advances on her right as Raylan enters the room. Where before you might have expected Raylan to take the guy down, our new, calm and collected Raylan is happy to let Wendy take care of things. She shoots Daryl and as he is dying, Raylan stands over top of him. I wouldn’t say that Raylan gloats exactly – it’s more like, “I gave you an option and you didn’t take it. Too bad for you.”

While I may have expected a shootout between Daryl and Raylan, I prefer the way things went down. Raylan’s deliberate scheming is far scarier than him just drawing his guns. Rachel kind of hints at this change in Raylan when she mentions earlier in the episode that she’s trying to figure out what his plan is for the Crowes.

Meanwhile, Ava is struggling to keep her position in the prison, but that’s not going well since they all believe she is a snitch. It’s incredibly ballsy when she stands on the picnic bench and accuses her nemesis of being the snitch. Ava’s sense of self-preservation is surprisingly strong. This is not a woman who even thinks about giving up. When she gets thrown into solitary, her entire purpose is to keep herself alive. In this way, it’s almost like she has more in common with Boyd now. He is the king of self-preservation.

Speaking of Boyd, his bad luck continues as he is abducted by the Mexican cartel. It’s pathetic to watch him try and turn his captors by offering them drugs and a trip to Vegas. It illustrates how small town he is. But, for all his shortcomings, there is one thing Boyd definitely is – wily. He says that he’s texting Daryl, but all the while is communicating with Raylan. It takes Raylan a while to figure this out, though. Boyd sets a meeting up with fake-Daryl at Ava’s country house (as opposed to her city house??). Rachel and Gutterson show up instead of Daryl and we finally get our big shootout for the episode. I like that it involved Rachel and Gutterson instead of Raylan. Those two haven’t gotten nearly enough airtime this season. I also never had any doubt that they would be able to take the cartel guys out. Boyd has managed to save himself, but Rachel is not happy being used by him. She gets up in his face and says that she is going to make it her mission to take him down. You can tell by the look on Boyd’s face that this unnerves him. His cushy life of crime may finally be coming to an end.

Raylan goes to visit Art, who has finally woken from his coma. For those of us hoping for a heartfelt conversation between the two men, their exchange is a disappointment. However, it is consistent with their characters. Raylan wants to express something more to Art, but doesn’t because he doesn’t know how. Art is still disappointed in Raylan and hasn’t forgiven him. It’s sad when Art mentions that he put in to transfer Raylan to Florida. I don’t think Raylan expected that Art would go through with it. He seems upset, but there is an upside. We see a touching Skype chat between Raylan and Winona where he finally expresses some tenderness towards his child. Winona starts crying when she hears he’s going to transfer to Florida. This is where he needs to be when the series ends – with Winona and his daughter.

Having rid himself of the cartel and Daryl Crowe, things are finally looking better for Boyd. He meets with Wynn Duffy and Katherine Hale to give them the heroin. Duffy wants to continue their business relationship, but Boyd has given up on being an international drug kingpin. He aptly notes that he’s had some bad luck recently – i.e., all season. Surprisingly, they don’t want his drug trafficking skills. Hale tells him that they’ve heard he’s good at robbing banks. Boyd’s face lights up. Now we know where things are heading for Boyd next season. In this day and age, bank robbing seems like an antiquated crime. Why go into a bank when you can just steal everything through a computer? But, I’m not going to complain too much about this because it’s going to be fun to watch Boyd blow things up.

Before Raylan can pack his suitcase, he gets an offer that is too tempting to refuse. The US Attorney and Marshal’s office want his help in bringing down Boyd. Raylan looks positively gleeful at the idea. Boyd is slippery, though, so Raylan needs help. He gets Ava out of prison in exchange for her helping them get Boyd. This was a shocking twist. At the beginning of the season, I never would’ve seen Ava agreeing to help the Marshals. Now, it is completely consistent for her character. Hard, cold Ava wants to survive, and to do so, she needed to get out of prison. If selling out Boyd is the way that she can continue living, she will undoubtedly do it. I think, though, that even if he knew, Boyd wouldn’t begrudge her this. At the end of it all, Raylan and Boyd aren’t friends. They have a history, but that isn’t something that will keep Raylan from locking Boyd up. I think we are probably heading towards something more dramatic – like Boyd’s death.

We’ve got a long time to wait until next season. I really want to see things work out for Raylan.

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