Justified “The Kids Aren’t Alright” Review (5×02)

14 Jan

JUSTIFIED-5x121Is Raylan Givens ever going to leave Harlan behind?

With the announcement of Justified’s sixth and final season, we now move to the lingering questions about how exactly this series will come to a close. Raylan Givens took a dark turn last season, and we’re starting to see him come undone; his storyline this week is fantastic. It’s hilarious throughout, but there’s also an undercurrent of tension in each scene, a fine testament to the work of these writers and actors. Raylan and Loretta have always been entertaining to watch, and it’s an especially fascinating relationship because we know just how much she understands him, and therefore how she can manipulate him.

Raylan’s character has always been about trying to shed his past and distance himself from Arlo, and I like how this fact continues to play a huge role; the “star makes it legal” line is very telling, raising questions about the justifications behind his actions and therefore connecting to Boyd’s character. It seems to be the mark of the writers crafting an endgame, as those around him–Alison, Koechner’s character from last week–seem to be pushing him toward change. He can, say, take care of Loretta, but that relationship will never be genuine; he needs to embrace his family, and well, that’s understandably very hard. The writers are doing something fantastic here with his character; right now, Boyd may have more of the narrative momentum, but I love what’s been going on with Raylan. Fatherhood and family seem to be the keys.

On to Boyd, who’s trying to remain calm and collected amidst a shit storm; not much is going his way now, and he’s enamored with Mara, a beautiful, dangerous presence who has her teeth in his neck; the show’s always been fantastic at portraying various methods of manipulation, and here is no different. It’ll be interesting to see how Ava slowly loses hold of herself in prison, a storyline in parallel with Boyd losing his grip on his business. I really hope Boyd doesn’t get caught up in Mara’s web, because I really want a happy ending for him and Ava.

The episode doesn’t follow up much on the showcase for the Crowders last week, but we do get some hilarious Dewey antics and a reunion between him and Darryl at the end of the episode. This season is looking up.




-UNLESS HITLER HAS RISEN FROM THE GRAVE AND IS IN MY WHOREHOUSE, GO AWAY. Dewey sure has a way with words, doesn’t he?

-A theory I saw on another site: Johnny is the one who hijacked Boyd’s shipment.

-I really liked Amy Smart’s interactions with Olyphant this week. More from her, please.

-We see Tim! And Rachel! Granted, it’s only for a few minutes, but they are looking as great as ever. That whole scene is brilliant, though, and Xander Berkeley blaming Obama is hilarious; the scene is yet another showcase for Justified’s impeccable dialogue.

-Avon Barksdale! I recently started The Wire, and I may have some posts up soon about it.

-“My general rule is, you keep talking, I put you in the trunk.”

-“You know what? You’re a dick.” “Okay, well, have a good one.” Olyphant with perfect delivery.

-“Derek, I have a loaded gun. Get out of my car.”

Photo credit: FX, Justified

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