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Justified “Raw Deal” Review (5×07)

25 Feb

Justified-5x07-8Justified is always going to be an endlessly watchable show, delivering crackling wit, tension, and sharp dialogue throughout each episode. That’s the case this week: although the episode isn’t up to par with the rest of the season, it still contains, simply speaking, pure fun.

It’s nice to see Raylan bumble his way through this T.C. Fleming case, both impressed and a bit lost in the proceedings. This, in fact, keeps in line with a prevalent theme throughout: being uncomfortable in certain situations. We have Ava in prison with the guards, Fleming the One-Legged Man ending up humiliated in a basement, and Johnny ending up dead due to his inability to match up to Boyd.

Heading back to Raylan…it’s interesting how, even considering this is a one-off storyline, the show manages to weave it in thematically to the tension brimming with Art. Raylan’s attitude toward the Nicky Augustine murder is very much in line with his attitude toward Fleming, in that he just can’t muster up genuine care. Fleming is a game for him, a challenge for which he can trot out his cocky marshal skills and go to work. Augustine was a necessary death, an act he believes trotting out his marshal skills and his badge will earn him forgiveness for. Yet, one of these things is not like the other. Art and Raylan have a good relationship that’s slowly crumbling down around them, and this is perfectly conveyed by Searcy and Olyphant in their scene together. I expect to see the show dance around this conflict a bit more, but it should all come to a head soon, what with the ultimatum and all.

Speaking of coming to a head, Boyd’s barreling down another path–toward Raylan and the Crowes, I assume, considering Yoon isn’t all too interesting and everyone else is gone–eventually dispatching of his cousin after Danny and Daryl shoot up Hot Rod’s crew. As much as I would’ve liked to see everything build up to some sort of cathartic moment between the two cousins, I have to say that Johnny’s death is 100% befitting his character. He is half the man Boyd is, riding his cousin’s coattails more often than he wants you to know he does; he’s nothing more than an annoyance, and he’s dispatched as such. Their earlier conversation is a nice delineation of each person’s motivations: Johnny’s driven solely by revenge, which can only get you so far in this world.

Finally, we have Ava’s storyline, which is a really nice insight into who she is as a person. She’s fundamentally a Crowder, taking some control of the drug trade after avoiding the selling of herself off to a few guards (I’m glad. Good for you, Ava). Her haircut last week was a sign of her fight, her resolve to not back down in prison, and we see that being carried out this week.

All in all, this feels like a bit of a season 1 throwback, but it sets up a few intriguing storylines as we head into the second half of the season.

GRADE: B

OTHER THOUGHTS:

-So, Kendal calls Uncle Jack. Breaking Bad-Justified crossover, please.

-Raylan’s now getting Wendy’s help. Nice work by Witt and Olyphant in that scene.

-“Ever heard of Falafel?” “Never cared much for it. Always found it like a cut-rate hush puppy.”

-“Ah, look at you. Even vultures can fly south for the winter.”

-“God no. The technology to reply to a post is decades away.” -Chris, the computer guy. Is it just me, or is the sarcasm even higher in this episode than before? Love it.

-“Guy threw his leg out the window, jumped out and then slid down a flag pole, and then gave me the bird.  C’mon, I love this guy; let me catch him.”  Raylan, you’re so lovable.

-“Well shit.” –Raylan, a lot of times

-“Well shit, I only came because of him.” –Raylan, explaining to Rachel his wild night with Tim (this is something that should happen)

Photo credit: FX, Justified

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