Justified “The Toll” Review (5×11)

25 Mar


“I may not know a lot about a lot of things, but I DO know how to blow shit up.”

Boyd Crowder, with the ultimate evidence that smoking kills. Aside from that moment–which is just plain awesome–this episode is ripe with crackling dialogue, sustained tension, and interesting character development, and it looks as if Justified is really shifting into gear for the season 5 endgame.

The catalyst for much of the proceedings throughout the hour is Art getting shot, which causes reverberations throughout the Marshals office–including Tim and Rachel!–that lead to an emotionally resonant arc for Raylan. It forces him to admit to himself that Art “makes a difference” to him. Of course, he’s always going to be Raylan Givens, and he isn’t going to suddenly flip a switch and change his ways; after he finds out about Daryl using Kendal, he’s willing to punish Daryl the old-fashioned way. Yet, Givens needs to confront certain demons and figure out the gravity of his action’s possible consequences, and the episode does a nice job of conveying that; it also does a nice job of underscoring the theme of fatherhood that’s been present since the beginning of the series.

It seems as if Raylan’s both utterly exhausted and invigorated, as we observe in the final few scenes of the episode. He’ll sit outside Art’s hospital room and allow himself to close his eyes, but before that, he confronts Daryl Crowe and says: “that web of bullshit you spun around yourself to protect yourself, I’m going to use to strangle the life out of you and take away everything you’ve got—then you’re going to wish I’d blacked you out with a bullet today.” He might be willing to be more patient, speaking to his respect for and loyalty to his Chief Deputy, but he’s itching to bring the hammer down. Literally.

Raylan’s pretty much falling back into old patterns, with many of his problems echoing those of seasons past. Boyd’s also reverting to his old methods of blowing things (or people) up, doing what he does best to try and keep himself alive. For, that’s what everyone in Harlan’s trying to do, isn’t it? Sometimes we’re able to avoid that bullet or that shiv or that rope, but that only allows us to merely recognize the implications, to take note of the wider scope before moving on to the next fight.



-“Let me ask you this, if I were to admit to hitting him, could you call it child abuse and take custody of him for me?” Oh, Art.

-Daryl Crowe, Jr. is becoming a lot more interesting now, and it’s clear why: he’s afraid. People like Mags and Quarles are complex and interesting, but they’re nothing like Crowe in that they’re actually smart and calculating. Crowe’s intelligent enough, but emotion will undoubtedly take over every time, and that makes him dangerous.

-When Kendal started to recite that story, I was already cursing out Daryl Crowe.

-“No, I remember which one you were. Smug little hobbit-looking beaner shitbird who told the jury what a no-account savage my late husband was. And that I was worse.” Man, that Vazquez-Hale scene is stellar, and this is dialogue at its most entertaining.

-Yay, Rachel is the interim Chief Deputy! We also see Tim!

-We make a little progress on the Ava storyline, as she gets a bunch of ice cream cups.

-Here we go. Final two episodes of the season coming up.

Photo credit: FX, Justified



4 Responses to “Justified “The Toll” Review (5×11)”

  1. louisoc March 26, 2014 at 6:18 pm #

    Hahaha that Ava storyline is just so silly, probably one of the show’s worst.

    • polarbears16 March 27, 2014 at 12:58 am #

      It’s a shame because she’s such a great character, and Joelle Carter’s so good.

  2. louisoc March 26, 2014 at 6:19 pm #

    Also stop stealing the AVClub’s pictures you thieving bastard, even though I do the exact same thing how dare you

    • polarbears16 March 27, 2014 at 1:00 am #


      *Distracts you, runs away with entire AV Club in tow*

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