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Justified: A Murder of Crowes

Wynn: "I don't believe Mr. Crowder has ever been outside Kentucky."
Boyd: "Well, I been to Iraq. It's a lot like Detroit, except you have better music."

Can there be too much set-up in a season premiere? With action in three states, the introduction of the Crowes and the Canadian cartel, Ava's hopeless legal problems, a chainsaw torture scene (that they thankfully didn't show us -- hearing it was bad enough) and an incredibly high body count, I was sort of going, wait a minute, slow down there.

Raylan went to Florida for something to do with Darryl Crowe's probation, I think. The Crowes, and there were several, do indeed appear to be murderous, as advertised. Killing one of their own because he screwed up was cruel, although I guess you don't want to keep relatives around if they kill your business associates. Did Darryl actually feed Dilly's body to the crocodiles? I certainly got that impression that he did. There aren't any crocs in Kentucky. They'll have to find a friendly mine shaft for future body disposal, I suppose.

I was a bit confused about the "sugar business" they needed to replace, which was why they decided to relocate to Kentucky. Did they mean actual sugar? That wasn't a euphemism for something else? I was impressed with Wendy Crowe the legal secretary; she was smart and reckless. Darryl, not so much. He just kept reminding me of William Sanderson on the Bob Newhart Show talking about my brother Daryl and my other brother Daryl. That Haitian guy who played with crocodiles was a lot more intimidating.

Boyd and Wynn Duffy taking a road trip to Detroit was even stranger than the crocodiles, although there were similarities. Apparently the Detroit mafia is in free fall, and as a result, Sammy Tonin came to a swift end on the fifteenth floor of a very ugly building. And there are Canadian mobsters who like donuts. Maybe I'll figure it all out later.

I spent most of the episode feeling bad about poor outlaw Boyd who got shot in the ear, couldn't get his beloved Ava out of prison, and had to carry that briefcase full of cash for the entire episode. At least he and Wynn Duffy were fun together, and it was interesting how they managed to communicate effectively without saying a word. Maybe they're better partners than I thought they'd be.

And how cool is it that Jere Burns is now a cast member? Isn't it nice when you have a talented character actor doing such a great job with a small part that the producers keep bringing him back and giving him more to do, and voila, he and his amazing eyebrows are now in the cast?

There were lots and lots of guest stars and returning characters, like the wonderful Judge Reardon of the concealed Speedos, Wade Messer, and AUSA Vasquez, who deserves a plotline of his own. The wonderfully named Elvis Machado (Sucre from Prison Break) felt like a more significant guest star, but surprised me by meeting an early end. And I thought they were setting up Gregg Sutter, that nice middle-aged marshal in Florida, to die tragically, but no. Maybe later in the season. I'll try not to care about him.

Sam Anderson from Angel and Lost returned as undertaker Paxton, who apparently just met a much-deserved end for his over-the-top nastiness. His beautiful Latvian physician wife Mara said, "It's okay, baby. I'll take care of you." How? Will she embalm him?

And there was the wonderful pool scene with Dewey Crowe, a big favorite of mine, who used his settlement from the Marshal service to take over Audry's. Even though I saw it about fifteen times in the commercials, Raylan shooting out Dewey's pool was awesome. Raylan shot out a raft in Florida, too.

I was relieved that everyone was back in Kentucky by the end of the episode. Why did Winona move to Florida? To put some distance between herself and Raylan? It was sad that Raylan chose not to visit her and his new daughter. Maybe it was too hard to say goodbye, as Gregg Sutter, the nice marshal in Florida, said to Raylan.

Bits and pieces:

-- The episode began with a brief tribute to Elmore Leonard led by Timothy Olyphant. I think they're going to miss him. Until I read the Raylan books last summer, I had no idea how many bits of Justified were taken from Leonard's books. (The answer is, a lot. I also understand that a lot of Leonard's books are set in Florida and/or Detroit.)

-- Boyd is wearing Ava's engagement ring on his watch chain. I actually thought for a moment that he'd follow Paxton's suggestion and confess to killing Delroy himself. He still might, I suppose.

-- Jimmy, who I will forever think of as "Snake-in-the-face," is still one of Boyd's henchmen. His face is looking better.

-- Where's Cousin Johnny? I also missed Tim and Rachel.

-- The producers have announced that season six (next season) might be the last. As much as I love the show and would hate to see it go, I'm on board with them setting an end date and winding up the story while they're on top instead of continuing long past their logical expiration date.


Raylan: "You might want to note for the record that he thought he had four kidneys."

Jimmy: "Boyd, he got your ear."
Boyd: "I know. I'm the one who got shot."

Wade: "Can I get you a blow job or something?"
Raylan: "Just some water."

Raylan: "I'm gonna shoot your balls off and feed them to the squirrels if you don't tell me what you know."

Guy: "What happened to you there?"
Boyd: "Ceiling fan."

Raylan: "You're still here hanging out, pretending to be Tonton Macoute?"
Haitian guy: "Know what that means? Tonton Macoute? Uncle Gunny Sack."
I had no idea who or what Tonton Macoute was. Fortunately, the internet knows everything.

Canadian mob guy: "The idea behind organized crime is it's supposed to be organized."

I was certainly entertained as well as confused, but I wasn't blown away. Three out of four Canadian donut shops,

Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.


  1. Excellent review, Billie! As you say, the episode had so much (too much?) going on, but I'm happy Justified is back and broadening out to a more national--international!--scope.

    Even though I knew Dave Foley was guest-starring in an episode of Justified, I didn't realize at all that he was one of the Canadians. Then I felt stupid, because who else would he be?

  2. They've definitely set a buncha cards on the table, as well as removed some. But this show tends to use the first few episodes as setup so I just rolled with it.

    I feel kinda bad that Dewey's cousin is probably gonna put a real damper on "the good life" that he had just gotten.

    I'm pretty sure they actually were in the illegal sugar import business. Sutter explained it while they chatting in one part.And yeah I kept thinking he was gonna die too.

    Seems like this Ava business is gonna make Boyd do something extra reckless. I can't wait. I think Paxton may still be alive, albeit very braindead.

    Shame about Elvis, I liked him. Besides him trying to outshoot Raylan, he was a rather clever and resourceful guy.

  3. I figured,sugarcane heroin or cocaine, being white and all. As to Paxton, he looked dead, and Boyd asked the Latvian if he was dead. She didn't answer, and he took her not saying anything to be a yes, he didn't actually check or shoot him again. I think PAxton is alive and his wife is going to be loads of trouble.

  4. Judge Reardon: “Mr. Crowe, a settlement offer of $20,000 has already been made. The U.S. Attorney has modified it to three hundred. Do you accept that offer?”
    Dewey: “No I do not! After what I’ve been through, my… kidneys and everything? You telling me all I get is $300?”
    Reardon puts his head in his heads and sighs. “Three hundred thousand, you nitwit.”
    Dewey reacts in a way that shows us how ridiculous he truly is.
    Judge Reardon: “I’ll take that as a yes. Next case.”

    This opening scene is one of the funniest things I have ever seen on screen. From Dewey’s idiocy, to Raylan’s snark, to the AUSA actually bargaining the settlement figure up, to the judge’s reactions and boredom, it was brilliantly done. I have watched it a half dozen times, roaring with laughter each time.

    There was a lot going on this episode and more than once I had to stop and watch again because I was losing track of who was whom and where we were. That’s all right as I trust the writers to make it all make sense in a week or so. The Crowe family looks as though they might be fun to watch, although poor Dewey’s fortune appears to be disappearing quickly.

    The Elmore Leonard tribute was well done. Does it make me a bad person that I think Olyphant looks better with his hair shorter and in the hat??

    Something was niggling at the back of the mind, so because the internet knows everything (love that!), I looked it up. A group of crows is called a murder. Fantastic detail!

  5. My favorite part of this one was all the returning guest stars in very small bits. It makes the world feel more fully realized when we get to see so many familiar faces like Reardon, Vasquez, Wade, Sammy Tonin, Picker, Paxton, and even Raylan's old boss played by Matt Craven --- even if some of them exited stage left pretty quickly.

    I, too, was absolutely convinced that Marshal Sutter was going to die before the end of the episode. During the confrontation with Sucre, I was sure he was about to bite it. I was very relieved when he didn't.

    I'm pretty sure the Florida Crowes really were in the sugar business, and that it wasn't a euphemism for something. The marshals said they were selling it to candy stores that sold knock offs of things like Mike and Ike's. I actually heard a report on NPR a couple months ago, talking about how taxes on sugar or high fructose corn syrup was an issue for candy companies (I don't remember the particulars), so it stands to reason that there might really be a black market for illegally imported sugar.

    I honestly don't know how to vote on the fate of evil Sam Anderson. I thought Paxton was dead until the wife went over to him and said she'd take care of him. Then I suddenly thought maybe he survived, since she's a doctor. But maybe she was just talking about embalming him or some such, as you suggested. I think Paxton said she was the one who prepared the bodies for him, so that would make sense. I hope he's dead. I think Boyd committing that murder could be more interesting from a story perspective than him having to deal with not quite getting the job completely done.

    And, finally, I missed Tim and Rachel, too! I'm not sure they were a fair tradeoff for all the small returning guest parts. :)

  6. I was whooping and hollering throughout the whole episode. Our Raylan is back in fine form; loved the way he shot holes in that plastic swimming pool as he insouciantly sauntered out.

  7. This was a very busy episode. I'm amazed I was able to keep up with all the various plot threads. But even when it is difficult to follow Justified is still better than every other crime drama out there.

  8. I think it's hilarious that both of the Ghostfacers have now been in Justified as very scary dudes.


  9. Dewey's reaction to finding out how much the "measly" 300$ actually was, LMAO. Not just the slow-mo but the music playing it straight like it's a legitimately moving moment. Too good

    Sorry about Sammy, because the death of Sammy means the death of his ass-kicking shadow too... but at least Wade's back, and is actually the return I was most cheered about seeing. Just something about that guy's manner that really gets to my funny bone. There's dumb funny and then there's his special caveman kind of quality. Of course he'd feel the need to specify the blowjob offer isn't from himself. Oh yeah, seeing Duffy's actor's name in the opening credits also got me good. It's a really really good start for the new state of affairs.

  10. "Why did Winona move to Florida? To put some distance between herself and Raylan?"

    She moved to Florida at the end of Season 4, after the shoot-out in the nursery. Once that happened, she went to go stay with her mom and live a much safer life with a new baby on the way. Makes sense given that she was nearly killed because of Raylan. And I do think it was also partially due to putting some distance between Raylan. It's sad to think that Raylan missed the birth of his daughter because he once again chose his job over everything else. I get that he's incredibly fearful that he will turn into Arlo but being an absent parent is just the same as being a present, bad parent. Winona deserves better, will never understand people who hate on her but continuously give Raylan a pass for being a deadbeat dad.


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