Justified – “Kill the Messenger”: Old time American hero

Justified: Season 5

Episode 6 – “Kill the Messenger”

Aired: February 11, 2014

Director: Don Kurt

Writer: Ingrid Escajeda

“If you ask me, he’s about the most judgmental asshole I ever hope to meet. But I will allow he’s easy to look at. Of course, you put those things together, he’s probably got the perfect recipe for a man just about guaranteed to break your heart.”

– Wendy Crowe

Perhaps it was inevitable after last week’s phenomenal “Shot All to Hell,” but I couldn’t help feeling a bit underwhelmed by this week’s outing.

For starters, after the amazing cliffhanger that ended last week’s episode, the only payoff we get is Art punching Raylan at the start of the episode. We don’t know exactly what Raylan told him (though, presumably, he came clean about his involvement in Nicky Augustine’s death) and we don’t know what Art plans to do with the information. Art spent the first few episodes looking into all of this and now that he has the information he was seeking, it seems odd that he would just sit on it. Punching Raylan is a start, but he seems oddly comfortable with allowing a tainted marshal to continue walking around with a badge and a gun.

The rest of the episode was just a big shaggy dog story that ended with the Crowes and Boyd Crowder joining forces. But before we got to that payoff, we had Danny going around threatening Alison, then kidnapping Carl the bartender, with Raylan and Rachel searching for him. Even with a kidnapping and a few action scenes, it felt like Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego, with Raylan and Rachel piecing together the clues and tracking down Danny only to have him continually slip away.

I am intrigued by the Boyd/Daryl partnership, even if it seems destined to implode. Danny is too much of a loose cannon to play well with anyone and Daryl is too much of an alpha male to play second fiddle to Boyd. Add in Johnny to the mix and you have a recipe for disaster next week, which I am very much looking forward to.

I am less intrigued by Ava’s version of Orange is the New Black. For me, the show slows to a crawl anytime we dwell on Ava in prison. I like Ava, but she seems so far removed from the rest of the action and all of her storylines thus far feel like pointless distractions concocted just to give Joelle Carter something to do.

This wasn’t the worst episode ever, but it felt more like a transitional episode meant to bridge the gap between last week’s awesomeness and next week’s showdown between Boyd and Johnny. I look forward to getting back to the action.

And another thing …

  • It felt odd to me that Alison would inspect the Crowes’ house all by herself. She’s mentioned having cops with her on inspections before, so why wouldn’t she have one with her there?
  • Tim wasn’t given much to do this week, but him asking if Raylan hurt his eye by slipping in Art’s shower killed me.
  • The one interesting thing about Art slugging Raylan is that he seemed to be waiting at the bar Raylan lives above just to do it. So clearly, they had their chat, Art had some time to digest the information, then he camped out at Raylan’s house to deck him.
  • Like Hayes Workman last week, Gunner Swift does not sound like a name a real person would have. I’m going to buy these writers a book of baby names.
  • In case you missed it, FX announced that there will not be a new episode of Justified next week because of the Olympics, which is a bit odd considering they aired a new episode tonight. Either way, I’ll see you guys back here in two weeks.

Written by Joel Murphy. If you enjoy his recaps, he also writes a weekly pop culture column called Murphy’s Law, which you can find here. You can contact Joel at murphyslaw@hobotrashcan.com.

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