Justified – “Starvation”: Best laid plans

Justified: Season 5

Episode 12 – “Starvation”

Aired: April 1, 2014

Director: Michael Pressman

Writers: Chris Provenzano

“Your savior has arrived.”

– Boyd Crowder

After evading Raylan’s trap this week and the manhunt for Art’s shooter last week, it seems that in the end Daryl Crowe Jr. is likely to be caught by his own hypocrisy.

In a move that may be even more cold blooded than facilitating Nicky Augustine’s death, Raylan pulls strings to have Kendall tried as an adult so that he will face 40 years in prison instead of three. While it is undoubtedly a cruel move, it’s also a brilliant one. While Daryl Crowe Jr. has always claimed to be about family, this season we’ve seen him murder his brother, beat his sister and force his nephew to take the fall for him shooting Art. This week he got Wendy arrested by forcing her to go pick up the heroin for him. All he cares about is himself, which is something Wendy figured out a moment too late inside the room full of heroin.

But by having Kendall tried as an adult, Raylan is backing Wendy into a corner. And now, as Dewey Crowe would say, the “anus” is on her. She’s going to have to help Raylan lock up Daryl in order to clear Kendall’s name. His family is going to end up being his downfall.

Meanwhile, Dewey Crowe’s downfall is once again his stupidity and his bad timing. I loved him storming into the room where Boyd is wearing a wire and, without hesitation, incriminating himself verbally while stealing heroin at gunpoint. He even says his own name for good measure, just to make sure there’s no confusion. And that is moments after his two whores get video of him pistol-whipping a customer.

The noose also seems to be tightening around Boyd’s neck, though if I were a betting man, I’d still wager he makes it to next season (and possibly even finds a way to make it out of that final season as well. I could totally see Justified doing a Point Break ending with Raylan letting Boyd run off instead of gunning him down.) I’m guessing the bulk of our final season will be Raylan using his file to try to take down Boyd while someone in internal affairs uses Raylan’s file to try to take him down. But first, Boyd has to find a way to escape the cartel.

He’s still doing better than Ava though, who is clearly not cut out for prison life. I almost felt bad for her this week, but the show has done an amazing job making her unlikable that it was hard to care too much. There is something tragic about Boyd not even bothering to barter for her release, but she was the one who broke things off after giving him the cold shoulder, so it’s difficult to feel too sorry for her.

Still, I really liked this episode overall. There’s always a great energy to any scenes Raylan and Boyd have together. And I also really love it when Raylan, Tim and Rachel are all working together and cracking jokes. (So much so that I wish they would put the three of them together more often.) All of that combined with the momentum the show established as we head into the finale and you have the recipe for a great hour of Justified.

It’s been an uneven season overall, but this episode gives me hope that they can still end things on a strong note.

And another thing …

  • It’s ironic that Ava’s life is in jeopardy after being falsely accused of being a snitch while Boyd manages to prolong his life by being one.
  • Man, Mikey is really having a bad couple of days. And so is Boyd’s (former) bartender.
  • Speaking of the bar, this season has made it clear what a lightning rod that place has become. Anyone looking for Boyd immediately goes there and tortures his staff for information.
  • I loved the marshals’ review of American Hustle: “Needed more Jason Statham.” “What doesn’t?”

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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