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He Said, She Said Review Site

Justified: Season 5

What She said:

She

It's always a good feeling when you meet your goals, no matter how low you set the bar for yourself. The He and I wanted to get through all five current seasons of Justified before the sixth, and final season, started on January 20. Somehow, we managed to get it done. I won't kid ya, it wasn't easy. We practically spent every free moment we had catching up on episodes. But this FX network drama is so smart, funny, and compelling, that it made the task extremely enjoyable.

Season 5 opens with Raylan in court. Charges against Dewey Crowe are being dropped, and the U.S. Marshals are actually giving him a monetary settlement to compensate for his pain and suffering. Raylan knows that Dewey is such an idiot that, despite his $300,000 award, he'll never be able to keep himself out of trouble. He decides to just lay in wait for Dewey to make another wrong step. And it doesn't take too long...

Justified: Season 5

In the meantime, Boyd Crowder is looking to expand his criminal enterprise. He's working as a middle man for Wynn Duffy and the Detroit mafia, and he's moving into harder and more dangerous product. Boyd still wants to make a life with Ava, who finds herself incarcerated for most of the season. Lovestruck and optimistic, Boyd is pooling his money to pay for a top notch lawyer, inside protection for Ava, and their future home.

Things once again get dicey in Harlan when Dewey's good-for-nothing cousins roll in from Florida, led by Darryl Crowe, Jr. Dewey has bought Audrey's from Boyd and is struggling to keep the business afloat. Darryl, his brother Danny, and teenager Kendal show up and nudge the clueless Dewey out. Dewey is actually afraid of them, and so he lets them do whatever they want. It also turns out that Raylan is very familiar with Darryl Crowe, as he had encountered him back in his own Florida days.

So, we've got two main villains this season for Raylan to juggle. Boyd is doing his drug trafficking thing, stepping it up the level to bring product in from Mexico, and Darryl is looking to spread his criminal sphere of influence. The two end up teaming up in an unlikely partnership, but, of course, things get very messy. Boyd, his reputation, and his life are left hanging in the balance, and he is none too pleased with Darryl and the extremely volatile and outright unhinged Danny.

Justified: Season 5

There's a subplot from Season 5 include Darryl and Danny's sister Wendy. She's probably the most together of the Crowes--working as a paralegal and still aspiring for something more--but she carries that Crowe blood and so she cannot help but find herself caught up in drama. We learn that the relationship between Wendy, her brothers, and young Kendal is a complex one. There is a delicate balance within the family, and it's always on the verge of crumbling.

One additional subplot revolves around Ava. As mentioned, she spends most of the season in prison, facing murder charges. Ava has to deal with the realities of life on the inside, and it doesn't help that she's young and pretty. She's very quickly victimized, and she realizes that in order to survive, she must get tough and make a name for herself. Throughout the course of Season 5, Eva builds her own criminal empire on the inside. She's broken free from Boyd's shadow, and journeys a pretty long way down the wrong path.

Raylan is juggling all these happenings while also chronically avoiding visiting his ex-wife and daughter. He seems in denial about his private life, and continues to distance himself from meaningful relationships. The most important relationship to him right now appears to be the father/son dynamic that he has with boss, Art Mullen. However, their bond has become extremely strained, and seemingly falls apart before the end of the season.

No shocker, I loved Season 5; just like I loved Seasons 1-4. The writing on this show, while complex, continues to be strong. The real shining point of Justified is its characters. There are so many personalities at play on screen, but each one is very well fleshed out and has their own traits. Bringing the Crowes in this season created a challenge. We've met so many people through the seasons; would the writers be able to make the Crowes unique and interesting to follow? Indeed they were successful in achieving this.

Justified: Season 5

The show is dark and can be quite dramatic, and yet we continue to see that dark humor on screen that helps take things to another level. Add some truly epic gun-slinging and action packed fights to the fold, and you're treated to one of the finest shows on television. Season 5 works hard to grow every recurring character, and I cannot say that any of them get through the 13-episode run without being challenged in some way. You can tell that the entire construction of the season was very carefully throughout.

Visually, the show continues to benefit from top notch production value. I love these cable TV shows that are budgeted like mini-movies. Despite suffering from dreadfully short seasons, they are artfully crafted and it’s clear that painstaking care went into to putting all the pieces together. Justified looks and feels authentic, and this enables the show to feel less like an observation and more like an experience for viewers.

Season 5 once again did not disappoint, and I cannot wait to see how the series will conclude with Season 6. Justified is one of those great shows that sticks with you afterwards. I'll be sad to see it go.

Thumbs up.

What He said:

He

I’ve said this a few times now, but we’ve wanted to watch this show for a while. There are so many shows on TV, Netflix, and Amazon that is impossible to keep up with them all and this is one of the ones that got away from me. I was not aware of this, but the she informed me the current season of this show is its last. That was when I knew we had to get serious about watching this show.

Justified: Season 5

It took us several months, I’ll never understand how people mow through shows in a matter of days, but we finally got to the point where we were ready for this season, but alas, it was available for rental! Luckily, it became available on Blu-ray in December, so we went right out and snatched it up.
It all begins with Dewey Crowe (aww, Dewey Crowe). Shouldn’t it always be that way? He’s an extremely entertaining character after all. Ok, so Dewey (Damon Herriman) has recently been released form police custody. They don’t have anything major on him, and he us currently suing the U.S. Marshal’s Office, so they are forced to let him walk.

Why is Dewey suing? Well, he claims he has been abused numerous times by one Raylan Givens. He’s not exactly wrong. Raylan does smack him around whenever he arrests, interrogates, or sometimes even just runs into him. Dewey is a small time criminal, not the big fish. So, occasionally Raylan will give him a little whoopin’ to get information out of him. After several years of this, Dewey decides to do something about it. Much to the delight of the audience, Dewey, the loveable screw up, wins $300,000. What does he do with (most of) the money? He buys Audrey’s (the whore house) from Boyd Crowder.

What better way to earn a living for somebody like Dewey than to own his own den of inequity. Dewey is in heaven. He owns his own business, isn’t involved with Boyd or any other criminals in Harlan, and gets to sample his own product whenever he pleases. This is all about to change though, because he’s about to get a visit from some very unpleasant people.

Justified: Season 5

Darryl Crowe Jr is Dewey’s cousin from Florida. He runs a drug trafficking operated with his three brothers and sister. Raylan was actually down on Florida helping out the local Marshal’s office, since he had experience with Daryl. Raylan and the other Marshal put an end to Daryl’s business, but are never able to finger Daryl as the guy in charge. One of his brothers and another associate get nailed for it. Daryl decides it’s time to leave Florida and head back to Harlan, where his family is from.

When he gets there, he takes Dewey’s business from him. Dewey is a criminal, but he’s harmless, and Daryl has more men working for him, so Dewey reluctantly steps aside. Daryl (Michael Rapaport)begins grilling Dewey about how much money he makes at Audrey’s, how much money he paid for it, and who he bought it from. When Dewey explains that be bought Audrey’s from boy for $250,000, and how little money the place actually makes, Daryl is lived. He was planning on using Dewey’s business to get back on his feet.

This is where Boyd (Walton Goggins) comes in. Daryl threatens Boyd. He says that Boyd is to give most of the money back to Dewey, because he ripped him off, and now that Daryl is in charge of Audrey’s. Boyd refuses and there are some “disagreements” between the two gangs.

Justified: Season 5

They eventually put aside their differences for a common cause. If you remember back to last year, Boyd and Wynn Duffy (Jere Burns) were toying with the idea of becoming partners. They do this year, but with the Detroit mob in shambles, they no longer have a supplier for their drugs. Through some connections, they are introduced to a drug cartel in Mexico. Boyd needs the men, so he and Daryl for a reluctant partnership.

Boyd is also dealing with Ava’s situation. At the end of last year, she was sent to prison for murder. She spends this season in prison, trying to adjust. She is blonde, pretty, and not used to the prison lifestyle – and thus has a hard time as a result. Boyd tries to get her protection, but Ava is forced to do things on her own. She gets involved with a couple of the gangs, as well as firmly embeds herself in prison politics. If prison is anything like the TV and movies portray, it’s loaded with awful people (and I’m not talking about just the inmates). This is ones of the better storylines this character has ever gotten. I don’t think I talk about her much in my reviews. It’s not because the actress is bad at all, it’s just because I can only ramble for so long, and there’s just so many interesting characters in this show that someone (usually multiple people) is bound to get left out of my review.

So, what’s Raylan up to? For starters, he has to deal with Boyd, as usual. He’s also got to try and keep a handle on the Crowe family, since they have been raising hell since they’ve returned to town. Daryl is enough on his own, but his brother Danny is absolutely insane, sister Wendy (Alicia Witt) is complicated and sends off mixed messages, and there’s the youngest one, Kendal (Jacob Lofland). Kendal is just a kid and Raylan doesn’t feel like he can just ignore that, so he does his best to work with child services and get Raylan out of there. This is where his new girlfriend comes into play. She’s a social worker (played by Amy Smart). Raylan is also doing his best to never meet his newborn daughter. He talks to his ex-wife quite a bit, but can’t bring himself to go see the kid. If there’s one thing Raylan doesn’t do, its play house. He’s afraid of it. Raylan also has to deal with a decision that he made last year, that wasn’t necessarily “wrong”, but definitely wasn’t legal. It gets complicated when his boss (Nick Searcy) finds out. As usual, he has a lot on his plate.

What stood out to me this season? Well Deweyes. Dewey  Crowe got more attention than he has in a while and that’s always a good thing if you ask me. He is absolutely hilarious to watch. You actually kind of like him too. He is so dumb you can’t help and feel bad for him sometimes. He’s not cold and calculating the way Boyd, Wynn Duffy, and some of the other villains of this series. Dewey’s family was quite interesting too. Michael Rapaport is a veteran actor and brought his experience to the role. He was a convincing leader of a white trash criminal family. The whole Crowe family was great actually.

Justified: Season 5

I mentioned this already, but I liked Ava’s story too. For starters, it was something new for the character. Ava is with Boyd, and no stranger to criminal activity herself, but she’s not used to having to fend for herself and in such a hostile environment no less.  Additionally, I usually find prison stories to be pretty fascinating. The stuff people do in the prison system is just so awful, but interesting to see. The depths people go to – to stay alive – is mind-blowing.
Boyd and Wynn’s new partnership is also fun to watch. These two character on their own are amusing enough, but put them together and it’s as entertaining as it gets, particularly as they are both struggling. Duffy’s Detroit connections are gone, but one of the guys from the Tonin family says he can connecting them to sources in either Canada or Mexico. Boyd Crowder and Wynn Duffy traveling the globe together? Yeah, that’s a movie I’d see.

This show continues to impress and I look forward to the last season; though I will miss it greatly when it finishes its run in a few months.

Rating: Thumbs up.

This movie review was given the he said, She said seal of approval on January 25, 2015. .

Justified: Season 5