A RECAP: Justified, Season 5, Episode 1: So Michael Rappaport with a Southern Accent is Going to Happen How?

We’re in a courtroom, where I am so momentarily delirious with relief that Raylan Givens has finally cut his hair that I fail to notice that he’s testifying in Dewey Crowe vs. Tramble, for that whole corrupt guard/Juliet-from-Psych-is-the-bad-nurse thing from Season 3. Crowe’s lawyer wants Raylan to admit that Dewey was kidnapped and removed from Tramble against his better judgment. “What better judgment?” wonders Raylan. Whilst I marvel at how nice Dewey looks when you can’t see his swastika tattoos, Mr. James from NewsRadio and the speedo wears under his robes agree to grant Dewey $300,000, to avoid a class-action suit against Raylan for beating the crap out of every petty criminal in Harlan County. Major Plot Point of Season 5 #1: Dewey Crowe is rich. I’m sure he’ll make great decisions.

The clink. The future Mrs. Crowder Crowder and Boyd are meeting with The Wildman, which is a great nickname for your lawyer, so, excellent legal choice. HE DOESN’T PLEA BARGAIN, EVER! But, lest this turn into an episode of Law & Order, the Wildman is soon instructed to turn his Willis-from-Diff’rent-Strokes-style headphones “up to 10” while Boyd and Ava make out/Boyd promises Ava he will bribe or threaten whatever judge necessary to get her back into some decent hair and makeup. GET A ROOM, CROWDERS.

But, Boyd’s got to go anyway, because it’s time to trade some drugs for a briefcase on a shady bridge that, for once, does not look like it’s in California (“but it does look like a model!” says my husband). EXCEPT, oh jeez, the guys from Detroit want the briefcase full of money before they’ll hand over the “heroin” they don’t actually have. Is the briefcase these days used for anything but crime money? I mean, don’t most people carry either a shoulder bag or a laptop case? If I saw someone walking down the street with an old-school handle-only briefcase, I’d be like, “Oh, look, some ill-gotten gains.” Anyway, Boyd shoots everyone, gets shot in the ear, and calls Wynn Duffy at home (who is a big tennis fan, lending credence to my “psychopaths like tennis” hypothesis), and tells him they best head to Detroit to deal with the Detroit Bad Guys Who Bore the Shit Out Of Me. I hope they do something to liven shit up—like some washed-out mob movie lighting, and a chainsaw!

Thump, thump, thump, thump, credits, sans Natalie Zea because now she’s in that Kevin Bacon hunts down the “professor” serial killer show, but PLUS Jere Burns—YES, PEOPLE! Wynn Duffy is in the credits. This means that at least until 4/5 through the Season, Wynn Duffy will somehow avoid being killed. Oh it is a glorious day indeed.

We’re in Florida, on a boat (motherfucker), and two bald guys I’ve never seen and one hick I’ve never seen are arguing about sugar. I am pretty sure “sugar” is a euphemism for some sort of drug, and yet throughout the entire episode all anyone, even the Marshalls, keeps talking about, is sugar, so maybe it’s actual sugar? Is there a sugar black market? That shit is as addictive as heroin, so you never know. Anyway, the deal goes awry and the hicky guy shoots one of the bald guys, and the hicky guy is named Dylan “Diddley” Crowe, and he’s a Crowe of the Dewey Crowe Crowes, because did you ever notice that the only people who care, like really care, about family lineages are the very rich and the very poor? Why is that? Anyway, I don’t like all the carnage, but I also don’t give two fucks who any of these people are.

MARSHALL’S OFFICE HOORAY!!!! ART! ART! ART! ART!!!!! Raylan’s got a picture of his new baybay girl, imaginarily birthed in the hiatus, Art says “awww!” and good news! Art wants to send Raylan down to Florida to investigate Diddley Crowe and the boat motherfucker’s murder—you know, make it a family trip. Raylan says, “The Crowes are a terrible family!” Art means Raylan’s family—Winona and the baybay. This makes Raylan pained and hemmy and haw-ey (Season 5 Major Plot Point #2), because he still loves Winona, always forever, near or far, closer together, except Winona got sick of not being in enough episodes and got a better job. Raylan suggests that before he goes gallivanting down to see his spawn on taxpayer dime, he should investigate the “perfectly good Crowe” they have in Harlan, since he owes Raylan about 300,000 favors.

Dewey Crowe has, indeed, wisely invested his newfound fortune and bought Audrey’s, where the first person Raylan sees is a very chagrinned Wade (“Guess what? I got out of prison!” “Did you?”), who offers Raylan a blow job (“I didn’t mean from me, of course”). Raylan has to pry Dewey from his naked game of Marco Polo with two naked working ladies (“It’s OK Dewey, you and Wade are the only two pussies in this whorehouse”), to ask him where to find his dumb-ass cousins. Raylan gets what he wants, by which I mean to shoot three holes into said above-ground pool (“Anyone got a bucket?”).

So, tough luck, Raylan has to go to Florida, which he does reluctantly, but not before buying Spawn of Raylan two different Miami Heat onesies. He’s paired on this case with Champ Kind, who gets through the entire episode both without a WHAMMY and without being killed, which was a relief, since usually all of the good-guy family men with kids they love are the first to go on Justified. Champ Kind basically exists in this episode to remind Raylan that life is different now that he’s a dad, and to cajole Raylan into visiting his own child, or even letting the mother of said child, when she’s not reading her scripts for The Following, know he’s in town.

Holy shit, it’s Michael Rappaport. He’s Daryl Crowe, apparently the head of the Florida Crowe Crime Syndicate and also the only Crowe with all functioning Crowe-masomes. The Ginger Gangster is doing a fairly passable hick accent, but there’s something off. Rappaport is a spectacular actor, but I just don’t get this casting. Obviously he’s going to be this season’s Marquee Bad Guy (Major Plot Point #3!), which in one way is riveting, but in another is kind of…how much of this accent do I have to deal with? Anyway, Diddley is in trouble with his brother.  He comes up with a transparent, idiotic lie about why he and his long-suffering Cuban friend killed the boat motherfucker, and they have to take his body to “the Haitian.”

Wynn and Boyd are in Detroit! Washed-out lighting! Old-school ID-checking with the Tonins because of “interceptions and drones and all that shit.” Wynn intimates that Boyd has never left Kentucky. Boyd reminds Wynn that he’s an American goddamned hero, and that Iraq is just like Detroit except “you have better music,” which gets one of Tonin’s guards to chortle. They are eventually granted audience with Picker and Tonin, after schlepping up fourteen flights of stairs.

Raylan and Champ Kind hassle the Haitian until he agrees to tell Daryl to go meet Raylan and Champ Kind in a restaurant so that he’ll give up Elvis (the Cuban guy who somehow got himself mixed up with the Crowes, and “sugar,” or perhaps sugar). And he better do it this time, because Raylan is still pissed off about the time the Haitian gave Raylan a bum steer like a billion years ago, and Raylan missed a Tom Petty/ZZ Top show in Tampa. Snorf.

Detroit, which we recognize by both the presence of Wynn Duffy and yet more washed-out lighting. Chainsaw torture. Canadians. Picker shoots Sammy Tonin (BOO! I loved that weird little photographer guy from Homicide!). Carnage. Still nobody to exchange the briefcase full of ill-gotten cash for some heroin to ill-get. Everyone wants to know what happened to Boyd’s ear. Ha.

Champ Kind guilts Raylan about his kid some more while they wait for Daryl Crowe, who sends Wendy, his sexy “lawyer” sister in his stead (all right, the other only Crowe with all her Crowe-masomes), to negotiate a parole release. These are like the Rhodes Scholars of Crowes. Daryl has an emotional reunion with Raylan and I continue to be uncomfortable with Michael Rappaport’s real accent sneaking in every twentieth word.

All right, we’re back in Detroit with Boyd, Wynn, the briefcase that doesn’t look suspicious at all, and probably the best guest-star casting Justified has ever done: the Canadians are played by the incomparable Kid in the Hall Dave Foley and MadTV’s Will Sasso—who are, of course, actual Canadians, whose Canadian-ness is a source of fetishized glee for comedy nerds North-America-wide. Well played, Graham Yost. Also, Tim Horton’s. There was one across the street from me in Columbus and SOMETIMES I GOT TIMBITS, all right? I’m a stress-eater. Anyway, once again, there is no heroin. Dave Foley, the consummate Canadian, does not like how disorganized the organized crime in Detroit/Harlan is. Briefcase gone, still no heroin, except for one last shipment that will probably never come. And now Boyd and Wynn have to get their heroin from Mexico.

Back in Florida, Wendy and Daryl have a big fight about criminal stuff we don’t know about yet (and we learn that Wendy’s actually a paralegal), and Daryl fires Elvis, because they “ain’t got no more sugar business,” and I am pretty sure they’re actually talking about sugar. Daryl pays Elvis off and sends him to lie low (or “lay low” according to Rapport’s weird accent), and then he tips Raylan off to Elvis’s location in the misguided assumption that they will kill each other, and then has another family member stab Diddley unceremoniously in the gut. Yowch. Oh, also, Elvis has other plans about which building he will and won’t be leaving, so he pulls a hidden gun on Wendy and makes her drive him to the marina, which means that Raylan and Champ Kind kick in the door of an empty motel room.

SHOWDOWN AT THE MARINA! Elvis attempts to sail to Cuba on a teeny raft, and the Marshalls Dewey-Crowe’s-Above-Ground-Pool the raft, and then shoot him. The next morning when all seems semi-right with the world (well, not really) even Daryl Fucking Crowe manages to guilt Raylan about being an absentee dad, and Champ Kind doubles down by offering to drive Raylan by to visit the baybay, and Raylan just can’t manage to do it—but he Skypes later. Winona says: “You thinking about coming down to Miami to visit us soon?” Ouch.

GOOD CHRIST this is a long episode. Boyd, back in Kentucky lighting, goes to one of the rich guys he shook down in Season 4 to see if he can bribe him to fix Ava’s trial. The guy, who has a mail-order bride from Latvia, “agrees” but only if Boyd will take the rap and go to jail forever and ever. Boyd thinks it over, by which I mean he punches the guy to death. The mail-order Latvian is unfazed.  What a weird way to end the episode, and what a weird way to start the season. Thump, thump, thump, thump, credits.

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6 thoughts on “A RECAP: Justified, Season 5, Episode 1: So Michael Rappaport with a Southern Accent is Going to Happen How?

  1. It took more than one season for Raylan’s dad to stop sounding like a refugee from Cabot Cove, and then they killed him off. If there is any correlation, then Daryl Crowe might just live forever.

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  2. I love this genre, the recap (and you do it well here). The extensive retelling in TV recaps reminds of this analogy between Air Guitar Hero and literary criticism:

    “When I play the air guitar I act out how great the riff is — I want other people to put together my body language and the music they’re hearing. I want them to hear it my way, because I think my way is right, and so I want to play the air guitar better than they’re playing it. But I’m doing it for them, performing for them. And vice versa — many’s the riff I’ve learned to love watching others respond to it, many’s the poem I’ve learned to love because of the intensity of others’ responses. Aesthetic judgments don’t communicate themselves through the medium of truth. They communicate themselves through the medium of experience, through agreement in experience. ” (http://arcade.stanford.edu/blogs/air-guitar-hero)

    (In recaps the pleasure of the air-guitar-retelling has a lot to do with puncturing the illusion, calling Darryl Crowe Michael Rappaport… But that _is_ the TV experience, the awareness that it’s Michael Rappaport, or Timothy Olyphant with a recent haircut, or some actor with a Down East accent for a Kentucky one.)

    Also, a favorite moment of that episode: when somebody refers to Wynn Duffy as “Eyebrows.” It was in Detroit, with the scary gangsters or maybe the Canadian ones: “Why don’t you and Eyebrows here… “

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    1. YES! I forgot about that. I’ll call him Eyebrows in my next recap to honor this observation. And how great is it that Jere Burns is in the credits now?!? He’s the smirk that could sail a thousand empty semis.

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  3. Jesus, Mary and Joseph. I love mike, but crimony it’s almost like he’s so bad on purpose. I love the authenticity of justified and he’s firking it up for me. Feel like writing a letter to the show and saying, are u mother firkin serious?

    Sheesh. Good gravy trains.

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