JUSTIFIED Recap: “A Murder of Crowes”

     January 7, 2014

justified timothy olyphant

Season 4 of Justified left many of its characters in new positions of power and submission.  Boyd finds himself a bittersweet drug kingpin for Detroit.  Raylan is a father now (albeit an absent one).  And Dewey Crowe, hell, at least he has his kidneys.  The season premiere sets up a bunch of story lines involving these new positions that will most likely be intertwining further on, which is something the show has always pulled off nicely.  There was a grim tone to the premiere (to match its impressive body count), but the show’s familiar sharp wit and dark humor were as strong as ever to balance the bleakness.  More of my look at “A Murder of Crowes” after the jump.

Season 5 kicks off with Raylan on the stand, drolly owning up to his abuse of Dewey Crowe.  Hearing a lawyer read through the long list of ways Raylan has dealt with Dewey over the years, you really have to wonder how he still has a badge.  Judge Reardon orders in favor of Dewey’s lawsuit, which awards him $300K.  Damon Herriman‘s slow-motion reaction shot after hearing the verdict was priceless.  This two-bit white supremacist may never have to sling oxy again.

justified murder of crowes timothy olyphantUnfortunately for Raylan, his Crowe-induced headache is just getting started.  Down in Florida, Dewey’s cousin Dilly shoots a corrupt member of the Coast Guard they were dealing sugar to.  At first I thought they were referencing cocaine (“booger sugar”), but it turns out they were talking about actual sugar that they sold to second tier candy companies.  Sounds like a bizarre racket, but lucrative enough to shed blood over.

Dewey’s always been a secondary character, so it’s a nice surprise that his extended family will be one of the season’s meaty focuses.  As Raylan says, he figured the Crowes would all be “locked up or dead by now.”  With the exception of Dilly, Dewey’s cousins appear to be the brains of the family.  Wendy Crowe is a paralegal and Daryl Crowe is something like the Boyd Crowder of the Everglades.  I already like Daryl a lot.  He’s thoughtful and clever – unlike any of the other male Crowes we’ve met.  His two exchanges with Raylan were fantastic.  I look forward to them sharing more scenes this season.

The colorful rogue’s gallery of Justified is already pretty damn deep, so it’s impressive how the writers can keep introducing villain and villain and have them all be highly engaging.  For example, even if we never see the alligator poaching Haitian again, he’s not treated like a throwaway role, y’know?  Same with Sutter.  For the few minutes they’re on screen, they’re fully fleshed out characters.  These small characterizations make a huge difference.

Boyd was left with nothing after season 4 except a huge opportunity as the area drug kingpin of Kentucky for the Dixie Mafia.  He won’t be able to enjoy his new position, however, until Ava is at his side again.  But before he can work on releasing her (by any means necessary), he has to take care of business in Detroit.  His adventure with Wynn took some dark turns.  The entire scene with “chainsaw guy” was super dark, tonally and visually.  Same with the Paxton Funeral Home scene.  Darkness now seems to follow Boyd around now, like those cartoons where a rain cloud hovers over just one person.  Now that he nearly beat that old prick Lee Paxton to death, he’s going to have to explore other options to bail out his beloved.

justified murder of crowes Edi GathegiRaylan chose not to visit Winona and his daughter while on assignment in Florida.  Maybe he doesn’t feel ready yet to be a father, maybe he’s afraid the Givens circle of violence will envelop her too.  Whatever the reason, it’ll be interesting to see how Graham Yost and the other writers bring him into the child’s life.

This episode set up the stories the show will be delving into this season, with the apprehension of Elvis Machado delivering some standalone gratification.  Justified seasons typically start in this manner, and “A Murder of Crowes” was another ass-kicking beginning.


• Dave Foley was surprisingly imposing, huh?  I like the casting of two Canadian comedians (Foley and Will Sasso) as Canadian criminals.

• Raylan mentions Tonton Macoute (or Uncle Gunnysack), which is a Haitian bogeyman.

justified murder of crowes Michael Rapaport Alicia Witt• I don’t think we’ve seen Wade Messer since season 3′s “Harlan Roulette,” when he ran off to call 911 after Fogle was shot.  Seems he’s been in prison all this time and is now working at Audrey’s.  He’s a whole lot more skittish now, especially around Raylan, who he once helped hang upside down from a tree.

• Convicted felon Dewey is dumb enough to carry around a pistol with his name engraved on it.  I’m sure he’ll make an exemplary brothel manager.

• A room full of sex dolls…Detroit knows how to party.

• The Coopertown Restaurant Raylan and Sutter meet Daryl at is a real restaurant in Coopertown, FL that also offers airpboat tours of the Everglades.  Judging from the pictures I saw online, they filmed inside the actual location.

• The Crowe who stabbed Dilly had “25:17″ crudely tattooed on his chest, which refers to Ezekiel 25:17, the Bible verse Jules Winnfield bastardized in Pulp Fiction.

• Most Badass Moment: Boyd breaking Picker’s nose with the briefcase and Wynn deftly disarming the goon.  Nice to see Wynn kick some ass.

• Best Line: Boyd had a few great ones this episode: “I think he bumped his head.”  “I’ve been to Iraq, it’s a lot like Detroit only you have better music.”  “Now pick up my goddamn money.”

• Body Count: 9


  • Rjd12345

    Good recap. There were so many comedians playing dramatic roles in this episode. I miss witty Boyd, but the show is still incredible. Solid start. Hope this season is as good as the last. Also, I never realized how awesome a team of Boyd and Wynn could be. Looking forward to watching that team.

    • Patrick Cooper

      Same here. I’m so stoked that Wynn is a regular character now.

  • Bhammer100

    Can’t wait to see what comes up the next few weeks.

  • Daniel O’Reilly

    I was a little worried about how the show would fare without Dutch around, but Graham Yost and co. seem determined to keep the spirit of his work alive. This is a great start.

    Only 9 deaths? Granted, that’s above average for Justified, but there were so many (most of which were awesome) it felt like more.

  • Jim

    was tye sheridan in this episode as the kid around the Crowe den in Florida? I sure looked like him.

    • Patrick Cooper

      It’s not, but good eye.

  • http://untemperedtv.com/ UntemperedTV.com

    A very different type of episode of Justified, I thought, and an interesting way to kick off the season, but as always, I can’t wait to see where they’re gonna take all of this

    Thoughts on last night’s episode: untemperedtv.com/?p=158

  • Barb Bruce

    I’m a huge fan of Justified and loved last night’s show and your recap. I’ve been trying to find out who played Dilly Crowe, but haven’t had any luck. Can you help with that?

    • Bhammer100

      Jason grey Stanford.
      Or, Lt. Disher from the TV show Monk!

      • Barb Bruce

        Thank you!!!! I knew I’d seen him, but just couldn’t place him, loved Monk….

      • Bhammer100

        So did I!
        Ha! When he appeared on screen I was wondering why he looked familiar. Then about half way into the show I was like: “Damn, Lt. Disher!!”

      • Barb Bruce

        It was driving me crazy, I kept staring at him, even paused and rewound a few times, LOL!