JUSTIFIED Recap: “Starvation”

     April 1, 2014

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Heading into its season finale, Justified picked up a lot of steam with “Starvation.”  The pressure is at a boiling point for nearly every character: from Raylan and Boyd, on down to Jimmy and Mike.  To make matters worse, the Mexicans are in town, turning the heat up under Duffy’s ass.  This episode really saw all the major characters at their most desperate, making for one solidly entertaining 45 minutes of television.  More on this week’s episode of Justified after the jump.

justified-season-5-episode-12-starvationAs much as we’d probably all love to see Raylan get revenge on Daryl by putting a bullet in one of his vital areas, he knows that isn’t going to erase Kendal’s confession.  To try and entrap the sleeveless slob, Raylan puts the pressure on Boyd, Duffy, and even Ava.  I don’t remember the last time Ava and him shared a scene together, but this one was fantastic.  You could really feel the history between them, especially when she mentioned Bowman.  Threatening Ava’s well-being in prison feels like a real low point for Raylan though.  I doubt he meant it though, the last thing he needs is some more dirt to sweep under the rug on top of Augustine’s death.

Boyd lifted that metaphorical rug up from underneath Raylan’s feet too, right in front of Tim and Rachel.  I wasn’t expecting that reaction from his fellow marshals – both Tim and Rachel shrugged it off as old news.  They’ve got Tonin, who cares about that case anymore?   They’re not stupid though, although we didn’t see any suspicion on the surface, I’m sure they’re not going to forget that accusation any time soon.

Raylan was shook by Boyd’s matter-of-factness when he mentioned Augustine.  That shut him up quick.  Shit, if he wants to wave a thick file of beefs over Boyd’s head, the outlaw’s going to let him know he’s got his own ammunition to use.  Earlier in the trailer, it’s easy to understand why Boyd and Duffy didn’t take the marshal’s threats seriously.  They’ve both been doing their criminal business in the same place for a long time now.  That’ll give any crook a certain feeling of disregard when it comes to the law.

So while Raylan’s threats may not have worked on Boyd, making eye contact with the cartel surely changed his mind about wearing a wire.  Jimmy was crying when Boyd called him.  Tears were actually running down his face.  Maybe they told him about the whole skinning thing.  Carl seems to have escaped their clutch, resourceful henchman that he is.  Hopefully he can swing in on a chandelier and save Jimmy’s hide.

justified-season-5-episode-12As much as Duffy would love to get the hell outta Harlan, he’s still tied to Boyd and the missing dope.  At this point he’s at wits freaking end.  Duffy’s not one to lose his cool, but we’ve seem him blow up two episodes in a row now – screaming at Picker and the tow truck.  Jere Burns never fails to entertain with his sneering, sarcastic routine, but it’s fun as hell watching him flip out.

It’s no secret that I haven’t been enjoying Ava’s prison story line all season, but at least “Starvation” saw it leap forward towards wherever the hell it’s going.  With Judith dead, Ava’s heading up her former crew.  Seems like Boyd’s knack for preaching rubbed off on her a bit, though I didn’t buy her dramatic transformation into ring leader and counselor for Judith’s former disciples.  Like she’s some prison survival expert all of a sudden.  I look forward to this plot reaching fruition, till then it’s been a slow, dull road behind bars.

Man, I was really hoping Dewey would play a big role in the climax of this season.  He went through so much shit during the first few episodes, everything was pointing towards some kind of retribution for the poor bastard.  With the introduction of the other Crowes, Yost and co. did a great job of adding depth to Dewey, who had been a walking punchline the past four seasons.  Now he’s locked up and unless he’s got some information that could aid the marshals, looks like that’s where he’ll remain for the finale next week.  Hell, at least he got to kick someone’s ass before going down.

“Starvation” set us up for what could be a pretty violent finale. The cartel’s got Boyd by the balls, Daryl is essentially a wild card at this point, Wendy may do something drastic, and Ava is a walking target for half the prison.  Charging Kendal as an adult was Raylan’s last resort.  Judging by Wendy and Daryl’s reactions, it was an effective play, but is it enough to make the eldest Crowe squawk?  C’mon, this is Justified…villains don’t lie down that easy.

LAST CALL

• justified-starvationMr. Yuen’s fondness for skinning people isn’t so unbelievable.  Mexican drug cartels routinely skin people alive if they’re crossed.  Google it.

• Some people may have missed the American Hustle reference between Tim and Rachel.  All you need to know is that Tim thinks it needed more Jason Statham.

• What the hell, Mike?  Sitting around Duffy’s trailer all day made you soft?

• The shot of Raylan biting his fist as he watched Dewey screw everything up was perfect.  He was banking on Boyd’s wire so hard.

• Dewey’s confusion over the “third person” was one of the funniest moments this season, which was followed up by, “Man, I don’t understand” – a solemn affirmation of Dewey’s loser status in the criminal and civilian world.  Give it up for Damon Herriman, everyone.

• Boyd’s new bartender Caleb cannot catch a break, huh?

Body Count: 1.  Never go to the bathroom alone, Penny.

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