After a rather gloomy season premiere, “The Kids Aren’t Alright” delivered a hefty amount Justified‘s refined blend of dark humor and two-fisted justice. Another appropriate title for this episode could’ve been “How Raylan Got His Groove Back,” as Marshall Givens pursued yet another blonde who’s sure to complicate his already thorny life. For all of this episode’s amusements, however, it did end on a bloody declaration of war. The drug game’s a bitch down south, huh? More of my review of this episode after the jump.
Anyone else scream “Barksdale!” when Wood Harris appeared on screen? He’s part of Hot Rod Dunham’s Memphis crew, who we haven’t heard from since season 3. We also haven’t seen Loretta since season 3, and both return in this episode to stir up shit for Raylan. Loretta is slinging Hot Rod’s weed with her boyfriend Derek when she gets pinched. Some kids never learn. Her and Raylan have always had shared fantastic scenes together and they get a couple in this one. They’re both the product of criminal fathers, making them kindred spirits in a way. She definitely understands Raylan, which she proved by manipulating him into going after Derek. She’s certainly not inspiring him to be a father.
His misadventure with Loretta and Derek leads him to a darkened loading dock showdown with Hot Rod and two cars full of goons. Raylan is top notch on the draw, but here his boasting was even more impressive. He only had to brag about how good he is with a pistol to cool the situation and cut a deal with Hot Rod. By the end of the episode, the Rod may have reneged on their verbal agreement, however. Maybe. More on that later.
Everything went almost too well for Raylan this episode. He didn’t shoot anyone, so there’s no paperwork to be done. His only act of violence was cracking a guy in the head with a shovel (Frick and Frak). Due to the seizure of that racist twerp Monroe’s assets, Rayan’s gets to crash in his mansion (with a bowling alley!). And to top it all off, he’s playing lovey dove with another blonde. All these positives have got to be leading to a crushing negative – this is the Justified universe after all. Art is now snooping around into Nicky Augustine’s untimely death, which may prove to be the origins of the bad times to come. Raylan fed his some bullshit about moderating a deal between Nicky and the FBI, but Art isn’t that dense.
While things are going okay for Raylan now, Boyd’s streak of shit luck continues. Lee Paxton survived the brutal pounding he took, and Mrs. Mara Paxton sees it as an opportunity for blackmail. $300K isn’t a drop in the bucket for Boyd anymore, and with the Canadian pipeline dried up, he’s going to have to use the old Crowder business smarts to pull himself outta the toilet.
His dealers obviously aren’t helping the situation much. That knucklehead Cyrus squawked to some crack whore about when the shipment is coming in and whaddya know, it gets hit. Hard. It could’ve been Hot Rod’s crew or the Canadians. Or who knows, maybe somebody else entirely. Whoever it was, they made one helluva statement.
Speaking of thorns in Boyd’s side, that scumbag Nick Mooney is causing him and Mara grief. Last season he helped set up Ava to get busted, and now he’s putting pressure on a woman to get Boyd locked up. I can’t stand this dude and I hope he gets his real soon.
“The Kids Aren’t Alright” set us up for a huge war between Boyd and his KY crew and whoever the hell hit the drop. It also set the hammer to come down on Raylan over Augustine’s execution. Dark times are coming, but in the meantime at least Raylan’s gets to go bowling with a blonde in a mansion.
- Hi, Tim! Hi, Rachel! Bye, Tim! Bye, Rachel! They did some great things with Tim’s character last season, so here’s hoping Rachel gets her day in season 5. Also, Tim seem hyped about that bowling alley!
- This episode taught us that Raylan’s first time being locked up was for playing mailbox baseball. Adorable.
- No fat chicks at Dewey’s whorehouse.
- Seal Team Six, good one.
- Best One Liner: “You wanna make me do the paperwork?”
- Body Count: The diamond earring guy and however many guys got killed at the drop.