JUSTIFIED Recap: “Wrong Roads”

     March 11, 2014

justified timothy olyphant

Season 5 of Justified has so far been the least cohesive.  It’s still been good, even great at times, but the show always works best when the individual story lines click together, something this season hasn’t been too keen on.  Until now.  “Wrong Roads” brought the show’s current lineup of riff raff together for 53 minutes of standoffs and revelations.  While Raylan still seems peripheral to the major story, he did get one ugly look in the hypothetical mirror.  More on “Wrong Roads” after the jump.

The title of the episode reflects the literal wrong road taken by Danny and Dewey Crowe on their way back from Mexico and it also indicates the rocky road of life that Raylan has been traveling down, and where it may be leading him.  This route is embodied by DEA Agent Miller, a brazen, boozing loner.

justified wrong roads timothy olyphant But first I’d like to talk about the Crowes.  Last week I forecasted that Dewey would be a major catalyst for who would be left standing at the end of the season.  I figured he’d make some kinda big play in the penultimate episode or the finale, not when there are three episodes to go.  After being picked on by his own family, abused, and belittled to no end, Dewey finally snapped.  And what a glorious moment of rage it was.  That scream he lets out driving away was so powerful.  Bravo, Damon Herriman, for absolutely killing it this season.

Dewey’s only choice now seems to be going to Boyd for protection.  After the pow-wow at Audrey’s, it’s clear Boyd doesn’t want Daryl to be part of “the goddamn family.”  He offers up Daryl to Jay and Roscoe, explaining that if they want back in on the heroin pipeline, go ahead and kill this sleeveless prick.  It may have been a bluff, of course, just to keep them talking, but as Boyd replies to Danny’s plea, “it’s too late for that.”  The Crowes are now on their own (minus Dewey).

I guess the more accurate thing to say is that Danny and Daryl are now on their own.  Wendy could still be helpful to them, only because she needs some cash to get the hell outta town with Kendal.  I bet Danny is wishing he didn’t buck down Jean Baptiste right about now.

Elmont Swain was played by Muse Watson, probably best known for his roles on Prison Break and NCIS. Why didn’t Boyd kill him himself?  I think he respected Elmont too much after hearing what he’d done to avenge his wife.  Boyd can relate to that shit, but the deed still had to be done to help his own girl.  Good looking out, Jimmy.  The shot of Boyd standing outside of the truck while Jimmy strangled Elmont was beautiful, in a morbid kinda way.

justified wrong roads walton gogginsI wanna note that Boyd had a gun pointed at him twice this episode (Elmont and Jay), and both times he was cooler than a coal miner’s ass.  It’s good to see that all the stress still hasn’t shaken his coldly calculating mind.

Elmont’s dead, but Rowena has Ava in her pocket now, so she asks Ava for one more favor.  Judith, aka Mother Superior, saved Ava’s ass earlier in the episode, now she has to kill her.  Man, I still find all of the prison story really dull, which is a word that Justified has never made me want to use before.

In Memphis, Raylan teamed up with Agent Miller, an older lawman with the same enthusiasm for the quick draw.  During their time together, Miller exhibits similar behaviors that we’ve seen in Raylan: shooting first (questions later), choosing the job over family, etc.  Even the close relationship Miller had with Hot Rod (R.I.P) mirrored the one Raylan harbors with Boyd.  And it was obvious that Raylan was sort of repulsed by Miller – a boozing, lonely lawman whose closest companion is his sidearm.  If he doesn’t want to turn out like him, he’s going to have to quit going down the “wrong road” and straighten his own life out a bit.

That’s if Art allows him to stay with the Marshals.  It was great to finally see Art look Raylan dead in the eyes and tell him that he’s still the goddamn boss.  He poured it out to him there at the end, letting Raylan know that all the bullshit he causes actually affects him, and that it’s unfair.  This Nicky Augustine debacle could still go a few ways, with none of the outcomes I can think of being particularly good for Raylan.

justified wrong roads eric roberts“Wrong Roads” was definitely a step up from previous episodes this season.  Here’s hoping they can keep it up.


  • Did Danny Crowe totally screw up a Gremlins reference?
  • It took nine episodes but Boyd finally got some dope in Harlan.  What shit luck he’s had this season.
  • Roscoe and Jay, Shakespeare buffs.  I really hope this isn’t the last we see of brothers Wood and Steve Harris, who have brought a huge amount of charisma to a show already drowning in charming bastards.
  • Boyd’s new bartender Caleb is played by James Logan, a prolific stuntman and actor.  He actually appeared back in the season 2 episode “Debts and Accounts” as “Poker Player #1.”  His line “What the hell kinda place is this?!” makes for a great summation of Harlan County.
  • Best one liner: “I would call this the United Nations of assholes.” – Miller
  • Duffy’s coffee critique: “This tastes like it was made in my ass on Sunday.”
  • Dewey needs to change cellphone providers.
  • I really like the nicknames Jay and Roscoe have for their offenses: “Seal Team,” “Hammer & Anvil,” etc.
  • In case you don’t know, the 21 ft. rule Danny was talking about is the average distance someone with a knife can charge in the time it takes someone to draw their weapon, aim, and fire.  In theory the dude with the blade has the advantage.

Body Count: 3 (could be four, it’s unclear if Miller is dead).