‘Justified’: A Small Town Never Forgets

Published 8 months ago by

Timothy Olyphant in Justified Season 5 Episode 5 Justified: A Small Town Never Forgets

[This is a review of Justified season 5, episode 5. There will be SPOILERS.]

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As this is the penultimate season of Justified, there are now more reasons than ever to take a deeper look at certain characters, offer them a moment to shine – or in the case of Dewey Crowe, in last week’s ‘Over the Mountain,’ dramatically alter how they perceive themselves – and give the audience a sense that these myriad individual storylines crisscrossing one another are doing so by some kind of larger design.

If ‘Over the Mountain’ and tonight’s ‘Shot All to Hell’ are any indication, the writers over at Justified are attempting to do something along those lines, with varying results. Of course, there’s still plenty goings-on of Deputy Marshal Raylan Givens and perhaps even more than a fair amount of whatever deadly scheme Boyd Crowder’s currently cooking up. Overall, these side character-centric plots have made for some entertaining episodes, even if their importance to the season as a whole isn’t necessarily clear.

Here, Darryl briefly takes center stage, confronting Boyd about the sale price of Audrey’s, before attempting to convince his sister Wendy (Alicia Witt) that it’s in the Crowe family’s best interest if they all stick together. That means giving up her paralegal job down in Florida to help turn Audrey’s into that little nest egg the Crowes have long been dreaming of. And with the intimation that Wendy’s about to join the crew, psychotic brother Danny (A.J. Buckley) winds up making it a true family affair by killing Darryl’s right-hand man, Jean Baptiste (Edi Gathegi), after a discussion over the 20-foot rule leads to someone feeling like his masculinity was in question.

So now we’ve got one slightly marginalized character becoming relevant by murdering the other. Perhaps the question of whether or not Jean Baptiste’s death will prove integral to the season or reveal the writers simply didn’t know what to do with him will be answered through Danny’s storyline. Whatever the outcome, let’s hope Tim and Rachel don’t end up in a similar situation.

Edit Gathegi Michael Rapaport and Walton Goggins in Justified Season 5 episode 5 Justified: A Small Town Never Forgets

The most pressing concern of ‘Shot All to Hell,’ however, is Art’s continuing investigation into the death of Nicky Augustine, which finds him crossing paths with a hit man named Elias Marcos (Alan Tudyk) in a fantastic and tense scene set in a diner that once again showcases the series’ knack for turning clever dialogue into a verbal shootout.

Tudyk sadly doesn’t make it through the episode, but Art does manage to snag the biggest collar of his career, when Theo Tonin (Adam Arkin – who also directed the episode) is found hiding out in a shipping container not far from where Marcos made his last stand. Everything happens in the blink of an eye, but it all seemingly transpires to open the door for Raylan’s apparent confession regarding Nicky Augustine’s murder at the end of season 4. So, if that proves to be dramatically satisfying, then the brevity of Tonin’s discovery will be…well, justified.

Even though most of the storylines this season seem to be pulling their weight, it’s a sure sign that maybe too much is going on when Boyd doing away with his two primary nemeses, Lee Paxton and Deputy Mooney, Ava being framed for stabbing Danny Strong and then being shipped off to the state penitentiary, and Cousin Johnny double-crossing Hot Rod Dunham only register as minor blips on the radar.

Obviously, these storylines will begin converging at some point (hopefully), but come that time, we might be left wondering if taking a step back and allowing some of these events more time to resonate would have better served the overall story.

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Justified will continue next week with ‘Kill the Messenger’ @10pm on FX.

Photos: Prashant Gupta/FX

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  1. What is the over/under on when that little creepy guard that set up Eva gets shot and cut up into little pieces? And Cousin Johnny making power moves while Boyd is spinning out and dealing with the unstable Crows is going to make for an interesting three-way bloodbath.

  2. *21-foot rule.

  3. These justified reviews are horrible I just read two other reviews on two other websites and they had almost nothing but praise for this episode which was great but your just making up complaints. I dont think you even watch the show and/or aren’t that found of it and it shows in these reviews.

    I give this review a 2/10
    + He was able to type sentences
    - Hardly talks about what actually happens in the episode
    - Complains about a problem that is almost non existent but hardly talks about any of the great interactions in this episode

  4. Oh man, what a great episode.
    So many great scenes and so many things happening all at once and this has easily become my favorite episode of the season so far.

    Side Note: I read an interview on another site with Graham Yost and he said the actor playing Jean Baptiste was not happy with the role and where the character might be going so they decided to kill him off. It didn’t sound like there was hard feelings it just wasn’t working out.

    • The one scene that really stood out for me was when he was in the interview room with Picker and he actually is starting to embrace the idea that he is kind of the “bad guy” that people should be afraid of…

  5. This season is headed to another Bloody Harlan type season finale. I hope Ava makes it to the end and I hope Dewey makes it as well. It was sad last episode to watch Dewey become something he’s not. He’s a bad guy but he’s not a bad guy, at least not in the sense as Johnny or Boyd. He is a little bit of a comic relief but his character represents a lot people who are in situations that they had to chose because they lacked other choices, which seems to be a problem in Harlan.

    I love how Boyd is starting to crack and how well Walter Goggins is playing him. He really knows this character and knows how to bring out the best of Boyd. Michael Rapport is playing well too.

    Sad to see Alan Tudyk get killed off so quickly. I had hoped for a couple of more episodes to see what he could do with his character. Given the short amount of time I was impressed.

    My hope for the series finale next year is to have Art walk of into the sunset and the final scene be with Boyd and Raylan sitting at the table getting ready to draw down on one another, and just cut to black.

    • Did you say that on uproxx haha.

      I thought it would be even better if after it goes black you just hear boyd yell and raylan says sorry boyd(raylan deadly calm voice).

      or

      You hear one gun shot but you dont know who shot.

  6. Good episode, but disappointed that Edi Gathegi’s character has bitten the dust already. I really thought him to be a potentially lethal adversary for Raylan, but for whatever the reason he’s out of the picture after just a few episodes.