Tuesday, January 28, 2014

REVIEW: 'Justified' Sends Dewey to a Mountain Top Which Causes Conflicts for Darryl, Raylan & Boyd in 'Over the Mountain'

FX's Justified - Episode 5.04 Over the Mountain

Raylan ventures into wild country on the hunt for a missing informant while Boyd's last living relative threatens his life and livelihood.

"Over the Mountain" was probably the most enjoyable episode of Justified's fifth season so far. That's mostly because all the various plot mechanics started coming together a bit - or at least several characters were made more aware of what else was happening in this universe. Raylan and Boyd had their first scenes of the season. Raylan learned about all of the Crowe's new presence in Harlan. Art learns that Raylan was probably on the tarmac when Nicky Augustine was killed. Boyd finds out that Johnny is now working with Rod. Lastly, we learn that Ava has some protection whilst in prison.

Family has been a huge theme for this season so far - and especially resonant throughout this hour. Darryl commands that Dewey take care of Wade Messer in order to prove that he is part of the Crowe family. Of course, Dewey bumbles taking Wade up the mountain to kill him. The show hasn't had that much fun at the expense of Dewey since he thought he lost both kidneys. It's a much more serious plot than that as he struggles with killing a friend. And yet, it's also immediately apparent of how different Dewey is from the rest of his clan. His Florida relatives are ruthless people. Killing people comes so easily to them - and they don't really react. That is until someone threatens to uproot their family unit. Just like Raylan does at hour's end by taking young Kendal into protective custody.

Amy Smart gets to deliver a wonderful monologue about this man and his child who he treats maliciously and yet wants her dead for destroying their family. That was a profound moment for that character. And also an intriguing one for Raylan as he just has to sit there and react to it. He comforts her by just being there for the night - then uses the story as motivation for taking Kendal Crowe away from the rest of them.

Meanwhile, Boyd's business is getting attack by his only remaining blood relative - Johnny. Boyd is in information gathering mode right now. Trying to find out what Johnny's angle is in all of this and who he's working for. Turns out it's big fish Rod - which will pose as a big threat to Boyd in the future. But Boyd also gets sidelined for a bit by Raylan and Tim. Raylan-Boyd scenes are always so excellent on Justified - but they also carefully choice when the two interact. This is the first time this season and it's a rather low-key affair.

Also, there's the makeshift family of the people at the U.S. Marshal office. They have worked together for five years now - and they have such a fun and humorous rapport with each other. Raylan and Tim are on the same wavelength when they go see Boyd. It's also really amusing to see both of them rush to get on top of vehicles to avoid getting attacked by Chelsea the dog. And yet, Art ventures up to Detroit to have a conversation with Will Sasso's Canadian distributor. The knowledge he gains could change that workplace dynamic - something the show shouldn't be afraid to do in its penultimate season.

Some more thoughts:
  • "Over the Mountain" was written by Taylor Elmore and directed by Gwyneth Horder-Payton.
  • Raylan: "But kinda mostly the part where you couldn't tell me about it." Art & David Vasquez "We're telling you about it now."
  • Since it was teased tonight, I'm really looking forward to an Art and Wynn Duffy scene next week.
  • Still just anxiously awaiting for Joelle Carter to get something more to do. She gets her most screentime of the season so far in this hour. But that mostly amounts to simply calling Danny Strong short.
  • Lee Paxton is also delivered a severed hand with Boyd's tattoos on it & Mara expositionally gets to ask whether he still wants to testify against Ava.
  • A Webelo shovel.