Tuesday, February 11, 2014

REVIEW: 'Justified' Heads Into the World of a Women's Prison with Ava in 'Kill the Messenger'

FX's Justified - Episode 5.06 Kill the Messenger

An attack on Alison sends Raylan to Harlan in search of payback, while Boyd scrambles to arrange protection for Ava. 

"Kill the Messenger" is the kind of Justified episode with a lot of good parts but their sum doesn't make the most exciting episode. Loved the opening scene between Raylan and Art - but thought it was odd that there was a minor time jump from the end of last week's episode. Also really enjoyed the interactions between Raylan and Rachel in the car. And Amy Smart got another great monologue to deliver to Raylan about being a hero but also setting the fire. Plus, the show went full on Orange Is the New Black in Ava's corner of the universe which is pretty great as well.

But the bulk of this episode was spent on the developing of the Crowe's relationship to this community. And I have to say that as this season's "big bads," they still aren't working. Six episodes into this season and I still don't have a feel for what motivates this clan of the characters. I guess Danny drives Alison off the road for the thrill of it all. But is that really interesting or informative of that character? Not really. It just further proves that he's not that smart and will only remain a problem the longer he stays in this universe. They also haven't presented a good enough reason for Darryl to justify keeping Danny around - and not taking him out the same way he did to his other relative in the season premiere. And Darryl is stubborn about staying in Harlan simply because the plot needs him there. Every other character points out that they should just head back to Florida. But he doesn't exactly point out the benefits of staying. They stay in this hour so that they can form an uneasy alliance with Boyd - who has the biggest intentions of using them to first take out his friend who double-crossed him and then to take the bullet that Johnny has planned for him.

Also, the show is trying to be serious and funny with Dewey at the same time. He understandably has been given more attention this season because of the addition of his cousins. But it seems like the show is almost having too much fun kicking him down every episode. First, Boyd ripped him off in the Audrey's deal. Then, he bumbled taking out Messer. Now, he hatches a plot to get the money back from Boyd and gets screwed over by bad phone reception. He's had moments in the last two episodes of self-realization that things will be over for him if Darryl and company continue to stay. But it's hard for me to care about that when the show is always treating his actions for the comedy of them.

Some more thoughts:
  • "Kill the Messenger" was written by Ingrid Escajeda and directed by Don Kurt.
  • Ava's side story was the one consistently great thing. It's so isolated from the rest of the show but also really informative of that character's current struggles. She cuts her own hair in the end because she's realizing how alone she is in here. 
  • Yeah, Tim's bin Laden joke was not his best.
  • Mr. Wu: "How would you know that? The one wonton amongst a group of tortillas?"
  • Raylan: "When it comes to it, the first one to get a bullet is this dog."
  • Boyd: "Shut up, Dewey, and sit down."
  • Rachel: "You might see it that way. If you're a son of a bitch."