JUSTIFIED 5.03 ‘Good Intentions’
Episode Title: "Good Intentions"
Writer: Benjamin Cavell
Director: Dean Parisot
An odd thing happened in “Good Intentions.” Perpetual comic relief character, Dewey Crowe (Damon Herriman) became the third protagonist of this story behind Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) and Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins).
Whenever the focus left Boyd and Raylan’s storylines, it almost always went back to Dewey as he tried to get rid of his dangerous cousin, Daryl Crowe, Jr. (Michael Rapaport) without angering a man who has already killed one of his brothers this season. The problem with Dewey is that he doesn’t have the intelligence or the drive to match his limited ambitions. All Dewey wants to do is drown himself in hookers and drugs while the easy money flows in for the rest of his life. Yeah… good luck with that.
One of the comedic highlights of the episode came when Boyd turned Dewey’s ill-advised shakedown attempt into a rallying speech designed to fire up Dewey into confronting Daryl. With everything that Boyd is going through in his story, that was the one time in the episode that Goggins looked like he was having fun and it was glorious to watch.
Another performer having fun this week was newly minted series regular, Jere Burns, particularly in his early scenes as Wynn Duffy used one of Boyd’s hapless associates as target practice with a BB gun. Duffy even played into the conclusion of Raylan’s storyline for the first time this season. It may be a while before these three storylines converge, but it’s cool to see the first steps happening here.
As always, there are full spoilers ahead for the latest episode of “Justified,” so if you missed “Good Intentions” then you should probably skip this review or else Raylan’s gonna get a new roommate.
I do have to question whether it’s remotely possible for a U.S. Marshal to simply move into the mansion of Charles Monroe (Xander Berkeley) just because the Marshal’s have seized the property. But it’s undeniably fun to see Raylan live it up in his own style and dish out some brutal payback when he tracks down Henry (Scott Anthony Leet), the man who unsubtly threatened Raylan the night before.
Although Raylan assumed that Monroe had sent Henry to scare him out of the mansion, Henry eventually tells Raylan a more disturbing truth: Raylan’s new love interest, Allison (Amy Smart) set Henry up for drug charges to get his kid taken away from him. At least that’s Henry’s side of the story and he’s hardly an innocent victim. Henry does tell Raylan that he was a drug cook during his custody battle.
If Henry’s tale is remotely true, it means that Allison has the same regard for the rules that Raylan does. Or she may actually have less respect for the law. Whatever his faults, Raylan doesn’t falsify evidence to get his targets locked up. He usually just lets them defeat themselves before moving in on them.
Sometimes I wonder if Raylan is really a good judge of character when it comes to the women in his life. Remember Raylan’s ill-fated relationship with Lindsey the bartender last season? Raylan turned a blind eye to Lindsey’s past indiscretions until it was too late. Is he bound to repeat himself again with Allison?
Raylan is a smart man, but he doesn’t always comprehend the unintended consequences of his actions. Attempting to intimidate Monroe only alerts Chief Deputy Art Mullen (Nick Searcy) that Raylan may be going over the line… so he assigns Deputy U.S. Marshal Rachel Brooks (Erica Tazel) as Raylan’s new roommate in the mansion. Keep in mind, Art is already looking into Raylan’s association with the late Sammy Tonin as seen in last week’s episode. Art clearly likes Raylan, but if he’s looking too closely at Raylan’s affairs then that’s going to be a major problem for both of them.
The other unintended consequence set in motion by Raylan is that Monroe thinks that someone was trying to steal the hidden gold bars from his home. Monroe is so incensed that he nearly kills his girlfriend/maid in a very disturbing sequence. Of course, Raylan pushes it even further when he learns about the gold and he allows Monroe to believe that Wynn Duffy robbed him.
It’s a very “Justified” twist that finds Raylan not only attempting to protect Duffy, but also missing out on the action. Neither Raylan or Rachel get to Monroe in time. Instead, it’s Duffy’s hapless bodyguard, Mikey (Jonathan Kowalsky) who (non-fatally) shoots Monroe offscreen. It was Duffy himself who brought a dark comic touch to the scene by dryly noting that Mikey has a killer instinct and by pointing out that Raylan was protecting him from a situation that Raylan had created.
Meanwhile, Boyd’s corner of Harlan county is rapidly spinning out of control. Someone violently hit his last drug shipment from the Canadians, Lee Paxton (Sam Anderson) isn’t as dead as he hoped for, Sheriff Mooney (William Gregory Lee) is gunning for him and Ava’s (Joelle Carter) prospects for getting out of jail seem pretty slim at the moment.
For the first time in years, we’re seeing major faultlines in the relationship between Boyd and Ava. They love each other, but even Boyd knows that there’s little he can do to save her now. There’s also a dark moment when Boyd turns the blame on Eva for killing Delroy… which she did. But Ava wasn’t a criminal before she embraced Boyd and his lifestyle. Ava was Boyd’s willing partner in crime, but he set her on that path.
And then there’s Mara (Karolina Wydra), the deceptively harmless trophy wife of Lee Paxton who may be one of the more dangerous individuals on the show. What Mara lacks in physical abilities, she seems to make up for in her ability to get others to act on her behalf. Mara manipulates Lee into backing her over the Sheriff and she also sends some very clear sexual signals to Boyd as she tries to bend him to her will. Mara is not the helpless foreign bride that she pretends to be. She is far too skilled to be that naive.
Given Goggins’ history on “The Shield” opposite another actress playing a woman named Mara, I keep thinking “run Shane, run!” when “Justified’s’ Mara comes on screen. Because Mara almost has Boyd. He’s loyal to Ava and he doesn’t take the bait during his shirtless scene… but he was definitely tempted. Unlike Ava, Mara is making herself available to Boyd and she might eventually wear down his defenses.
The thing about Mara is that she’s a chameleon. When she’s alone with Lee or Boyd, she assumes the personality traits that make them empathize with her while underestimating her at the same time. Mara is going to be trouble for everyone before this season is over. And the only person she seems to really care about is herself.
While Raylan’s story is seemingly self-contained in this episode, Dewey and Boyd take major steps forward. Daryl laughs off Dewey’s attempt to run him off by exposing Messer (James Le Gros) for skimming profits from the cat house on behalf of Boyd. To top things off, Daryl insists that Dewey kill Messer for his indiscretion.
As for Boyd, he learns that his true enemy is none other than his cousin Johnny (David Meunier). That was a great twist that also made sense. I wasn’t expecting to see Meunier back on ‘Justified” that quickly, but it’s a welcome return.
I’m not sure where “Justified” is taking us this season, but the ride has been entertaining so far.