Season five of Justified is a wrap, and although it carried with it a certain subtle charm, the most exciting aspect of this season may very well be what’s coming next. With only one outing left to go, the series is looking to tie up loose ends before sending Raylan (Timothy Olyphant) off into the sunset that is southern Florida, and it’s surely (crosses fingers) going to make for some compelling television come next winter. Too bad the writers couldn’t have come up with a more kitschy way to spend this season, which seemed more like a vast state of limbo for our gun-toting cowboy-esque Marshall than a stepping stone toward anything tangible. In retrospect, season five will go down as a small offering in a larger frame of reference.
It’s not that the Crowe story arc didn’t posses all the charms necessary to make for a good season, it’s just that the entire time there was a sense of lacking. When you look back at the villains that have dominated the Justified storylines and demanded your attention over the seasons there has been a definite theme – for the most part they have all been inherently likeable. From Mags Bennett (Margo Martindale) to the ultimate attention-seeking whore, Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins), these collective characters had admirable qualities that set them apart from the common criminal. Even Robert Quarles (Neal McDonough) wasn’t entirely unlikable in a very psychopathic way. That is an area where Darryl Crowe, Jr. (Michael Rapaport) came up strikingly short.
From the first few moments when viewers were introduced to Darryl, on his home turf no less, in episode one of this season, he had an irritable indecency about him. Even with all his bravado about his family, it was obvious that the only person that ranked high enough on his priority list to merit safe passage through life was himself. As the season progressed, Darryl merrily caused the death and destruction of most of the Crowe line. From his brother, Dilly (Jason Gray-Stanford), all the way through to his nephew, Kendal (Jacob Lofland), who Darryl was content letting take the fall for Art’s (Nick Searcy) shooting and rotting in jail for forty years, Darryl believed in a justice where only he could come out on top. Although he wasn’t solely responsible for everything that went wrong in the Crowe family, he did enough to secure his spot somewhere very unpleasant.
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