Justified Review: “Kill The Messenger” (Season 5, Episode 6)


Justified left us in the middle of some intense moments at the close of last week’s episode, which meant that “Kill the Messenger” had the primary job of cleaning them up. Raylan (Timothy Olyphant), in one of his more genuine scenes, came clean to Art (Nick Searcy) about the tarmac incident. Elsewhere, Ava (Joelle Carter) was set up by her cellmate and a rejected male prison guard (clearly suffering from a severe case of the Napoleon complex), and Johnny (David Meunier) set the stage for a new form of hostile takeover by being one step ahead of everyone else. Then, the credits rolled and viewers were left contemplating the fallout to come.

In the first promising move since the Crowes took up residence in Harlan County, they managed to make a friend. After trying to antagonize Boyd into coughing up cash and essentially throwing themselves into the thick of it by kidnapping one his men, they finally managed to be in the right place at the right time.

Boyd is in the midst of several calamities at the moment. He’s dealing with the repercussions of  the Detroit/Canada situation, he has Johnny moving in with a revenge plot that is smart enough to cause him some sleepless nights, and his “wife” has been semi-permanently retained by the correctional system pending trial, with her stay recently extended. The eye of the storm has most definitely passed, folks.

He continues to be an elusive character, though. His ability to appear decidedly calm regardless of the exigent matters loaded on his plate like Jenga blocks makes him hard to read, even for Raylan at times. It also makes Boyd somewhat terrifying. Couple it with his penchant for a wicked tongue and you’ve got yourself a serious outlaw contender.

Justified adds to his reign this week by introducing a novel concept – instead of him going to war with the Crowes on top of everything else hitting the fan, why not add them to his circle? That’s several less people gunning for him and several more people pointing guns on his behalf. It’s brilliant, and only marginally predictable.

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