Justified Review: “Whistle Past The Graveyard” (Season 5, Episode 8)


Every season Justified parades a new set of characters in front of viewers. Occasionally one sticks, but most of the time they go the way of one hit records. This season we saw the emergence of a new family of characters, The Crowes, and even though Daryl (Michael Rapaport) and Danny (A.J. Buckley) have already rubbed enough people the wrong way, there might be a couple members of the family worth embracing.

Wendy (Alicia Witt), and her brother (son) Kendal (Jacob Lofland), are an interesting pair. Although they have established themselves within the family order, which doesn’t seem like much of an option, they don’t have the same mentality as some of their relatives. Wendy clearly possesses a brain, and has at least partially passed it down through genetics to her son. Never finishing law school aside, she is open to the possibility of removing herself from the family infrastructure. The additional tie she has to Kendal only furthers the idea that she wouldn’t leave him behind to fend for himself.

People are only as powerful as the people they keep around, or can afford to keep around them. Daryl has had a leg up over the years due to his sister’s cunning mind. She stepped up in Florida during the season premiere, which resulted in the families’ unfortunate ability to relocate in Harlan County. She stepped in again when Kendal was taken by child services courtesy of Raylan (Timothy Olyphant). Her maternal instincts obviously still remain a work in progress, given that she let Daryl take her son into this new and potentially unsafe, definitely illegal, environment. However, she wins some brownie points for putting him ahead of her brothers on this episode of Justified  and reaching out to the last person you might have expected her to partner up with.

Even after last episode’s ultimatum hanging in the air, you may have at least imagined her holding out for a better offer – or worse circumstances. That’s not to say that Kendal running off with his Uncle (father) Jack doesn’t constitute an elevated degree of distress, but she also didn’t waste anytime stealing Raylan’s attention away from his girlfriend, who Wendy had a strong hand in putting out of work on a two-week paid probation.

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