Justified Season Premiere Review: “A Murder Of Crowes” (Season 5, Episode 1)


In the season 5 opener of Justified, things are surprisingly calm in Lexington. The episode instead takes a step back from the organized chaos that more often than not occupies the main stage of this FX drama, and focused mostly on introducing fans to new characters (which it looks like there are plenty of) and setting the tone for the rest of the season. It practically whispers to viewers: “come in, take a seat, and let us reintroduce ourselves.”

Since Justified has a tendency to tie up most of its loose ends plot-wise at the end of each season (plus the over half a year between seasons), the crash course in where the show is going was very much appreciated. All things considered, the slower pace seemed to work well for easing viewers back into the unique world of old-fashioned justice set within contemporary confines created by the show, without losing our attention (or causing me to fidget with my remote at regular 30-second intervals).

It’s hard to tell how much time has passed since we last laid eyes on U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant), but there’s clearly been a time lapse since we are now in post-baby birth time. That’s right, while we were off enjoying whatever it was we were enjoying, Raylan became the proud father of a bouncing baby girl. I can only imagine what it will be like for her once she is old enough to notice boys. Now that would be a spin-off worth watching.

In a nice smooth transition from the excitement of last season, Raylan heads back to Florida, where he’s had his share of memorable experiences in the past, to assist on a case that has ties to some of his local Kentucky associates (err, unfriendly acquaintances).

Enter the Crowes. Up until now, the only Crowe we’ve met is Dewey, who has served as a peripheral character for the past few seasons and isn’t exactly the master criminal type – and the apple doesn’t look like it falls far from the tree. The rest of his relatives seem equally unkempt, possibly with the exception of the faux-lawyer sister played by Alicia Witt, but they manage to hold some Florida territory without too much of a hassle. After Raylan and his side of the law harshed their entrepreneurial spirit, it quickly became time for them to move on and look for new opportunities. Naturally they intend on doing so in Kentucky.

With the Crowes planning on relocating to Harlan County following Raylan’s cordial enough visit, this episode was just the calm before the storm that is sure to ensue when these dimwitted criminals come to town. How much trouble do you think this will mean for Raylan in the near future?

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