Justified season 5 episode 3 review: Good Intentions

Review Matthew Giordano 23 Jan 2014 - 07:34

Justified's relationships continue to become more complex in the latest episode. Here's Matthew's review of Good Intentions...

This review contains spoilers.

5.2 Good Intentions

This week's instalment of Justified reminded me of several of the episodes from Justified's first season, many of which were not connected to the overarching narrative of the show. This formula at times proved to be very effective as larger narrative threads were not stretched out and the show was able to hold our attention by striking a nice balance between standalone episodes and those that furthered the show's narrative. What made this week slightly different to its predecessors in this regard is that Boyd's reign of supremacy in the criminal world is not only being challenged by Lee Paxton, but his good old Cousin Johnny is apparently the culprit who sought fit to alleviate Boyd and Wynn of their shipment of drugs. You knew on a show as carefully structured as Justified that cousin Johnny did not simply vanish and that he would once again inject himself into the plot. The show did an excellent job of bringing him back into the fold. Now Boyd finds himself dealing with several adversaries all at once. Will he be able to be the "survivor" he appears to be?

On that note, does anyone truly understand Boyd half so well as Mara appears to? Mara asks to see Boyd's tattoos and rather than be repulsed by his Swastika she instead recants a story about how she knew men who killed Nazis and men who were Nazis. She then proceeds to tell Boyd that in Russian prisons, tattoos tell a man's life story and begins to inspect him, coming to some pretty accurate conclusions. Boyd seems mesmerized by this. There is a definite connection between these two and Boyd's connection to Mara is starting to cause some major friction with Ava. Boyd is screwing up, Ava knows this and she is starting to realize that Boyd is not her saviour. Ava proceeds to call Boyd out for failing to bribe a judge who could help get her case thrown out and for stupidly almost killing the one man whose testimony they need to get revoked. Boyd may not completely realize it yet, but his actions seem to subconsciously suggest that he knows that having Ava stay in prison would actually free him up to pursue Mara. How telling was it when Boyd responds to Ava's accusations with the line "I didn't kill Delroy."

Perhaps Boyd is more then subconsciously distancing himself from Ava and once again he is showing us his true colours. The scary thing is that Mara seems to be an almost carbon copy of Boyd and they both have an uncanny ability to disregard normal human emotions especially when these emotions come into conflict with the things that they want. Furthermore, Mara concocts a brilliantly devious plan to cut off the hand of a dead man and put one of Boyd's tattoos on it so that they can convince her husband Lee that deputy Mooney, who now seemingly works for them, has killed Boyd. The relationship that is developing between Mara and Boyd is utterly fascinating and one that has added an entirely new dimension to the show.

In regards to our beloved Raylan, he receives a very unwanted visitor who proceeds to ruin a romantic tryst with Allison (Loretta's social worker). Apparently this man Henry claims that Allison planted drugs on him so that his son would be taken away and as such he is seeking revenge on her. However, this becomes more complicated because it is possible that Henry and Allison are working together and are looking to use Raylan to get into Mr. Monroe''s house and steal anything of value they can find. (Raylan is graciously looking after Mr. Monroe's house as it was currently taken over by US Marshall service). Upon being confronted by Raylan, Mr. Monroe thinks that this man Henry was trying to rob his secret stash of gold and at first blames his maid/girlfriend Gloria. After he attempts to kill her or possibly just scare her to death, Gloria reminds him that Wynn Duffy installed his secret safe and as such Monroe believes that Wynn is the one responsible for this theft. Raylan decides to set Monroe up and let him think that his gold was stolen even though it was not and he and Rachel have Gloria tell Monroe that he was robbed. Monroe then seeks out Mr. Duffy but Raylan finds Wynn first and while they are engaged in a discussion about the days events Wynn's henchmen Mike shoots Mr. Monroe.

There is also trouble at Audrey's as Dewey Crowe is not doing well as a entrepreneur and his cousin Daryl informs him that he has in fact been 'ripped off' by Boyd by over-paying for the whorehouse he now owns. In fact cousin Daryl believes that Dewey overpaid Boyd by about $125,000. Daryl believes that Dewey should get that money back and that Dewey should then give Daryl half of the money for helping him with his predicament. Dewey meets with Boyd to discuss this matter but Boyd can't be bothered with him, so Dewey decides to stand up to Daryl and tell him that he will not be giving him any of his money. However Daryl claims that Dewey's friend Messer has been stealing from him for months and that he has been doing this under the orders of Boyd. Daryl then wants Dewey to kill Messer for what he has done. Now the question is: was Messer really stealing from Dewey and was he really doing this on behalf of Boyd or did Daryl concoct this scheme to earn Dewey's trust? That is a scenario that I am excited to see play out next week.

Read Matthew's review of the previous episode, The Kids Aren't All Right, here.

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We know that Messer (on behalf of Boyd) was skimming from Audreys because last week (or maybe the week before) one of Boyd's thugs had a conversation about how that weeks payment was late and they were careful to keep Dewey out of the conversation. This episode made it clear that both Boyd and Darryl are using the less than intelligent Dewey for their own gain, and it is clear that Darryl wants what Boyd has. The only question is whether it is Boyd or Dewey who will kill Darryl, since that is how wannabe kingpins always end up in Harlan (unless Raylan shoots them that is).

Mara is the person she is because of her implied hard life growing up, one that is very similar to Boyds. This is probably why they seem so alike. Harlan has been portrayed from the start of the show as one of the parts of the US that is poorer than most, and so riddled with crime that to survive to the top of the food chain means you have to be extremely good at being bad. Former Soviet countries have had that reputation for decades (although it is probably something of a western stereotype).

I loved the mini story with Monroe and his paranoia about his gold. This is a common plot device in Justified and is always entertaining: Raylan does something or says something based on what he believed at the time that subsequently turns out to be mistaken. However, the chinese whispers among the criminal community take that faulty information and start to run wild with it - leading to men killing each other over nothing and their criminal enterprise falling apart because they cannot show even a little trust to each other.

Raylan's latest blonde looks too much like his Sister - perhaps there is something more to the inbreeding references over the past seasons than we know? Could explain Raylan's emotional and behavioral problems as genetic! Preferable to admitting that Rylan's attractiveness fades as his antisocial behavior becomes more apparent. It seems that Raylan is incapable of any long term human relationship - surprising he doesn't own a horse. We conclude his bad behavior is the result of a bad childhood, therefore, Raylan gets a pass for his repeated failure to connect with others. Consider another explanation: Raylan is less a man than he is an imposter imitating the lone character, Rowdy, from the t.v. show Rawhide; a show Raylan enjoyed as a child when safe at his Aunt Helen's house. Raylan has perfected the Rowdy character living his self-absorbed surreal life, but failed to employ his otherwise clever skills to live a real life. We'll see just how often Rowdy controls Raylan's flawed views of prowess and whether Raylan will continue on a slippery slope to nowhere good.

Great episode. Still not buying that Mara has an attraction to Boyd. I feel she is working him over to get what she wants. And I feel Boyd is falling for it. I'm on board for Daryl (I really like that he manipulates Dewey into doing what he wants while at the same time making Dewey think he is still in charge) but he just hasn't made a big impression yet.


Wondering if Ava will turn on Boyd and offer up evidence against him to plea bargain, once she figures he's backing away from the help she expected. Agree with Bhammer 100, Mara is playing Boyd but it is a lot of fun to watch. Walt Goggins is incredibly good. So far all the good stuff is Boyd, not Raylan, sad to say. Allison, I think she is up to something.

Raylan doesn't have a sister. What are you talking about?

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