Justified season 5 episode 10 review: Weight
Justified deals with the murky concept of fate in this week's improved episode. Here's Matthew's review...
This review contains spoilers.
The return of familiar faces from the past is always a welcome sight in Justified and including Dickie Bennett into the story this week was a nice touch. Incorporating characters from the past is something that Justified has always done a wonderful job of and this week is no exception. As disappointed as I was with last week’s episode, one seemed to just be going through the motions, this week the plot finally began moving forward, even if it may be moving in an extremely predictable manner.
Dewey is once again on the run and looking to unload the heroin he stole last week. Not only are his cousins hunting him down but he has once again appeared on Boyd’s radar. Boyd decides that since Dewey is Daryl’s cousin that he's his problem to deal with and as such, Daryl proceeds to send Danny to rectify the situation. Danny tracks Dewey down after he tries to unload the heroin onto a low level drug dealer that his old pal Dickie put him into contact with. The dealer is quick to alert Boyd to Dewey’s intentions and Danny is able to retrieve the stolen heroin but the dealer allows Dewey to get a head start so Dewey Crowe will live for at least another day. Even though he is down on his luck, as usual, at least Dewey did get to have a wonderful reunion with Dickie. This reunion was probably the most memorable moment of the season for me as the bizarre connection that these two low level outcasts have always makes their onscreen connections fascinating to watch. The subtle appreciation of each other’s flaws and the fact that both of these men have always been manipulated by their family members has created such a strong bond amongst these two that it is hard not to feel a strange sense of joy during their reunion which is a great testament to the acting of Damon Herriman and Jeremy Davies.
Letting Dewey escape would not be the only problem that the Crowe family would face this week as Kendall, upon letting Danny’s dog Chelsea run off and get hit by a car, runs away. After witnessing Danny murder John Baptiste for simply questioning Danny’s judgment, Kendell is terrified over having to face Danny and tell him that his dog Chelsea, whom he loves more than anything on the planet, has been killed partly because of his inability to stop her from running off. Kendall then runs away and finds himself at the home of Allison, Raylan’s ex-girlfriend and social worker extraordinaire. Kendall wants Allison to run away with him and of course his childish fantasy is quickly dismissed as Wendy shows up. Allison had called Wendy to come pick Kendall up. Upon returning home, Kendall admits to Danny about what happened to Chelsea but before Danny can beat the boy to a pulp Kendall also finally tells Daryl that Danny murdered John Baptiste. The turmoil in the Crowe family is at an all-time high and Daryl is barely able to keep everyone under control. Essentially Daryl brokers the peace by sending Danny to deal with Dewey and by sending Kendall to fetch Chelsea’s body and dig the hole for her to be buried in. Ironically the hole that Kendall digs for Chelsea’s body, winds up being the hole that Danny literally buries himself in.
Upon tracking down the stolen heroin to Danny, Raylan is about to have a classic shootout with the man. After all it has been a while since Raylan has drawn his gun and even Art later in the episode mockingly expresses his gratitude to Raylan for not shooting the man. Also has anyone else noticed that Art’s last week on the job seems to be lasting forever? Anyway, Danny, as he has done all season, tries to implement his twenty-one foot rule in which he claims he can stab a man with his knife before he has a chance to shoot him. Upon attempting to attack Raylan, Danny trips and falls into the grave and as fate would have it stabs himself in the neck with his own knife upon the fall. This ironic turn of events further tears the Crowe family apart as Daryl and Wendy get into a physical altercation in which Wendy is beaten so badly by Daryl that it is fair to assume that she may in fact be dead, although she is more than likely just severely beaten. This allows for Raylan to once again play the hero who comes to the aid of the damsel in distress and rest assured there is a good chance that Raylan will catch up with Daryl and not bring him in for questioning.
With the Crowe family in utter turmoil, Boyd has set his sights on tracking down Albert the prison guard who framed Ava. After questioning the man and threatening him in only the way Boyd can, with a mixture of innuendo and wonderfully articulate dialogue, he lets Albert go. Boyd seems sufficiently convinced that his tactics have worked or perhaps he has now realized that Ava really is lost to him and that nothing he does in regards to her matters anymore. Ava has decided to go ahead with her assignation of Judith, “Mother Superior” but seems to have a change of heart until Judith, realizing Ava’s intentions, proceeds to attack her. Naturally as the fight ensues Ava uses her makeshift shiv which was given to her by Penny, who apparently also wants Judith dead, and kills Judith by stabbing her repeatedly. One can assume that Ava will now be able to smuggle drugs into the prison although Boyd may not be her supplier after all and it also symbolically suggests that Ava is far beyond being saved or redeemed by Boyd and that she has accepted her fate.
The fact that Ava killed Judith in the prison Cathedral forces us to confront the spiritual concept of fate. In a way, even if the events in our lives are not pre-determined we are all destined to die. Most of us can never fully accept this fact on a daily basis and it can be argued that we are not supposed to but Ava’s hesitation at first makes it seem like she is in control of her own destiny when all the circumstances of her current life seem to point to the fact that she of course is not. Under this line of thinking, and interestingly enough in the presence of the giant crucifix in the cathedral, Judith makes Ava’s decision for her because Ava has no “choice” upon being attacked. Metaphorically, I thought that this was a nice ideological concept thrown at us this week and ultimately I wonder if Ava’s acceptance of her fate is connected to the ultimate endgame for Raylan.
Of course what makes Raylan’s case all the more interesting is that right now his fate is entirely in Art’s hands and now the fact that Art has adamantly admitted throughout the series to being a good "Christian" may help to further explain his complicated feelings about turning Raylan in or not. How can any one person be directly in control of anybody else’s fate? To me these diametric viewpoints about the issue of fate, have been the most important ideological concept of the season thus far.
Arguably, the most interesting plot development from this week involved Wynn Duffy’s trip to visit an old friend played by the delightful Mary Steenburgen. Wynn is in desperate need of advice in regards to managing his criminal empire. He essentially brings in an outside and somewhat trusted consultant to assess if he should continue working with Boyd, who has not been delivering on his promises as of late or if he should side with Mr. Picker, the ex Detroit Mafia henchman. Perhaps we have a new criminal mastermind being introduced into the narrative that may shake things up before the final season is underway. Overall I thought this week was a positive step in the right direction for the show.
Read Matthew's review of the previous episode, Wrong Roads, here.
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