Justified returns on January 20 for its final go-round. I really hope that in its sixth and final season, Raylan Givens finally gets to... wait, what did he want to do again? Since the previous episode aired last April, it's really easy to forget where the show left off. So, let's recap Season 5 of Justified. (This should be self-evident, but here is your obligatory spoiler alert. I will talk about last season in detail.)
The fifth season begins with an influx of a bunch of people related to my all-time favorite Justified hillbilly: Dewey Crowe. (In one of the first few seasons, Dewey opined that, "These are rock-hard times for Dewey Crowe," and it killed me and I've been saying that ever since.) A branch of Crowe cousins — including Darryl, the de facto leader; his sister Wendy, the brains with the law degree; and Kendal, their teenage brother — leave their Florida swamp home and move to Harlan. They pretty much get in everyone's way — taking Dewey's brothel business from him, horning in on Boyd's bumbling drug cartel, etc. — and murder or try to murder a whole bunch of people while doing it. It does not go over well.
Here's how the rest of the season shakes out:
The Murder of Crowes
I can't take credit for the collective noun pun here. It was the title of fifth-season premiere. But it's apt here. Everyone in Justified is out to get the Crowes, but the family winds up destroying itself from the inside. As the Crowes become more successful in Harlan, Darryl Crowe becomes mad with power and starts pushing everyone around, including an increasingly traumatized Kendal. This doesn't sit well with Wendy who, in an almost-Chinatown-esque move, reveals that she's actually Kendal's mother, not sister. Eventually, to protect Kendal, Wendy shoots Darryl...in the crotch. (Did I mention Wendy Crowe is awesome?) She also tells Raylan that she's taking Kendal back to Florida, where Raylan is coincidentally planning on transferring to so he can reunite with Wynona and their daughter.
Ava Crowder as Piper Chapman
It's like Justified looked at Orange Is the New Black and thought, "Hey, we can do this, too — only without the comedy." Ava spends most of the fifth season in prison and, oooh boy, it is not pretty. She's pretty much attacked by everyone, including a guard played by Danny Strong (aka the guy who said a bunch of mean things about Marnie's singing in the season premiere of Girls, so he's a jerk in everything). It's OK, because Ava and Boyd's love can survive anything, right? Wrong. The season ends with Ava getting out of prison by agreeing to help the marshals make a case against Boyd. Yikes! This isn't good news for Boyd, who ended the season being told he's a horrible heroin magnate (true), and he should go back to robbing banks for Wynn Duffy and his partners in crime (uh-oh).
A Work of Art
Somewhere in the season, Darryl Crowe tries to assassinate Art Mullen, and he gets dangerously close to getting the job done. (ONOZ!) Avenging Art sort-of eases the rift that's been developing between Art and Raylan. I mention it because I have a personal fantasy where Justified does an episode entirely from Art's point of view. I'd like to see him answering the phone and shouting, "Raylan did WHAT? And now he's WHERE?" all day, then cleaning up Raylan's messes from home base. With this being the last season and all, I know it's probably never going to happen, but a girl can dream.
Raylan vs. Boyd... Again
In the final moments of the season, they made it seem like Raylan is going to put off his Florida transfer to help Ava and the Marshals put Boyd away for good. Right now, it's 50/50 on whether or not Raylan will ever ride off into the Sunshine State.
Image: Prashant Gupta/FX; Giphy (4)