'Justified' Recap: 'The Weight' Brilliantly Dabbles in Coen Brothers' Territory
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'Justified' Recap: 'The Weight' Brilliantly Dabbles in Coen Brothers' Territory

By Dustin Rowles | TV Reviews | March 19, 2014 | Comments ()


It took a some reflection, reevaluation, and a rewatch of several key scenes in last night’s episode before I could completely come to terms with what an exceptionally good, darkly comic episode of Justified it was. On first blush, so many of the boneheaded decisions made by the characters — the Crowes, in particular — seemed more of the same bullshit we’ve endured for most of the fifth season. No one watching at home really gives a shit about the heroin shipment that’s swallowed the last several episodes of Justified, but in “The Weight,” we finally saw it for the MacGuffin it was all along.

That goddamn shipment of heroin, which had already cost the lives of Hot Rod, Roscoe, and Johnny Crowder, as well as several other henchman, continued its trek from Mexico to Kentucky, now in the sole hands of Dewey Crowe. The way he bumbled his entire get-rich-and-escape scheme was almost frustrating until I reexamined it after watching the Fargo trailer that aired during the commercials. It was then that I began to see the darkly comic richness in the episode. The entire Crowe clan are like something straight out of an early Coen Brothers film, and with that subtext, the episode took on a new light.

Dickie Bennett was suddenly Justified’s Turturro, hamming it up with Olyphant, while Dewey and Danny were Forsythe and Goodman in Raising Arizona. From that viewpoint, it clicked. The heroin shipment was nothing but an opportunity for Dewey to drive a Gremlin, and later, for poor Danny Crowe — weeping over the death of his dog — to fall in a hole and stab himself through the chin trying to demonstrate the 21-foot rule. It’s been so long now since Justified has really tapped into its comic roots that I’d almost forgotten how capable it was at it. Ultimately, everything about the Crowe plotline ended up feeling like one of those great, zany Coen Brothers’ heists that always end up pear-shaped in the end.

It didn’t exactly remedy the problems with this season. Daryl Crowe is still a terrible character, and there was nothing darkly comic about the way he beat up his smaller sister, Wendy Crowe, although it did call to mind the kind of characters that Rappaport usually plays: Weak, sniveling fools desperate for validation and respect, especially when he turned to Kendal Crowe — of all people — to get it. Cornered and isolated, it’s only a matter now of watching Daryl’s demise play out.

Nor did the episode rectify that terrible prison plotline. After breaking up with Boyd (which did elicit some real heartache when Boyd yelled for Ava through the glass) and acknowledging that there ain’t no one outside of the prison that can save her, Ava dug herself in deeper by killing Judith. The fact that, at this point, she is never likely to see the outside of a prison cell again makes me sad because Ava Crowder deserved better than to die in prison.

I didn’t like the way that they set up Art to be in danger’s way next week, either. It seems contrived, and I don’t like to believe that Raylan’s entire relationship with Alison was nothing but an excuse to move Art into a position to be shot. If Art has to die, he also deserves better than to be taken out by a goddamn Crowe.

Still, while this week’s episode of Justified didn’t exactly make up for an entire season-long storyline building toward a heroin shipment, the payoff — at least with regards to Danny Crowe and a brief visit with Dickie Bennett — was plenty satisfying.

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • megaera

    As far as I can tell, the 21 foot rule is actually: "If you try to claim the 21 foot rule while someone has access to a gun, you will die in a painfully stupid and/or unexpected manner."

  • Bhammer100

    I thought this episode was great. I have enjoyed every episode this season and while I can see what some people are complaining about, it doesn’t bother me like it bothers them.

    I like Ava’s storyline, it feels like a separate show because I think its supposed to be. That is how Ava feels, separated from everything else.

    I like the Crowes. They are great. I think labeling them as “big bads” are wrong because people seem to get preconceived notions on how a “big bad” should be like and people compare villains where they clearly should not.

    I like Boyd getting beat down week after week (what? you thought running a drug empire was going to be easy?).

    I think reading these negative reviews and comments are kind of warping my perception of this season of Justified. I think after this season ends I’m gonna have to put some distance between myself and season five and revisit it sometime down the road and finally judge for myself how much I like it.

  • jptaylorsg

    Can someone smarter than me explain why the Crowes are a threat to Alison? Their most recent interaction had her returning Kendall to them against his wishes rather than putting him in the system. I would think they're on good terms - except for the fact that they need a plot device to put Art in harm's way and have it be Raylan's fault. Help me please.

  • mzblackwidow

    does anyone else wonder if Art's barely visible-ness and a possible early end to his character has everything to do with Searcy making it impossible for anyone who read the Twitter thing to think of him as anything but a spiteful smug hateful 10 year old?

  • Pajiba_Pragmatist

    what if it's Kendall who shoots Art?

  • jptaylorsg

    Why would he be a menace to Allison, and by extension Art? Are you saying maybe he'll go after Allison with force, contrary to everything he's done as a character to this point? At most, he seems to have a crush on her. Not sure how that would tie together. The whole thing smacks of lazy writing to me.

  • Pajiba_Pragmatist

    It's a stretch, but here's how it plays out:
    1. He has a "Lover Scorned" attitude towards Allison
    2. Turns out that the beating his mom took from his Uncle kills her
    3. Kendall sees that if Allison hadn't called his mom, she would still be alive and he would not find his life spiraling down. He blames Allison as the person who did the pivotal thing: returning him to his mom.

  • wsapnin

    "Raylan! It's Dickie Bennett! Don't Hang Up!" That made me snort last night.

  • Laura

    Out of several hilarious lines, I think this one was my favorite! Almost as good as when Boyd asked to be excused from the table a couple of weeks ago.

  • Sean

    All I can say is, next season better be great. We need to have the taste of these last two bad seasons washed away. Even Timothy Olyphant looks extremely bored.

  • Someone stop me from endlessly screaming DICKIE! Seriously missed him, and he's about the only dude (aside from Boyd) who can play with Raylan so well. Most of the episode filled me with glee, but that scene with Daryl and Wendy was a) completely unnecessary, and b) almost ruined everything. Rapaport is one of the worst things to happen to this show.

    Thrilled to hear confirmation Miller is alive, and hope Eric Roberts returns. Jacob Lofland continues to be outstanding.

  • Boothy K

    The kid is killing it. Totally makes up for stupid Daryl scenes.

  • ZbornakSyndrome

    I'm considering breaking up with Boyd for some seriously stupid behavior with that guard, but any episode with Dickie is fantastic.

    Also, though I mostly hope all the Crowes end up in shallow graves, I have to say Jacob Lofland has won my heart and I am genuinely concerned for his welfare in that awful trash family.
    Seriously, can he and Loretta run off and get married? Can you imagine the crime family those two could spawn?

  • Enrique del Castillo

    I was dissapointed that Dickie betrayed Dewey, but then I remembered that it was my fault, for expecting any kind of decency coming from Dickie. It was great to see him in both scenes though

  • Stephanie

    I about died watching Raylan's face as he was listening to Dickie yammer on.

  • Stephanie

    Ok, I'm really confused about something. Why in the world did Boyd let that little prison guard go? I don't believe this crap about him being in love with Ava and I can't see Boyd buying it either. And, even if it was true, why would Boyd care?
    Getting the guard to recant his story would have solved a lot of Ava's current problems. Especially if Boyd also leaned on Ava's former cellmate and got her to admit that she lied.
    Of course, none of this really matters now that Ava has murdered Judith. But Boyd wasn't aware of that at the time so I'm still confused. And probably thinking about this dumb storyline way too much.

  • According to Yost, Boyd may have reached a tipping point with Ava. He's spent this entire season with one eye on his dope deal and the other on getting her out and his reward every time is a more distant fiance'. So when she tells him that she is breaking up with him it hurts him. (an "I'm busting my ass for nothing?" mindset) So when he has the guard cornered and crying about his life for her, he likely reached his breaking point, couldn't do it and let him go.

  • Stephanie

    Thanks for the info. I hadn't read the rundown with Yost yet. Just doesn't seem like Boyd to give up that easily. Then again, I suppose trying to run a large heroin ring will take it out of a person.

  • Anyone who knows Boyd knows he'd never have let that guard go. It made zero sense.

  • jollies

    The guard must have some key plot part to play in the finale. Maybe Ava dies as a result of something the guard does, and Boyd then realizes he screwed up big time by letting him go and blames himself. This in turn leads to Boyd going flat-out crazy, setting up his transformation into the evil "big villain." This gives us the Boyd vs. Raylan showdown as next season's plot line.

  • Stephanie

    Right? Thank you! I felt like a terrible person because I kept yelling "What? NO! You're not gonna break his kneecaps or anything??"

  • After the mythical seasons fighting the Bennett clan and the Detroit Mafia, the Crowes are clearly coming up short in the threat department. Finally, their shortcomings got the better of them. Danny, the pent-up idiot, went the only way he could: a victim of his own psychotic bluster. Dewey tried to take control over his dream's future and couldn't manage it. But in the process he exposed his entire clan and Boyd up to his partners. Wendy tried to be the voice of reason to Darryl, but, well, he's a moron. And he reacted at his world crumbling like a moron would: by doubling down.

    But the Crowes are, in a way, exposing the fault lines that run through the show and through Harlan. Boyd's too busy trying to clear up Ava's name and not noticing that Wynn and the Detroit Mafia are having second thoughts about their deal. Boyd has already screwed up his Mexican deal once. What happens if he screws it up again?

  • lowercase_ryan

    Everything that happened with the guard and Boyd, that was just bullshit. It started out so promising but then it just veered into stupid-ass-bs territory quickly. Why couldn't Jonathan recant? Who fucking cares if he (pretends) to love Ava?? Jesus F'n Christ Boyd!!

    In no other timeline than the one in which this sorry season takes place does that guy walk out of the bar a free man.

  • Repo

    I agree. And I appreciate you calling him Jonathan so I know it's not just me every time he shows up.

  • lowercase_ryan

    every. damn. time.

  • mzblackwidow

    me too. I even found myself thinking 'yea he can't kill Jonathan ' as Boyd let him go haha. I found it unbelievable at the time (once the Buffy flashback receded) but I realised it was Boyd being overloaded and finally pissed off with Ava that made him do it. The timing was very good for Jonathan :D

  • ZbornakSyndrome

    I know Boyd is a racist murdering piece of shit. But this is the first time I have been well and truly disappointed by him. Outlaws don't let their women rot in jail because of a tiff, Boyd!

    I suppose he could have seen Jonathan's pathetic rant as a metaphor for his relationship with Ava, but since when has Boyd Crowder become so hopeless and helpless?

  • I can forgive Boyd every backstabbing, murderous, racist thing he's ever done and would gleefully run into his tight-shirted embrace for little more than a smile and a brief moment of quality clogging.

    But I can't forgive him letting Jonathan go.

  • ZbornakSyndrome


  • Stephanie

    This made me snort unattractively.

  • Enrique del Castillo

    I was expecting his body to turn up somewhere by the end of the episode, but nothing happened. That was one of the worst parts of an already contrived season

  • lowercase_ryan

    completely agree

  • Exactly. That was utter b.s.

  • Ofir Fishkin

    Danny Crowe's death was just perfect, i didn't see it coming

  • ZbornakSyndrome

    So far, that has been the most delightful moment of this season. I may have watched that scene several hundred times.

  • jollies

    I had pictured Rayland putting a bullet between Danny's eyes as he charged, and then saying something like, "Maybe that was closer to thirty feet." Danny falling into his dog's grave was better, but only by a bit.

  • wsapnin

    He needed a killin', that's for sure. Even better that it was by his own stupid hand.

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