Justified Season 5 Might Eat Crowe

Justified, despite being one of the three best shows on TV (and one of the five best shows on TV and the internet) right now, gets very little in the way of tease or build up before each new season. So while we're salivating at the news of who has been cast in Game of Thrones' fourth season, despite being eight months away, any news of Justified's fifth season is next to nonexistent, despite starting in January.

In fact, this tidbit of news probably wouldn't have escaped from the writer's room if it wasn't for the sad and demoralising fact that Justified's originator, Elmore Leonard, died last week after suffering a stroke at the start of the summer. Speaking to Deadline about Leonard's death, series creator Graham Yost said, regarding paying tribute to the man, “We’ll do something for the Season 4 DVD set, and I’m sure we’ll do something on the first episode of the new season." Then let this slip:

"Before he had his stroke we were thinking, you know, we’re headed to end of the series, we’ve maybe got two seasons left – so we wanted to bring in the Crowe family which is a big part of his world. We’ve got Dewey Crowe on the show but there are other Crowes that populated his books and we thought it would be fun to focus on that."

Dewey Crowe is, of course, the audience (and writer) favourite former neo-Nazi, who so completely lacks anything resembling intelligence, and has given the series many of the show's funniest moments. Having been with the show since its first episode on a recurring basis, he was completely absent from last season. At the time, Yost said, "we don't want to force it," referring to using the character just to put in an appearance rather then actually having something to do. As with Leonard's works, which inhabit a massive shared universe, the show too has cultivated a well established catalogue of support characters which it routinely brings back, and occasionally become more important then they were originally intended (just look at the evolution of Jim Beaver's Shelby). So, for the fifth season to focus attention on the Crowe clan makes perfect sense.

Which of Dewey's various relations might be making the transition from prose to series? After the jump, we'll examine the suspects.

Raylan Givens featured in three novels of Elmore Leonard's, Pronto, Riding The Rap, and his final published work, Raylan. The TV series is based off of the events of the short story Fire In The Hole, of which the pilot was a direct adaptation. The Crowe family turns up in most of these works, and is referenced in other novels written by Leonard. But since the producers only have the rights to adapt material from these four sources, we'll stick with the Crowe's that appear in them (over the course of the four produced seasons, I'd say about 80% of these works has already been adapted). By the time of Fire In The Hole, Raylan claims to have known of four Crowes, each a criminal, thief or degenerate in some way.

Dale Crowe Jr.

"Ocala Police picked up Dale Crowe Junior for weaving, two o'clock in the morning, crossing the centre line and having a busted taillight." So begins Pronto, the second Givens novel, with a scene where Raylan escorts Dale to prison by having Dale drive the car, so that Raylan can relax. If this sounds familiar, it's because the scene was adapted for the second episode of season one, with Dewey in Dale's place. Complete with him trying to escape, Raylan cuffing him to the steering wheel, and still making him drive. Dale has already been established as existing in the series universe, being named checked in the scene above, which is taken verbatim from the short story and references this passage from the book.

Dale Crowe Sr.

Mentioned in Pronto by his son to have had one of his legs bitten off by an alligator at Lake Okeechobee, presumably while poaching, which seems to be the Crow family hobby. Raylan retorts that Sr. did time at Florida State Prison, at Starke. A common theme in Leonard's works are father-son relationships, usually with the son-figure attempting to prove that he's better then the father-figure, and screwing up spectacularly. And the show, which built the Raylan-Arlo relationship so well, is no stranger to this sort of dynamic. The show also gave us Boyd and Bo, and Mags and Doyle Bennett. With Raylan still expecting his own child, look to see parent-child relationships become all the more important.

Elvin Crowe

An uncle to Dale Crowe Jr., whom Raylan knew to have also done time at Starke. Dale confirms that Elvin, and another unnamed uncle who did time at Lake Butler (presumably both brothers to Dale Sr.), are both dead by gun shot at the time of Pronto.

Pervis Crowe

The patriarch of the West Virginia Crowes, and owner of a grocery store near to Harlan county, in the novel Raylan. He is also the single largest grower and seller of weed in the state of Kentucky, and maintains relations with the other drug runners by maintaining his monopoly over just the one drug. Over the course of the novel, he conspires with an coal company executive to buy up all the properties on a mountain they which to mine, thus making him the single largest land owner in Harlan County. If this sounds familiar, it's because this portion of the Raylan novel was adapted into the second season's majority plot, with the Crowe family swapped out for the series original Bennett family, and Pervis redeveloped into Mags.

Dickie Crowe

One of the two idiot sons of Pervis, who become involved in an organ theft plot. This story was adapted for season 3, and involved Dewey in perhaps his finest hour. Dickie would be split into two characters on the series, sharing personality with Doyle Bennett and a name with Dickie Bennett, who is another character that, while failing to appear in season 4, is still available for use by the writers.

Coover Crowe

The stupidest of the idiot children of Pervis Crowe, the Coover of the TV series was adapted pretty exactly, except concerning the nature of his departure, which I won't spoil for those who haven't read the book.

Where I'm Putting My Money

If the Crowe's do, as Yost suggests, become a growing influence in this upcoming season, I think it's almost a guarantee that we'll meet Dale Junior. Equal chances, considering the irregular and perfectly Leonardian description of the character, that the one-legged Senior would put in an appearance as well. Perhaps gifted with something of the gentleman hillbilly personality that the novel Pervis had. A man that thinks above his station. The sort of man who could challenge Boyd Crowder for the throne of Harlan County. It wouldn't surprise me any to see an Elvin and a character named Pervis appear as well, and to eventually meet an end matching that of the literary equivalents, dead by gun shot. Now, if only there were a character on the show that was prone to shooting people. Hm...

It should also be pointed out that of the various storylines present in Raylan, a novel Leonard wrote expressly for the show's writers to mine for plots, only one has yet to be adapted: a horse racing scheme that also involved fan favourite character Jackie Nevada. I would hope that Yost and the writers wouldn't pass up the opportunity to both bring back the character, and give Elmore one last story credit.

Via Deadline.
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About MR. Clark

Adopting the descriptor of "successfully unpublished author", MR. Clark began writing things on the internet in 2012, which he believed to be an entirely reputable and civilized place to find and deliver information. He regrets much.


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