[Review] - Justified, Season 5 Episode 3, "Good Intentions"

Courtesy of Sony Pictures Television
This episode could have just as easily been titled Seduction of the Innocent. Excepting, of course, that no one being seduced here is in any way innocent. But it was an episode where best intentions got put to the side in favour of winning favours, showing off, or trying to do a good thing. But as Yoda said, do or do not, there is no try. And in trying is where the folks of Harlan really had trouble this week.

While this week's episode wasn't as strong as the past two episodes, it's complex and twisting storyline served as a reminder of how many plates these characters are keeping spinning this season, and how little effort it would take to bring them all crashing down. And a reminder that, time and time again, people make the same bad choices that have lead them to tears in the past.

Hit the jump for the review, which contains spoilers that EAR!


Picking up right where we left off last week, Raylan and Allison (Amy Smart) are moving towards getting to know each other better when an opportunity for Raylan to be impressive gets in the way. It's almost cliched at this point, that once an episode Raylan has to be boastful about his abilities while also spinning a yarn about days gone by. I'm not complaining, because so long as they are well written, and Olyphant is able to put on his best swagger, they are fun scenes. Same too with Boyd preaching, which he got to do with Dewey in this episode. Only Boyd can be charismatic and inspiring while trying to blow someone off.

This episode had a lot going on. Xander Berkley returned as the Detroit money launderer whose property they seized last week. Raylan's shacked up in his house, and Raylan believes he sent a goon to intimidate him. Berkley, not having done so, thinks that someone is after his store of secret gold (sadly not of the Nazi variety), and focuses on Wynn Duffy, who installed his safe (a nice and rare call back to Duffy originally being introduced on the series as a security systems installer). Meanwhile, Raylan tracks down the goon, who was trying to shake up Allison, who took his son away. While doing so, he puts the bug in Raylan's head that Allison might have been after something in the house herself, as she's not as squeaky clean as Raylan thought (or might have hoped).

You have to give it to Raylan, he has terrible choice in women. And it's not like he's looking for them. He's not Batman chasing Catwoman. Winona, Lindsay, (arguably) Jackie Nevada, and now Allison are just people he happened to encounter in the world, and all turned out to be crooked in some way. It's just his bad luck. Saying that he's drawn to a type isn't really fair because there isn't anything about the women that betrays their natures straight away. It could be said that the bad girls types are drawn to his easy going lawman ways, so he's just picking up what the universe leaves for him. Allison's speech at the end helpfully revealed that she's not that bad, tending towards bad in a good way, and maybe that's the best Raylan can hope for. What is important is Raylan's assertion that, left to his own devices, he wouldn't think about it. Which is the mark of Elmore on the character. People in a Leonardian universe might be capable of change, but most don't because it never occurs to them that they should. Raylan, over the last season or two, has become increasingly self aware. This season looks to be shaping up towards his making a final decision as to whether or not to continue to be the man he has been.

Down Harlan way, Boyd's situation is getting more desperate. His Heroin shipment has been stolen by a friend from the past. The man he nearly beat to death has ordered his assassination. His fiance is loosing faith in him ability to help her, and as Ava has learned a couple times now, she might have to rely on herself for a while. And his relationship with Mara took a strangely sensual turn. The scene in the bar was easily the most erotic the series has ever done. It's never been one for such deliberate emotional manipulation (even Boyd and Ava's proposal scene wasn't as soft). And Boyd seemed as terrified and exposed as a 14 year old boy touching his first boob. This woman in three episodes has transitioned from weak and afraid, to determined, to firmly in charge (poor Mooney. He might be an asshole, but no one deserves a twist to the cherries). At this point, it's obvious that she's going to be a bigger problem for Boyd in the long run than he was expecting. Which is only his fault, acting out of desperation rather than weighing his options. But once Ava gets back in the game, she's not going to be happy with the way things have transpired. Foreigners stroking his swastika, and selling off her whore house will not put Boyd back in Ava's good books.

And speaking of whores, Darryl played Dewey like a holler-widdled fiddle. And showed that, he might be a mean, desperate opportunistic scavenger, but he's also probably the smartest of the Crowes. He immediately spotted everything that Dewey had done wrong, and put it to his mind how to fix it. Sure, it was a power play against Dewey, siding up along side looking like he's making friends, but he was right. And he was able to ID Wade as the leak in the boat pretty quickly. You get the idea that those classes he took in prison would actually make Darryl a decent businessman. Or at least run Audrey's like a business rather than a personal sex party. If only it weren't for the fact that he's so obviously a slime ball. When he smiles, there are shades of the devil in his grin. And he's doing his best to turn Dewey from the hapless simpleton that hasn't ever actually done a bit of harm to anyone but himself, to someone who might do something irredeemable. And, thanks to Dewey, Boyd and Darryl are now on each others radar.

Like the previous two weeks, Raylan's story was largely self contained, while Boyd carried the arc. It's only a matter of time before interests cross, but I'm fine if they spend another couple episodes putting Raylan life in order before they inevitably strip it down for parts. And considering how much we saw Rachel this week, I'm assuming that Tim will be around next week. So that's something to look forward to.
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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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