‘Justified’ recap: ‘Wrong Roads’

Timothy Olyphant as Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens and Eric Roberts as DEA Special Agent Alex Miller in "Justified." © FX photo by Prashant Gupta.

Timothy Olyphant as Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens and Eric Roberts as DEA Special Agent Alex Miller in “Justified.” © FX photos by Prashant Gupta.

The meeting at the brothel was just what Season 5 of Justified neededSeated around the table were Boyd (Walton Goggins), Wyn Duffy (Jere Burns), Picker (John Kapelos) and Daryl (Michael Rapaport). Their percentage negotiations for their new heroin partnership are interrupted when late (we’ll get to that) Hot Rod Dunham’s goons Roscoe (Steve Harris) and Jay (Wood Harris) burst in looking to get the drugs or money they believe are rightfully theirs.

Boyd is talking fast, trying to disrupt the rhythm of the room when Raylan (Timothy Olyphant) shows up with his new buddy, Memphis DEA agent Alex Miller (Eric Roberts). It seems like finally, the fuse has been lit to get this season of Justified going, and it is one of the better moments of Elmore Leonard-esque dialogue this season.

But then, in a quick move, Miller shoots Roscoe, and Jay extremely reluctantly gives up his gun rather than going down with his brother.


Maybe at Episode 9, it’s still a little bit soon for such a big showdown. But this season needed something to happen, and we got about half way there.

Probably the most positive development is everyone is gathering back together. The Mexico run is coming to a close. Raylan takes a trip, but it’s not to Florida. Just Tennessee.  And stakes are being raised.

Raylan’s first scene is an amusing one. Freshly dumped by Alison, he’s drowning his sorrows at a bar when a woman who bears a striking resemblance to Winona starts coming on to him. It almost seems she might take that trip to Florida with him when she tries to set a daily rate.

Raylan didn’t want to go to Florida anyway. Turns out he just got a folder on Dunham’s dead goons in Mexico, and he wants to look into it. That sends him to Memphis where he meets up with Miller, sort of an older Raylan. They team up to try to track down Hot Rod (Mickey Jones), who is being held by his turncoat goons (I love that word) who are unaware Cousin Johnny is dead and the heroin deal has gone bad for them.

Raylan  and Miller get to Dunham a little too late. He just took out his captor with a pencil, but then he got shot in the stomach. In a tres Justified moment that almost looks like it could be a preview of a future Boyd-Raylan scene, Hot Rod asks Miller for the flask he knows he carries, and Miller tells Hot Rod to drink up as he bleeds out.

The meeting at the brothel is to come.

Meanwhile, Boyd and Ava have reconnected, and their heroin line into prison appears to be set. Nurse Rowena (Deidrie Henry) and Boyd meet, Rowena asking Boyd to commit a revenge killing of the man who killed her partner to get things rolling. It’s a sad chore we see Boyd really isn’t that interested in, taking out a weak old man whose wife died of an overdose in prison. But this is for Ava, so he soon obliges, after getting the man out of a nursing home. But then Rowena has another demand. Ava has to kill Judith (Dale Dickey), the preacher and heroin ring leader who has been protecting Ava, to get her heroin and save her own skin. So that’s another thing that has to play out.

Boyd (Walton Goggins) confronts Daryl (Michael Rapaport) about his deception in Mexico.

Boyd (Walton Goggins) confronts Daryl (Michael Rapaport) about his deception in Mexico.

Another is the future of Wendy (Alicia Witt) and Kendal (Jacob Lofland). In a confrontation with Daryl, he finds the $2,000 Raylan gave Kendal and in the ensuing fight, Wendy tells Daryl they want their cut of the heroin deal and they want out. Daryl does not seem too inclined to let that happen. He also reiterates a plan to “kill three people” and run the heroin trade in Kentucky. Everybody has a dream.

But speaking of the heroin, where is it?

Carl (Justin Welborn), Boyd’s man, safely returns to Kentucky midway through the episode. But Danny (A.J. Buckley) and Dewey (Damon Herriman) are putzing around back roads in the mountains with a faulty GPS, trying to find their way home. We also find that Dewey apparently has some profound personal hygiene problems.

When they are finally on the road home, Miller passes them on the way back to Memphis. When he stops them, the ensuing confrontation goes haywire winding up with Dewey taking the truck, leaving Danny and running down Miller.

The episode ends with Raylan and Art (Nick Searcy) having  another confrontation that doesn’t quite spark. Seems appropriate.

Still, moving forward, we have a lot of fuses that have been lit.

  • Dewey on the loose — oh, lord — with a bunch of heroin. And did he just kill a DEA agent?
  • Ava in prison and having to murder her protector for her own protection.
  • Daryl is set on becoming the crime boss in Harlan and beyond, but he’ll have to get some people out of the way. In a great moment, Boyd and Daryl lay their cards on the table, Boyd letting Daryl know he does not trust him.
  • It really looks like it may be in Wendy and Kendal’s best interests to get out of Harlan, as we already know Daryl has no qualms about killing family.
  • At some point, Raylan and Art have something to settle.
  • The trailer for next week shows us there will be a face off between Raylan and Danny, which we know can’t end well for Danny, and Dickie Bennett’s (Jeremy Davies) back.

Maybe next week will be the powder keg we’re looking for.

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