Darryl Crowe Jr. (Michael Rapaport) is about to find how how tight family ties are, and which ones are strongest.
Most of the penultimate (a word we’re sure Dewey Crowe would not understand) episode of Season 5 of Justified focused on efforts to arrest Darryl, who we believe shot Chief Dept. U.S. Marshal Art Mullen (Nick Searcy) at the beginning of last week’s episode and then got his 14-year-old nephew Kendal (Jacob Lofland) to take the fall, saying he’d just do a few years in juvenile jail, which would toughen him up.
Raylan (Timothy Olyphant) and the rest in the marshal’s office believe they know what really happened and are determined to get Darryl. Part of that involves trying to snuff out his business by putting the squeeze on his associates including Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins) and Wynn Duffy (Jere Burns).
But the marshals aren’t the only ones after Darryl. The Mexican cartel also wants him and Boyd after the botched heroin score south of the border.
Efforts to get Darryl even make their way out to women’s prison and Ava (Joelle Carter) who comes to regret initially rejecting Raylan’s request for help. After Judith’s demise, a rival gang wants to test her mettle as the new leader of the drug trade in prison.
One plan after another to snag Darryl falls apart as he tries to stay out of trouble, even having his sister go into fairly certain danger to pick up his heroin shipment. Wendy’s defense of Daryl to Raylan just highlights how much he has brainwashed his kin into buying the line about family and that they are being harassed by police — funny how that happens to drug dealers.
The last plans to snag Daryl falls apart thanks to Dewey (Damon Herriman), who bursts in right as Boyd, wearing a wire, navigates Daryl toward a confession to Art’s shooting. Dewey was comic relief in this episode, getting shot at by a country granny while trying to siphon gas from a car and having a lot of difficulty with English, mistaking the word anus for onus and not understanding what third person means. But facing a murder charge and drug charges, all of which he admitted to in the recording meant to trap Daryl, indicate the end may not be so funny for Dewey.
But that is the last botched plan to get Darryl. Frustrated, the marshals play the last hand they seem to have left: charging Kendal as an adult, putting him in line for 40 years to life. Wendy is horrified, and Darryl still appears to watching out for himself. The marshals are betting this will somehow smoke Darryl out — maybe by Wendy giving him up or Darryl growing a conscience? Wendy certainly needs to choose between loyalty to her son or brother, and consider the fallout of her choice.
Next week, we will see how this story plays out, though this week also seems to be setting up next year’s final season, and a showdown between Raylan and Boyd. Raylan is no longer amused by Boyd’s antics, but in a standoff in the marshal’s office, Boyd plays the Nicky Augustine card right in front of Raylan’s colleagues. In a telling move for new acting chief Rachel (Erica Tazel), they quickly shut down Nicky talk saying the case is closed.
But the gauntlet has been thrown for the final season. First, we have to get Darryl and get Kendal out of jail.