tv review – FX’s Justified, episode 5.10

Eric Roberts’ Miller, who significantly spiced up the proceedings last week, was absent from ‘Weight’. After being hit by Dewey’s truck he was still alive but residing in a Harlan hospital, Raylan informed us. Like Miller last week’s spunk was absent too in a paint-by-numbers episode that offered no surprises, despite a fun appearance by Jeremy Davies’ Dickie Bennett. ‘Weight’ was about Dewey’s dim-witted attempts to get away with steeling Boyd’s heroin shipment, something we knew he wouldn’t be capable of. Not only did we know, but every character on the show knew too, which is probably why everyone was just going through the motions. The episode lacked tension, spirit and Justified‘s brand of fun that elevated last week’s ‘Wrong Roads’.

While no one’s was really out there looking for Dewey, tensions arose at the Crowe family residence. Kendal had fled because Danny’s dog Chelsea was killed by a truck, and upon his return came clean to Daryl Crowe Jr. to protect himself. As a result Daryl punched out Danny for killing Baptiste and lying to him about it, but after that everything was fine and dandy. Danny of course was still ridiculously mad at Kendal, but couldn’t make proper work of it: he was tasked to pick up Dewey and his heroin when Dewey was stupid enough to sell the drugs to one of Boyd’s dealers, and upon his return with just the heroin (Dewey got away) he… died. Danny was confronted by Raylan (why exactly did he show up there?) and in an attempt to, once again, educate us on the 21-foot rule Danny tripped and fell, shoving his knife into his own skull. It was a lazy way to get rid of one of the season’s more dangerous characters, with Raylan just standing there and joking about it. Even for Raylan that felt like an out-of-character moment. Meanwhile Daryl Jr. and Wendy had a falling out which led to Daryl beating the living tar out of his sister. It was hard to watch, but hardly a moment that was earned. Immediately after Daryl forged a blood bond with Kendal, another uneasy and over-the-top scene with his character. I understand this is supposed to signify that now all bets are off and that Daryl will go to great lengths to achieve his goals, but I would think there were less forced or less excessive methods to get that point across.

‘Weight’ did feature two enjoyable prison scenes, both of which had nothing to do with Ava’s predicament. Both saw the return of Dickie Bennett, one of the best characters Justified‘s created, and Jeremy Davies effortlessly slipped back into the hide of the Bennett family weasel. It was a joy to watch Dickie, who tried to play both Dewey and Raylan, but it was also a reminder that this season’s characters aren’t all that special in comparison. Ava’s storyline for example is filled with one-dimensional prison drama characters and clichés, which is why she broke it off with her man Boyd and killed Mother Superior, despite her not wanting to do so. Ava can’t really help it; that’s just what happens in second-rate prison plots. Speaking of Boyd: he tracked down the guy responsible for setting Ava up to just let him go in the end, leaving viewers to scratch their heads.

‘Weight’ was a return to the unfocused mediocrity last week’s ‘Wrong Roads’ so blissfully abandoned. Just three episode left now. 5/10

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