'Justified' Review: "Shot All to Hell"

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Justified’ season 5 takes aim with its fifth installment of the year in “Shot All to Hell,” as Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) deals with the potential exposure of his mob dealings last season, while Boyd tangles with the Crowes and finds his plans to free Ava from prison marred by unforeseen circumstances.

Last week’s ‘Justified’ episode “Over the Mountain” saw Raylan tasked with finding Wade Messer, who had since become lost in the woods with Dewey Crowe, while Boyd (Walton Goggins) confronted his cousin Johnny (David Meunier) about their ongoing feud, so what will the fifth episode of ‘Justified’ season 5 bring? Will Raylan finally atone for his brief dalliance with criminality?

Read on for your in-depth recap of everything you need to know about ‘Justified’ season 5, episode 5, “Shot All to Hell!”

Lee Paxton awakens to a phone call from Sheriff Mooney relaying that a number of dead criminals have been found in one of his funeral homes, leading Paxton to realize the betrayal. Turning on the bedroom lights, Paxton finds Boyd waiting in his bedroom, as Boyd relays how future generations will see his suicide as a black mark on a criminal legacy, before carefully arranging Paxton to shoot himself with his own gun through the head. Meanwhile in Canada, hitman Al (Will Sasso) walks to his car, before a mysterious man (‘Firefly’ star Alan Tudyk) confronts him on his presence in the Detroit law offices the prior week, and then shoots Al dead.

Wendy Crowe picks up Kendall from Allison at Child Protective Services, before Raylan arrives to oversee the transfer and threaten to have Daryl’s parole reinstated. Elsewhere, Art waits outside a Kentucky diner to see Mr. Picker enter and greet Wynn Duffy, shortly before the hitman from earlier emerges from his car. Art confronts the hitman on his way in, identifying his office and shooing the man away before joining Wynn Duffy and the others inside the diner, though the hitman follows shortly thereafter. Art and the hitman calmly confront one another, as the man demands Picker come with him, though Art maintains control of the situation long enough for the hitman to leave, and Picker to accompany Art back to the office.

Boyd enters his bar to find Daryl Crowe and Jean Baptiste waiting for him, though Boyd and Jimmy briefly keep up the ruse of Boyd as an anonymous customer. Boyd quickly draws his gun, as Daryl follows up on Dewey’s demand for a more accurate sale price on Audrey’s, though Boyd predictably denies them. Elsewhere, Raylan returns to the office to find Mr. Picker in custody, barging in on the meeting to find that Picker can testify to the hitman, Theo Tonin’s man Elias Marcos’ whereabouts. Raylan requests a private conference with Picker, threatening him into cooperating with the investigation given that Raylan had already displayed his willingness to bend the law.

Boyd visits with Hot Rod Dunham to outbid Johnny Crowder, proposing that Dunham take part in his impending heroin trade at a 50/50 rate to compensate for its increased danger. Some time later, Boyd dines with Mara ('True Blood' star Karolina Wydra) and Sheriff Mooney at a public restaurant as a sign of their newfound partnership, though when Boyd excuses himself, an expendable assassin arrives to the establishment and shoots Mooney dead. Boyd quickly returns, pointing out the assassin had been paid the money promised to Mara, and threatens that she should leave town.

With Mooney and Paxton dead, Ava’s lawyer assures her and Boyd that the case will crumble, all-but-assuring her freedom the following morning. Elsewhere, Wendy Crowe returns Kendall to Daryl’s custody at Audrey’s, as Daryl makes a play to press that the family needs Wendy to keep them together. Wendy insists they’ll need a residence to house Kendall, proposing they do “the old thing.” Elsewhere, Raylan and Art pore over crates at a warehouse looking for Elias Marcos, before the hitman finally makes himself known with a major automatic weapon. Raylan manages to shoot Marcos from behind, though when police investigate the scene, a pool of blood from another crate leads them to the true prize: a captive Theo Tonin himself.

Ava enjoys her last night of incarceration getting her hair braided by a fellow inmate, before corrupt prison guard Albert (Danny Strong) arrives for a random cell inspection, turning up a screwdriver underneath Ava’s bed. Ava protests that he put it there, before Albert stabs himself and cuts his own arm, radioing for backup as Ava’s cellmate betrays her by calling for help that she attacked the guard. Meanwhile back at the office, Raylan and the other officers toast to Art’s catching Theo Tonin as a boon to his final months in office.

Kendall begins to argue with Danny Crowe about Wendy’s insistence that he provide proper groceries, though Danny dismisses the task and instead threatens his brother with a knife and their “21-foot rule” for shooting someone. Jean Baptiste overhears the confrontation and intimidates Danny into getting the groceries, before Danny instead turns around and blasts Baptiste with a shotgun hit from behind the bar, threatening Kendall into keeping his mouth shut. Elsewhere, Johnny Crowder plays poker with fraternal thugs Roscoe and Jay (‘The Wire’’s Steve and Wood Harris) until Hot Rod Dunham has the men pull their guns to enforce his new deal with Boyd. Johnny questions how Dunham spent the take from their last hit, revealing that he paid of Dunham’s crew, as the men turn their guns on the boss instead.

Boyd and Ava’s lawyer arrive to the bar to deliver the bad news, before Boyd himself races to the prison and find that Ava has been transferred to federal custody on account of her crimes. Meanwhile, Vasquez and Raylan continue the celebration in Art’s office, before Vasquez reveals that Picker gave up the Kentucky lawman who’d been present for Nicky Augustine’s murder; that of the corrupt and still-missing Agent Barkley. After Vasquez departs, Raylan excuses himself as well, only to return to Art’s office and guiltily declare that he knows Barkley wasn’t the officer present for Augustine’s murder that night.

OUR REVIEW:

Now that's more like it, Mr. Wayne. We'd been tough on 'Justified' this season on account of its imminent season 6 end, and the overall sense that season 5 hadn't quite figured a way to connect its many pieces just yet. And much like last season's epic "Decoy," sometimes 'Justified' can deliver a crystallizing episode that truly kicks into high gear.

As much as Raylan's dirty dealings felt like a logical (if corrupt) threshold for the character to pass, we knew it would ultimately present a problem with an endgame in sight, and the unlikeliness of Raylan taking over for Art (or Art ever going anywhere, for that matter). Instead, "Shot All to Hell" wisely gets ahead of the problem, wrapping up a few other series threads in the process. Now, not only does Raylan's (apparent) confession keep him from running at odds with Art, the writers no longer need to craft excuses for Adam Arkin's inability to appear as the elusive Theo Tonin.

It should come as some relief that Raylan has decided to return from the brink, where Boyd and the Crowes might well have thrown themselves off the precipice. Boyd's careful planning appeared to pave the way for Ava's release (albeit highly suspiciously), though things rarely go right for Boyd all that long. Their joyous reunion unfortunately telegraphed something to go wrong with Ava's freedom, though we had perhaps expected a worse fate, and certainly not for Boyd to so harshly threaten Mara. As for the Crowes, poor Dewey got short shrift with a solitary scene this week, while Daryl continued his posturing and Danny continues to emerge as the wild card. Scythes fell all over the place this week, but where Paxton's story largely came to a close, we were a bit disappointed to see Jean Baptiste dispatched so quickly, with scarcely any real material for his character.

All in all, a fine ribbon-tying for many of the main threads, with some strongly memorable character action throughout (please don't tell us Wash Alan Tudyk is dead!), making "Shot All to Hell" a shot to the arm 'Justified' season 5 sorely needed.

Well, what say you? Did you feel that ‘Justified’ hit the mark with its fifth season’s fifth installment? Has Raylan redeemed himself, or will Art bring his protege to justice for his crimes? Give us your reactions in the comments, and join us next Tuesday for another all-new ‘Justified’ recap of season 5, episode 6, “Kill the Messenger” on FX!

Filed Under: Alan Tudyk, FX, Justified
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