'Justified' Review: "Starvation"

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Justified’ season 5 takes aim with its 12th and penultimate installment of the year in "Starvation,” as Raylan reluctantly partners with Boyd to incriminate Darryl Crowe for Art's shooting, while Ava faces an increasingly desperate situation in prison.

Last week’s ‘Justified’ episode, “The Toll,” saw a shooting close to home put Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) on the trail of Darryl Crowe, while Boyd (Walton Goggins) attempted to navigate his own fate with Wynn Duffy and his new partner, Katherine Hale (Mary Steenburgen), so what will the 12th episode of ‘Justified’ season 5 bring? Will Boyd manage to save his own neck while Raylan pursues the Crowes?

Read on for your in-depth recap of everything you need to know about ‘Justified’ season 5, episode 12, “Starvation!”

Wynn Duffy tells Mexican cartel leader Alberto that he killed Boyd Crowder immediately after the murder of Mr. Picker, bargaining for his own life by offering up that of Darryl Crowe, whom Alberto expects before sundown the following day. Meanwhile, Darryl busts into Duffy’s hotel room as Mikey attempts to clean up the scene of Picker’s remains and demands to know the location of Boyd’s dope.

Boyd visits with Duffy to learn that Duffy needs help locating Darryl, something that will exonerate them both. Before that happens however, Raylan, Tim and Eric arrive to impound the vehicle, similarly threatening Boyd with prosecution if they don’t help bring Darryl Crowe to justice. Later on that night, Raylan visits with Ava in prison to coerce her help in convincing Boyd to cooperate, but she insists she can no longer help them given her breakup, nor would she if she could.

Learning that Darryl beat up Mikey for intel, Boyd finds himself with the idea to simply send Darryl on the path to his dope, thereby handing him over to both the Mexico dealers and the law in one fell swoop. Raylan and the others assume that Boyd must be working an angle, but Boyd only asks for a “clean slate” on his file, rather than to arrange Ava’s release from prison. Raylan balks that they don’t want Darryl for possession, but rather to confess to Art’s shooting, but DA Vasquez convinces him it’s a start. Meanwhile, Ava nearly finds herself confronted by Gretchen’s gang, while Dewey Crowe runs out of gas on his way out of town.

Daryl confronts Carl in Boyd’s bar at gunpoint, forcing a location on the dope by shooting the bartender in the leg. Afterward, Darryl goes to find Wendy to enlist her help in picking up the dope, leading her to think of it as a family errand that will enable them to hire a better lawyer. Back in prison, Ava speaks to Judith’s old prison gang about the women sticking up for one another, while Gretchen and hers commiserate on how to take the drug business from Ava. Elsewhere, Dewey siphons gas from an old woman who chases him away at gunpoint.

Wendy nervously arrives at the drug pickup point, unaware that Raylan, Tim, Boyd and Rachel are all watching from a nearby van, though Wendy ultimately opts not to go through with the deed. Raylan takes her into custody all the same, next tasking Boyd to wear a wire with Darryl, something he nervously agrees to when the Mexicans drive by. Meanwhile in prison, one of Gretchen’s girls drops a bloody shiv at Ava’s feet, before Ava finds Penny dead in the prison bathroom and is forced to flee. Judith’s girls suggest she retaliate, but when the guards drag away the murderer, Ava realizes the others will see her as a snitch.

Dewey arrives to Audrey’s and makes peace with his former hookers, though they seem to have given away tokens of his affection. Dewey sees the gator necklace on another customer, violently beating the man to return the family heirloom as the girls tape the assault. Outside, Dewey sees Boyd heading into Audrey’s with a mysterious bag. Boyd prepares to turn over the dope for Darryl to follow through on his promise of leaving town, as Tim sees from a distance that Dewey is approaching the building.

Dewey robs both Boyd and Darryl of the bag, loudly confessing to killing Wade Messer as a threat, something Raylan and the others use to take him into custody just outside. A while later, Raylan meets with Ava in prison again as she offers to coerce Boyd into helping, unaware that he already has, and Raylan can offer her no further incentives. Ava reveals that she’ll need imminent protection, dismayed to learn that Boyd only asked for a clean slate for himself. Meanwhile, Darryl Crowe’s lawyer insist that they have nothing to hold him on considering he never touched the heroin bag, nor was anything incriminating reported in the transcripts.

Getting an idea from Boyd, Raylan calls Vasquez to take a meeting with Judge Reardon, who reluctantly supports the difficult gambit the two men have proposed to “starve Darryl of his means.” Downstairs, Raylan returns Boyd’s phone as he further threatens legal prosecution for his many crimes, to which Boyd retorts by loudly revealing Raylan’s role in the murder of Nicky Augustine. The other Marshals dismiss the idea, before Boyd calls Jimmy and advises him to hide the dope and get out of town, unaware that the Mexicans have already gotten to him.

Finally, Raylan and Vasquez reveal their desperate ploy to the Crowes, getting special approval to try Kendal Crowe as an adult, unless Darryl finally confesses to shooting Art.

OUR REVIEW:

This season of ‘Justified’ really has been a bit of slow going, but with Art now firmly in the hospital, Raylan hellbent on bringing the Crowes to justice and Boyd just barely keeping his head above water, things really have begun to hit the fan. It still feels a bit too little too late, even as a few of the major bullets of the season get fired when Boyd loudly parades Raylan’s crimes in front of his fellow Marshals, or Ava finally stands on her last legs in prison, but the sheer amount of desperation raining on all sides make for strong setup into the final episode of the season.

So, what will it be? Will Boyd’s boastful ignorance finally catch up with him, now that the Mexicans seem poised to take away his best henchman after both gambits to get Darryl Crowe failed? Will Darryl do something even worse to get back at Raylan for his latest transgression against the family? Will Ava manage to extricate herself from a rough road in prison, or better yet, find something to tie the story into the rest of the season? Will Tim ever find a movie that couldn’t use more Jason Statham?

It’s a lot to take in, and like last week, we suspect that “Starvation” serves a bit more to set up Raylan and Boyd’s rivalry return in the final season, focusing on more immediate consequences in next week’s finale, but it’s nice to see ‘Justified’ finally shooting on its A-game again.

Well, what say you? Did you feel that ‘Justified’ hit the mark with its fifth season’s penultimate installment? Will Raylan really go through on his latest dark turn, or will Boyd bring hell raining on all before he gets a chance?? Give us your reactions in the comments, and join us again next Tuesday for another all-new ‘Justified’ recap of the season 5, episode 13, finale installment, “Restitution” on FX!

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