Raylan is a daddy. Boyd Crowder is an uber-baddie. And then there’s the Florida Crowes — for whom I have nothing that rhymes but who cares because the important thing, mes amies, is that Justified is back!!
Also back is one Dewey Crowe, out of jail and in a courtroom suing the U.S. Marshal Service and potentially the entire federal penal system because Raylan hurt his feelings some. Okay, and because Raylan beat the shit out of him a few times, too. Sensing the slippery slope upon which their defense rests, the government ups Dewey’s shut-up-and-go-away payoff from $20,000 to $300,000, which is enough to send him and his four kidneys skipping back to Harlan.
Just in time, too, because it seems the Crowe clan in Florida (the first of many throwback moments to the series pilot five years ago) has built a criminal empire selling bootleg sugar to discount candy makers, and said empire is floundering. Hard as it may be to believe, Dewey is not the dimmest bulb in that chandelier, a fact which cousin Dilly Crowe proves when he and his Cuban sidekick Elvis Manuel Machado kill a crooked Coast Guard officer. Because of Raylan’s history with the Crowes, Art loans him out to the Miami office to help in the search for the fugitive Cuban Elvis, the main suspect in the murder and a known associate of the Crowes.
Trying to avoid the trip, Raylan pays a visit to Audrey’s, the ever-friendly local brothel that just happened to be for sale just when Dewey arrived with his $300,000 settlement. Raylan interrupts a game of naked Marco Polo but it’s no use: Dewey doesn’t know much about the Florida branch of the family. With nothing else to do but pack for Miami, Raylan takes his frustration out as he leaves by shooting holes in the big disposable pool.
Once in Florida, Raylan and his new best friend Marshal Sutter (David Koechner) locate Daryl, the Crowe Raylan sent to prison who is now out on parole (played by Michael Rapaport). Out of the goodness of his heart — and for an early release from parole — Daryl is willing to give up Cuban Elvis. Cuban Elvis, however, isn’t stupid and figures out that something is amiss. Suspecting that Crowe sister Wendy isn’t really driving him to a motel to wait for his promised payoff from Daryl, he pulls a gun and forces her to instead head toward a marina. She’s no slouch in the CYA department either, though, and deliberately broadsides an oncoming car. In the ensuing chaos, she escapes and calls Raylan to let him know his fugitive is trying to hop a slow rubber-raft to Cuba. Raylan and Sutter arrive and then Raylan does what Raylan does: first shoots the raft and then shoots Cuban Elvis. Dilly, meanwhile, gets Fredo’d by Daryl, who loves his family enough to kill his family if it helps his family.
One minor addition to Raylan’s Florida Adventures … Winona and his new baby girl are also living there but he never sees them and, indeed, when he and Winona (with daughter on her lap) videochat later, Raylan never even mentions he was there.
And what has Boyd been up to all this time? I’m so glad you asked!
Boyd is not having a good day. Ava is still in jail (#FreeAva) and he needs money to pay off the judge who gets assigned to her case. Unfortunately, however, the heroin business he got into with Wynn Duffy and his eyebrows isn’t quite as lucrative as he’d planned. Instead of a shipment of drugs, he’s met on a dark bridge by a group of men from Detroit who just want Boyd’s money. Boyd shows them the error of their ways (i.e., they’re all dead within minutes), gets his ear clipped by a rogue bullet and decides to beard the lion’s den himself and travel to the Motor City personally to find out what the hell happened to his drugs.
In an abandoned high-rise, he and Wynn Duffy meet Sammy Tonin and his henchman Picker, who we last saw in Season 3. Sammy takes a break from taking a chainsaw to a Canadian (I think it had something to do with hockey), which is unfortunate for him as Picker takes that opportunity to put a bullet in the back of Sammy’s head. Picker is working for the Canadian drug cartel in a bid to avoid his own date with a chainsaw but his own attempt to steal Boyd’s money ends with his nose at the wrong end of a briefcase. Soon enough, Boyd and Wynn Duffy are sitting in a donut shop with a couple of Canadians (Will Sasso and Dave Foley) talking about Tim Horton. (See? Hockey.)
Boyd finally passes his briefcase full of money over to them in exchange for a delivery of heroin that, as it turns out, never gets made.
Desperate to get Ava out of jail and with his drug-running business seemingly over before it ever started, Boyd is down to his last option. He goes to see Paxton, the surviving member of the Clover Hill bunch, to buy him off. Paxton appears to consider it seriously, then makes the supreme mistake of insulting both Boyd and Ava. Boyd snaps in an instant and beats the man to death at the foot of one of the top-of-the-line coffins sold by his funeral home. Boyd allows Paxton’s new mail-order bride to live, but just barely. When he walks out, he’s still splattered with blood and gore.
Alligators, chainsaws, bullets to the head, beaten to a bloody pulp… Justified, how I have missed you!