Justified Review: Crowder Complexity

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After the thrilling events of last week's "Decoy," Justified took its foot off the pedal just a bit to showcase the more subtle brilliance of this show in what has turned out to be another fantastic season.

Six weeks ago I posited that Colton's entire arc might have been out of place.

"Peace of Mind," and the past few episodes overall, proved me wrong. 

The way that his path kept crossing with Deputy Marshal Tim Gutterson's not only gave Colt a rightful place in this season's story, but it helped evolve Tim into something more than a rarely-there sidekick.

Finding Ellen Mae

Sure there were the comedic moments - like last week's conversation about Lt. Dan and Gerard Depardieu - but when Tim came into that former snake-filled church, their interactions became some of the most intense and complex that you will see on television.

They have things in common, and that's why their dynamic has been so fun to watch. But at the end of the day, they are on completely opposite sides of life, and as you would imagine, the good guys won once again.

It was Tim and Colt's multiple meetings, and the fact that the latter did such a horrific thing to the former's friend, which made their final showdown so memorable. Tim Gutterson was ice cold in that moment, and in the second that Colt said he quit smoking, he also quit living.

If there has been one continuous gripe by critics about Justified, it has been the show's inability to create meaningful and substantial arcs for Tim and Rachel. This season finally proved that wrong in the way of Marshal Gutterson, and in doing so, proved me wrong in my theory that Colt was a waste of an introduction.

Before Tim made it to the church to save Ellen May from Colt's bullet, it was Ava who was about to take down the unassuming prostitute.

Prior to this week's episode, Matt Richenthal spoke to star Joelle Carter, who told him that now the question will be "whether Ava will continue her steps toward the dark side or listen to her moral compass."

Watching the character struggle with that has been a joy to watch this season, and Carter has been great. Of course all of our guesses would have been that Ava wasn't going to be able to go through with it, but that didn't make it any less satisfying when she put the gun down and decided not to murder Ellen May.

What was even better though, was the complexity of Boyd Crowder's reaction. First, he hangs up, calls Colt and tells him to kill Ellen May. Finish the job big guy. On the other hand, he tells his fiancé that he respects her on every level.

He told Ava he wanted her to do something awful, but when she couldn't do it, he wasn't upset.  Does he want her to be as bad as he is?  Or like he said, does he respect her for not being like him?  Does he dislike himself for the things he does?  Or does Boyd just understand that some necessary evils are meant for some to undertake, but not others? 

Boyd Crowder is a character of multiple layers, and Walton Goggins continues to showcase them as well as any actor on television.

On top of all that seriousness, "Peace of Mind" also gave us plenty of humorous moments, like Raylan and Art talking about Julia Roberts, as well as Raylan and Limehouse talking about pulled pork.

There is only one episode left. What did you think of "Peace of Mind?" What were your favorite moments? And what are your predictions for the finale? How will Justified Season 4 end? What is next for Raylan, Boyd, and the rest of our favorite Bluegrass Staters?


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (112 Votes)

Dan Forcella is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.


Whoa! Drew's daughter? Either I've missed some clues or you're better at plot twists. In any case, Ellen May has worn me out as much as Ava has. Since neither Boyd or Raylan can be written out, I'm waiting for one of the previously mentioned women to end their gig. If the writers have Winona getting hurt they'll likely save the baby to appease those groups that more than likely don't even watch the show.
Despite the fact that he's a murderer, I'd like to see Nicky Augustine survive just to watch him talk to Boyd.
Next to Raylan and Boyd, Limehouse is great, so hopefully he'll continue to appear in the next season.


Am I the only one who believes that Ellen May is Drew's daughter? Too many hints dropped along the way


I think it's an interesting biblical reference that Limehouse tells Ava to examine herself and and if she will be willing to live with her deeds if she goes through with killing the prostitute. In the end, no one can kill her (caste the stone).


Woohoo! FX just announced Justified has been renewed for a fifth season. That we have to wait until January 2014 for the premier sucks, but all in all, it's good news.
I'm just hoping that Boyd continues to be a strong presence, and that Ava has to pay in some way for the Delroy incident. Yes he was a hideous loser, but really, he was a human being...sort of. On the other hand, since so many other characters skate after killing losers, there might not be any repercussions.


This show is a good as it gets. FX and AMC are putting out the good stuff :)Thank you!
I'm watching less and less of the "big" three as their shows are just a waste of time. Even shows with potential, like Revolution, they find a way to screw up. I think it's the writers.


I DISLIKED THE ENDING!! Leave Raylan's baby mama and baby girl Alone! I cannot wait until next week!
Colton is gone! I actually like this villian for what he was--Evil! The actor Ron, did really well.
Yeah! Ella (or Ellen-the accents throw me off) May lives, again! She is a brave little cookie.
And Limehouse and deputy Marshall Rachel Brooks (I LOVE HER!) exchange was fantastic. Being a small petite African-American woman myself, I'd say the same things and would have been just as fiesty.
Just watching Raylan every week has made me all warm and fuzzy-I will miss it when it goes on its hiatus!


I would be very surprised in there is no season 5 seeing the fans and critics really loved the show. I prefer season 3 than this season but it was still pretty good. If any man wants to know how to treat their dream girl right should study Boyd crowder, the man really knows how to get a woman's heart. I was also surprised that Limehouse grown a conscience suddenly but I guess the writers do not want to kill off Ellen May yet. Tim and Rachel rocks this season and it really makes satisfy the fans. Now I guess the season finale would be Marshal against Detroit boys. I am not really sorry that Natalie is gone as I watch her on the following too. I do think Raylan needs a new woman next season and I hope they bring in a good pretty actress for him.


★★★☆☆TV This whole season has been mediocre. I'm saying that as a huge fan. Who can watch Raylan and Boyd discuss the weather. Maybe it was the SL , as it did not intrigue me one bit. The finale looks good though. #TruthHat .


Wow, wow, wow! I like this show.
Tim Olyphant is just stellar in this role. The other cast members are fantastic as well. I sure hope that they don't kill off Natalie Zea's (Winona)character who is currently in the FLOP called "The Following" I'd hate to see her not a part of any current TV production. "The Following" REEKS! It is so poorly written and executed that it is painful to watch. I watch it only to see Natalie Zea. If Justified ends its run and "The Following" is still gasping for air, the writers of Justified should jump on to the show to save it.


First and foremost this is the best show on TV . I can see Winona and the baby not surviving. This will set up season 5. Raylan goes after the Detroit mob with the help of Tim and Rachael on the inside of the Marshalls service. Boyd and Eva will also reluctantly help Raylan because of what he has or does not have on Eva .

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Justified Season 4 Episode 12 Quotes

Nothing brings you peace but the triumph of principles.


Winona, I don't know shit about girls.