Justified has always excelled at using its Elmore Leonardian roots in telling stories of bad guys turning on each other.
On Justified Season 5 Episode 5 the series played that card perfectly on two different occasions - and in two very different fashions.
My favorite back stab is the one that generates from intelligence. Did I think Johnny Crowder had the level of cunning to stab pot giant Hot Rod Dunham in the back? No, I did not.
That's what made it that much more exciting when all three of Hot Rod's lackies turned their guns from Johnny to their boss in unison. It was about being smart, but it was also about making sacrifices in Johnny's case.
He gave all of his profit to those three dudes - it was great to see the Harris brothers back in the fold by the way - and for it, they pledged their allegiance to the increasingly scary Johnny Crowder.
Will this act give Johnny the momentum he needs to make a bigger move at Boyd? Does he have any chance to succeed if he goes toe to toe with his cousin? I'm sure we'll find out sooner rather than later.
Some people turn on their fellow degenerate by methodically outsmarting them. Others, like Danny Crowe, just do it the heat of passion.
When the Hatian was so sick and tired of Danny being an absolute A-hole to his little brother Kendall, he called the older Crowe out. He challenged him.
At first it seemed like Danny was going to back down to the Hatian, but no, Crowes don't back down. He wasn't going to go get any groceries. He just found the nearest gun and shot the Hatian all to Hell.
It was a crazy moment, and in it I felt bad for Kendall. I'm sure he's seen some stuff in his years - as Darryl alluded to last week - but there's nothing like seeing your older brother blow his friend away with a shotgun. The lasting effect that has on Kendall in the next couple of episodes will be interesting to watch.
Does it change his attitude towards Danny? Does it change what he thinks about everything Darryl has been up to? Does it force the entire Crowe clan into moving in another direction? It will be fun to see.
Justified Season 5 Episode 5, which was fantastic all the way around, also included Art's moment in the sun. On his way towards retirement, it seems he had time for one last hoorah, as he talked circles around Alan Tudyk's Elias at the diner, and then did his best Raylan Givens impression to get him to leave the restaurant.
Luckily, Wynn Duffy was there to lighten the mood...
Art: I'm gonna give you 10 seconds to leave, and then, I'm gonna shoot you.
Duffy: FYI, that's kind of a thing with these Marshals.
Not only that, but when he and Raylan found Elias with a machine gun, and the younger Deputy Marshal took him out, they found Theo Tonin hiding in a crate! Art takes down Theo Tonin right before his ride into the sunset? What a way to go.
But wait, there's more! In those final moments, Raylan couldn't help but take credit for being on the tarmac the night Nicky Augustine was killed. He's the law man.
Now that Art knows for sure, what will he do? How will he handle this? The inner turmoil of that office could get to crazy high levels over the next couple of eps.
What did you all think of the hour? What were your favorite moments? What didn't you like? And which back stab do you prefer?
Dan Forcella is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.Tags: Justified, Reviews
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