“A Murder of Crowes,” the premiere of season 5 of FX's “Justified,” has Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) in court defending his actions. So what's new?
Raylan has been a bit rough with a Kentucky lowlife named Dewey Crowe (Damon Herriman) who was withholding vital information, but the powers that be know that whatever damage the quick-draw lawman does is worth the price. Besides, Dewey has tried to kill Raylan a time or two.
So the marshal soon finds himself heading for Florida in pursuit of another Crowe, Dilly, who was involved with a missing (and dirty) Coast Guard agent. There he finds a flock of nasty Crowes, the leader of which Raylan once put away.
Meanwhile, Raylan's boyhood friend Boyd (Walton Goggins) is trying to get Ava (Joelle Carter) out of prison. She was arrested at the end of last season for the murder of a pimp a couple of years ago whose body was recently discovered. At the same time, Boyd is trying to revive his drug business, which leads to a trip to Detroit to meet up with the mob and eventually to some bizarre Canadians and a discussion of Tim Horton. (Hockey and coffee fans will understand.)
Raylan also has become a father. His ex-wife Winona (Natalie Zea), who was sent into protective custody, has given birth to a daughter. Being a dad hardly seems to make him more cautious — he still has that hard-edge decisiveness delivered with a sweet smile.
“A Murder of Crowes” shows promise for the season, but “Justified” — set in Harlan County, Ky. — works for a few reasons: the cool Olyphant as Raylan; his complicated relationship with Boyd; interesting, crazy characters and fascinating villains.