ELMORE LEONARD – TIMOTHY OLYPHANT – JUSTIFED – 2010- . . .
THE COMPLETE FifTH SEASON – 2013
This fifth season is tricky since
all the local Harlan County
families are dying like hell, so some props
have to be brought into the Kentucky
landscape. The first one is a whole family from Florida, the Crows, like the
birds that are both parasites and scavengers, and they take over the Crowders
with all kinds of conflicts going along with this coup d’état if not putsch.
The second one through the friends in Detroit
comes from Mexico
with heroin. And that is the heart of the season with Raylan Givens more and
more sidetracked by his chief Art to the point of this chief making a mistake
in procedure and getting severely wounded. The worst part of the situation is
that a ten year old boy is mixed up in this Crow family, and like with birds
crows do not like smaller birds like sparrows and robins. So the boy has a lot
of problems with his mother, when she is revealed to be his mother, and with
his uncles when they are revealed to be his uncles.
The violence in this season is
extremely serious but always the mark of some kind of paranoid or hysterical or
even psychotic derangement of the various criminals who are like a bunch of
spiders locked up in a glass pot. They are ready to eat one another if they
cannot get even with the cops and kill them before getting back to eating one
another alive if possible. They try the latter but they are so corrugated that
they cannot shoot a weapon straight.
This criminal milieu reveals that
family links, in other words blood relations, are an absolute dictatorship, a
bond that cannot be cut loose or untied, a connection that is more than a rope,
a real cable, and not made of some vegetal fiber but made with stainless steel.
Blood means slavery. And on the other side within this blood entourage the
stronger individuals consider they have all rights to do what they want and to
be followed, obeyed by all other members. It is very bad luck to be a child in
such an environment because then you are a pack mule at best and a body shield
at worst. You can imagine if being a boy is not easy in that criminal family,
what it would be to be a girl.
There is there a real lesson
about human society. The lower you go into crime and hooliganism, the more
disorganized and disjointed human relations become, in fact there is nothing
human left, just the animal instinct not to survive but to kill. These people
are not even animals who kill to feed or to defend themselves, but beasts who
kill for the pleasure of killing and who torture as long as possible before
killing to inflict pain, suffering and humiliation. Strangely enough these men
only consider a menace to their manhood as having the chance of getting some
kind of influence on their behavior, otherwise dying for them is nothing at
all, whereas losing their masculinity is unbearable. You should see them then
crawling and begging. They have no decency, no honor, no dignity.
That’s the main dimension of this
series: it does not use any subtle intrigue or plot on the criminal side. It is
only sheer force and mere violence.
On the cop side you have the
ruffians, like Raylan, who manipulates the criminals into killing one another,
maiming each other, mutilating themselves even, let’s say by accident, but
these cops are always getting what they want: the death and elimination of the
criminals if possible without going to a court of justice and saving on
judicial costs. The second type is those who try to proceed by the rules and by
the book, Miranda and all. They know X or Y is going to commit a crime but
there is no need for them to make it come faster and thus blocking them, nor to
do anything else but wait for the crime to have been committed. The last type,
generally the bosses, is so frigid in front of these criminals that they prefer
not seeing the crime that is coming rather than sending cops who might be a
little bit rough.
So we are justified in thinking
that such police forces are in fact by far ineffective, impotent in front of
real crime, and this frustration largely explains that then some may become
criminal in their turn by taking some ethnic categories of people, young, male
and colored, meaning black or very dark, as prime targets for their harassment
that can lead to some innocent casualties among these populations. That
consequence of bad police work in the USA
is not really hinted at in this
series, but we know better.