ICYMI We said goodbye to our favorite Kentucky coalminers Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins) and Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) on April 14th, 2015.
It feels odd not to have weekly recaps with my dad, an Eastern Kentucky native. He believes wholeheartedly that the show was very realistic to that area; the land makes the man. My dad grew up knowing many who spent a good portion of their lives in the mines, and with a smile on his face explains that “Yeah, there are a lot of outlaws up in Black Mountain”.
The five year story arc was one of justice, determination and at times comedy - THANK YOU DEWEY CROWE! (played by the awesome Damon Herriman). FX brought us a show that was so well diverse while the late Elmore Leonard brought us characters that you loved to hate, or hate that you loved.
Premiering in 2010, US Marshal Raylan Givens while stationed in Florida is called back to his home of Harlan, Kentucky to aid in the take down of the local crime family - The Crowders. His roll quickly becomes protection for Ava Crowder who has recently shot her abusive husband Bowman (at the dinner table after making him his “last meal” I must point out). Obviously Bowman’s family are not too happy with this and brother Boyd becomes an on going threat.
Quick Season by Season Recap (*Spoilers but assuming if you are reading this, you are at least caught up to Season 5)...
I loved season 1. A lot of the established story was the simplicity of that season. The introduction of Bo Crowder and his son. Both Crowders start in prison with Boyd preaching to whoever will have the most influence in his endeavors. Boyd’s determination to rule the local drug trade makes any cops vs bad guys story epic. Meanwhile Raylan’s father, Arlo, is on the run from Bo after stealing a good sum of money from the family crime boss, an ongoing theme of the series.
Season 2 we get introduced to the Bennett clan. Mags Bennett (Margo Martingale) and her apple pie moonshine ran a true clan of hillbillies with her sons Coover, Dickie (award winning roll by Jeremy Davies) and a police chief Corbin. The family was the go-to pot dealers. Crime families never play nice with each others so this becomes the Crowder vs Bennett season. Ava is paired up with Boyd, and I truly believe they love each other. Boyd is a ruthless man but Ava brings some stability to him. Then again, Boyd also brings some chaos to Ava.
Oh Season 3…. the “D” in Detroit! We welcome the overly tanned Wynn Duffy (Jere Burns) this season. Basically the small family feuds get a bit of city with the addition of the Detroit mob. The boss hides out in Harlan and simultaneously starts to push his way into the local drug trade. Quick talking Boyd Crowder proves he is not the man to mess with and goes neck and neck with the Detroit gang. Dickie Bennet pairs up with the Limehouse (Mykelti Williamson) who soon becomes the overlap between the Bennetts and Crowders. Never a freaking dull moment with family feuds I tell ya! Meanwhile Raylan has his gun at hand ready for a stand off.
Season 4 had a bag of coke and dead man falling from the skies. This is season has a lot more Arlo and a lot more reasons why Raylan truly despises his father. Many years after the dead man there are hints that the coke is still hidden and all criminals are on the scavenger hunt, with the marshal service right behind them. Ava on the other hand is arrested and sent to prison.
Season 5, welcome the Crowe Family. This is not one of the smartest crime families but maybe one of the most violent. Darryl Crowe (Michael Rapaport) and his some-what lawyer sister starts attempting to take their piece of the Harlan drug trade. Ava has a rough time in prison, with her connection to Boyd, everyone wants a piece of her. To top it off, Ava quickly finds out that Boyd may not have her interests as a priority. Raylan has Ava released but in exchange she helps provide details in a RICO case against Boyd.
Season 6 pulls the entire story full circle from Season One.
If you have not gotten through all of the final season, just know that it all wraps up nicely. It ends similar to how it started. I love a show that you can walk away knowing that the characters you love are in good hands. Each one heading in a direction you are OK with.
“Wonderful things can happen when you sow the seeds of distrust in a garden of assholes” - Raylan Givens