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Boyd Crowder ([personal profile] maybebatman) wrote2012-02-12 02:29 am


User Name/Nick: Mania
User DW: fantasticpants
AIM/IM: pantsfantastic
Other Characters: N/A

Character Name: Boyd Crowder
Series: Justified
Age: 39
From When?: Following the first season finale, "Bulletville". Boyd was shot in the shoulder and drove off in pursuit of a cartel henchwoman, looking to avenge his father. In canon, he survived, but for the purposes of posthumous redemption, we'll just say he bled out on the road.

Inmate/Warden: Inmate. Boyd's got an impressive rap sheet, ranging from pretendy Neo-Nazi funtimes to bank robbery to cold-blooded murder. The good news is, ever since he got shot in the chest by a former mining buddy turned US Marshal, he's been trying to be a better man. The bad news is, he's not been doing such a great job at it, replacing reckless criminality with reckless vigilantism.

At the point in canon I'm pulling him from, Boyd has lost everything -- his family, his followers, his faith. He has nothing left to believe in, and nothing left to live for. His compass is spinning and he can go either way. He still strives for redemption, but on his own, the odds are stacked heavily against him.

Abilities/Powers: Boyd is only human. He does, however, possess the power of bullshit and the power of persuasion. He's also adept with firearms, heavy weapons and explosives.

Personality: Let's start with the (ex-)job description, which is church-bombing neo-Nazi turned born-again vigilante messiah. That in itself ought to tell you that Boyd Crowder is a not your average hillbilly criminal. Nor is he quite the guy you expect him to be. Regardless of what your expectations are.

That's kinda intentional. Boyd thrives on being paradoxical. 

Boyd is a lot of things, and some of those things are contradictory on the surface. He's ruthless but capable of compassion, manipulative but true to his word, an opportunist with principles, and a highly rational and calculating man who is ultimately ruled by his emotions.

He is, first and perhaps foremost, intelligent. Exceptionally so. Growing up in a small rural town where sources of mental stimulation were few and far in between, Boyd learned to look for stimulation elsewhere, and his primary source of amusement became tempting fate, defying authority, explosions -- danger, in a word. His sense of fun is fueled by it, and his love for trouble is almost childlike. He enjoys triggering a chain reaction, enjoys seeing it unfold, and hell, he even enjoys being chased. 

The risks he takes are calculated, but the odds by no means need to be stacked in his favor. Boyd is the kind of guy who considers a stop sign a challenge. He may know when to stop, it's just that he often chooses not to, or maybe it's that he actually can't, because his brakes are broken. He is more experimental than reckless, but honestly, he can be both. He likes to push things just to see where and how far they can go, and often, it's too far.

Boyd is a rebel (as for the cause... well, it comes and goes) with no love for authority, which manifests in him either amusedly disregarding it or blatantly challenging it. He often prefers to make his own authority, and he can always find people who'll follow him. He is charismatic, a natural leader, with a magnetic pull to him that makes people want to listen closely to what he has to say. That works out well, because Boyd likes words. Not just the sound of them, but the power behind them as well. He is soft-spoken for the most part, and is more likely to lower his voice than raise it when he wants to be heard, but he is never truly subtle.

He is, let's face it, a showoff. A bit of a showman, too. He is aware he stands out, and he likes to flaunt it – his intellect, his skills, his love for the thesaurus. Boyd doesn't shy away from condescension, either. He likes to get a reaction out of people, and whether that reaction is positive matters to him a great deal less. It's not a superficial need but rather a deeply ingrained one. Boyd doesn't take well to being ignored.

He is intense. He's got an energy that would run towards hyperactive if he didn't know how to preserve and harness it properly, which he's learned to do with age, for the most part. He doesn't believe in settling, or in doing anything halfway. He likes to go for the jugular, looking for sharp thrills and emotional truths. He remains in control throughout, however. Not only of himself, but often of whatever situation he's in. He doesn't fight for it -- it's more that he assumes he has it in the first place and acts accordingly.

'Always Be Cool' is something of a personal motto of Boyd's; it's hard to catch him off guard, and harder yet to get under his skin. It's not a case of exceptionally thick skin, really. Boyd just needs to hold a person in high enough regard before he can even consider taking their words and actions to heart. Once he does consider you worth his time, however, you don't need to wield a surgical knife to wound him.

Boyd has a low tolerance for betrayal, and while people might assume he is only out for himself, he is actually fiercely loyal, and would sacrifice anything for those he truly cares about. Thing is, that's a fairly exclusive group of people, and he doesn't just go around handing out membership cards. See, Boyd hasn't had many friends throughout his life. Mostly what he's had, undiplomatically put, is henchmen. Foot soldiers. Which isn't to say he's felt no affection, protectiveness or friendly sentiment towards them, because he has. He might have even considered them friends. But they were never his intellectual equals, and on the whole, he's had little in common with them. Boyd has grown accustomed to a certain breed of loneliness that comes from being surrounded by people who honestly have no idea what he's really about.

Ambiguity is both Boyd's greatest asset and his greatest handicap. Once upon a time, his natural inclination may have been to wear his heart on his sleeve, but he learned from an early age that it wasn't a good strategy. Being himself got him hurt. He was expected to be other things: a man, a Harlan man, a Crowder, a soldier, a white supremacist -- he learned to be all of those things and more than that, he learned to be the unpredictable Boyd Crowder. Which, come to think of it, isn't quite the same as being himself. Boyd is a talented actor who's worn so many disguises throughout his life that he's taken the habit of getting lost in the role. Nobody knows who he really is anymore. Not even Boyd himself.

Boyd wields ideologies as a shield and raises them as a banner, and while he might not always fully buy into them himself, it doesn't stop him from preaching them with full conviction. He likes to live in a dramatized world, and it takes a system shock for him to see reality as it is. It's when his self-constructed worldview is shattered and he's left with nothing but himself that he's truly vulnerable. And here's the uncomfortable truth: for all his self-assurance and dubious accomplishments, deep down, there's still a boy looking to prove to his daddy that he ought to be taken seriously.

When you strip everything away, a few driving forces remain: Boyd craves the spotlight, he craves the excitement that comes from living life on the razor edge, and most of all, he craves a deeper context, a meaning for his existence. Ultimately, Boyd is a seeker, and he hasn't quite found himself yet.

Path to Redemption: Boyd wants to change. He wants to become a better person. He's even halfway there. That doesn't mean that redemption will be an easy thing for him to achieve. A lot of the difficulty lies with his core beliefs about himself, as well as with his lifelong experience in criminality and violence that makes it hard for him to even attempt something different. In many ways, you can think of him as an addict in recovery, with crime being his addiction, and relapse a distinct possibility.

He'll be arriving at a very low place, psychologically speaking, and as such, he'll be unstable, prone to one or more of the following: 1) getting into fights, 2) falling back on alcohol as an escape and 3) being broody as hell. He may even adapt a sort of Dead Man Walking mentality and a near-suicidal recklessness. There's a lot of guilt and grief and self-directed anger that he needs to deal with, and while his warden can (and should) help him along there and steer him away from destructive behaviors, it's not a process that should be rushed.

While he likes the idea of redemption, the concept of a prison isn't one Boyd finds very appealing, so he might have some resistance to the Barge as a whole. He doesn't have a great deal of respect for authority, and responds negatively to people who believe themselves to be above others by virtue of position alone. If his warden treats him like a prisoner, he may just start acting like one. If his warden treats him as a person first, and one worthy of respect, there's a good chance Boyd will put in more of an effort, too.

What Boyd needs isn't quite a friend and definitely not a watchdog. What he needs is something along the lines of a mentor and a role model. He'd do better with a warden who would offer advice and steer him in the right direction (Boyd has a moral compass -- it just doesn't always point north), rather than someone who would actively tell what he should or shouldn't be. Pushing him too hard isn't a good idea, as it will just make him want to push back, but neither is going too easy on him. It's really about hitting the right balance. Boyd is a professional bullshitter and a master of self-deception, so a good bullshit detector is necessary to dealing with him. A warden should ideally be on honest, even brutally honest terms with him. It's a good way of getting Boyd's attention, as well as his respect.

Boyd has left a lot of destruction in his wake, to the point where he starts to believe that's all he's capable off, even when his intentions are good. He has a deep fear that he's doomed to repeat his mistakes over and over; a fear that's in danger of becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy. Getting him to see that he is salvageable and there's plenty of good he can do is key to his redemption, which will need to be both personal and driven by connections to other people. He may prefer to be solitary while in pain, but he still very much craves acceptance and companionship. He likes to feel needed, so finding productive things for him to do, especially helping others, would go a long way. Once he can quiet his inner conflict, he may actually make a good warden himself.

There's no need to change him at the core. Boyd already has what it takes. What he needs most of all is to honestly believe in himself, and in his capacity to be a better man.

Well, that and a few well-placed smacks upside the head.

History: (This is primarily canon history, plus a little bit of interpolation based on interviews and the short story the show is based on.) 

Boyd was born and raised in Harlan, Kentucky, and that's his first problem right there; the small mining town was never big enough for him, but it had a deadly hold. The Crowders - Boyd's family - were a force to be reckoned with in those parts, but not for any good reason; it seemed almost as though criminal tendencies were hardwired into their DNA. Boyd grew up in the shadow of his father, a bear of a man (just so we're on the same page, we're talking grizzly here, not some wimpy-ass koala bear), a local drug kingpin and protection provider. Boyd's younger brother was a star jock, destined for greatness (didn't quite work out that way, unless you consider ending your life at a dinner table, shot by your wife for being an abusive asshole, to be greatness). And Boyd... well, Boyd was a bit of an oddball, prone to delinquency, marching to the beat of his own drummer and never quite making an earnest effort to fit in. 

His mother died when he was young, and he quit school early, not because he couldn't keep up, but because he lost interest, and found that anything he needed or wanted to know, he could pick up on his own. Boyd has always preferred doing things on his own terms. He went into mining, became a powderman, and for a time, dug coal together with another boy, Raylan Givens. But Raylan left Kentucky and Boyd stayed, and later went into the army and fought in Desert Storm, where he learned how to kill and how military discipline works. It was a knowledge that would serve him well later in life.

Some time after returning home, he stopped paying income tax, claiming to be a sovereign citizen, and spent six years in a federal penitentiary for it. That's where he got involved with the Patriot Movement, picking up a few Nazi tattoos along the way. It's not that he truly believed in all that white power bullshit, it's just that he found it an easy sell to those of lesser intelligence, and a way to gain followers. Once out of prison, he formed the Crowder Commandos, a ragtag militia that specialized in blowing shit up and robbing banks under the pretence of white supremacy.

Things took a turn when Boyd's old friend Raylan Givens was back in town, now wearing a U.S. Marshal's star. It was a bittersweet reunion to say the least, with Raylan looking to put Boyd behind bars for his various misdeeds. Seeing no other sensible way to resolve the matter, Boyd challenged him to an old-fashioned showdown (well, almost old-fashioned – it took place at a dining room table, the same one his brother was shot at a few days earlier), fully aware that he was unlikely to make it out of it alive. He didn't mind the risk, maybe even welcomed it. Going out in a blaze of glory was a reasonable way to end things. 

But the bullet missed his heart.

He woke up in the prison hospital, in a great deal of pain and an even greater deal of confusion. There had to be a reason for him to still be alive. Raylan never missed, and a dumb accident was an explanation that could never appeal to Boyd. He chose to believe he was saved through the will of God, that it was meant to be his wake up call. That's how Boyd came to be a soldier for the Lord and a self-appointed messiah. After getting out of prison on a 'technicality', he assembled a congregation of ex-cons, looking for salvation through... blowing shit up.

Meth labs, this time around. See, Boyd had taken up holy vigilantism. Who needs the DEA when you've got Jesus and a rocket launcher?

A black sheep even among his family of criminals and misfits, Boyd made the mistake of going against his own father's meth business, believing he was ready to reap the whirlwind, that he was under God's protection. The retaliation, however, was harsher than he'd anticipated. His father had him beaten to a bloody pulp, following it up by executing Boyd's entire congregation.

There isn't much that can rock Boyd's foundations, but that did it. God had failed him, and that left him with just one man he could count on: Raylan Givens. He ended up helping Raylan rescue his brother's widow (bit of a long story there), and facing his father with a gun in hand. But before he could make the final choice, his father was gunned down by a cartel sniper, and a bloody shootout ensued. Boyd took a bullet in the shoulder, but through Raylan's magical entirely probable aiming skills, they made it out alive. 

Now there was only one thing left for Boyd to do, and that was to avenge his father (never mind that he'd been on the verge of killing his daddy himself – that's different). He drove off after the lone cartel survivor, and Raylan let him go.

Sample Journal Entry:

Well, I guess it wasn't a flesh wound after all.

Since it appears that this is Hell, or a space shuttle headed in that direction, I was wonderin' if anybody here would be willing to play the Virgil to my Dante -- so to speak -- and give me the lay of the land.

No background in poetry is required. In fact, I could even do without the Latin.

Sample RP:

The throb in his shoulder is no longer anything more than background noise. All that matters is the road ahead, and the woman who robbed his daddy of his life.

Only it wasn't her who pulled the trigger. It was the man with the sniper rifle that's currently lying in the seat next to Boyd. But that's a technicality. She was there, one of the assailants sent by the Miami cartel, and now she has to die. Somebody has to die. Too many already have.

Boyd is going to catch up to her, soon, but he's feeling dizzy, a little lightheaded. He stops at the side of the road and stumbles out of the car; finds a tree to to slump against and slowly sinks to the ground.

He wonders where Raylan is, what he's up to. He wonders if Ava's safe. He wonders if Johnny's dead.

Then he remembers that he is supposed to be on a mission of revenge.

He isn't going to catch up, is he?

He thinks about sins and mistakes, about the bruises on his face, about the hole in his shoulder, about the graves he dug in the night. He once asked Raylan what he thought his final judgment was going to be like. You have left a trail of dead behind you. It looks like Boyd will be facing his judgment any minute now, but it's not fear he feels, only resignation. He doesn't feel the sharp, deep pain at the center of his soul anymore. It's all becoming muted, distant.

The world around him is no longer anything more than background noise.

Then, it's nothing at all.

He lies with his eyes closed for a while, after regaining consciousness. There doesn't seem to be any reason for him to move, until he realizes the wind isn't blowing, and that he can't hear cars passing by, not even in the distance. Finally, his curiosity takes over and he opens his eyes.

This... isn't quite what he expected.