From that line prior to the opening i knew Justified was back with a bang! One of the best shows currently airing on TV (and i watch alot of TV series’ currently running). For those not familiar with it, ‘Justified’ is a US TV series on FX that is currently airing its third season Tuesdays at 10PM. The shows main protagonist is ‘Raylan Givens’ a deputy US Marshall back working in his hometown of Kentucky after an incident in Miami (see the opening scene of the pilot, an amazing scene also featuring Peter Greene as Tommy Bucks) and who is consistently thrown into discretions and persons amass from his past. Raylan Givens is portrayed by Timothy Olyphant with utter perfection, and that is something i say lightly (even if it is in relation to one of my favorite actors) and the rest of the cast contiunes to give dazzling performances to match. The series is based on the short story ‘Fire in the Hole’ by Elmore Leonard (also a writer and producer of the series), and the charachter Raylan Givens was also previously seen in the Elmore Leonard novels ‘Pronto’ & ‘Riding The Rap’. Leonard recently returned to the character with a new novel named ‘Raylan’ out in stores Jan 17. If you are a fan of ‘Justified’ already, you should not be dissapointed by the Season Premiere, and if you have not been following the series, or are behind, i reccomend you get to it, because this season doesnt look to be any exception to the true genius that is the series ‘Justified’.
WARNING: THE FOLLOWING PARAGRAPH CONTAINS SPOILERS FROM PAST SEASONS! SKIP THE FOLLOWING PARAGRAPH IF YOU WANT TO AVOID SPOILERS!
Season Three picks up just after the season two finale with the shootout in front of Mag’s farm, and continues on to the hospital where Raylan is recovering from a gunshot wound. From there we jump three weeks. Raylan is back at work in the marshalls office, but limited to in office work, no field duty, and is having a little trouble with his draw due to the injury aswell. Next we see Boyd Crowder (one of my personal favorite characters in the series) come talk to Raylan in what at first seems like a standard set of follow up questions to the events that occured prior, then discussing a supposed agreement between the two (see the season two finale) that Raylan failed to uphold. Words turn into punches, and that is just the starting point before even the opening sequence, and things just get better from there.
Justified continues to keep me enthralled episode after episode, and keep me itching for me in between seasons. The character of Raylan Givens is such a complex and amazing character, we see few like him these days, and the character coming from the mind of one of the greats like Elmore Leonard is far from a surprise. Timothy Olyphant continues to master the character, playing him with every quirk and flaw, and very true to the character in the books aswell. Olyphant is far from the only great part of this series though. Walton Goggins (Predators, Cowboys & Aliens) who portrays Boyd Crowder is a continual pleasure of a character in every sense. I have always felt Walton Goggins was the one performance that stood out above all others along with Olyphant and is brilliant in his portrayal of Boyd. Even apart from those two though, the show is consistant with a plethora of brilliant performances including Nick Searchy as Art Mullin, Jeremy Davies as Dickie Bennet, and of course Margo Martindale’s award winning performance as Mags Bennet. This episode brings in another fun bad guy with a thing for ice picks and a penchant for playing deadly games. The character is played by Desmond Harrington (Joey Quinn on Dexter) and he plays the part with the brilliance we’ve come to expect from the cast of ‘Justified’. His performance is nothing like that of which he portrays on Dexter. I always find it refreshing to see an actor known mainly for one role get a chance to play such a completely different kind of character, and it always gives me more respect for them when they pull it off as flawlessly as Harrington does here.
So in short, season three kicks off with quite a bang, reuniting all of our favorite characters from past seasons, and once again keeping the tradition of adding new and unique characters in addition. If ‘Justified’ is not a series you are currently watching, i strongly urge you give it a go, its a winner in every aspect.