For years I heard about how I should watch Justified. However, for years, I looked at the white hat and gun on the posters and it just didn't appeal to me. I don't like "westerns" so why would I like Justified, I thought to myself?? Finally, after three seasons I realized it would be a prime show for Screened recaps (also inspired by the fact that there isn't really anything else on right now that is worth writing about week to week). So...I embarked on a crazy marathon and watched 39 episodes of the show in 13 days. Whew, marathon indeed! Luckily, I quickly fell in love with it and the only thing that was work about it was trying not to speak with a fake southern drawl and drink bourbon at 9:00am. Apparently, that is frowned upon in the work place.
I have been a big fan of Timothy Olyphant's for a long time and stayed with him even through the Go days, so yes, this means my love for him has stayed true through thick and think. One of my favorite things about Justified is seeing him finally find a role in which he truly excels. He fully embodies the presence of Raylan Givens and he can now be recognized as the full on badass that he always has been. Not to mention he is so dreamy, he might be giving Bennie Cumberbatch a run for his money on my crush leaderboard. (Who am I kidding? He is still a distant second).
The show revolves around Raylan Gives and his work in the U.S. Marshall Service. While the first season of Justified started as a procedural show following Raylan's attempts to find fugitives, and criminals, this aspect was quickly put into the background with only an occasional appearance. The stories have become much more involved and now I would say really revolves around his dynamic with the citizens (and crimelords) of his home in Harlan County contrasted with the happenings of the bigger city Lexington, Kentucky. The dialogue is some of the sharpest and most witty this side of The West Wing and the characters and incredibly well-developed and deep. It can be a dark crime show at times, but there is an aspect of fun that is never let go of or forgotten.
If you have yet to watch, these are the reasons you should do so and you should so so now.
SPOILERS GALORE FROM THIS POINT ON. STOP READING IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW.
If you have actually watched and are caught up I know it is a bit late, so I am not going to do a full recap. That will start next week. However, here are some thoughts on the first two episodes of season four:
- Constible Bob Sweeney (Patton Oswalt) is awesome. Seriously. I want more of him in every single episode. I hope he is being set up to be Raylan's slightly (really) inept sidekick because the dude makes me laugh. Their dynamic is great as well because you see that even though Raylan is a "tough guy" deep down, he has a soft spot for the Constible and people in general. It's awesome.
- To date, the series has really explored the dynamic and juxtaposition of religion and salvation and this season is being set up to go even more into depth with this realm and themes. Right away, we were introduced to Preacher Billy and his Sister Cassie, who on the surface seem like they are helping the folks of Harlan County aiding them in dropping their drug addiction and finding redemption through the church. However, if I know Justified, there is going to be much more to this story than it seems. Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins) is already on to this and I wonder if rather than be introduced to a new villain this season, the story will revolve around the push and pull between Boyd (and Wynn Duffy (Jere Burns)) and these newcomers rather than a new character.
- Speaking of villains, Boyd and Ava has really solidified their status as full on criminals. Ava is the lady whore pimp and Boyd is the true hardcore drug kingpin. What a fine couple they have turned out to be and as a side note: it's kind of funny that if they get married she will still be….Ava Crowder.
- Arlo Givens. While we have always known that Arlo has not been the best of fathers or set a good example for his son, we are likely about to find out he is even worse than we ever could have imagined. The fact that this is beginning to happen as Raylan himself will soon be a father will provide some very fascinating character development I presume.
- Raylan Givens needs a haircut. That is all.
Tune in for more next week!