Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Justified season starts with a bang

Posted By on Tue, Jan 15, 2013 at 12:08 AM

Justified_Gun.jpg

A lot has changed for Raylan, our gun-slinging hero played by Timothy Olyphant, this season on FX's Justified.

His ex‐wife has moved away while pregnant with his child — rightfully so considering the amount of danger that follows him — and his good-for-nothing senile father, Arlo, is in prison after shooting a
U.S. Marshal he mistook for Raylan. This leaves him alone, with no one to talk about his problems with. Even his boss Art, who comes the closest of anyone to keeping Raylan in line, is nowhere to be found this hour. He’s left to his own devices, which is great entertainment for the audience but will certainly get him into more messes like he found himself in this week.

Instead of introducing a singular “big bad” like season two’s Mags Bennett or local crime lord Mr. Limehouse and carpetbagging Robert Quarles in season three, Graham Yost and Co. are reinventing the show once again, turning it into an extended mystery. The hour opens with a flashback to 30 years ago and a dead man falling from the sky with a parachute still attached to his back and bundles of cocaine strewn about.

Two young thieves break into Arlo’s house, looking for an official-looking bag he had stashed in the wall. Luckily Raylan has taken precautions and hired Constable Bob, played brilliantly by Patton Oswalt, to watch his father's house. While examining the damage he notices the bag, which contains nothing but an old Kentucky driver’s license, and correctly assumes Arlo has something to do with it.

After denying knowledge of the bag during a prison visit from Raylan — and after a personal dig from his son saying he hopes his unborn child is a girl so the Givens name can come to an end, which doesn’t faze the emotionless con — Arlo tips his hand when he gives away the location of the bag. A fellow inmate who overheard their conversation, and with apparent previous knowledge of the bag, approaches Arlo about teaming up only to get his throat slit when he turns his back on the old man. Whatever significance the bag and driver’s license hold will be our main story to follow throughout the season.

The hour wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Boyd Crowder and his budding criminal empire. He’s still running brothels and pills with the help of his girlfriend, Ava, and cousin Johnny, and is joined by former Desert Storm buddy Colton Rhodes who provides some needed muscle. He even gets to give one of his trademark speeches to a thieving dealer, weaving the gospel with death threats in that terrifying Southern drawl. His drug business is seemingly being threatened by revival tent preacher, played wonderfully by Joseph Mazzello, aka the little boy from Jurassic Park, and that sits none too well with Boyd.

As interesting as Boyd and the gang are, the show starts and stops with Raylan. He’s always been at his best when dealing with issues involving his father, and having him trace his father’s 30-year-old footsteps should provide some damn fine entertainment along the way.

The second episode of
Justified's fourth season airs tonight at 10 p.m. on FX.

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