Justified: Raylan Givens vs Boyd Crowder Part 1

justified_sqareIf you are not watching FX’s Justified then… why not? The show is now 5 episodes into its fourth season and is just getting better.  Slow talking, quick wit, subtle humor, great acting, and the occasional naked rear end fill this show season to season. The show centers on Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens (played Timothy Olyphant) and follows him through his adventures in the fictional Kentuckian Harlan County.   Over the next 2 weeks I will be recapping the first three seasons a bit as they pertain to our two main characters Boyd Crowder and Raylan Givens.  After that it will be a review/recap of each week’s shows.

Season one finds Raylan starting our journey in Miami. He famously tells a gun thug by the name of Tommy Bucks that he has 24 hours to get out-of-town or he will shoot him on sight. After a tense conversation at a table during the lunch time rush of a busy restaurant, Tommy draws on Raylan and the Marshal puts him down. Due to his threatening Tommy Bucks, Raylan is reassigned to Lexington, Kentucky where he is from.

Lexington is where we meet some ongoing and wonderful characters. Raylan’s boss Art Mullen, fellow deputies Rachel Brooks and Tim Gutterson, Raylan’s ex wife Winona, his first love interest Ava, and one of the best characters on TV Boyd Crowder. These characters have been used artfully every season and the actors that play them never disappoint. This show follows a known pattern of the crime of the week plot line while still working towards a larger season long plot. This is perfect for these characters to get some screen time even if they don’t necessarily play into the big picture.

Raylan rolls into season two fresh from a tense fight with the cartel that Tommy Bucks worked for in Miami. Now, it’s time for Raylan to find a new ongoing criminal or criminals to face off with.  In this season we find another family Raylan grew up with, the Bennetts.  Mags Bennett (played beautifully by Margo Martindale) leads this family through a world of moonshine and marijuana. As the deputy navigates this group he still makes time to come back around to Boyd. Even, in Boyd’s truly honest moments Raylan doesn’t buy it for a moment. These two share some great witty conversations on-screen. What makes them so interesting and entertaining is certainly their well written dialogue.

After the eventual dispatching of the Bennett empire Raylan finds himself in season three battling against a mob underling trying to make it big in Harlan in the oxy trade. In this season we see more into Raylan’s reasons for why he is the way he is. Raylan grew up with a father a lot like Boyd’s. His father, Arlo, is a lifelong criminal and was just as disappointed in Raylan being a Marshal as Raylan is disappointed with his father being a crook. We see a longing for a relationship with his father that he sees Boyd finding. We see a want to never be anything like his father. It shows us the similarities of Raylan and Boyd while showing there never-ending tension.

There has never been a better time to start watching Justified than now. At only a few episodes into the latest season we are getting a taste of the rising arc of this story while getting some great new players in the series long war brewing between Boyd and Raylan.

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Mike Doles

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