A lot of long running TV shows are in their final stretch, with both ‘Boardwalk Empire’, ‘Sons of Anarchy’ and ‘Mad Men’ in the middle of their ultimate season. Another show about to have its final season is the FX show ‘Justified’. If you haven’t seen it you’ve got 5 great seasons to look forward to, and there should be plenty of time to catch up with the show before the final sixth season kicks of, most probably in January, which has been the standard kick off time for this show.
‘Justified’ is, in my opinion, one of the best TV shows currently on the air, and up there amongst the best drama shows of all time. When I, quite some time ago, watched the very first episode again, it hit me again how the opening totally contrasts with the general ‘feel’ of the show. Set in Miami – a world TV fans probably more links with TV shows such as ‘Dexter’, with its Cuban-style music, beaches and bright colors, and the 80s classic ‘Miami Vice’ – ‘Justified’ is quite the opposite. In ‘Justified’ you’re served quirky characters with hillbilly tendencies, bluegrass and country music, dust, trucks, whiskey and bourbon.
The star of the show is Timothy Olyphant. One of the stars of ‘Deadwood’, the character of Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens is a perfect fit for the actor. Olyphant has never really “made it” in the movies, but he’s definitely done great in TV shows, his guest appearance in ‘Damages’ included. Mr. Olyphant was one of many excellent bit players in ‘Damages’, and like the wonderful lawyer show starring Glenn Close, the Kentucky based show ‘Justified’ also includes a great number of amazing supporting characters, and some brilliant casting to top it off.
If you haven’t seen the show, it comes highly recommended. Not only is it obviously different from most TV shows out there due to the setting, but it is extremely well written, both when it comes to the dialogues, the story arches and the characters. Also, it has the obvious advantage of having the brilliant Walton Goggins in its cast. Goggins’ portrayal of Shane in ‘The Shield’ is probably one of the finest performances on a TV show. Ever. Goggins also featured in movies such as ‘Lincoln’ and ‘Django Unchained’, and has had a reoccurring role in Kurt Sutter’s biker drama ‘Sons of Anarchy’.
Here are a couple of the brilliant characters of ‘Justfied’ throughout the seasons, and don’t worry.
Deputy U.S. Marshal Tim Gutterson
played by Jacob Pitts
Jacob Pitts does a brilliant job as Tim Gutterson. The former army sniper has a strange sense of humor, but a certain coolness about him that keeps you wondering “what is this man really up to?” There’s a mystique to the character, and some of his scenes – especially in the later seasons – are definite highlights of the show. Underrated character, in my opinion.
Played by Natalie Zea
She appeared in a couple of episodes of ‘The Shield’, and in ‘Justified’ she also gets her fair share of screen time throughout the seasons. That is a good thing. Great actress, with a very good chemistry with her ex-husband Raylan Givens. I watched the start of ‘The Following’ partly to watch her in that show as well, but couldn’t really take all the other cringeworthy-ness that dominated that show. In ‘Justified’, though, there is nothing cringeworthy about her.
Played by Walton Goggins
The most eloquent speaking bad guy you will ever meet. He was, as previously mentioned, perfect in ‘The Shield’. It is amazing to see him dive into such a complex character yet again after his riveting portrayal of Shane in the LA Cop drama. But he does it. And he does it well. Listening and watching Boyd Crowder speak, it is sometimes very difficult to know if what he is saying is something he actually believes himself. A man of many words, but also many layers. He’ll make you laugh, he’ll make you angry, and he will make you look forward to the next episode. And he will make you pray Walton Goggins will forever have a character on a good TV show.
Played by Mykelti Williamson
Season 3 introduced us to Limehouse, another great character of ‘Justified’. He runs the little community called Noble’s Holler, and as the butcher of the town, he runs the diner where pretty much everyone eats. Obviously, he doesn’t just run a diner… Interesting character, and Mykeltin is a perfect fit for the role.
Played by Jere Burns
Quirky and funny, sometimes a little scary, and sometimes mostly scared. Wynn Duffy is like a bug that just never leaves the room. Although one gets the feeling that Raylan Givens hates the guy, in certain ways you kind of sense that Raylan Givens finds the man almost entertaining. Nevertheless, Jere Burns does a great job, and his creepiness was picked up by the casting agents of ‘Bates Motel’, where he also had a reoccurring role in the first season.
Colton ‘Colt’ Rhodes
Played by Ron Eldard
I was surprised when I saw Ron Eldard cast in ‘Justified’. I’ve enjoyed his performances on ‘E.R’ and even ‘Men Behaving Badly’, and also remembered him from his short scene in ‘Scent of a Woman’ and in the 90s sleeper-classic ‘Sleepers’ (which I hold in high regard). As the war veteran struggling with… well, all types of shit, Ron Eldard does a great performance as Colt’ an old friend of Boyd Crowder. His tough guy appearance suits him, and so does the character.
Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal Art Mullen
Played by Nick Searcy
Raylan Givens’ boss, this guy is impossible not to like. Tough, but with a soft spot for his best Marshal, despite the fact that he always gives him problems. Nick Searcy does a brilliant job, and also delivers a few hilarious lines to the show.
Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens
Played by Timothy Olyphant
It shouldn’t really be necessary to highlight the main character of the show. He talks the talk and he walks the walk. Timothy Olyphant IS U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens, and just might be one of the coolest characters on TV these days. His scenes with Walton Goggins are always entertaining, and Raylan is definitely the heart of the show.
If you think I’ve forgotten about Margo Martindale, I haven’t. Arguably one of the best characters on the show, which is why I’ve written about her in a previous post. Read it here. There are plenty of other reoccurring roles to mention, such as Daryl Crowe Jr. (played by Michael Rapaport), Judge Mike Reardon (played by Stephen Root) Jimmy (Jesse Luken), Dewey Crowe (played by Damon Herriman and Dickie Bennett (played by Jeremy Davies).
For those with a special interest, such as myself, the character of Raylan Givens was created by author Elmore Leonard. Raylan Givens first featured in ‘Pronto’, and then later in ‘Riding the Rap’ and ”Fire in the Hole’, the latter being the basis for the pilot episode of the show.