TV Review: Justified

michael dworkis wanders into Harlan County …

The war for Harlan County is over. At the end of last season, the Bennett crime family collapsed, most of its members dead and the rest in jail. Boyd Crowder (The Shield‘s Walter Goggins) settles with his wife Ava (High Fidelity‘s Joelle Carter), and United States Deputy Marshall Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant), back together with Winona Hawkins (Natalie Zea, a.k.a. Christinith from The Other Guys) are expecting a baby. Givens is recovering from being shot and is assigned desk duty until he makes a full recovery. All is quiet in Harlan County.

The tranquil life Givens now enjoys comes to an abrupt end in the very first episode of the third season of the hit FX Original Series, Justified.

Timothy Olyphant and Walter Goggins star in the FX series Justified.

Boyd meets with Raylan, asking for an apology for not allowing him to kill Dickie Bennett (Jeremy Davies of Lost). Raylan refuses, and a brawl breaks out. Boyd is arrested and carted off to jail. His co-workers poke fun at him for being stuck behind a desk, but what bothers Raylan Givens the most is that his perfect aim is gone. Once the fastest, straightest shot, is no more.

Emmett Arnett (Steven Flynn), the head of the Dixie Mafia meets with Detroit criminal kingpin Robert Quarles, played by Neil McDonough (Minority Report, Captain America, Walking Tall, and Tin Man). Quarles informs Arnett his property is worth nothing and his excess borrowing from the mob has gotten him in serious hot water. As Arnett defends himself, we are introduced to sinister hitman Fletcher Nix, who enjoys a game with his victims. A game with a fatal conclusion.

The first episode of this season brings our familiar characters back, and introduces us to new faces, most of whom have bad intentions for Harlan County. Criminals look to take advantage of open season to fill the void left by the Bennett family. Thugs and lowlifes like Arlo Givens, Wynn Duffy, and Boyd Crowder emerge from their hideaways. Other, more sophisticated-yet-vicious criminals like Quarles wait for the moment to strike.

Raylan Givens and Fletcher Nix meet with explosive results, and Dickie realizes his days are numbered when Boyd Crowder strolls into prison. Quarles quickly seizes power through a storm of gunfire. The gears are turning, events are unfolding. The players are presented and the game is on. By the end of the first episode, Deputy Marshall Raylan Givens narrowly escapes death, only to realize a new war for Harlan County is about to begin.