Justified (season 1)

release year: 2010
genre: crime drama
viewing setting: home DVD, 1/2-6/13

synopsis: Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens is something of a 19th century–style lawman in modern times, whose unconventional enforcement of justice makes him a target of criminals and his U.S. Marshals Service bosses alike. As a result of his controversial but "justified", quick-draw shooting of a mob hit-man in Miami, Givens is disciplined by being re-assigned from Miami, to Kentucky. The Lexington, Kentucky Marshals office's jurisdiction includes Harlan County (a hopelessly impoverished, backwoods, coal-mining community in southeastern Kentucky) - which Raylan hates, and thought he had escaped for good, in his youth. (taken from Wikipedia)

impressions: This series was recommended to me based on the anti-hero nature of its lead protagonist. While that didn't turn out to be so awesome in that way, the series did hook me, and so I watched all 13 first-season episodes in a five-day span. This season introduces the characters and the setting, fleshes out Raylan's past, and mainly focuses on the crimes committed by the Crowder family. Episode briefs:
  • (1) Raylan gets transferred to his hometown and has immediate conflict with Boyd Crowder
  • (2) The Marshals chase an excaped convict who is hunting for money he once buried
  • (3) Raylan must deal with a couple of ex-cons who are excited about out-shooting him due to his notoriety
  • (4) A fugitive with a temper blows his stable cover and flees toward Mexico, chased by both the Marshals and a mob hitman
  • (5) Raylan's father butts heads with a local drug dealer
  • (6) A wealthy horse ranch owner with fake art commits suicide, but all isn't as it seems
  • (7) Raylan stops an assassination attempt on Ava, but find that she wasn't the actual target - he was
  • (8) An inmate captures two guards and creates a hostage situation in the Marshals' office
  • (9) While on leave, Raylan deals with his ex-wife's husband's gangster antagonists
  • (10) Raylan must guard an eccentric judge from potential danger
  • (11) Boyd and his followers blow up a meth lab, causing all sorts of problems
  • (12) Raylan and his father both get in the middle of the war between Boyd and Bo Crowder
  • (13) Bo kills his son's followers; Boyd snaps; and a bloody series of encounters follows

  • acting: Timothy Olyphant is the quirky main character Raylan, who follows up on this threats, notices details and puts them together to figure things out, and can't get along with any woman for long. Walton Goggins is the surprisingly-intelligent son of a crime family and alternately an antagonist and ally. Nick Searcy is the head Marshal who cuts his people as much slack as he can. Natalie Zea is Raylan's ex-wife who's still involved in his life. Joelie Carter is the local chick who becomes Raylan's new woman. Jacob Pitts and Erica Tazel are the other Marshals in the office.

    final word: Gritty and entertaining crime drama set in an unusual town

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