Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans


16 November 2018



I just finished episode 13 of season 6 of Justified (rated 8.6 in IMDb, Wiki). The last season (2015) was probably the best of all six seasons, which is quite rare. Often long-running TV series get less interesting over time. Seldom have I been hooked on a TV series that much. You can watch Justified on Amazon Prime Video (Wiki).

Justified is a story about two men who grow up in Harlan County, Kentucky. Both their fathers have been notorious career criminals. One son becomes an outlaw like Billy the Kid; the other son becomes a deputy in the U.S. Marshals Service. To some extent, both men become friends although they prefer to say that they jointly dug coal in the Kentucky coal mines.

The 1st episode of season 1 immediately sets the tone: deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens is a gunslinger, similar to famous Marshals like Wyatt Earp and his brother Virgil Earp. Raylan Givens likes to provoke his opponents to draw their guns first. Raylan Givens is, however, a faster draw. Afterwards, he calls his shootings justified as his opponents drew first.

Against his will, Raylan Givens is transferred to the Lexington, Kentucky U.S. Marshal office. His local knowledge is required to arrest his youth “friend” Boyd Crowder, initially a white supremacist terrorist. While the character of Raylan Givens is almost static, Boyd Crowder’s role changes several times during the 6 seasons.

The two main characters in Justified meet quite frequently given their roles of Marshal and criminal. Apart from these encounters, both men have their own personal stories. The 1995 crime movie Heat (8.2 in IMDb, Wiki) with Al Pacino (detective) and Robert de Niro (criminal) uses the same story structure, which also works (very) well.

All actors in Justified give an excellent performance. The role of career criminal Boyd Crowder is played by Walton Goggins (IMDb, Wiki), who was previously unknown to me. His acting is superb. Timothy Olyphant (IMDb, Wiki) plays U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens like a genuine cowboy. Yet, in Netflix‘ Santa Clarita Diet (7.8 in IMDb, Wiki) he is (very) funny.

On several occasions, Boyd Crowder says to deputy Marshal Raylan Givens that they are not that different, apart from the Marshal badge that justifies any Marshal shootings. Both struggle to contain their nasty temper. The thought of becoming like his criminal father, makes the Marshal walk a straight line.

Last but not least: Justified is full of (gun) violence although not over-the-top. The violent scenes feel authentic, genuine and necessary. The authenticity of Justified is one of its many charms, like accents, characters, and locations. The final tribute to writer Elmore Leonard (1925-2013) is well-deserved.

Justified, a 2010-2015 TV series (IMDbvideo trailerWiki)

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless stated otherwise


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