Justified is back! Timothy Olyphant and Walton Goggins have returned to hypnotize me every Tuesday night and, judging by the season 3 premiere, they’re in top intoxicating form. So glad to see the boys back to their old ways. While Raylan’s banter with the chief and his colleagues entertains me, and Boyd’s interactions with his stupid cronies and the lovely Ava hold my attention, it’s the magnetic chemistry between Raylan and Boyd that makes this show so addictive.
This third season started off with a new bad guy, and quite a ruthless one it seems, a platinum-blond called Robert Quarles, who, I gather, is somehow connected to that gnarly-faced Wynn Duffy. Desmond Harrington (that’s right – Dexter’s bad boy, Quinn) played the eerily entertaining Fletcher “Ice Pick” Nix, who, sadly, won’t make it into the second episode of this season, having met his end (as so many do) at Raylan’s hands. Too bad, too, because he made quite the interestingly creepy criminal. Quarles killed not only Duffy’s real estate associate (and amateur thief) Emmitt Arnett, but also Arnett’s secretary, the hapless bimbo who helped him set up her boss in the first place. Not sure what Quarles is after, Duffy’s organized crime business, perhaps?, but I’m sure he and Raylan will meet before too long. Between him, Ice Pick and Raylan, the death toll thus far has already hit 5! 5 dead in the very first episode! Yes, this should be an exciting season.
Raylan and Winona are still together, their incubating embryo has reached the size of a walnut, and Winona’s still getting on my nerves. I can’t say why exactly, but I don’t like that woman. Ava, on the other hand, is as charming as ever and has taken over Boyd’s duties while he serves a bit of time in jail. Though I love watching her kick hillbilly ass, I hope she doesn’t get herself shot again playing with those dangerously stupid (and armed) hicks.
Boyd, played with mesmerizing charisma by Goggins, has intentionally landed himself back in jail by assaulting Raylan, with the clear intention of shanking Dickie, the only member of the Bennett clan to have survived season 2. Boyd seems determined to control the marijuana trade in Harlan, despite his recent losses due to his inept crew’s failure to foresee the inevitable growth of mold on their precious plants after being left in dark, damp trash bags for a few weeks. And Arlo, Raylan’s own father, has plead his allegiance to the Crowder clan, which, I predict, will result in another face-off between father and son before the season’s over.
All in all, a solid episode and one that promises for an excellent season. A preview for ep2 shows a new addition: Carla Gugino, that saucy brunette who’s sure to add many a complication to Raylan’s personal and professional lives. If the TV gods are kind, they’ll let her run Winona out of Kentucky and leave Raylan to be as reckless as he so longs to be. Oh, who am I kidding, as reckless as I want him to be!