While the ending of season three was a let down, I’d come to accept the type of show Justified was, a Raylan Givens showcase. That’s not a bad thing considering the presence of Timothy Olyphant, and his counter part, Walton Goggins. With season four, the show took a different path. The come-to-be expected quips, double dealings, and general badass-ery was in full force, but with it, a twisting plot line that was enthralling to the very end.
Two teens break into Arlo’s house (Raylan’s father), digging a hole in the wall, looking for a diplomatic bag sealed behind. Raylan catches wind, and while dealing with a fugitive, with the assistance of constable Bob Sweeney (Patton Oswalt), catches the teenagers. Doing so they stumble onto a cold case from 30 years prior, the death of Waldo Truth. The man, found dead in the road after falling with a failed parachute, brought cocaine to Harlan County.
This was easily the best season of the show yet. Previous seasons have always seemed lacking. There was an element of continuity dangled in front of viewers, but evaporated before being utilized. The show’s always managed to stay true to it’s roots, character depiction. There was no over arching story, no major plots lines, just characters going about their day to day. This isn’t bad, just odd when it feigns to be more. Again, not a bad thing, just not what appeared to be promised. Season four continued accomplishing what it always had while becoming more.
The search for Drew Thompson was a great mystery throughout. As a viewer, the revelation surprised me. Once the cards were shown, everything following was gripping, commanding my attention to the very end. Still, there were plenty of solid moments along the way. The premier, “Hole in the Wall,” was fun. Aside from setting up the season’s plot, the chase between the teenagers, Raylan, and the fugitive he had in tow was entertaining. Continuing from there, the small arch between Raylan, Lindsay, his landlord/girlfriend, and her ex Randall was enjoyable as well. I was sad to see Raylan be taken, but the man can’t always win.
Far and away the best episode of the season was the eleventh, “Decoy.” With Drew finally caught, the pressure was on to safely escort him out of Harlan. With multiple people bearing down on Raylan and the marshals, it seemed impossible. Every moment of this episode was gripping. From Gutterson (Jacob Pitts) using his sniper training to safely navigate the potential booby trap, to Raylan’s stand off with Theo Tonin’s men, and even Sweeney’s brawl, every moment captivated. Oh, and witty quips abound.
Momentum slowed after, capping off the season with a nice ribbon to wrap everything. While things may go back to normal for Raylan, Boyd’s life was turned upside. Try as they might, he and Ava (Joelle Carter) couldn’t seem to escape their fate. It was sad watching Boyd stare out into the yard of the house he will never own. I can’t wait to see Boyd exact sweet revenge from those who betrayed him.
Everything leading up this season was decent, but this payed off in spades. Not a moment went by were I wasn’t glued to the action on screen, forcing me to complete the season in two days. I hope season 5 holds similar twists and turns, though I’m sure the same badass-ery will continue to play out either way.
What was your favorite moment of the season? Surprised by the Drew Thompson reveal? Comment below!
“Balls.” – Comment if you get what I mean.