Timothy Olymphant and Walton Goggins in Justified
Justified is one of those underrated television shows that I’m never caught up with. Hence why I am reviewing the fourth season after Season Five has already concluded. They always release the DVDs a short period of time before the new season airs and I never watch them in time for the premiere. So, now I get to review this season now, as I have just finished it. How does it hold up in comparison to the previous seasons?
This season is basically like every other season of Justified. Raylan Givens (Timothy Olymphant) is still busy being a badass U.S. Marshall, when a season-long case pretty much falls in his lap. This time that case is in the form of a mystery. The almost season-long mystery revolves around the identity of one “Drew Thompson.” At first, the story just kind of came off as a one-off story in the first couple episodes. But then it took form and become the big arc of the season. And eventually, everyone is on the hunt to find the real Drew. That includes Boyd (Walton Goggins) and Ava Crowder (Joelle Carter), the always spectacular Wynn Duffy (Jere Burns), and Nicky Augustine (Mike O’Malley), the new kind-of villain and a representative of the Dixie Mafia from Detroit.
Justified definitely changed it up. They usually go a different route with the show. Usually some bad guy shows up in Harlan and Raylan has to take care of it. This time, the story is a mystery. A handful of people know the true identity of Drew Thompson and everyone else in on the hunt for him. You find out the true identity with about four episodes to go in the season. But does the mystery work? I can’t really know for sure because, unfortunately, I knew the identity of Drew Thompson before ever sitting down and watching Season Four. I knew this because of horrible people and their spoilers. But I still felt the mystery and the reveal was done really well. But the rest of the storylines, the ones that kind of filled in the gaps when the Drew Thompson thing wasn’t gaining any new ground; weren’t so strong.
Timothy Olymphant and Jim Beaver
We had Boyd trying to gain more power so he and Ava could move to the suburbs. Raylan’s stint with the con-artist and her ex-husband was kind of lame as well. I felt bad for Raylan but it was more comedic than actually good. The whole first half of the season wasn’t that great, but it laid the groundwork for the great reveals and character moments in the second half. So many great things happen. And the reveal of Drew Thompson probably was easy for people to guess, but I still loved it. Arlo’s death and even how the story itself ended was fantastic.
The acting on this show, as always is top notch. The thing about this show that I really love is that it is so low-key. The actors on this show are so damn good, but yet other shows aren’t attempting to steal the actors away. Natalie Zea is the rare exception, who is now of FOX’s The Following. But losing her isn’t a huge deal because we still see her in small doses on this show. But Timothy Olymphant and Walton Goggins are always amazing and when they are on screen together, it is television gold. Olymphant is amazing at telling the viewers what he’s thinking just by the expressions on his face. We can see his guilt, unhappiness, and overall tiredness from all of the bloodshed. And that is all without saying a single word. Even the supporting actors are really good. Nick Searcy, Raymond J. Barry, Jim Beaver, and Jacob Pitts all do amazing work in their roles. Especially Searcy, who just makes me smile every time he busts Raylan’s chops. This is seriously one of the most underrated shows on television and if you aren’t watching, you should be.
Season Four isn’t the best season of Justified we have seen, but it is still really good. They changed it up with a different format for the storyline, and I personally liked it a lot. It doesn’t have a big-bad villain like Neal McDonough last season, but it didn’t diminish the quality of the season at all. Just another good season for a great show.
WHAT I LIKED:
+: The change of pace for the story was well done. I like mysteries and while this one wasn’t too difficult to figure out, the way it was handled and revealed was extremely well done and I loved it.
+: The acting is flawless as always. Especially from the supporting players.
+: I already mentioned acting, but I have to make a separate point for Timothy Olymphant and Walton Goggins. They are so good separately on screen, but when they are together, it is some of the best acting on television. They have some of the best chemistry.
+: The mystery of Drew Thompson was intriguing while it lasted
+: The second half of the season was far greater than the first half. The beginning may have had its issues and was slow moving, but the end recovery was fantastic.
+: Arlo’s death and Olymphant and Barry’s final scenes together
+: Patton fucking Oswalt. Nuff’ said.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE:
-: The start of the season was really slow.
-: Raylan’s story with the con artists was really lame and thankfully didn’t last too long.
-: Some of the Boyd and Ava stuff was so-so.