TV Review - Justified: Season 4

Timothy Olyphant (right) gets
a new love interest in "Justified: Season 4"
It's probably too superficial to say that I don't like Timothy Olyphant's long hair, but I don't. It's probably only a reflection of the fact that I don't really care about his character Raylan Givens, a U.S. Marshall in Kentucky. It's only upon reflection that I think that I probably never did. Yet, I was a fan of this show's first season but not because I liked Olyphant all that much. What I liked were the villains, or at least how each episode put the audience in the villain's shoes. Yet, it did so with a new villain every episode. It had an undercurrent that flowed from the beginning of the season till the end that involved Raylan and Boyd Crowder, played by Walton Goggins (Lincoln and Django Unchained).

The second season moved away from stand-alone episodes, dealing with individual and different villains, week-to-week, and instead focused on one main villain who was at the forefront, week-to-week. The third season continued that pattern. This fourth season, however, is returning to the first season in its structure but still has strands from the previous two seasons that it feels the need to contend.

The problem is the show isn't exactly back to its former glory. A great example of how it falls short occurs in the third episode titled "Truth and Consequences." Raylan chases after what may or may not be a dead fugitive. It leads him to chase after a woman who gets kidnapped. The guy who kidnaps her is Mason Goins, played by Michael Graziadei (The Young and the Restless and American Horror Story). He's a great actor who only gets really only one scene in this episode to prove it.

If this were the first season, Graziadei would've gotten half the episode to shine. The show would've explored his back story, why he was doing this or give us a little bit more understanding of how he ticks. Instead, the show just wants to go with the conceit that he's a given bad guy and wastes time with a plot-line involving a tent-pitched religion led by a believer named Billy St. Cyr, played by Joseph Mazzello who some might recall also played the little boy in Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park.

The stuff with Mazzello's character is fascinating, particularly the stuff with Billy's sister who is secretly running a scam, but I wish the show didn't divide its focus. Boyd has to deal with Billy and it feels as if Boyd does this only because the show has Goggins and thinks it has to do something with him. The show didn't have much for him to do last season. It perhaps should have let him go, as it let so much else go, including Raylan's family and mother of his child, so why not Boyd?

Justified gives us great lines like "marshal stiffy" but what I'd prefer is for it to go back to how it was in the first season. The tapestry or tableau that the show is trying to weave is admirable but dull somehow.

Two Stars out of Five.
Rated TV-MA-LSV.
Running Time: 1 hr.
Tuesdays at 10PM on FX.


  1. Everyone's favorite U.S. marshal and his Kentucky cohorts will be back for at least one more year, as FX has given a green light to a Justified season 4 dvd box set
    The series, which revolves around the Elmore Leonard-created marshal Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant), is currently airing its third season. Six new episodes remain, including Tuesday's terrifically intense "Watching the Detectives" installment, before Justified season 4 dvd box set April 10 season finale.

    1. Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) finally got his man out of Harlan alive on the Tuesday's episode of justified season 4 dvd box set, but the end of the Drew Thompson mystery/pursuit doesn't necessarily mean an end to the case — there are still two episodes left this season, after all. justified season 4 dvd Magazine called up executive producer Graham Yost for a preview of the homestretch.
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