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VINE VOICEon April 6, 2012
Since I watcheed the very first episode of JUSTIFIED, I've been fanatical about this show. It's never failed to satisfy, and it just keeps getting smarter. It didn't hurt that Timothy Olyphant, a widely underappreciated actor, was playing Marshal Raylan Givens, who is probably the most unique and entertaining characters on TV since before Hugh Laurie out-lasted his stay as Gregory House. It also didn't hurt that we were getting all these great character actors like Nick Searcy as Art, Natalie Zea as ex-wife Winona, and most especially Walton Goggins as Raylan's best "frienemy", Boyd.

But where the show really seems to shine is with the casting of its villains. In Season Two, we had the extraordinary Margo Martindale as Mags Bennett, and the terrifically quirky Jeremy Davies as her son Dickie. Now in this season, we have another tremendously underappreciated actor, Neal McDonough as the eerie Robert Quarles and the great Mykelti Williamson as the quiet yet menacing Elstin Limehouse.

The season begins in the aftermath of Season Two's finale, with Raylan wounded from not only the beating he got from Dickie, but the bullet he got from another member of the Bennett clan. With Dickie the only surviving member of the Bennett family, he intends to claim his birthright of the over $3 million his mother got from selling out to Black Pike Mining. Unfortunately, after the beating of Givens, and his attempted murder of Ava Crowder, he's in prison. Boyd, Ava's current lover (post Raylan), has sworn vengeance on Dickie and intends to kill him no matter what. Meanwhile Raylan has rekindled things with Winona, and we soon discover she's pregnant with Raylan's child; a relationship and a pregnancy made even more complicated by Raylan's constant run-ins with the Dixie Mafia (represented previously by another terrific character actor Jere Burns as Wynn Duffy until Quarles comes to town in exile from the main business organization in Detroit) and the various schemes and plans of Dickie, the Crowders, and all the other colorful characters that inhabit his world.

From the season's very first episode involving a hitman who always gets the drop on his victims to Quarles' entrance as the smooth-talking, creepily charming and lethally efficient "carpet-bagger" and his eventual descent into addiction and madness to the endless machinations of Limehouse, as well as Boyd and Dickie in their pursuit of the hidden the $3 million will culminate in something explosive and life-changing (and probably life-ending) for the characters involved, JUSTIFIED keeps on delivering and delivering without fail.

Also a very special character is the strangely-lovable Dewey Crowe (played with such incredulity and skill by Damon Herriman), certainly the winner of Harlan County's "Criminal With The Least Guile" award.

With a crack creative team of talented writers and directors and an ever-expansive pool of great actors, Showrunner Graham Yost has put together the best show on FX right now. It never feels forced or manufactured. The plot points all seem to grow very organically as opposed to a series of chance occurences or deus ex machinas that a lesser show might employ. Despite all of the talent constantly surrounding him, it's a real shame that Olyphant himself hasn't gotten the attention or accolades he deserves. He may get out-shone by some other actors when he's not part of the scene, but when he's together with any one of them, he can match them moment for moment. The success of the show rests solely on how Olyphant's portrayal of Givens continues to be something of greatness, and he's owed more due than he gets.

However, that's not to say that the people he's surrounded with aren't great. I'd really like to see Art more personally involved in more episodes, because Searcy's portrayal of him is so keen-eyed. McDonough is currently in the running alongside THE WALKING DEAD's Jon Bernthal for the Emmy for Best Supporting Actor (obviously at this point, it's just a prediction), and it's also a race for Goggins and Williamson as well.

Since the finale is next week, and it's already been picked up for a fourth season, I guess those "long, hard times" will keep on coming for one of Elmore Leonard's best characters, and I'm beyond thrilled to continue to keep taking that ride alongside him.
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on March 2, 2012
Timothy Oliphant is a great good/grim guy. Loved him in Dead Wood (why the heck was that cancelled, anyways?) and he continues the good work in Justified. I particularly like his relationship with the "bad" guy/old friend, Boyd Crowder. Excellent in acting and execution!
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on March 1, 2012
This is one of the most awesome series on television to come along in some time!!! First season was great, tho the time scheduling was a bit of a challenge for me and I missed some at original air time and had to catch up on dvd's recorded by friends. Debated with myself if I could "justify" (lol) purchase of the actual packaged dvd sets, Volume 1 as well as Volume 2, but the "extras" included in the packaged sets made it worth the price!!! So far, Season 3 has been as good as 1 and 2. Can't beat it!!!!
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on June 28, 2012
While surfing through channels looking for something to watch i stumbled onto Justified, i was so engrossed with the show and characters that i became instantly hooked.This happened in the middle of season three so i instantly purchased season one and two and i havent been sorry. This is the best show on TV bar none!!!I don`t understand why the show, actors, actresses havent gotten any awards. The storyline is great and very believeable which is very key to any successful show. Please don`t take this show off the air! Its unreplaceable! Raylans the man, Winona and Ava are easy on the eyes, the other actors can lead in any show. What more can you ask for.Keep up the great writing and acting as it can only get better with age. Ive sent seasons one and two to my daughter and now her family is hooked. When will season three be released on DVD? I can`t wait!
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on March 18, 2012
I watch a 'ton' of series, this show is by far the best series that I have seen in along time. The acting is great but the dialogue is superb, the writers of this show have to be underpaid. It is best watched in a couple of sittings. Difficult to get as much out of it watching it week to week, so I have purchased seasons I & II and will buy it every year it comes out if it stays half as good as it has been. Hope it runs 10 more years at least
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on March 20, 2012
Timothy Olyphant as U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens of Kentucky has got to be one of the sexist men on TV or film. This man is drop-dead gorgeous and he can act. But we have to go back to Elmore Leonard for creating this wonderful complex character and the whole community in a tiny Kentucky mining town, where the second source of income comes from growing pot and cooking up meth in back-woods trailers. The characters are magnificent and I balked when they killed off a great villain, Beau. But it's never predictable or boring. I want this series to continue on and on. I have the first two seasons and am awaiting the third. This is worth collecting.
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on January 19, 2012
I'm naming my first boy Raylan.... Justified is the best show on TV hands down. Olyphant makes a pretty convincing U.S. Marshall and Walton Goggins does an amazing job as Boyd Crowter. The 1st two seasons were awesome and Episode 1 of season 3 is every bit as good.
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on January 19, 2012
I quit watching cop shows years ago. The last one I watched was Hill Street Blue. The reason why I quite watching is they were either to formula based or the character's in the show were to un-likable, or the shows were to unbelievable. This Show is full of likable character's (good guys and bad) and great stories never before told on television. Everything about this show is very well done
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on January 20, 2012
OMG, the first episode was awesome! I can't wait to see the rest of the season. I love, the love hate relationship between Raylan and Boyd. When it all boils down, they need each other. (Kane & Able) Hurry up and get well Raylan! Even at his worst, he still bought in the bad guy! Love, love, love, this show!!!!!!
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on May 22, 2012
Mags Bennett is the elephant in the room. Mags dominated season 2 of JUSTIFIED, and season 3 found itself in need of a antagonist after the end of the second season. This season of JUSTIFIED is great, but it doesn't quite live up to the expectations it created for itself after the fantastic sophomore season. Like previous seasons, the first 6 episodes are episodic and standalone in nature, but this opens up as the plot gets thicker to more serialized installments.

The season opens with a rogue's gallery of new villains who are fighting for control of Harlan's crime scene. Season 3 serves as a battle royale for these antagonists, as the scene quickly becomes a fight to be the last man standing. Twists, turns, and treachery are abound, especially in the latter half of the season. Fans of previous episodes will not be disappointed with new developments; the writing and dialogue is still fantastic, the cinematography is still wonderful, and the acting is still terrific. Timothy Olyphany, Nick Searcy, Walton Goggins, and the new villains are all a joy to watch on screen.

My biggest complaint for this season involves some convolution towards the end of the season (the writers' instincts are usually very good, but in a few instances, they fail), but I can't really go into it here without spoilers.

I'd recommend this series to fans of BREAKING BAD, SONS OF ANARCHY, and THE WIRE; importantly, the first two seasons should probably be watched before jumping into this one though! Stand out episodes are "Thick as Mud" and "Guy Walks into a Bar."
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