Tonight Justified returns with its fifth season. For those who have never seen the show, it follows the exploits of Raylan Givens, played by Timothy Olyphant, a US Marshal who is a cowboy of a lawman. His brand of justice often involves shooting people and, though moral, doesn’t necessarily follow the letter of the law. This has landed him in some hot water and has relegated him to work in his home of Harlan County, Kentucky, instead of Miami where he works way back during the first episode of Season One. Givens and his fellow marshals have to deal with a variety of criminals in the Harlan County area, the most notable one being Boyd Crowder, played by Walton Goggins. Crowder serves as a foil to Givens. Both of them grew up in similar circumstances, and they have a lot of shared history, but they have ended up on different sides of the law.
The show is based on characters created by the late Elmore Leonard who wrote several novels featuring Raylan Givens. He was also involved with the writing on the show. I am curious to see how this season (and potentially future seasons) play out without his talent involved.
In my opinion, Justified is one of, if not the, best show on television right now. It has some of the most compelling characters in a show, but more than that, it has the best dialogue of any show I’ve seen. While there are shows that might be more epic, tackle bigger issues, or have better meta-plotting, there are few that can rival the exchanges between characters that this show features. Even the guest characters, criminals and others, who appear only briefly in single episodes are well drawn out and entertaining.
If you’ve never seen Justified, I recommend jumping on the bandwagon now. The Fifth season begins airing tonight at 10pm on FX.