Within the first five minutes you can tell what kind of show Justified will be.

Sitting across the table from an unnamed criminal at a sea-side restaurant in Miami, Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens lays it out on the table for the would-be convict, “the airport is a good forty-five (minutes) from here, but I figure you’ll be alright if you leave in the next two minutes.”

You see, Givens – in complete generosity – gave him twenty-four hours to leave town or he’ll shoot him on sight, which happens to be in two minutes. While I don’t want to ruin anything, I’ll tell you this; Givens is a man of his word.

Timothy Olyphant easily slides into the role of Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens, but make no mistakes, this is not Seth Bullock, the character he became famous for on Deadwood. While Bullock was an ill-tempered Sheriff, Givens is much more of the cool, calm and collected type. Although, don’t let that fool you, he’ll easily kill you on the spot, but only if you make the first move because Givens will only pull out his gun if he’s going to kill someone. As he says, “that’s what it’s for – to kill.”

Much of the first episode revolves around the consequences of what happened in Miami. It seems that not everyone is fond of Givens having his own brand of justice and is therefore punished by being relocated back to his hometown in Kentucky. Once there, Givens is met by his new boss, Art Mullen (Nick Searcy), and quickly jumps on a couple new cases that force him to face the one thing he tired to forget – his past.

Through the occurrence of multiple crimes, Givens is forced to cross paths with his ex-wife, Winona (Natalie Zea), an old crush, Ava Crowder (Joelle Carter) and his former best friend, Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins) who is now not only a criminal in his own right, but also the leader of a group of white supremacists that, through-out the episode, provide wonderful comedic-relief and fodder for Givens.

As one might guess, those interactions all lead up to a dramatic showdown between Givens and his former friend, but I’ll leave that for you to see for yourself.

From the premiere, Justified gives the appearance of being a series about how Givens’ personal life interweaves into his professional one, but with each subsequent episode, his personal life, and the characters in it, are all but extinct as the series changes focus to a more traditional criminal-of-the week drama. While both incarnations of Justified are equally enjoyable, I’m hoping that as the series progresses, Justified will find a happy medium between the two.

Final Thoughts

Those looking for Justified to be a Deadwood replacement might be disappointed, but on its own, Justified is a solid show that has the potential to be winner for FX and one that I’ll continue to watch.

What did you think about the series premiere of Justified? Will you continue to watch? How did you like Raylan Givens’ brand of justice? Am I the only one that the white supremacists were great comic relief?

Catch the season premiere of Justified tonight @10PM on FX.

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