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Justified – Hatless

Season One, Episode 9

We get to see a new and different Raylan Givens in this episode of Justified.  The US. Marshall has been suspended and now he is off duty and waiting to see what will happen.  A little drunk, he get's himself into a fight and loses not only the fight, but his favorite hat.  Sort of a metaphor for what will occur during the rest of the episode.  Only the bar tender with a shotgun ends the fight with Raylan not beat senseless or dead by two good ole' boys.

This episode centers around Raylan's ex-wife and her husband Gary.  It seems Gary has dreams, which is one thing Raylan never had which is why his wife had really left him.  Gary's not a bad guy.  He just suffers from poor judgment.  So we find out he is gotten himself in with some pretty nasty people over a land deal which has gone south here in this bad economy.  The problem is these are not the kind of people you want to owe money too. 

Jere Burns gives a flawless performance as Wynn Duffy the man who is responsible for procuring the cash back from Gary.  In an earlier episode he gave Winona (Raylan's ex-wife and Gary's current wife) a little bit of a scare to get to Gary.  It seems though that Gary did not get the message and is wedged between a rock and hard place.  Instead of trying to figure a way out he tries to use force in the person of former NFL player and local football hero Toby Griffin played by Hassan Johnson.  All he really does is get Toby and his family involved in a very bad way.

Winona has been stepping around Raylan to do something about all of this and she finally gets him into the action.  Raylan decides to do a little investigating and see what he can do.  Amazingly enough he doesn't shoot anyone this episode which is appropriate as he is on leave, but a number of people do get shot.

Winona - Justified
(Winona played by Natalie Zea)

Gary is played by William Ragsdale of Herman's Head fame.  Ragsdale is very believable as a down on his luck desperate real estate developer who is willing to do anything to survive this ordeal.  Luckily for him Raylan still loves his ex-wife and does as she wishes.

The episode is a little uneven at times, but the end scene is worth the price of admission.  The way it goes down is really must see TV.  One has to wonder about the intelligence level of some of the people involved, but that seems to be why criminals get caught in general.  We never seem to find out about the ones who are smarter and seem to avoid the limelight.

By the end of the episode Raylan wants one thing and one thing only.  His hat.  He has grown fond of this hat and he has it broken in just right.  This finale scene and the showdown I mentioned earlier are the really great scenes of this episode.  It's a shame at times you have to sit through the rest to see the best, but sometimes that's the case.

Overall a decent episode of Justified with its good points and its bad.  The story gets a little convoluted and reminds me a little of Payback with the man behind the scene type persona.  Timothy Olyphant has become very believable as Deputy US Marshall Raylan Givens.  Justified has been picked up for a second season already.  I think we'll be seeing a lot of this character for a while.  Thanks for reading...

Jeffery Yarter
The Lizardman 





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