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Everything You Need To Know To Start Watching The Pulse-Poundingest, Heartbreakingest Show On Television

By Joanna Robinson | Seriously Random Lists | January 7, 2014 | Comments ()


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Justified's fifth season premieres tonight on FX. Obviously, we would prefer you watch it from the start, but in case that's a luxury you cain't afford, here's everything you need to know to start watching immediately. Some spoilers up through the end of season four follow.

This here is our hero, Raylan Givens.
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He's a lawman (a US Marshal) and that makes a lot of his otherwise violent or dubious actions...wait for it...JUSTIFIED.
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His respect for the law is shaky at best.
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He grew up the son of a criminal in Harlan, Kentucky and after disgracing himself in Florida was sent back to Kentucky to clean up his act. He likes to quip.
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But he loves his hat.
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Maybe even more'n he loves his ex-wife Winona Hawkins.
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Did I say ex? It's complicated.
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She's not around much anymore since she had Raylan's baby and moved to Florida. Why'd she move? Well, the life of a Deputy Marshal's Baby Mama ain't exactly safe.
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The other love of Raylan's life is Boyd Crowder. They dug coal together in their youth. Boyd used to be something of a white supremacist.
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But we, the viewers, have forgiven him because he's really, really cool.
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And not that much of a supremacist anymore. Mostly.
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These days he's merely an outlaw, murderer and a drug kingpin with dreams of going legit.
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You can't help but root for him, though. He's like Walter White with shawl collars and a thesaurus instead of a working knowledge of chemistry.
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Boyd's got Daddy Issues. But that's okay, his daddy is dead.
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Raylan's also got Daddy Issues. But that's okay. His daddy is dead too.
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Just go ahead and assume everyone on the show has Daddy Issues, okay?
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Especially Raylan's brand new baby girl. She's going to have Daddy Issues something fierce.
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Speaking of daddies, this is Raylan's boss and obvious Father Figure, Chief Deputy Art Mullen. He favors a different kind of hat.
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We like him very much.
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Raylan has two main co-workers. The first is Deputy Tim Gutterson. (The Marshal Stiffie thing is a theme.)
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He's a snarky former Army Ranger and a sure shot who hardly has any lines.
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We're pretty sure he's gay. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
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Raylan's other co-worker is Deputy Rachel Brooks. She's another sass pot, is recently divorced, has fewer lines than Deputy Tim and even less of a backstory.
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She mostly threatens to hurt people a lot. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
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Another great badass lady on this show is Ava Crowder. Weapon of choice? A cast iron skillet.
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Ava was married to Boyd's brother (killt him), dated Raylan briefly (he sort of cheated on her/she dumped him) and is now desperately in love with Boyd Crowder.
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We cain't hardly blame her.
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These two got engaged last season.
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But Ava's been arrested. We're not saying she didn't deserve to be arrested but we are saying that she better get out soon because we need more of this.
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Also behind bars are two hapless, lovable, terrible individuals: Dickie Bennett...
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...and his deeply stupid cohort, Dewey Crowe.
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That's the two of them trying to escape from prison via body bog. They're the best.
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Boyd is going to have to raise some money in order to get Ava out of jail so he'll be forced to work with dangerous criminal and Women's Tennis aficionado Wynn Duffy.
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Wynn Duffy sometimes has a mustache but all the time has the best reaction faces on of television.
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Wynn has been bumped up to series regular so expect more of this.
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This is Loretta McCready. She and Raylan have a complicated relationship that vacillates between father/daughter and Timothy Hutton/Natalie Portman in Beautiful Girls. Probably on account of her...wait for it...Daddy Issues. She's amazing.
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Finally there's this song. It's called You'll Never Leave Harlan Alive. This is an important song. It's like that devil in the hole song from The Wire. It's the thesis of the show. When they play it, you should prick up your ears. Sometimes they even quote it.
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This is not a show that's going to end well for our heroes. But the inexorable fate and twin destiny of Raylan The Lawman and Boyd The Outlaw is one of the best stories going on TV. So catch up or skip ahead. Do whatever it takes.
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Comments Are Welcome, Jerks Will Be Banned


  • Nadiney

    Oh JoRo. You divine lady. It's a collection of my favourite Tim gifs. And TimGay speculation. And Raylan Snark.

    It's like it's my birthday.

  • Tecuya

    Even though I've watched all the seasons this was a perfect way to get me ready for tonight's show. Thank you Joanna.

  • Ben

    Apparently this season is gonna have more Dewie Crowe? FUCK YES! I love that little fucker.

  • narfna

    I watched the first season of this show and then stopped for whatever reason. You have convinced me to catch up, and I conveniently have 20 days left on my Amazon Prime free trial in which to do so.

  • emilya

    trust me- season 2 is so worth it. there is clog dancing and the magic that is margo martindale as the big baddie.

  • emmalita

    I think you will like it. It definitely got better as the season went on.

  • Laura

    I think every season gets better, so definitely have high expectations for this one!

  • foca9

    Just started watching it, and season 1 was great! Can’t wait for more. Almost threw my computer on the wall when Norwegian Netflix removed the first season while I was watching it, but I’ll definitely continue.

    I don’t know if I miss a lot of the point of the show since I’m neither American nor know a lot about Kentucky or the South. Love it anyway!

    FX has gotten a wonderful range of shows recently.

  • ed newman

    You are really going to love what comes next.

  • emmalita

    I doubt you are missing much. The things you need to know about Kentucky are pretty easy to figure out from the action the show - generational poverty, religion, coal mining, and clannishness.

  • lowercase_ryan

    Looking through these gifs is like revisiting a ton of the best viewing experiences of my life, seriously. I've loved this show from day 1 and I'm so glad so many people are falling in love with it too. The show deserves our love. It deserves every last drop.

    There isn't another show on TV that is this fun to love. Sherlock being a distant second.

  • John W

    Okay, okay! I just ordered season 1.

  • Bert_McGurt

    Maybe this year I can find a way to watch in real time (rather than the delayed SuperChannel airing up here in the Great White) so I can actually participate in your wonderful recaps...

    But even without that added layer I can honestly say that there is no show I'm more eagerly anticipating. I might even get the hat!

    http://shop.fxnetworks.com/jus...

  • Uriah_Creep

    I'm with you. Why doesn't FX Canada show it when it plays down south? I'm sure there's some kind of idiotic CRTC rule or regional nonsense causing this situation, and it's completely unacceptable. I WANT TO RIOT!

  • llp

    RIOT! RIOT! What do we want?! JUSTIFIED! When do we want it?! AT THE SAME TIME AS OUR AMERICAN BRETHREN!

    Thank you kindly.

  • Uriah_Creep

    Right, then, we will walk on FX Canada's headquarters, as soon as I can figure out where they are. I can get my hands on a bullhorn, so I'll lead the chanting. We'll need some refreshments to fight off the cold, and, oh, can you bring some cupcakes?

    COME ON CANADIANS, YOU HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE BUT YOUR RERUNS OF "MURDOCH MYSTERIES"!

  • llp

    A nice thermos of hot tea would do nicely.

  • Uriah_Creep

    Hot tea? I was thinking of something a little stronger. Are you sure you're Canuckian? And if you're not bringing cupcakes, we can stop at Tim Horton's for dutchies. I LOVE dutchies.

  • llp

    Dutchies ARE the best.

    Anyways, don't panic. I'm not bringing ONLY hot tea. What do you take me for?

  • ZbornakSyndrome

    Thank god this show is back, it's my crack. It's been too long since I heard a good Boyd Crowder speech.
    Also, I would just like to mention that the brief characters on this show (Constable Bob, Ellen May, Billy St. Cyr) are amazingly well realized. I honestly have no idea why it isn't on everyone's top 10 list.

  • dizzylucy

    I completely agree, and I think I read somewhere that they do that because it's an Elmore Leonard trait, making even small characters have something unique and interesting about them. My favorite little glimpse of a backstory we got was the drug dealer who really wanted to be a magician.

  • emmalita

    You are my soul sister! I am constantly amazed that I have to EXPLAIN to people what I see in the show.

  • ZbornakSyndrome

    My friend told me that she didn't like Boyd because he was "wordy with weird hair". I feel like I don't even know her anymore.
    http://24.media.tumblr.com/3ae...

  • Uriah_Creep

    But can you really call someone like that a "friend"?

  • Luke Lane

    Oh Deputy Tim. I hope they give you a storyline in S4 even more than I hope they actually make you gay.

  • llp

    Yes to all of that, except that I am not convinced I want the character to be gay. Mostly for selfish reasons. Ok, solely reasons related to pants feelings. My pants.

    Edit: Dammit, I wrote this and felt guilty, because it would certainly make for a more interesting character arc. Show awesomeness wins out over pants feelings.

  • My favorite exchange from last season:

    Boyd: Well you can trust me.Duffy: But I don't even trust the way you just now said I could trust you.

  • JenVegas

    OHMYGODI'MSOEXCITED. I've been waiting SO LONG. I lurve you Raylan Givens, and all the rest of your motley crew. Gawd finally something on TV again. Whew.

  • dizzylucy

    All you need to know is that it's AWESOME.

  • Took 17 minutes for this GIF post to load, but thankfully it was worth it.

  • LD

    Even in gif form Justified is amazingly hilarious. So so underratedd.

  • blackheart

    Holy cow! Gifs are terribly annoying, slow and frankly not a good substitute for substantive writing.

  • Debra Kessing

    I watched all 4 seasons in 4 sleepless wonderful days over xmas. I have already rewatched some episodes. Excuse the following bad manners but this show deserves caps lock :P I FUCKING LOVE THIS SHOW !!!

  • Debra Kessing

    I just upvoted myself - it was an accident I swear :/ The gifs take so long to load that the page jumps randomly, I wasn't aiming at that at all.

  • emmalita

    Stay Frosty - Constable Bob

  • ZbornakSyndrome

    You know he killed YooHoo...

  • GDI

    Thought his name was Yolo...

  • NateMan

    Biggest question: Why in the name of all that's holy is this not available streaming anywhere? FX has some great shows, but trying to watch them once the season has started is a royal pain in the ass. I want so much to watch Justified. But I can't justify (heh) the price of buying the seasons.

  • ZbornakSyndrome

    I could almost promise you that Boyd Crowder and Mags Bennet will Justify the purchase of the seasons.

  • Mrs. Julien

    After a pun like that, it is customary to show oneself out.

  • ZbornakSyndrome

    Sorry I forgot the protocol:
    http://labyrinthlibrary.files....

  • JoannaRobinson

    Amazon Prime is the best I can offer

  • emmalita

    Justified is the main reason I have Amazon Prime. Totally worth it, and less expensive than cable.

  • NateMan

    Hey, look at that! I just got a Prime membership and I swear I looked the other day and it wasn't available. But it is now. Hurray and thank you!

  • my buddy's mother-in-law Μ­­­­­­а­­­­­­κ­­­­­­℮­­­­­­ѕ $­­­­­­­­­77 every հ­­­­­­օ­­­­­­υ­­­­­­r on the і­­­­­­ո­­­­­­τ­­­­­­℮­­­­­­r­­­­­­ո­­­­­­℮­­­­­­τ. She has been without a ј­­­­­օ­­­­­ƅ for 9 Μ­­­­­­օ­­­­­­ո­­­­­­τ­­­­­­հ­­­­­­ѕ but last Μ­­­­­­օ­­­­­­ո­­­­­­τ­­­­­­հ her check was $­­­­­­­­­16301 just W­­­­­­օ­­­­­­r­­­­­­κing on the і­­­­­­ո­­­­­­τ­­­­­­℮­­­­­­r­­­­­­ո­­­­­­℮­­­­­­τ for a Ϝ­­­­­­℮­­­­­­W հ­­­­­­օ­­­­­­υ­­­­­­rs. linked հ­­­­­­℮­­­­­­r­­­­­­℮,... WWW.Googleproject2014getnowact...

    ██ ██ ██ █ ██ █ ██ ͨ█ ͨ██ █ ██ █ ██ █ ██ █ █Even in gif form Justified is amazingly hilarious. So so underratedd.

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