Well, almost. Season 3 of Justified has been a roller coaster ride with a few new bad guys: the evil Quarles and the butcher Limehouse. The intrigue and plot twists were excellent as was the eternal duel between Boyd (amazing!) and Raylan. I am sorry that Winona has walked away because the dynamic between her and Raylan was excellent particularly in S02, but feel like they’ll be bringing her back into the story in S04 – but perhaps Nathalie Zea will be busy with S06 of Californication given the ending to that show on Sunday night. Justified continues to keep me riveted to my iPad screen week after week as the writing continues to be top notch.
The background good guys of the US Marshalls were shoved even further to the background as the interplay of the various groups of bad guys and Raylan’s run-ins with them took center stage. I think that the Dickie character is also extraordinary – he is such a redneck lowlife – a wannabe incarnation of Faulkner’s Snopes if you will – and Jeremy Davies’ portrayal is perfect. I love how his hair gets more and more fucked up with each of his prison stays. The background bad guys are OK (Johnny certainly was a disappointment in E12 on at least two occasions), but Boyd carries the show. The Quarles character is very well-drawn – we wonder whether his story of incest and prostitution as a kid was real or just a ploy but we are scared shitless of his capacity for evil. Between the two, I prefer the Boyd character because he has a human side. Quarles on the other hand is almost as evil as Heath Ledger’s Joker and threw an element of apprehension and horror to this season that was appreciated.
As for the Showdown, they pushed it out into S04, but that all just make the wait all the more worthwhile. This series, like Breaking Bad, has just gotten better with each season.
As a parting comment, I watched the first two episodes of Game of Thrones S02. It is an excellent followup to S01 despite the incredibly complicated plot crossing the destinies of North vs. South, the various family feuds and struggles for power, and the mysterious northern threat which seemed to be sort of revealed in S02. Stay tuned.