"Let's keep this simple; he pulled first, and I shot him."Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens
Starting with the first scene of the first episode, during which Marshal Givens (played by Timothy Olyphant) baits known murderer Thomas Buckley into pulling a gun on him so that he can shoot the man to death, FX has delivered every episode of "Justified" with action and excitement tied perfectly into well-developed story arcs. Due to the heated investigation into his shooting of Buckley, Givens is sent back to his childhood home of Kentucky, forcing him to deal with estranged family members, friends, acquaintances, and even his ex-wife. While in the Lexington/Harlan area, Marshal Givens becomes driven to stop the hillbilly gangs in the area, particularly the group tied to Boyd Crowder (played by Walton Goggins), a man Givens has known since childhood. As young adults, they had dug coal together until a cave-in caused both men to change their life paths and leave the state: Givens to college and then the Marshals, Boyd to the Army and then later to prison. The relationship between Raylan and Boyd changes fluidly throughout the seasons, ranging from Givens surveilling Boyd off duty and trying to get evidence that Boyd is up to something, to them working together to fight off mercenaries from a Mexican drug cartel.
Boyd is a persistent thorn in Givens' side in most cases, but each season also brings several very interesting new villains, each with their own quirks and deeply southern personalities. The story is well-written and amazingly unique, full of fluid characters who change and progress season to season and all excellently delivered through actors and actresses who play their parts to perfection. Olyphant and Goggins make the show as the leads, but every character has a depth to them that draws you in and makes you want to see more of them. If you somehow missed the first three seasons, drop this paper immediately and find a way to watch all of them today, then Hulu the first three episodes of this season and catch up. Seriously, go watch it.