Justified is returning to FX’s schedule tonight, and there’s pretty much a guarantee Raylan Givens will be slinging guns. The real question is: at whom?
Justified is a series that is big on its bad guys, and that ebbs and flows in quality with the quality of its bad guys. With Givens himself beginning to re-evaulate his morals and readjust some of his actions at the end of Season 3, it’s hard telling what Season 4 has planned for fans. What we can tell is how Givens has handled quarrels, issues, and cruxes in the past, giving warnings that the bad guys generally ignore and coming out guns blazing (sometimes getting shot himself) in the end.
Because if nothing else, Justified is about conflicts in personality. It’s about two men, or a man and a woman, testing each other’s wills and trying to exert their force on the other. It’s about Raylan trying to gain the edge on Kentucky’s greatest outlaws, businessmen, and thieves. So, without further ado, here are Raylan’s greatest match-ups in the history of Justified.
Spoiler Alert: What follows obviously contains spoilers. If you have not watched Justified in its entirety yet, please stop reading and go purchase any and all Blu-rays needed to catch you up.
5. Raylan vs. Robert Quarles and a Kidnapped Kid
Quarles was always a bit of a madman, and watching him lose his edge as we got deeper and deeper into Season 3 was a little difficult to get through. However, Raylan never seemed to be nearly as concerned about the man who was trying to find a criminal niche in Harlan County, likely because he hadn’t seen a lot of the twisted shit the audience had been privy too.
However, when Quarles made his big play, calling up Raylan when our Deputy Marshal was already in an anxious state having seen a cop he loved and trusted dead in a parking lot, of course Raylan is going to walk straight into danger, meeting up with Quarles and the kidnapped kid. It’s a pretty tenuous situation, involving money, one crazy dude just hoping to head home, and the veteran criminal Ellstin Limehouse. And while Limehouse is the butcher who eventually takes down Quarles, it’s Raylan’s relations with Ellstin and smooth navigation of the system that keep himself and the kidnapped kid alive.