"Hole In the Wall" was pretty perfect an opener. Great lines, lots of fun to have, Raylan being his cool and yet dickish self, hilarious situations, many parallels in the writing – between Raylan and Boyd of course, as usual, but also between Raylan and Jody, or Raylan and Constable Bob, or Boyd and Snake Preacher–, an evil and creepy Arlo, a mystery (the dead Cocaine Santa Claus from the opening flashbacks and the bag in the wall), promising new side characters (Justified is the tv show that handles side characters the best IMO).
I'm very satisfied. And if you want to read a good review, go to the AV Club and read Noel Murray's.He nailed it, especially with this:
" [...] it’s continuing what I found to be one of the strongest elements of last season: the willingness to show Raylan as an entitled, exploitative son of a bitch. There are no shortage of anti-heroes on television these days: crooks with a conscience, mostly, joined by the occasional broody cop who doesn’t play by the rules. Raylan Givens is different than both of these types. He’s pleased with himself—and troublesome to his colleagues—in ways that should make him unappealing, but he’s just so much fun to watch as a laid back man of action, with failings that are mainly petty and personal. Ultimately, Raylan’s one of the good guys. He doesn’t appear to be playing out an arc of redemption, nor is he “breaking bad.” He’s doing a job he believes in, just in a way that makes the life of everyone around him more difficult (and not always for good reasons, either)."
Or about the parallel between Raylan and Jody Adair: "What Raylan doesn’t expect (or even notice) is that he’s transporting a criminal version of himself: a guy who does what he wants, and then explains it away by arguing that he’s still basically a good dude, who only robs and kills people who deserve it." It's simply spot-on.
The chemistry with Olyphant was great and the scenes worked well so I hope we haven't seen the last of Jody but I'm afraid he's one of those one-episode-stand Justified is used to throw on Raylan's way. It seems that Ellen Mae is a recurring character which is good for the actress is great (and thank you show for the call-back to Ava punching her like her old pimp used to!) and I expect Wynn Duffy to make an appearance at some point (Jere Burns has to come back! ). As for the Snake preacher, I found him quite convincing (more than preacher Boyd in season 1). Boyd's war buddy is...well, can we say that he just fits in?
Apparently it's likely that Dewey Crowe won't show up this season, which is a shame because he is one of a kind, but Constable Bob might provide some good comic relief, although I am not quite sold on Patton Oswalt's character yet (just like I wasn't a big fan of Dickie Bennet, while the actor playing Dewey made me believe in his character).
By the way, I love how Raylan keeps instantly connecting with some of our local guys in a way that is condescending, a bit mean, but also intimate and even kind of affectionate. Raylan is both annoyed and almost tender when it comes to those nearly incompetent Kentucky numbers especially. He can't help flirting a little bit with them even when he's catching them, beating them or being a smart-ass. The ending scene with Jody calling him "Raylan" therefore was quite relevant. His criminals or "assistants" are like the women in his life, coming and going, while he takes what he wants, and does as he wants.
I swear I'm this close to work out a parallel between Raylan and Ellen Mae the whore!
Anyway Raylan Givens is still the coolest and strongest tv guy we have these days and I love him, no matter how much an asshole he can be. Timothy Olyphant knows his character so well now, it's obvious he is "at home" when playing Raylan so he delivers lines to perfection and his facial expressions/grimaces convey so much of what's happening in Raylan's mind that he's super efficient even without any good one-liner.
And he wears denim jackets better than anybody! :- ) And he mentioned The Big Lebowski!
Bonus points for Boyd for quoting Isaac Asimov, but it's interesting that he's hiding stuff (Oxy money) from Ava...in a hole in the ceiling! Raylan just put his "dirty" money in his drawers.
And speaking of Crowders who hides stuff, Cousin Johnny is still the best liar in the room, Boyd's war buddy was right. He smelled the rat once once!
And there's Boyd's dealer throwing at Boyd's face words he used to voice (at least he said it to Johnny) when he was in preacher mode in season 1 : "Truth always sounds like lies to a sinner"!
So this is going to be a season about lies and truth...especially given that the mysterious owner of the driving licence that Raylan found was named Truth, a strange surname to have, according that Arlo, who is another master of lies. But we already knew that.
Also looks like the show is just calling for a crossover with Breaking Bad! Apart from all the meth references, and former guest-stars, the cold open called BrBa to the mind (and also Six Feet Under but that's another story), and Boyd's drug dealer was the guy whose head got crushed by the ATM on BrBa, and the scene at the crushing car yard reminded me of BrBa too, although this Henry couldn't compete with the old Mister I-know-the-law-and-run-a-junk-yard from BrBa.
I would love to see arrogant Walter White trying to talk his way out with Raylan Givens!
The only thing missing in Justified is a sleazy lawyer named Saul...
And I just realised that Donna Bowman who reviews Breaking Bad on the AV Club is married to...Noel Murray who now reviews Justified!