If you’re gearing up to watch the second-season premiere of “Justified” on FX Wednesday night (Feb. 9), you might want to prepare by rewatching the Season 1 finale.
The show begins right where it ended last spring, with Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant), Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins) and Boyd’s sister-in-law Ava Crowder (Joelle Carter) pinned down in Bulletville by better-armed foes. That really is just the beginning, though. Here are a few things to watch out for in the season premiere.
The Miami issue is resolved. For now. The opening of the episode seemingly puts to bed the problems that dogged Givens from South Florida to Harlan, Ky., in Season 1. It’s a nice little bow on that chapter of the show before the next one starts — but we still wouldn’t be surprised if Givens’ time in Florida doesn’t become a problem again further down the road.
Raylan is trying really hard to curb the gunplay. After the opening sequence, the premiere is a largely lead-free hour as Givens (occasionally hilariously) uses words more than bullets to make his point. We’re not sure that’s going to hold either, but watching Givens explain that he’s trying to work on his anger issues — and then slowly seethe as other people push his buttons — is just good television.
The new bad guys: It’s a family thing. Givens’ chief nemesis this season will be the Bennett family, the biggest pot growers in Harlan County. Middle son Dickie (Jeremy Davies of “Lost”) has a mean streak and a grudge against Raylan, but the real force in the family is the grandmotherly-seeming matriarch Mags (Margo Martindale, “Secretariat,” “The Riches”). The Bennett and Givens families have a long history — and not all of it bad, which gives Olyphant lots of room to play.
“Elmore’s [Leonard, on whose stories ‘Justified’ is based] world is always, you know, less about good guys and bad guys as [it is] people who respect each other and people who don’t, you know?” Olyphant says. “It comes down to who’s cool and who’s an a**hole. And I think that division is often more important than who’s breaking the law and who’s trying to keep it.
“I think that it’s always a fun choice. It’s always a interesting dilemma and situation when you genuinely like the person, respect the person, but are at odds, and plus [Martindale]’s just so fun. I don’t know if it was a choice so much as just a reaction. As I was working with her, I just find myself so fond of her and her work, you’re like, ‘Well, I guess Raylan likes her.’ That’s what I’m going with.”
Boyd goes underground, literally. We’ll see much more of the relationship between Boyd and Raylan as Season 2 progresses, but Boyd goes MIA for much of the premiere, and just about no one Raylan asks has seen him. Asked about the two characters’ “friendship,” Olyphant says he doesn’t really see it that way.
“I honestly don’t think I see him as a friend,” he says. “… They have a history, and I think there’s a knowingness. I think there’s an understanding between them. But beyond that, I think that’s kind of it. After that it becomes about, it’s fun to see their worlds collide. And I think given what he does and given what my character does, they’re going to keep running into each other.”
“Justified” premieres at 10 p.m. ET Wednesday on FX.