justified season 3 premiere 'Justified' Season 3 premiere: A carpetbagger comes to Harlan“Justified” returned to the airwaves Tuesday (Jan. 17), coming off of perhaps its strongest episode ever in its Season 2 finale last May. How do you think the show did coming down off the events of “Bloody Harlan”?

There are some new villains in town. Neal McDonough, with his frighteningly icy blue eyes, arrives in Harlan from Detroit, looking to take over the local Oxycontin business. He is so far only known as “Carpetbagger,” which is fitting since “carpetbagger” means an opportunistic outsider and originated during the Civil War to specifically mean a Northerner coming down to the South to get involved in their politics and take advantage of the civil unrest.

McDonough tells Zap2it of his character, “To take over the Oxycontin business in Kentucky seems to him to be an
easy thing. There I am in my $3,000 suits, and these
guys have ripped-up flannel shirts and holes in their jeans and mud all
over their boots. These s**tkickers are going to pay if they get in my
way. Little do I realize these s**tkickers are pretty smart.”

Helping the carpetbagger is one Fletcher “Ice Pick” Nicks, played by the wonderful Desmond Harrington from “Dexter.” We liked the 21st century spin on the old-fashioned stand-off you see in Westerns. Of course, it was also great to see Raylan outsmart Nicks.

On Twitter, many were wondering if Nicks is dead. We don’t think he is, just for the record. It looked like a shoulder shot and you could hear him moaning before the scene cut away. We don’t think we’ve seen the last of Ice Pick (at least, we hope not. Good villains are what make a show like “Justified”).

Meanwhile, Boyd Crowder comes to the Marshals’ office and gets himself thrown back in jail for taking a swing at Raylan. But of course he had a plan all along – he wanted to get closer to Dickie for shooting Ava. And knowing Boyd, that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Finally, Devil, Arlo and Ava have bags and bags full of Mags’ weed, which Devil swiped after she killed herself in the Season 2 finale. He thinks offloading it will a piece of cake, but the dummy didn’t dry it out first and now it’s rotted and full of mold. So Boyd tells him to burn it all.

And seeing Ava smack Devil with a frying pan might just have been our favorite moment of the entire premiere.

What did you think, “Justified” fans?

Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."