Pruitt Taylor-Vince. Neal McDonough. Desmond Harrington.
And that blubbering Bubba Gump asshole.
All these dudes show up in the first few episodes of this, the third season on FX’s ever-improving Elmore Leonard series Justified. Add to that the continued presence of Jere Burns, Natalie Zea, Nick Searcy (who has a powerhouse interrogation scene), Jeremy Davies (somehow channeling his annoyingness into good work), and the delicious twosome of Timothy Olyphant and Walton Goggins.
Seriously, Goggins deserves a lifetime achievement award for just this and The Shield.
The reason for this article is to say that if you love Justified, this season is so far the strongest and most enriching yet. By a large margin. The dialogue is better, the actors are at home in their characters like never before, and even the characters sent to the periphery are getting quality screen time. If you love it, you’ll love it more despite the loss of Margo Martindale and her award winning presence.
If you don’t yet love it, now is the time. It’s a top five show on television right now. With some of the stuff on FX, HBO, Showtime, and AMC that’s saying something.
And I didn’t even mention Carla Gugino.