Justified Review: Series Premiere

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A lot of meaning can be drawn out of the title of the series premiere of Justified, “Fire in the Hole.”

First, and obviously, it speaks to what Boyd says to the people standing outside of the church before he fires his rocket launcher to blow up the building. 

The moment and decision by Boyd was an interesting one because, although it happened early in the show, it demonstrates a human side to someone already painted as a maniac. 

Armed, Dangerous

Additionally, it lends credence to Givens’ assertion later in the show that Boyd didn’t just randomly choose some church because he doesn’t like the religion being preached there. 

Boyd was paid off by another drug dealer who is irritated that the pastor, who happens to deal drugs on the side, is basically given a free pass by the local authorities. 

Boyd gets to blow things up, something he likes to do, and get paid to do it, something we all like.

“Fire in the Hole” also speaks to Boyd’s nature as a person.  We learn later in the show that no only did Boyd and Givens grow up together, they used to work in a coal mine together.  Boyd was a “powder guy” as Raylan calls him and used to install the explosives in the mine, light the fuse, and coming running out screaming “fire in the hole!”  Boyd, it seems, really, really likes to blow things up. 

The title speaks to more than just the bad guy, Boyd Crowder, it also tells us a lot about our main character: Deputy U.S. Marshal Rayland Givens.  Our hero can’t seem to stop finding himself in explosive situations.  However, much like a stick of dynamite, he won’t explode unless ignited.  Givens warns three different people during the episode that if he’s drawn upon, he shoots to kill. 

If you like a stick of dynamite, it is going to go off.  If you draw on Raylan Givens, he’s going to kill you. 

Finally, the title as a very apt moniker for the start of Justified.  Although the show was a bit longer than a traditional hour television show, the writers did a good job of keeping the story moving and maintaining the viewer’s audience.  As any good show should accomplish, there’s plenty of drama and action mixed in with a bit of romance and a few great one-liners of comedy.

We discover that Raylan Givens has an old flame in court reporter Winona Hawkins, but they split up six years ago.  At the very end of the show, Raylan is found sitting at her dining room table in the middle of the night like a complete creep.  However, Raylan needs someone to talk to after killing two men in less than a week and only feels comfortable with Winona.  The two talk and have a light moment clearly indicating that sparks once existed, but Winona seems to be done with who she calls “the angriest man I’ve ever met.”

Justified Promo Pic

The sparks really seemed to fly between Ava Crowder and Raylan Givens and there’s at least one person hoping they get together: me.  Actress Joelle Carter did a tremendous job as Ava, playing the stereotypical southern bell to a T and had Raylan on his heels the entire episode.  As Boyd says earlier in the episode, she’s certainly a woman with some “spunk.”

So tell us what you though of the premiere of Justified.  Did it work for you?  Does having the show reference itself twice bother you as well (we get it, Raylan, your shootings were justified)?  Are you rooting for Ava and Rayland to get together too?


Editor Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (45 Votes)

NGL, that brought a tear to my eye.
HBO, you broke my heart.
Thank christ for Justified though, right? Literally the only reason to watch tv these days.


This c**ksucker Bullock, i mean Givens, is a badass no matter which century he's in. He's got ice water running through his veins. The maniac with the huge choppers is even scarier and more impressive without "The Commish" behind him, and he plays a fantastic hardcore hillbilly.
But seriously, I think Boyd yelled "Fire in the Hole" more out of habit than out of any sense of humanity. He's all about "the cash and the chaos". While he didn't seem to wanna bother finding out if the new guy was legit before killing him, I do like the fact that he seemed to want to play fair with Givens, and also that he was not only bold enough to voluntarily walk in and stand for a lineup, but then nonchalantly doubling back to mention to Givens (as if he'd forgotten to mention it) that he's decided to give HIM 24 hours to get out of town (but i find it pretty odd that Harlan is literally 147 miles away from Lexington and they don't seem to mind driving back and forth. I guess most people that watch the show don't realize that, though). I can forgive that, i guess.
I can't wait until next week's episode, although i heard it's gonna slow down a little for a week or two before it heats up again. (a lot of critics have advance copies)
If you see Trixie, tell her that if she doesn't get her ass out of Caprica and back to Deadwood, she's gonna be one dead c*nt.

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