The series premiere of Justified titled “Fire in the Hole” starts off quickly with Deputy US Marshal Raylan Givens walking into a Miami hotel and shooting a fugitive, Thomas Buckley, which Givens had given 24 hours to leave Miami or be shot on sight.
When the Buckley tries to shoot first, Givens is a faster draw and puts three bullets into the man’s chest. Although the hero feels that the shooting was justified because he was drawn on first, both his boss in Miami and the Department of Justice are not happy with the Deputy Marshall’s actions and ship him off to Lexington, Kentucky.
Once at his new office in Kentucky, Chief Deputy Art Mullen sweetens the deal for Givens by informing him that he’ll be assisting with building a case against someone he might know, Boyd Crowder. The white supremacist has been blowing up buildings and robbing banks back in Givens’ home town, Harlan, Kentucky. Givens’ and Crowder also spent time working in coal mines when they were teenagers.
Meanwhile, Crowder does little to lower his profile by blowing up a church in Harlan and then killing his accomplice later that night because he suspected he was a snitch. Givens, Mullen and the police discover the accomplice body the next morning and quickly suspect Crowder for both the murder and blowing up the church because they found a cap to a rocket launcher in the accomplice’s vehicle.
Crowder isn’t picked up by the police just yet, but can’t avoid all bad news as he hears that his brother has been shot and killed. Turns out his wife, Ava, got tired of being beaten by her abusive husband and fired a shotgun at his chest while he was eating dinner. The Marshall’s office wants to question Ava again and the only person who knows where she lives is the hometown boy, Raylan Givens.
Ava and Raylan have a history - they each liked the other back in high school - but the real drama starts when one of Crowder’s boys comes looking for Ava. Raylan sends him packing and with a message: he wants to have a word with Boyd. Ava assists with this by giving Givens the location of where Crowder usually spends his time.
Givens goes and meets Crowder at his place, an old church, and informs the suspect that he needs to come down to the police station the next day for a lineup in the church bombing. Crowder shows, isn’t pegged by the witness, but runs into Givens on the way out of the courthouse and gives Raylan the same 24 hours he gave Buckley down in Miami.
Although Crowder’s initial offer was 24 hours, he sets up a trap for Givens at Ava’s house. Boyd forces Ava to call Raylan over for dinner, where Crowder is waiting. Givens is able to sniff out the tail and Crowder put on him and keep those boys at bay, but Boyd is waiting for Givens at Ava’s house with the same scenario Raylan faced in Miami.
Dinner is served; Crowder digs in and asks Givens to join him. The scene is identical to Miami, only the tables are turned with Crowder giving Givens 24 hours. Though it looks like we’re headed for a show down between the old mine workers, Ava interrupts dinner with a shotgun pointed at Crowder. Boyd tries to go for his gun, but Givens draws first, shooting him in the chest, but not killing him.