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TV Review: Justified 4.1: Hole in the Wall
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Justified, 4x01 "Hole in the Wall" Review

Justified
Season 4, Episode 1 – “Hole in the Wall”
Directed by Michael Dinner
Written by Graham Yost
Starring: Timothy Olyphant, Walton Goggins, Nick Searcy, Joelle Carter, Erica Tazel, Jacob Pitts, Joe Mazzello, Patton Oswalt, Ron Eldard, Abby Miller and Raymond J. Barry
Tuesdays at 10pm; FX Network

Justified began its fourth season tonight on FX and we’ve got a full review of the premiere, “Hole in the Wall,” here after the break.

Justified, to me at least, has always been a show about trying to outrun the sins of a parent and what kind of impact that can make on one’s life. Each season of the show has focused on that angle, albeit through different families (Season 1 was the Crowders, while Season 2 gave us the infamous Bennett Clan), but in the past season, Executive Producer Graham Yost decided to key in and show us a bit more history between our hero and his father.

So, it’s only fitting as Season 4 of Justified begins, that everything comes full circle back to the strained relationship between Raylan (Tim Olyphant) and Arlo (Raymond J. Barry). However, Raylan’s dear old dad still has more secrets to hide as “Hole in the Wall” jumpstarts what looks to be a season-long mystery involving a mysterious bag and its contents.

Raylan’s discovery starts after some copper-stripping teens break into Arlo’s house and find the bag hidden inside the wall (hence the episode’s title). The crime alerts Raylan’s glorified house-sitter, Constable Bob Sweeney (played by a very welcome Patton Oswalt), and puts the two together for the majority of the episode as they hunt down the teens.

However, Justified is always at its best when all its plots come smashing together, providing just enough tension and drama to keep things interesting as the teens and an escaped convict all join together for a memorable conclusion and a solid start to Raylan’s adventures this season.

Meanwhile on the Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins) side of things, the drug business isn’t as good as it should be, all due to a new preacher. The Last Chance Holiness Church and Preacher Billy (Joe Mazzello) are taking some of Boyd’s most dedicated customers and curing their addiction to oxy. However, Boyd gets a new and volatile partner in the form of ex-military police Colton Rhodes (Ron Eldard) who looks to be a potential asset as he clashes with Preacher Billy.

However, the most interesting dynamic looks to be a continued exploration of the relationship between father and son. With the end of this episode playing out like it does, Raylan and his father are going to be interacting more than they’d both like.

When it comes to Justified, normally the past is prologue. However, Justified‘s fourth season is looking to have that past be present as “Hole in the Wall” sets about laying the groundwork for an entire season which looks to really exploring what makes Raylan tick.

Quick Thoughts

- “No one ever said running a criminal enterprise would be this hard.” “They left that out on career day.”

- I don’t want to spoil anything involving my one of my favorite television prostitutes, Ellen May (Abby Miller), but do know this: her scenes in this premiere are downright hilarious.

- Preacher Billy certainly drives a strong bargain for those looking to be saved. Time will tell if he’s as much as a snake oil salesman as Boyd was during his religious phase.

- Here’s a bold prediction = the season equivalent of Chekhov’s gun will be Billy’s snakes.

- “Netflix it. You can be one of the cool kids.” Justified always has fun putting Raylan and Gutterson (Jacob Pitts) together, but I forgot how entertaining Rachel (Erica Tazel) and Raylan interactions are.

- I’m really interested in seeing how this season will play out considering (at least at this stage) there isn’t an overarching threat to Raylan. After last season’s fury and chaos, a seemingly quieter approach for Raylan is very different and welcome.

- Wisely, the premiere keeps Boyd and Raylan away from each other. I have a feeling that won’t last for long, however.

- Fairly obvious that Constable Bob is supposed to be a bit of stand-in for the audience, but I’m already loving what Oswalt is doing with the character.

- Actor Chris Chalk played the escaped convict, but you might know him better as Homeland’s expert sharpshooter, Tom Walker.

What did you think of the premiere?

Seasons 1-3 are currently available on DVD & Blu-ray and through Amazon Instant Video, if you need to catch up or refresh.

  • http://www.facebook.com/michael.nelsen Michael Nelsen

    Loved the first episode! One of the best shows on TV, keeps going in new directions and keeping me guessing. Awesome!

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