Sunday, 17 June 2012

Justified 3 – Slaughterhouse, starring Timothy Olyphant. Don't miss it!

Best of enemies – Walton Goggins as Boyd and Timothy Olyphant as Raylan
Rating: ★★★★½ 

5USA: Wednesday, 20 June, 9pm

It's sad that Justified doesn't have a really big rep in the UK. Series three is about to wrap on 5USA with an explosive finale that, while full of bangs, will pass most viewers with not even a whimper.

The episode is called Slaughterhouse and, yes, the title is justified. Because during the previous 13 weeks some very nasty characters have been dancing round each other and the music is about to stop.

Timothy Olyphant as US Marshal Raylan Givens has again been superb but, as is often the way in crime stories dreamt up by brilliant Elmore Leonard, it has been the evildoers that have stuck in our mind during this series.

Boyd Crowder, Limehouse and Quarles
Money men – Limehouse and Quarles
Walton Goggins as Boyd Crowder has again been the slick schemer without ever managing to make it big as a crime boss in his home town of Harlan, Kentucky. Mykelti Williamson has been menacing as a true power in the neighbourhood, Ellstin Limehouse, usually wielding a chopper on the carcass of some unfortunate hog.

Jere Burns as Wynn Duffy has been a particularly slippery operator, but it is Neal McDonough as creepy psycho Quarles who has stolen the show. A sexual predator who is sadistic and odd in equal measure with his Midwich Cuckoo looks, he will present the biggest threat to Raylan in the final showdown – and that's after the Marshal has hit Limehouse in his own compound.

Look out for Justified series four
The one omission for this superb series, which is probably the freshest, wittiest and most richly charactered crime series on UK telly right now, is that Winona (Natalie Zea), who will soon have Raylan's child, has been so estranged from the trigger-happy Marshal that we've hardly seen her.

Channel 5 – 5USA's parent channel – has been sitting on a gem of a drama with Justified. If they get round to showing series four, they might want to try blowing their publicity trumpet about it to let viewers know it's on.