Tonight's "Justified" is a perfect example of why it's the best show on television right now. The modern day western based off Elmore Leonard's stories of U.S. Marshall Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) has transformed from a fun, well-executed drama in the first season to an absolutely spectacular and compelling television series in its sophomore outing.
Much of the credit goes to the writers who've fleshed out the world of Harlan, Kentucky by mixing the criminal aspect (bootlegging, weed growers, stick-up men) with the always contentious coal mining controversy that's defined the region for decades. The writers have also created a number of interesting layers for Raylan, his boss Chief Deputy Art Mullen (He knows! He knows!), and the always mysterious Boyd (excellently played by Walton Goggins).
Last week's episode revealed that Mags (Margo Martindale) and the Bennett boys have more than moral objections about the Black Pipe coal company's land grab, but still haven't fully let the cat out of the bag (or whatever Coover had in there) about their nefarious plans. We also got the whole backstory about why the Givens and Bennett families don't get along. On top of that, Martindale is just killing it as Mags and should win a handful of awards. And, when she announced her party in that excellent town hall speech, you just know it's going to be one hell of a "Whoop-de-doo."
I had the pleasure of watching tonight's episode early and will be watching it again when it airs because it's that great. But, no spoilers — except that "Justified" fans won't be disappointed — just a preview of to wet your appetite.