Justified: Season 2, Episode 13

Bloody Harlan (4 May 2011)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Crime | Drama
9.0
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Ratings: 9.0/10 from 592 users  
Reviews: 1 user | 1 critic

The bad blood between the Bennetts and the Crowders reaches its boiling point and results in bloodshed, and Loretta returns from Lexington to avenge her father's death.

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Storyline

The quest for a missing person forces Raylan to wade into a war that has erupted in Harlan between Boyd and the Bennetts. Written by FX Publicity

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4 May 2011 (USA)  »

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16:9
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Did You Know?

Trivia

James Le Gros had previously played Raylan Givens in the 1997 movie version of Elmore Leonard's book Pronto (1997). In this episode of Justified, he shares screen time with Timothy Olyphant's version of Raylan. See more »

Goofs

When We see Raylan on the ground beside his vehicle after the exchange of gunfire at the Bennet's, he is shot on his right side. When he is standing talking to Art, his wound is on the left. See more »

Quotes

Chief Deputy Art Mullen: [through bullhorn] Drop your weapons and get on the ground. Drop your weapons or you will be shot. Assume the position, now! You dumb-ass peckerwoods understand English? On the ground, hillbillies, now!
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Soundtracks

Long Hard Times To Come
(Title Theme) (uncredited)
Written by Rench and T.O.N.E-z
Performed by Gangstagrass featuring T.O.N.E-z
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User Reviews

Season 2: Matures into more than it was in season 1, but it is an unsteady growth in some ways (spoilers)
5 August 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

When I started watching Justified I had it in my head that it was a drama series very much of the ilk of Deadwood and The Wire; I wasn't sure why I thought this but it didn't take too long for me to figure out that I had heard wrong. What the first season mostly seemed to be was a case per week detective show albeit with characters, themes and narrative that covers the whole season. It wasn't much more than this although I did enjoy it for this content and the engagingly tough manner in which it did it since this is not a genre I mind in terms of light entertainment. With the second season I expected more of the same but in a way my expectations were confounded again (albeit less so) as this season sees the show mature into something more engaging and satisfying than it had originally been.

The first season did have a season-long story arc but it did move week-to-week in regards a lot of specific open/shut cases. The second season takes a step away from that formula and to a certain extent the focus is much more on the season as being a total product rather than just a collection of individual bits held on a common thread. I liked the change in tone that this gave the show - there seemed to be more consistency in the telling of the story and there was a sense of things building that was only partially there in the first season. Although off-shot threads are still present and still good, the weaving together of several related threads serves to make the second season better. Having said that, it isn't all quite as good as all that and there are missteps and weaknesses with the maturing process.

This is seen in the detail and in the groundwork on which the threads are built because not all of it is as well done as other bits and some ideas feel like they could have been fleshed out and strengthened from the base up. So the central family feud is a good device to add background to the central conflict in the season, but it seems too suddenly in existence and it also seems a shame to have it all pretty much brought to an end. Likewise the material with the ex-wife is engaging but too much happens with too weak a root to it – I liked the idea of her being tempted but it comes out of nowhere and then unlikely circumstances make it too big a deal too quickly. As with season 1 I still find Boyd to be an odd character and one that the show doesn't totally know what to do with – I liked his fit better this season (one he settled in) and in fairness his arch appears to be longer term, which is what I prefer generally. On thing I did like in particular is how mean-spirited so much of the material is; many of this type of show tend to use crime and murder as a glossy device but here it is often hard to watch and not done glibly. It holds this approach back so as not to take away from the show as entertainment, but it doesn't dress it up in regards the violence, the characters or the dialogue.

The cast remain solid with Olyphant in particular being a great asset. Handsome, patient and a good presence on screen, he is easy to watch no matter what angle you're coming at it from. The supporting cast around him are good again whether it is his family (Barry, Zea), his colleagues (Searcy, Tazel etc) or those he is facing off against. As before there are some very broad caricatures in here but none of them seem too excessive or cruel in their portrayal; this is partly because of how well presented this world is – everyone seems to fit well.

Overall season 2 of Justified is consistently enjoyable and engaging as light entertainment, but the move beyond "case per week" material adds a maturity to it that I found additionally satisfying. Even with this maturing process, it is not all as good as it could have been and indeed in many regards it seems to be reaching for ideas without ensuring the material is well footed, and as a result some threads are inherently weak from the start and struggle as they develop. Perhaps this can be addressed in the third season, to give it the extra gravitas and grit that the tone and much of the dialogue is already getting.


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