Season 2 Episode 13

Bloody Harlan

Aired Tuesday 10:00 PM May 04, 2011 on FX

Episode Fan Reviews (4)

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out of 10
265 votes
  • New Justified Fan

    I'm a little late coming to this party, but so glad I finally found it. I'm now all caught up on Seasons 1 and 2 and cannot wait for January to get here so I can see a Season 3.

    What a surprise this show is! What looks on first blush to be yet another crime procedural is anything but. Steeped in Southern tradition that goes back to the Hatfields and the McCoys, here we have clans like the Bennett and the Givens clans fussin' and fightin' ... often not knowing why, only that they do. And all the while, all the characters ooze with Southern charm.

    But these are not charming Southerners. These are hillbilly criminals who feel as Justified as the law man who helps the US Marshall Service try and keep the lid on his home town. These hillbillies have a right to make shine and grow weed (and all the peripheral businesses that go along with it), and no one, including the Federals, will tell them any different.

    This show is dramatic, intense ... but it's also amazingly funny when appropriate. And that is the Southern way ... to deal with adversity with a healthy does of humor. From the Chief Deputy all the way down to the kids ... there is a 'colorful' way of 'jawin'' with the opposing side of any fight (and fighting is all they know how to do) that is as entertaining to watch as the next shoot-out or explosion which is certain to come.

    Kudos to the show for top notch casting of all roles (supporting and guest stars), writing, acting locations, music ... all lending to crate 'Harlan County' using primarily California locations. Timothy Olyphant is just perfect, as smooth as a shot of fine Kentucky bourbon. His slow, calm, witty charming demeanor juxtapose against his intense stare, keen survival instincts, and his faster than lightening ability to outdraw anyone. He's the best law man since Marshall Dillon! Also, kudos to Walton Goggins for embodying the best 'frenemy' on television. Talented, talented guy. And Season 2 is graced with the incomparable Margo Martindale who steals every scene she's in. Emmys, please, for this show and for Olyphant, Goggins, and of course, Martindale rightly received hers.
  • Wonderful - Absorbing, entertainment :-) - The best ever series on TV (why such a low score here on TV.COM? Industry generally is talking Emmy's all round and "best thing on TV" , so why the 6's and 7's?)

    Again, the Justified team comes up trumps, delivering the goods in all areas.

    So much was good in this finale, almost as good as last week's ep. The twist at the end was something I was half expecting as soon as Mags offered Raylan a drink, but I was sure it was Raylan who was going to be rushed to the ER, and then was extremely satisfied and saddened at the same time by the pay off.

    Seems like Raylan's and Art's relationship is on the mend a little, I hope so anyway. I missed their banter for some episodes now.

    The scene between Boyd/Dickie and Raylan with Raylan lynched by Dickie was so cool. The way Raylan discharged his responsibility to Boyd of the "care" of Dickie was so cool and the way Boyd respected him enough to release Dickie back to him all in the space of a minute or two, was masterfully done. The disgusted look on Raylan's face was priceless when he realises he can't just leave Boyd to finish off Dickie; ie. he NEEDS Dickie.

    So much to like here. The subtlety of how Winona broke the news of her pregnancy to Raylan and his heartwarming reaction to the news, the parlay in the church, the shooting of Ava, just enough to spice emotions up, but hopefully she will be ok! Generally the whole Boyd/Raylan relationship. So complex. Boyd's still, just, on the right side of Raylan. They shared enemies this season but the law may just win back a notch or two next season.

    The "cavalry" arriving to save the day, and seeing Doyle's end was great. He annoyed me much more than Dickie. Hopefully Dickie will still get to play a good part in next season. Brilliant character.

    Mags' genuine affection for Loretta, and Raylan's graceful switch from law enforcer to father figure. Great stuff all round.

    This season of Justified tops last season completely and I hope that next season will not slack off the quality. I've come to trust the writers and acting in Justified so much throughout the 2 past seasons. Perhaps only Breaking Bad is on a par with this, and in a different way.

    Every time I've expected a cheap "TV Cliché" resolution, Justified has delivered so much more, more depth, more realism. It's as if the writers are working so hard to make every line, every scene, every decision work true to life. They must sit round and analyse everything... "what would this character do now, in light of this..." and so on. It FEELS natural. So much so, that I just now sit back and bask in every delightful episode, confident that I will never be left wanting... and so far I haven't been :-)

    Raylan has been dancing around his own moral code a lot this season, around the law, and history, feuds, etc. Many personal demons have been touched here within many characters in the show. It will be extremely interesting to see where we are taken next season.

    Favourite quote...

    RAYLAN: "I didn't pull the trigger, but I'll sleep like a baby knowing HE will"
  • If Margo Martindale (Mags) does not receive an Emmy for her performance, it will be a travesty.

    I'm sure that most of you will indeed see that this episode was as cliched as it gets: last second saves abound; girl comes back to avenge her father and risks becoming what her elders already are. Hero risks wife and child to fulfil his promise.
    That's all fine and dandy; these people pull it off well. I love that Dicky is evil and snivelling down to his bones. I love that Rayland is flawed to the core, and also noble to the core.
    But Mags. Oh me oh my Mags.
    Margo Martindale pulls off the best performance for any supporting character I have seen in past years on TV, bar NONE.
    Her Mags is maternal, deeply emotionally intelligent, weak for Loretta, a true "mater familiaris" of her clan. I mean, she was on fire before, but ever since her speech at the town hall when the Black Coal company came knocking - she's been hitting them out of the ballpark, making absolutely more of her role than was offered.
    She had a fitting end, Mags did, but Martindales performance will stay with me for a long, long time.
    I have no idea how the show means to top this, but I wish them (and it) good luck.
    Cya next season!
  • Judgment Day (Spoilers Ahead)

    Boyd seeks a parley with Mags and the Bennetts following his ripping off of Dickie and hands back the money that they stole from him. Raylan asks for a transfer to Glenco but Art is reluctant about it. Winona has some surprising news for Raylan with her being pregnant with his child. When Loretta goes to Harlan with a gun to find out who killer her father Raylan heads there as well much to Winona's dismay and in a well timed moment of her saying that she's not his problem and they can't have a life together if he dies and always goes off to be a hero. In the midst of the parley war breaks out and Johnny Crowder shines a bad ass flag by blowing up his own house when two men come to take his life. At the Crowder residence when Bennetts rain down Ava gets shot by Dickie and he manages to escape. When Raylan follows a lead to Loretta he gets tied up by Dickie only to end up at gunpoint by Boyd who awesomely tells Raylan to leave then alone together. Raylan then realizes he needs Dickie and approaches the Bennett house with Dickie as Loretta hold Mags at gunpoint to learn the truth and I must say that Kaitlyn Dever is heartbreaking as Loretta, who was forced into this life at the beginning of the season but chooses out of it and tells Mags that she had a life before she took her in and she didn't need to kill her father. Raylan sits and watches as Mags poisons herself the same way she did Loretta's father with the apple pie and that's where it ends. While Ava's ultimate fate is never revealed in this episode or whether Dickie will remain in the series still begs an answer but it was an excellent close to one of the most focused and effectively poetic TV seasons I've seen in a long time. Boyd shines and we got a bit of foreshadowing into next season from Mags that when he wants more power he'll take it someday meaning that there may be even more bloodshed next season. But for now we don't know where power lies in the county of Harlan what with Black Pike and everything. But knowing when Justified returns for season three next year they have a lot to live up to. It's also almost impossible for any future villains to live up to Margo Martindale who did some terrific work this season along with Walton Goggins and Jeremy Davies and the always charming Timothy Olyphant who brings this show to life.