Graham Yost

Justified Season 4

With Justified winding down to its season finale in two weeks, it hasn’t lost the high-octane momentum of last week’s amazing episode with “Decoy” continuing to plow along full steam ahead – an apt metaphor, given that Rachel and Shelby/Drew got the hell out of Harlan on the coal train by the episode’s end. Again, this episode upholds Justified’s high standard for the most clever, well-written dialogue on television (this episode was written by showrunner Graham Yost and Chris Provenzano) and at the helm of director Michael Watkins, had a consistently swift and exciting pace, cutting between various high-tension locations and groups of characters. Each character also got their moment in the spotlight – Raylan and Boyd being clever and badass! Tim’s sardonic wit! Colton’s tortured-ness! Art being Art! Johnny’s bleeding heart! Ava being one tough cookie! – which is a difficult feat to accomplish, given this week’s large ensemble-like nature. So many good things again this week, it’s almost difficult to simmer down and make this sound coherent.

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Justified Season 4

On last week’s impressive Season 4 premiere, Raylan faced off against imprisoned Arlo and his teenage flunkies on the outside as they tried to take a bag and ID from a 1983 plane crash/drug bust hidden in Arlo’s wall, Arlo shanked another prisoner, Ellen May shot a furry john, and Boyd suspects he has a new adversary in fundamentalist preacher Billy. Winona remains out of the picture, while Ava is still the First Lady of Boyd’s criminal empire. Raylan remains the best. This week’s episode “Where’s Waldo?” brings us many wonderful things. Raylan, Tim, and Art go on a stakeout together – a marshallin’ dream team. There is also perhaps the highest volume of rednecks in a single episode of Justified. We have the Waldo Truth family, a redneck backyard ultimate fighting ring, and a fundamentalist church congregation. And not only are they rednecks by socioeconomic background and/or geographical location, but they serve up some redneck realness. A redneck child throws Raylan double middle fingers! Ellen May gets “saved!” Yes, as established in last week’s recap, Justified is back to doing what Justified does best – luxuriating in the seedy criminal world/religious zealotry of Harlan County. Oh yeah, and crooked businessman Win Duffy (Jere Burns) is back and continues to stir the pot on yet another season – hurray!

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A few weeks ago, news came out that CBS was dropping their CIA comedy CHAOS from the schedule, and as a result was pushing the U.S. premiere of established police procedural Flashpoint up a month to the 8pm slot. A slot which is new to the show as Flashpoint has always been switching between the 9pm and 10pm slots since it began in the summer of ’08. I had the chance to ask series co-creator Mark Ellis about what fans can expect from the upcoming season:

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