FX series Justified, now in its second, continues the cable network’s streak of gritty, original programming. The show hits the mark with its spot on ensemble cast that slips into the unique, layered characters and smoldering storylines, some of which build over the course of an episode and others for the whole season.

Timothy Olyphant as exiled Miami Federal Marshal Raylan Givens puts to use the same intensity he showed off in Deadwood but this time around with a wicked, laid-back sense of humor. This southern flavored drama features one of The Shield’s MVPs, Walton Goggins as Raylan’s long-time frenemy, Boyd Crowder. Scenes between the two are like a slow dance between a long together couple that have come to an understanding but are ready to pounce on each other at a moments notice.

Justified has dialogue so sharp it can cut right through the screen and into your living room. When a local police officer comes calling for Raylan’s services because of his way with the locals in his Kentucky hometown, Raylan’s boss, chief deputy, Art Mullens played by Nick Searcy chimes in without missing a beat, “You’re like the hillbilly whisperer put you on Oprah.” Boyd after shooting a man dead politely asks the mine worker whose life he has just saved, “Might I be so bold as to ask you for a favor?” Lines like these keep coming from every direction. Suffice it to say you’ll want to keep the remote handy.

The show may be strong on testosterone but there’s no shortage of strong and complicated, three-dimensional women. There’s Raylan’s ex-wife, Winona who reveals an unexpected edgy side when faced with temptation, his ex-lover, Ava Crowder who’ll take a shotgun to anyone who crosses her, and this season, superb character actress, Margo Martindale as Mags Bennett, a modern day, backwoods Lady Macbeth. And, watch out for 14-year old orphan, Loretta McCready (Kaitlyn Dever) whose quick tongue doesn’t spare anyone.

Every scene is infused with a purpose and unpredictability. On what seems like a routine call, Raylan is tasered. In the scuffle, he manages to grab the taser from the guy and buzz him in the nuts. That move sums up one of the best things about Justified; it surprises viewers in ways they don’t expect. In other words, this show has balls and that you don’t want to miss.

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