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Published on April 11th, 2012 | by Ernie Estrella


What Will ‘Justified’ Pull Out of Raylan’s Hat For Season 4?

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justified ava bonnie boyd clydeIf you’re still buzzing about Justified’s Season Three finale, “Slaughterhouse” then you’re probably wondering about what will happen in season 4. There were no cheap cliffhangers to hold viewers hostage–not that there’s anything wrong with those, but that’s where Justified sets itself apart from many shows, because they can close stories at the end, they satisfy and they know how to build a season from the ground up and start over again. You have to admire that kind of confident storytelling and thankfully, FX recognized that so that viewers could experience it. They already know you’ll come back, but Graham Yost, Elmore Leonard and the rest of the Justified writers wrapped up several plot lines that began in Seasons One and Two in addition to those started in Season 3. Does that mean that they didn’t leave some morsels for us to chew on? Of course not. Here are seven stories that should be touched on Season 4.

Bonnie, Johnny & Clyde
Boyd (Walton Goggins) ultimately got his release from custody at Arlo’s expense and we now know that it was Johnny who told Limehouse (Mykelti Williamson) about Devil’s murder. Was it shocking that Johnny was the leak? No, but you could tell that he wasn’t happy with Limehouse spilling that can of beans, thus setting off a new conflict to square. Johnny can’t tell Boyd because that would show to him that he was the one who told Limehouse in the first place. And now Johnny will have a score to settle with Limehouse on his own but he won’t have Arlo hallucinating about Helen to pawn off suspicion. Ava (Joelle Carter) will surely step up but would Boyd let her take care of family business? She’s a crowder but she isn’t blood. Boyd let Quarles, an outsider, poison the town of Harlan; if anyone’s going to do that, it’s going to be him. Barring another outsider or newcomer from within Harlan, this has to be Boyd’s big season. He’s spent most of Season 3 rebuilding his resources and weeding out obsolete help and Ava will continue to prove herself an equal partner. Which brings us to…

As You Wish, Ma’am
Ava let Ellen May (Abby Miller) know who’s running Audrey’s and how the whereabouts of Delroy need to remain secret. How far is Ava bought into Boyd’s dreams and goals? She was aiming to run it herself and she never ceases to surprise viewers, herself, and those characters surrounding her including Johnny, Boyd, and Raylan. As for the girls of Audrey’s, who thought that things were going to improve for them with Delroy dead? Who’s having second thoughts now?

Shelby For Sheriff
Shelby (Jim Beaver) drew the line in the sand between he and Boyd. They’re square, so says Shelby. But now that Boyd is in the position to scheme once again, Shelby will have to deal with keeping him in line or be caught in the crossfire. Wouldn’t it be ironic if Shelby plays a part in taking Boyd down?


Noble’s Holler and Its Protector
Limehouse proved that he is not clean but aims to do anything that would keep unneeded attention away from Noble’s Holler. I don’t think he’d do anything to be a villain in the purest sense, and even though he wasn’t forthcoming with all the information Raylan, he helped take care of Quarles. One might say he saved his life and for that Raylan owes him another one. Let’s not forget that Raylan’s mother seeked refuge at Noble’s Holler too. Limehouse helped protect and carry out Mags’ wishes to leave the money with Loretta and he still has a relationship–a friendship with Ava– that may come into play. Limehouse has to deal with Johnny’s threat and he’ll need a new right hand man. Is Bernard (Cleavon McClendon) ready to step up his game?

Winona and Her Baby Daddy
Raylan and Winona (Natalie Zea) continue to come at an impasse in their relationship. Telling stories of severed arms don’t help. Raylan is going to want to be there for his kid, especially how everything with Arlo has shaken out. But can he be selfless enough to be there when it counts? Can Winona find some middle ground? C’mon Winona, at least Raylan’s out of the motel (um, but is sleeping with the bartender of the bar he bounces and lives at).

justified lindsayRaylan’s Support Group
Even though he’s been a loner most of his life, he will have a child to worry about soon and will need help dealing with some of the baggage he’s carrying. Will he depend on Art more to keep him smiling? Can he really count on Winona to be the support he needs? Will Rachel (Erica Tazel) and Tim (Jacob Pitts) help in unprecedented ways and is he willing to accept working with others and follow Marshal procedure? Has his fling with Lindsey (Jenn Lyon) fizzled or just started? Speaking of which, will Raylan continue to moonlight and live at the bar?

Dumb and Dumber and Dumbest
We shouldn’t see Arlo (Raymond J. Barry) or Dickie Bennett (Jeremy Davies) among the free for quite awhile, but that doesn’t mean that they’re gone for good. Dickie will likely find his way to Dewey (Damon Herriman), while Arlo is scheduled to rot in prison. Raylan’s father at some point will lay in the Givens family plot, but will there be forgiveness there? How will the events of the finale affect their relationship if at all? Fletcher “Ice Pick” Nix (Desmond Harrington) is someone who could realistically come back and cause trouble And let’s not forget that Wynn Duffy (Jere Burns) and Mike (Jonathan Kowalsky) are still running around as free men. If he’s smart, Duffy should be planning to leave the state for good after playing his last game of Harlan Roulette, but then again, this is Wynn Duffy we’re talking about here. He could come back and try to take credit for Quarles’ death. He could also sell Theo Tonin (Adam Arkin) on the idea of exploiting Kentucky and keeping a thread alive for Detroit means that a window would remain open for Michael Ironside to return as Sarno. I know it’s a stretch, but who doesn’t want more Ironside?

Is there another story you think is going to come up? Is there a scene or detail you think will grow into a major story line in Season 4? Share your thoughts below!

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  • http://www.spy6teen.com/ Citizentim

    Season 4 is gonna need more Dewey. I love that stupid SOB.
    Personally, I think we’re gonna see a little more Dixie Mafia activity next season, to start laying the groundwork for a Season 5 climax.
    And yeah, I hardly think we’ve seen the end of Wynn Duffy–

    • Dgwarren

      I totally agree about having more Dewey Crowe. The episode regarding his four kidneys was so funny, I dang near wet myself!! Please– we need more Dewey Crowe antics!

  • Geraldwatkins66

    Yep. Duffy seems to be made of Teflon. Limehouse still has a lot of power and controls the strings in ” the holler”. Johnny should watch his back.

  • Dshamilt

    The actor who played Theo us Adam Arkin, Alan Atkin’s son.

  • Granma Elaine

    Ella Mae owes Ava her life and loyality because Delroy was seconds away from ending her.  I hope Ella Mae remembers that her luck at being alive comes from Ava.

  • oldpogostick

    well well,dickie bennett is going to be king just as he has allways wanted, some  naysayers may  think not… however think about it.. who could give the feds more grief ?  not smart enough you say… well he has been afforded the luxury of a jailhouse university degree.. and we all know that is worth something…also the head ho house squeese wants to be his queen.me thinks this is worth a storyline or two  now…. ole boyd is due a few if you ask me, as for raylan  too  much traction.. not enough action   or what the heck… why not let the inmates pull a con air. 

  • Swampborn

    I want to see more of the”man in the hat” and his fellow marshalls in season 4….I also would like more of backgrounds revealed of the major players..and of course Raylan as a daddy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mirrors-Smoke/100001716274625 Mirrors Smoke

     Quarles survives. One-armed psycho escapes from the minimum security medical prison and “goes home” to Detroit for some recouperating and revenge formulation. Comes back with the Detroit backing to reconquer the lucrative drug trade in KY. …Limehouse and Boyd have a civil war, with Johnny as the wild-card. Raylan is first on the hunt for Quarles (taking out of KY for a while), then back to the Boyd/Limehouse war that has put Rachel or Tim in perilous danger (possibly killing one). Dickie, from prison, ends up sending some thugs to kidnap Loretta for the money. Bring back Deputy Director Karen Goodall (Carla Gugino) as a strong Raylan love interest. Big spotlight on Wynn Duffy! Season finale of Quarles holding a gun in the direction of the crib holding Raylan Jr.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/George-Otwori/100001891470233 George Otwori

    Definitely can’t go wrong with more IRONSIDE.

  • Tessa

    I’d love to see Raylan let loose some trademark zingers with a baby in one arm and a gun in the other. How awesome would that be? Never say never.

  • Thumpy499

    There should definitely be some more Ironside, I think he would make an excellent adversary for Raylan. It’s really hard to add anything to what your writers do. They and the cast work very well together to bring one of the greatest series I’ve ever watched. Keep up the great work folks.

    • http://twitter.com/ErnieEstrella Ernie Estrella

      You need to watch the movie Hard Boiled.

  • Mphbah76

    More Tim! Please!  Everyone in my family wants more Tim.  Having said that, Justified is my all-time favorite tv show.  The season always goes by too fast.  Season 4 can’t come soon enought

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RYILTSVTMJI4KHEXASMHQZ4L7I CJ

    I don’t know about others, but I loved Season 2. I wish they would do some more stories of the backwoods rednecks and their moonshine. Glad to see that Boyd is still with us. He and Raylan are our favorites and make this show.

  • Mikefalkowitz

    Let’s not forget the Pike Coal deal Mags struck before she drank apple pie. Harlan is a coal town, so why not use this angle to develop a new villain that rises. Also, how about Hot Rod? He represents the weed business and opens a new angle with Memphis. Finally, Loretta still has the money….what if she decides to go to a Van Halen concert? Raylan could bust her!

  • Mikefalkowitz

    Let’s not forget the Pike Coal deal Mags struck before she drank apple pie. Harlan is a coal town, so why not use this angle to develop a new villain that rises. Also, how about Hot Rod? He represents the weed business and opens a new angle with Memphis. Finally, Loretta still has the money….what if she decides to go to a Van Halen concert? Raylan could bust her!

  • Volman1959

    I think we should see Dickie finagle his way where he is in a position of power in the weed and  drug world of Harlan–only to be trumped by none other than…wait for it…his daddy…’Pap’ Bennett who emerges as a major redneck villian with no concious because he has ‘played’ dead to friends, family and especially the US Marshal’s office for a number of years. Since the Detroit mob fell short, he sees fit to return to Harlan to take on Boyd AND Raylan. He also would’ve known the late ‘Bo’ Crowder and Arlo–plotting to get Arlo free to join HIS Dixie Mafia.

  • Sthames42

    Explore Raylan’s character more. We know he likes chasing fugitives and also that he does not see himself as an avenging angel. Like Tommy Lee Jones, it’s not his job to care about someone’s guilt and he does not see someone as a bad person simply because they are a fugitive. He does have his own sense of justice, however. Based not on the law, but on crimes against the innocent. Like Vince Vaughn, he knows that some people need killing. Tommy Bucks, Robert Quarles, and all the Bennett boys fall into this category. They have no care for anyone but their own and do not care who they hurt or kill in achieving their own ends. As Raylan says, he has no interest in shit-kicker on shit-kicker crime. But he will not stand for wanton violence to the innocent. Such perpetrators he is happy, and often determined, to put down. In this way, Raylan is the epitome of the romantic, small-town marshall.

    Raylan has just discovered that his father may have tried to kill him. He’s never seen himself as grounded in Arlo (he was grounded, primarily, in Helen) but this has come as quite an emotional shock right on the heals of Winona leaving him. This is why he went to see her at the end of the season 3 finale. He has come untethered. Winona and Raylan have and will always love each other–that is clear. So Raylan does not get to love anyone else. But, hot flings with and genuine caring of women like Jenn Lyon are a must. The baby will be a priority for him, however. His experience with Arlo as a criminal and a bad father and Helen as the woman that cared enough to save him from Arlo has molded a deep sense of duty in him. He will do whatever he needs to to support and protect Winona and the baby.

    Boyd really is Raylan’s friend. It would be great to see Raylan come to the grudging understanding that, in Harlan, he can rely on Boyd and even trust him, after a fashion. And that Boyd, like him, feels it’s his duty to protect his people.

    The “Cut Ties” episode was wonderful. Please develop Art’s character more. In fact, more development of all the marshalls would be fantastic.

  • Johntbid4

    Love this show! Great that the setting is different from most series where the law enforcer is based in a big city, but since Raylan’s primary job is to pursue fugitives an occasional diversion out of Harlan would be nice ( remember season one’s ‘Long in the Tooth’ episode? Still my fav all-time episode, and that desert showdown between Raylan and the two hitmen at the Mexican border is still a classic ).  Whatever the show is planning for season 4, I’m confident it will be another outstanding season.

  • Don KC, Mo.

    I believe Duffy should carryout Theo Tonin’s work in Kentucky, and remain a thorn in Raylan’s side until it comes to a showdown where Raylan finally puts one through him. Find a way for Dickie Bennett to claim some type of power back to be competitive again. Johnny and Boyd must have it out, or Johnny take out Limehouse or come to an agreement so the Crowders can stay together.

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