By Craig Hubert | Last season on “Justified”: Explosions, shootouts, drugs, southern hospitality, and a lot of lip from U.S. Deputy Marshal Raylan Givens. Not that he didn’t have reason: Aside from his girlfriend Winona leaving him after finding out she was pregnant, Raylan also discovered that his own father, Arlo, tried to kill him and ended up in jail. Pretty much the norm if you’ve been following the trials and tribulations of our favorite group of weirdoes from Harlan County, Kentucky, and the season four premiere promised more of the same.
“Waldo Truth” and the Mysterious Duffle Bag
January 21, 1983: Arlo Givens, out to get his morning paper, hollering at his wife, receives quite a surprise: a man in a parachute drops straight in front of his house and hits the pavement. Inspecting the scene, Arlo discovers a duffel bag filled with cocaine. What do you think he’s going to do, leave it out in the street?
2013: Two young junkies break into Arlo’s old house. When they bust open a wall, we see what they’re looking for: the duffel bag. Suddenly, police sirens. They run. We’re introduced to Constable Bob (Patton Oswalt), a welcome introduction to the insane world of “Justified.” We learn quickly that he’s a good-ol’ boy who looks up to Raylan, is obsessed with his “go-bag,” and has a great send-off: “You stay frosty.” Raylan hired Bob to watch his father’s house and, arriving at the scene the next morning, finds the duffel bag and discovers a driver’s license inside with the name “Waldo Truth.” Expect that name to keep coming up.
Oh yeah: this whole time, Raylan has a man in his trunk, a guy who skipped bail in Miami that he picked up as a favor to a former one-night flame whom he “met” – and cleaned out her mini bar – at a law enforcement expo years ago.
But back to the bag. Later, at the hardware store, where Raylan is picking up a few things, those pesky junkies show up again and perform the old divert-and-snatch trick, sneaking away with Raylan’s car. The only problem, of course, is that guy locked in the trunk.
Raylan, hitching a ride from Constable Bob, heads to the scrap yard – where else would a junkie go with a stolen car in Kentucky? – and discovers the couple holding the man in the truck hostage. Raylan finds himself in the middle of a stand off – the first of many this season, surely – and, with the help of Constable Bob, convinces the couple to give up the Man From Miami. And by convince, we mean beat them up. This is “Justified,” after all.
Before returning to his new digs above the bar, where he’s shacked up with a new lady, Raylan makes a stop at the local prison to visit Arlo and find out about the duffel bag. Secretive, scared, who knows, but Arlo refuses to give up anything and, later, when another inmate who heard the conversation questions him about it, Arlo, quite shockingly, slashes his throat. So let’s assume the duffel bag is very important.
Meanwhile, on the Other Side of Harlan County
Our favorite former-born-again-criminal Boyd Crowder is at the bar, handling business, while his girlfriend/next-in-command Eva is out taking care of a little problem: Ellen May, the local trailer-park prostitute, shot a John, who happens to be a judge, when she found out his kink of choice was dressing in a bear costume. Her excuse: she was high on a drug called “Mellow,” which is rumored to be funneled through the Last Chance Holiness Church, the new tent revival in town.
Later, Colton Rose, a friend from Desert Storm, shows up at the request of Boyd. The drug business is not as lucrative as it used to be and he needs some muscle. Does he want to help? Turns out more than expected: Colton shoots a man unprovoked. We have a feeling Boyd’s new partner-in-crime is going to leave his mark on the town.
And we end with a glimpse of the Last Chance Holiness Revival’s leader, Preacher Bob, a young man dressed in his Sunday best, healing the sinners while holding a snake. Looks like we have a new villain in Harlan County.
Questions to be answered: Who is Preacher Bob? Why is Boyd hiding money? Who is Waldo Truth and what is up with that duffel bag?
What’s in Raylan’s Wallet?: “Twelve dollars and a Piggly Wiggly card.”
Guns Pulled: Seven (twice by Raylan, five by other characters).
Times Raylan Takes Off His Stetson Hat: Never.