The lonely road comes to an end tonight as "Justified" returns to FX with its fifth season premiere. Starring Timothy Olyphant as disgruntled U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens, and based on stories written by the late Elmore Leonard, "Justified" just might be television's most underrated drama — certainly one of its funniest and most violent.
If you're planning to tune into "Justified" tonight for the very first time, or if you just don't remember the details, you're in luck: Here's our cheat-sheet of the show's most important heroes and villains, ahead of tonight's premiere.
Raylan Givens (played by Timothy Olyphant):
A modern-day gunslinger caught in the thick of Kentucky crime. Though he works in the U.S. Marshal's Lexington office, straight-laced Raylan's never far from his hometown of Harlan County, a cesspool of greed, corruption, murder and all other kinds of low-life behavior. Raylan isn't exactly the shoot-first-ask-questions-later type, but he's not far from it, either; if you draw on Raylan, you won't have time to regret your decision.
Winona Hawkins (played by Natalie Zea):
Though she's not a regular part of the "Justified" cast anymore, Zea's Winona remains an important part of the show's mythology. Winona is Raylan's ex-wife, and the mother of his infant daughter. Raylan and Winona remain on friendly terms, but they mutually agreed to move in separate directions after Raylan's line-of-work put Winona's life in jeopardy one too many times. It remains to be seen how their newborn will affect their continued relationship.
Art Mullen (played by Nick Searcy):
Art is Raylan's boss at the U.S. Marshal's Lexington office. He's tired and past his prime in many respects, but still sharp as a whip when it comes to a quip. He's not a bad judge of character, either; while he gives Raylan leniency on multiple occasions, Art isn't the type to back away from disciplining his irascible subordinate, either. He's a helpful advisor and something of a mentor for Raylan, but at the same time, Art isn't a parrot; when he has an opinion, he'll make it heard, loud and clear.
Tim Gutterson (played by Jacob Pitts) and Rachel Brooks (played by Erica Tazel):
As Raylan's colleagues and fellow Marshals, both Gutterson and Brooks tend to take a back-seat on "Justified," called to the forefront when the occasion arises. But we know important pieces of information about both characters: Gutterson is a take-no-nonsense sharpshooter who served in Afghanistan, and Brooks just recently came out on the other side of a divorce. Much like Art, Gutterson and Brooks respect and trust Raylan, but not at the expense of speaking their minds.
Boyd Crowder (played by Walton Goggins):
Described early on in season five as "the deadliest man in Kentucky," Boyd certainly lives up to the hype. Few "Justified" characters have undergone transformations quite like Boyd: he began as a wayward Neo-Nazi, eventually formed his own cult, reformed his criminal ways, balked on reformation, restarted his criminal empire, and now, he's at the head of Kentucky's heroin distribution ring. Complicating matters: Boyd is one of Raylan's oldest friends from childhood. Their friendship has seen better days, given their current professions on opposite sides of the law.
Ava Crowder (played by Joelle Carter):
As Boyd's current fiance and Raylan's ex-girlfriend, Ava is often at the epicenter of "Justified's" highest-stakes drama. That couldn't be more true than in season five, as she's currently serving jail time for her role in the murder of a pimp named Delroy Baker. While Boyd does his best to free Ava from the outside, Ava has been left alone to discover if orange really is the new black.
Wynn Duffie (played by Jere Burns):
He was the show's best mustache-twirling villain until he shaved off the mustache. Nevertheless, Wynn remains one of the show's most memorable bad guys. He's a human cockroach, a pragmatist and a survivor at all costs. Currently, he's operating as the Detroit mob's point-man east of the Mississippi, working directly with Boyd Crowder. Expect to see even more Wynn this season than ever before, now that actor Jere Burns has been promoted to series regular.
Dewey Crowe (played by Damon Herriman):
Although he was completely absent from season four, the four-kidneyed Dewey Crowe is poised for a comeback in "Justified" season five. Don't ask about the kidneys, by the way; just know that Dewey is as dumb as dumb gets. Dewey is currently behind bars for a myriad of criminal activities, but his extended family is about to make their "Justified" debut as the show's new core villains. With a murder of Crowes on their way to Harlan, Dewey would be wise to keep a low-profile — but being wise has never been Dewey's strong suit.
Are you looking forward to the return of "Justified" tonight?