|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||13|
|Original release||March 16 –|
June 8, 2010
The first season of the American television drama series Justified premiered on March 16, 2010, on FX, and concluded on June 8, 2010, consisting of 13 episodes. The series was developed by Graham Yost based on Elmore Leonard's novels Pronto and Riding the Rap and his short story "Fire in the Hole". Its main character is Raylan Givens, a deputy U.S. Marshal. Timothy Olyphant portrays Givens, a tough federal lawman, enforcing his own brand of justice in his Kentucky hometown. The series is set in the city of Lexington, Kentucky, and the hill country of eastern Kentucky, specifically in and around Harlan.
The season one story arc concentrates on the crimes of the Crowder family and relationship of Crowder and Givens families. After Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) kills a Miami gun thug in a questionable manner, he is transferred to his home state of Kentucky. When he hears that Ava Crowder (Joelle Carter) had killed her abusive husband Bowman, Raylan seeks to protect her from revenge by the Crowder clan. The initial threat comes from Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins), a local criminal masquerading as a white supremacist whom Raylan once dug coal with. Raylan shoots Boyd in the chest but Boyd survives and claims it's a sign from God that he should change his ways.
The Crowder family patriarch Bo (M. C. Gainey) is released from prison after Raylan arrests the Harlan county sheriff who has ties to the Miami cartel that has put a price on Raylan's head. Bo seeks to rebuild his criminal empire and settle old scores. Boyd is released after AUSA Vazquez, who is investigating Raylan's questionable shootings, discovers Ava and Raylan have been sleeping together.
While Bo works on gaining dominance over the meth trade, Boyd collects a camp of spiritually reformed criminals to clean up Harlan's meth problem. When a confidential informant is killed, Raylan promises to send Boyd back to jail. In the meantime, Raylan is dealing with his own personal dilemmas, including working in the same building as his ex-wife (Natalie Zea), for whom he continues to harbor feelings; dealing with his criminal father, Arlo (Raymond J. Barry), who Bo believes cheated him out of protection money; figuring out how to handle his relationship with Ava; and avoiding hitmen hired by Gio, a Miami cartel boss.
Raylan's continuing visits to Harlan are peppered with small crimes and big shootings, and his success in dealing with these matters draws Bo's attention leading to Bo making a deal with Gio to be his meth cooker. The plan is derailed when Boyd blows up a shipment from Miami. After Bo finds out, he exiles Boyd from his camp and kills all of Boyd's followers causing Boyd to question his mission. Boyd offers to help Raylan to stop Bo permanently.
Bo takes Ava hostage to the Crowder cabin where he demands Raylan's life for Ava in order to appease the Miami cartel. Raylan and Boyd manage to kill Bo's guards and shoot Bo in the leg but Gio's niece and nephew arrive and they attack the house with machine guns. Bo is killed, while Boyd, Ava, and Raylan are trapped; the niece and nephew demand Raylan be turned over to them.
After Boyd attempts to pass himself off as Raylan, Raylan tells him and Ava to leave out the back way, and he walks forward, hands in the air. As the niece and nephew step out to shoot him, Boyd shoots the nephew and the niece runs away. Boyd wants to go after her but Raylan stops him, saying it's against the law. However, Boyd absconds with Raylan's car, while neither using or facing violence. As Boyd rides off Raylan pulls his gun and pretends to shoot, essentially suggesting they will always be allies and enemies.
While the pilot was shot in Pittsburgh and suburban Kittanning, Pennsylvania and Washington, Pennsylvania, the subsequent episodes were shot in California. The small town of Green Valley, California often doubles for Harlan, Kentucky. In the pilot, Pittsburgh's David L. Lawrence Convention Center appears on film as the small town "airport" and the construction of the new Consol Energy Center serves as the "new courthouse".
See also: List of Justified episodes
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||US viewers|
|1||1||"Fire in the Hole"||Michael Dinner||Teleplay by : Graham Yost||March 16, 2010||4.16|
|After some bad publicity involving a shooting, Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens' (Timothy Olyphant) boss (Matt Craven) transfers Raylan from Miami to Lexington, Kentucky. Under Chief Deputy Art Mullen (Nick Searcy), an old friend from the academy, Raylan takes on the case of the murder of a young white supremacist who is linked to a church bombing. The chief suspect is Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins), a childhood friend of Raylan's. In order to catch him, Raylan returns to his hometown of Harlan. Boyd gives Raylan an ultimatum: leave Harlan within twenty-four hours or be killed. After a tense confrontation at an old acquaintance's house, Raylan gets the drop on Boyd and shoots him in the chest, though he survives and is hospitalized.|
|2||2||"Riverbrook"||Michael Dinner||Graham Yost||March 23, 2010||3.53|
|Raylan visits Boyd in the prison hospital to check on him, and transport Crowe to prison. Meanwhile, during a 'prison band' performance, convict Douglas Cooper (Chris Ellis) and a fellow inmate escape. After Art Mullen asks Raylan to return to investigate, Raylan makes a stop at a gas station. Unbeknownst to Raylan, the convicts have set a trap, and Cooper makes off with Raylan's guns, car and hat. After learning that Cooper only had three months left on his sentence, Raylan and marshal Gutterson make a trip to Cooper's ex-wife, Shirley (Kristin Bauer). Cooper then visits after and makes a deal with Shirley and Dupree, Shirley's 'cousin'. They are looking for money Cooper hid in the flooring of development housing during construction. After Ava makes a house call to Raylan, he discovers a hunch as to the location of the money. Cooper, however, screwed up the location. After Dupree shoots Cooper, they find the right house, whose occupants have spent it all. A hostage situation ensues after Cooper helps Raylan find the right house, and Shirley helps Raylan by allowing Gutterson to snipe Dupree, citing that it 'wasn't right' to shoot Cooper. The episode ends with a nice conversation between Cooper and Raylan as they once again leave the prison.|
|3||3||"Fixer"||Fred Keller||Benjamin Cavell||March 30, 2010||2.31|
|Raylan starts to work with Arnold Pinter, a local informant (David Eigenberg) who makes money ratting out people to the US Marshals and taking sports bets. Pinter's collector and a debtor decide to work together and kidnap Pinter to find out where the informant's "escape money" is. Raylan grows suspicious after he can't find the informant. The debtor kills the collector, and not long after Raylan shows up. A gunfight ensues, and Raylan kills the debtor and rescues Pinter despite getting shot in his bulletproof vest. Pinter gets his money, and Raylan gets a week's paid leave—a time that Art says will be restful—for Art.|
|4||4||"Long in the Tooth"||Adam Arkin||Chris Provenzano||April 6, 2010||2.10|
|Raylan and the Miami mob compete to capture a fugitive, 'Roland Pike,' (Alan Ruck). The Miami mob wants to kill Pike because Pike was their former accountant and he stole their money and disappeared. The authorities want Pike to act as an informant. Raylan once had a chance to nab Pike, but Pike lied to him and ran off. Pike comes out of hiding as a result of brutally attacking a client from Pike's dental office. The Miami mob spots Raylan looking for Pike, and decides to kill both Raylan and Pike when they have a chance. Raylan eventually kills two of the mob henchmen on his tail (marking the third episode in which Raylan kills someone), and then find Pike. Pike decides to let a sniper shoot him.|
|5||5||"The Lord of War and Thunder"||Jon Avnet||Gary Lennon||April 13, 2010||2.41|
|Raylan's aunt calls him to tell him Arlo is in jail. Raylan reluctantly goes to Harlan, where his aunt says Raylan needs to bail out his father. Raylan is wary about getting too involved with his father, who as revealed during the episode made Raylan live in fear growing up and who was constantly involved in some sort of scheme. Arlo in part blames his behavior on his own father, who was a religious man who created a house of fear. Raylan eventually discovers that Arlo planned to use his own son as a shield from runners of "hillbilly heroin" Oxycontin, who Arlo stole from earlier in the episode. Arlo's plan worked, as Raylan finds Oxy at the drug runner's house (planted by Arlo's wife, Raylan's aunt) and threatens the Oxy runners with jail if they go after his step-mom (former aunt) and Arlo again. Raylan doesn't even bother asking Arlo where the stolen Oxy or money is because he knows Arlo will not tell him.|
|6||6||"The Collection"||Rod Holcomb||Graham Yost||April 20, 2010||2.06|
|A wealthy man seemingly commits suicide on a luxurious Kentucky horse ranch, and Raylan must hunt for his missing art collection while resisting the advances of his attractive widow. Raylan's ex-wife asks him to investigate her husband Gary's business associates.|
|7||7||"Blind Spot"||Michael Watkins||Wendy Calhoun||April 27, 2010||2.26|
|After disrupting an apparent assassination attempt on Ava, Raylan is hellbent on tracking down the responsible parties. However, he soon discovers that Ava may not have been the real target. It is revealed that a hitman employed by the Miami mob wanted Raylan dead. Harlan county Sheriff Hunter Mosley (Brent Sexton) kills the hitman to protect himself and then exposes his true affiliations to Raylan. Ava helps Raylan turn the tables on Mosley and his partner, and Raylan and Ava escape. Boyd is almost killed in prison for talking to Raylan as other inmates view Boyd as a snitch, but Boyd's father Bo (M. C. Gainey) saves Boyd.|
|8||8||"Blowback"||Jon Avnet||Benjamin Cavell||May 4, 2010||2.46|
|Raylan is turned hostage negotiator when a dangerous inmate (W. Earl Brown) holds a group of people hostage. Raylan's affair with Ava inadvertently grants Boyd an early release from prison.|
|9||9||"Hatless"||Peter Werner||Dave Andron||May 11, 2010||2.09|
|Having been suspended from the Marshal's service, Raylan decides to use his free time to go head-to-head with the gangsters who are bothering Winona's new husband.|
|10||10||"The Hammer"||John Dahl||Fred Golan & Chris Provenzano||May 18, 2010||2.08|
|Raylan is assigned to guard an eccentric judge (Stephen Root), but Raylan takes time off from the assignment to track down an old lead connected with the Crowders.|
|11||11||"Veterans"||Tony Goldwyn||Benjamin Daniel Lobato||May 25, 2010||1.81|
|It's up to Raylan to keep Harlan safe when Boyd Crowder and his cadre of "followers" turn vigilantes.|
|12||12||"Fathers and Sons"||Michael Katleman||Dave Andron||June 1, 2010||2.13|
|Boyd Crowder's increasing influence has gotten out of control and Raylan is ordered to bring in his estranged father, Arlo, to help defuse the situation. Raylan has an intimate encounter with his ex-wife Winona that is witnessed by Ava. Ava finds some unfriendly visitors in her house and decides to pay a visit to Bo Crowder to prove her resolve. Boyd decides to up the ante against Bo's business by targeting his supply truck. Bo wants to take out Raylan Givens, so he reaches out to people who want him gone, including Miami gun runners and his own father Arlo.|
|13||13||"Bulletville"||Adam Arkin||Fred Golan||June 8, 2010||2.03|
|In the first season finale, Harlan is turned into a battlefield when the tense situation between Raylan, Arlo, Boyd and Bo Crowder finally comes to a head. When Bo sadistically kills all of his son's followers, Boyd looks to Raylan for help. Arlo's plan to betray Raylan is found out, and he is shot by Raylan. Ava is kidnapped by Bo and Johnny Crowder, after which, Bo shoots Johnny for suspected collusion with Boyd. Boyd and Raylan go after Bo to rescue Ava. At the standoff, Bo is unexpectedly killed, in an ambush, by Miami gun runners who are after Raylan. Raylan and Boyd manage to save Ava and kill three of them, but one of them escapes. Raylan is forced to let Boyd (who calls Raylan his "only friend") chase after Bo's surviving killer.|
On Rotten Tomatoes, the season has an approval rating of 93% with an average score of 8.3 out of 10 based on 43 reviews. The website's critical consensus reads, "A coolly violent drama, Justified benefits from a seductive look and a note-perfect Timothy Olyphant performance." On Metacritic, the season has a weighted average score of 80 out of 100, based on 27 critics, indicating "universal acclaim.
TV Guide critic Matt Roush praised the show, particularly the acting of Olyphant, stating: "The show is grounded in Olyphant's low-key but high-impact star-making performance, the work of a confident and cunning leading man who's always good company." Chicago Tribune critic Maureen Ryan also praised the series, writing: "The shaggily delightful dialogue, the deft pacing, the authentic sense of place, the rock-solid supporting cast and the feeling that you are in the hands of writers, actors and directors who really know what they're doing—all of these are worthy reasons to watch Justified." Mike Hale of The New York Times praised the shows "modest virtues", but was critical of the first season's pace and characterisation, writing: "Justified can feel so low-key that even the crisis points drift past without making much of an impression... It feels as if the attention that should have gone to the storytelling all went to the atmosphere and the repartee."
Justified received a 2010 Peabody Award. For the first season, the series received a single Primetime Emmy Award nomination, for Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music.
The first season averaged 2.417 million viewers and a 0.9 rating in the 18–49 demographic.
The first season was released on Blu-ray and DVD in region 1 on January 18, 2011, in region 2 on November 29, 2010, and in region 4 on June 7, 2012. Special features on the season one set include four audio commentaries by cast and crew, five behind-the-scenes featurettes, a music video, and a season two trailer.