The FX drama Justified is a wildly entertaining product though somewhat flawed. The dialogue is great, but great too often. It's what makes Elmore Leonard novels laugh-out-loud thrillers, but on TV you need good, developed characters and even better actors to pull off all the smart mouthing.
Deputy Marshall Rachel Brooks is terrible. That insidious Colton, the junky ex-military henchman is a waste of space - he doesn't even hold a cigarette right. And (dare I say it) I'm tired of Boyd Crowder trying to do Hamlet in every scene.
However, every conversation Raylan has with his boss Art Mullen is priceless.
When Drew Thompson (the Keyser Soze of Kentucky) eludes authorities yet again with the assistance of a small-town whore who has major info on the Crowders, Raylan suggests bringing in the state troopers on the manhunt. Art goes off on a major rant, one for the history books:
Raylan echoes "That's pretty badass." The "sir" was implied. Art's point is that the Marshall's service need to be the ones to corral one of the greatest fugitives eastern Kentucky has ever known.
And that brings all the old gang out. Wynn Duffy, Elston Limehouse, some Detroit gangsters in a helicopter, and poor "small-time asshole" Johnny Crowder playing triple-agent.
It's an intricate web involving people who are incredibly cagey, yet exceptionally dumb at the same time. It's a winner and a loser all in one. In short, can't-miss television.