Justified 2.1 "The Moonshine War" Review

How does Justified improve on a stellar first season, one that arguably made it the best new series on television?  By adding more stellar talent.

I just about did backflips when I saw Jeremy Davies, aka Lost's Daniel Faraday, playing a limping bad ass from the new Bennett crew.  Not only does he steal nearly every scene he's in, but he's also really handy with a bear trap.  I can't wait to see how his demure but deadly character develops.

And then there's the new head crime honcho, who just also happens to be a matronly woman.  Margo Martindale has always been a brilliant character actor, but she excels here as Mags Bennett.  Justified's characters, particularly its antagonists, always fall within that murky gray area that makes it difficult not to empathize with them, or at the very least, find yourself rooting for them despite yourself.  Mags is the perfect villain after Bo.  You can't take your eyes off her because she's both so seemingly nurturing in that endearing southern momma sort of way while also leeching poison with every comforting embrace.  What's particularly interesting is that we've gone from paternal crime boss to maternal crime boss, which allows the show to continue exploring its dominant themes of the confusing obligations and mixed loyalties between parents and children.  It may also be the first time on television we've ever seen someone murdered with apple pie. Read More...


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