Justified: Fire in the Hole

Wednesday 5 May, 10:00pm on Five USA

Brand new to Five USA this week is the explosive action drama starring Timothy Olyphant as a nononsense southern lawman. In the opening instalment, US marshal Raylan Givens is transferred from Miami back to his hometown in Kentucky. There he has to contend with an old flame and his former friend Boyd Crowder, who is now a murderous white supremacist. Sporting a conspicuous cowboy hat, no-nonsense marshal Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant, ‘Deadwood’, ‘Damages’) saunters into a Miami restaurant and sits opposite gun runner Thomas Buckley. It transpires that Buckley was given an ultimatum – he had 24 hours to leave the city, or Givens would kill him. The day-long grace period has just expired. After a tense showdown, Givens makes good on his promise. His superior officer is not pleased with the outcome. “Don’t you know we’re not allowed to shoot people on sight anymore?” he asks, incredulously. Due to the negative publicity the shooting creates, a reluctant Givens is forcibly transferred back to his home state. “I grew up in Kentucky. I don’t want to go back there,” he tells his boss, but is given no choice in the matter. Back in Lexington, Givens learns that his estranged outlaw father still lives in the nearby town of Harlan. He also discovers that his old friend Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins, ‘The Shield’) is having a criminal case built against him for committing a series of racially motivated crimes. His modus operandi is to blow up a politically sensitive building, then use the distraction it creates to rob a bank for his own personal gain. That night, Boyd and an accomplice blow up a church with a rocket launcher, then Boyd kills his henchman to cover his tracks. Givens traces the shooting to the church attack, and discovers that the priest was selling marijuana out of the building as ‘holy sacrament’. He then learns that Boyd’s brother has been shot dead by his long-abused wife Ava. As Ava is an old flame of Givens’s, he uses her affection for him to find out Boyd’s whereabouts, in order to invite him to a police line-up. When he meets up with his old friend at his hideout for a glass of moonshine, Boyd tries to tell Givens about his racist conspiracy theories. Givens, knowing his ex-friend well, is not convinced by this motivation. “You just like to get money and blow shit up,” he tells Boyd. He also theorises that Boyd was paid by marijuana dealers to blow up the church, to eliminate the competition. Boyd has heard about the Miami ultimatum and shooting, and proves that he can get under Givens’s skin too. “I know you like to shoot bad people… at any point, when you were looking at that gun thug, did you see your daddy’s face?” he asks. After the witnesses to the church bombing fail to identify Boyd, he decides to issue his own ultimatum to Givens, giving him 24 hours to leave town. The marshal’s clear contempt for the warning spurs Boyd into more immediate and radical action. After using Ava to trap Givens and having his cronies ambush the police back-up, Boyd seemingly has Givens right where he wants him. But he is forgetting that Ava has already shot one Crowder brother this week, and might fancy making it two…

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