Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant)
Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens is a Stetson-wearing gunslinger reassigned to his native Kentucky against his will in season 1 after he shot Tommy Bucks, a gangster with ties to a Miami cartel, in public. Givens fancies himself a bit of a cowboy, a man born 100 years too late (he’s based on an Elmore Leonard character). He’s got a good, dry sense of humor, which he needs to deal with all his history in the town of Harlan…
Click here for Timothy Olyphant’s take on Justified season 3
Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins)
Raylan’s old coal-mining buddy Boyd became a bank-robbing white supremacist who likes to blow stuff up with a rocket launcher. In season 1, Raylan had to put a bullet in him during a dining-room standoff in the home of Boyd’s sister-in-law Ava (Joelle Carter). Boyd claimed to have had a religious conversion in prison — when he got out, he went against his father, Bo, who wanted to run meth in Harlan. Bo had Boyd’s followers murdered, and Boyd would have killed his father if that cartel hadn’t beaten him to it when Bo kidnapped Ava to lure in Raylan for said cartel, in the season 1 finale.
In season 2, Boyd returned to his criminal ways and made a deal with Mags Bennett (Emmy winner Margo Martindale): He’d help her screw over the folks in th’ holler by telling them she wanted to buy their land to save it from the Black Pike coal company — when Mags really wanted to own all the land herself so she could make a deal with Black Pike and go straight. In exchange, Boyd and his crew — which includes Raylan’s father, Arlo (Raymond J. Barry) — could run everything in the county but pot, the Bennett family specialty, which was left to Mags’ son Dickie (Jeremy Davies). Unbeknownst to his mother, Dickie called off the deal with Boyd because he wanted full control. Boyd responded by hijacking Dickie’s weed business…
Dickie Bennett (Jeremy Davies)
Dickie Bennett, one of Mags’ three sons, shot and killed Raylan’s Aunt Helen (who had married Arlo and raised Raylan as her own after her sister died) in retaliation. He also put a bullet in Ava, who had begun a relationship with Boyd when he was on the straight and narrow and didn’t seem to mind when he went crooked again (more on her later).
Dickie is the only Bennett to make it to season 3 alive. In the season 2 premiere, Mother Mags had poisoned one of her pot growers with a tainted glass of her apple pie moonshine and took in his teenage daughter Loretta McCready (Kaitlyn Dever). When Loretta figured out her dad had been murdered by Mags — who’d told Loretta he was away on business — Raylan had to kill Dickie’s brother Coover (Brad William Henke) to save her. In the season 2 finale, Loretta, now with a foster family, asked a family friend, Wade Messer (James LeGros), for a ride to Harlan. She intended to kill Mags. Dickie knew Raylan, who’d almost put a bullet in Dickie for killing Helen, would be looking for Messer — so he waited at Wade’s place, knocked Raylan out when he arrived, hung him in a tree by one leg, and started swinging at him with a baseball bat. (Dickie still has a limp from when Raylan took a swing at his knee during a high school baseball game.)
Luckily, Boyd had been looking for Dickie and showed up in time to save Raylan (not the first time he’s done that). Raylan was prepared to let Boyd shoot Dickie, but Dickie knew Raylan would need him to get past his corrupt sheriff brother Doyle (Joseph Lyle Taylor) and to Loretta. Boyd reluctantly let Raylan take Dickie. They showed up outside right before Loretta shot Mags in the leg inside the house. Doyle’s men started firing at Raylan, who was hit in the torso. Doyle stood over Raylan and was about to fire the kill shot when the Marshals showed up and put a bullet through Doyle’s forehead. Raylan delivered the news of Doyle’s death and Dickie’s arrest to Mags, and she offered him some apple pie moonshine to dull their pain and put an end to their longstanding family feud. This time, the poison was in her glass.
Arlo Givens (Raymond J. Barry)
Raylan’s father, Arlo, has a shady past: He ran the local protection and collection racket for Boyd’s father, Bo, while Bo was in prison. In season 1, the Marshals, FBI, and DEA planned to use Arlo as an informant against Bo, but Bo found out and wanted Arlo to prove his loyalty to him — by helping deliver Raylan to the Miami cartel. Bo gave Arlo a gun and bullets, and told him to shoot Raylan in the leg and his men would be waiting outside to transport Raylan. You can tell a lot about Raylan’s relationship with his father by what actually went down in the season 1 finale: When Arlo turned away from Raylan to pull out his gun and then turned back, Raylan had his gun drawn on his father. Raylan shot Arlo in his arm, knowing Bo’s men would enter thinking the plan was a go.
In season 2, Arlo teamed up with Boyd, who figured Arlo knew his father Bo’s old tricks and how to hijack Dickie’s weed business. It was Arlo’s limp, the result of an unrelated gunfight, which tipped Dickie off to his involvement in the raid and led to Helen’s death. Arlo remains a member of Boyd’s crew, along with Devil (Kevin Rankin) and Boyd’s cousin Johnny (David Meunier), who’s been in a wheelchair since Bo put a bullet in him for having conspired with Boyd against him.
Ava Crowder (Joelle Carter)
Ava had chased Raylan in high school, but she was too young for him then. She married Bowman, Boyd’s brother, who abused her — and whom she shot dead in their dining room right before Raylan returned to town in season 1. Ava and Raylan eventually started sleeping together. After Raylan reconnected with his ex-wife Winona (Natalie Zea), and Boyd became a changed man who stood beside Raylan and a kidnapped Ava in an awesome season 1 finale shootout with the cartel, Ava let him move in with her to help pay her bills.
Slowly, their unlikely friendship turned into a romance in season 2 — which is why Dickie Bennett shot her to get back at chivalrous Boyd. She’s recovering from the wound and is as ornery as ever. Ava has saved Boyd from trouble more than once, knows how to handle a shotgun, and isn’t afraid to keep Boyd’s crew in line.
Winona Hawkins (Natalie Zea)??
Before the series began, Raylan’s ex-wife, Winona, left him for a realtor, Gary (William Ragsdale), who she then married. In season 1, after Raylan helped Gary out of a life-threatening financial jam because she asked him to, she showed up at Raylan’s hotel room one night, took off her ring, and they had sex.
In season 2, while Winona, a court stenographer, was going through a divorce with Gary, she found herself having more money problems when Gary remortgaged the house they owned together, for a horse. She succumbed to a moment of temptation and stole some $200,000 from the Marshals’ evidence locker. Winona took a $100 bill to the bank to confirm it wasn’t counterfeit, and the bank was held up while she was there. When the recovered cash was scanned, the Marshals discovered the money in evidence was missing. Raylan helped Winona return all of it, but not at a price (see next slide). In the season 2 finale, Winona told Raylan she’s pregnant, and he promised he would ask to get out of the field and go back to Glynco and teach firearms instruction again.
Deputy Marshal Tim Gutterson (Jacob Pitts), Deputy Marshal Rachel Brooks (Erica Tazel), and Chief Deputy Art Mullen (Nick Searcy)
Raylan’s colleagues in the Lexington office may not always like his rogue tactics, but they know he has their backs. Art is his boss, an old friend with a good sense of humor who’s supportive but tough — like the dad Raylan wishes he’d had. Their relationship was strained after Art saw Winona and Raylan hanging around the evidence locker (when they were returning the money), and he clearly had his suspicions. He wasn’t particularly eager to help in the season 2 finale when Raylan asked Art to look into the reassignment, or when Winona begged Art to take the Marshals to Harlan and aid Raylan with the Bennetts (though the cavalry did ultimately come).
Tim is a former Army Rangers sniper who still wonders if Raylan had something to do with the mysterious disappearance of Gary, Winona’s ex. Ambitious Rachel has been known to resent hotshot Raylan, but when she needs to question Harlan locals who may not respect a black woman with a badge, she wants him standing with her. In season 2, she made her first kill: A drug dealer threatening to shoot her brother-in-law, who’d served time for killing Rachel’s sister while drunkenly speeding to get her to a hospital after she overdosed.
Wynn Duffy (Jere Burns)
Wynn Duffy is a businessman who handles security systems for Lexington’s wealthy, has ties to Dixie Mafia member Emmitt Arnett (Steven Flynn), and first tangled with Gary, Winona’s ex, when they were still married in season 1. Gary had borrowed money from Arnett for a real estate deal that went nowhere. Duffy was sent to collect and threatened Winona. Winona asked Raylan to step in. Gary handed over the deed to the land to Arnett, explaining to him that even then it was worth about what Gary owed him, and in the future it would be worth far more. Arnett was fine with this, but Duffy, who was supposed to get paid out of the cash Gary handed over, wasn’t.
In season 2, Gary made more poor financial decisions while going through his divorce with Winona and put out a hit on Winona with Duffy so they could collect the insurance money when she died. After one failed attempt, Raylan figured out the plan and could have used Gary to put Duffy away — but he knew that if Winona learned that Gary, who’d tried to call off the hit, had wanted her dead, it would have torn her apart. So Raylan took Gary to see Duffy, who’d been going to kill Gary to tie up loose ends, and assured him that Gary was leaving town (he hasn’t been seen since). Raylan also told Duffy, whom he was essentially letting walk, ”The next time that we have this conversation, there won’t be a conversation.”
Robert Quarles (Neal McDonough)
Meet season 3’s big bad, a fixer from the Detroit mob who arrives in Lexington to get the local Dixie Mafia back on track — and sees a business opportunity that will keep him in town.
Ellstin Limehouse (Mykelti Williamson)
He’s another new addition in season 3, but it turns out he has a history with both the Bennett and the Givens clans. Described as the most calculating hill-country badman who ever lived, he rules Noble’s Holler, a piece of backcountry cut out after the Civil War by newly emancipated slaves.
Dewey Crowe (Damon Herriman)?
In Boyd’s crew at the start of the series, simple-minded Dewey was eventually kicked out of reformed Boyd’s religious flock of ex-cons for masturbating in season 1. Raylan had broken his nose more than once in their darkly comic encounters, so when Dewey stole some stolen OxyContin in season 2, he told the men he’d taken it from that his name was Raylan Givens. He’s that dumb. Dewey is currently in prison, but fans will be happy to know we’ll see more of him in season 3.