‘Justified’ Season Premiere Review: “Hole in the Wall”
‘Justified’ season 4 breaks through with its first episode of the year “Hole in the Wall,” as Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant)’ efforts to deliver a bail jumper become complicated by a mysterious bag found in Arlo’s house, while Boyd finds his business in decline from a new church in the area, and enlists the help of old friend Colton Rhodes (Ron Eldard) to uncover its origins.
Last season’s ‘Justified’ finale “Slaughterhouse” saw Raylan desperately bringing down the villain Robert Quarles, while losing the loyalty of his own father, so what will the new season of ‘Justified’ bring? Will Raylan face off with Boyd once again, or will this new preacher sidetrack their feud?
Read on for your in-depth recap of everything you need to know about ‘Justified’ season 4 premiere “Hole in the Wall!”
On January 21, 1983, a man in a small suburban cul de sac argues with his wife as he retrieves the paper from outside. On his way back in, a sickening thud behind him alerts his attention to a mangled, and expired parachutist crumpled in the street, whose bricks of cocaine have spilled all over the quiet neighborhood.
Back in the present, Raylan is woken at his desk by a call from a past liaison, a bail bonds-woman named Sharon. Sharon offers to pay Raylan to help retrieve a bail jumper named Jody (Chris Chalk) likely headed for his wife in Kentucky, a task Raylan accepts while keeping it to himself. Later, Raylan watches the man from the street, knocking on his wife’s door as expected, before confronting and capturing him as Raylan does best.
Elsewhere, Boyd questions one of his oxy dealers Hiram on the location of either his money, or product, but Hiram insists he’s found salvation with Preacher Billy of the “Last Chance Holiness Church,” and done away with Boyd’s store. Boyd detonates a bomb within Hiram’s truck as a threat, and insists he’ll be back again the next night for worse.
Meanwhile, two youths Roz (Alexandra Kyle) and Benny (Casey Brown) stealthily break into Arlo Givens’ abandoned home, and begin stripping copper wire from the walls as they look for a mysterious object hidden inside. Their theft is interrupted by the flashing lights of Constable Bob Sweeney (Patton Oswalt), who half-heartedly chases the pair off, before alerting Raylan to what’s transpired in his father’s house.
The next day, Ellen May (Abby Miller) gets a visit in her trailer from Judge Executive Arnold, mistaking his origami $1,000,000 bill from the Last Chance Holiness Church for real. After a bout of drugs, Arnold plots a surprise for Ellen May by entering the room in a bear costume, but in her drugged haze the prostitute mistakes it for real and fires several rounds into the judge. Across town, Constable Bob shows Raylan the damage to the home, as they uncover a mysterious bag from within the wall containing only the driver’s license of a “Waldo Truth.” Raylan isn’t sure what to make of the find, throwing the bag in his trunk with the still-captive Jody, unaware he’s being watched by Roz and Benny from a distance.
While Ava scolds Ellen May for her actions, assuring at least that Arnold wouldn’t dare go public about the incident, Raylan pays a visit to the hardware store. On his way out, Roz distracts Raylan by flashing him, just long enough for him not to notice his car being stolen by Benny. Raylan re-enters the store, but Roz has already gone, flashing the owner on her way out the back entrance.
Boyd, Johnny and Ava debate the sudden decrease in their oxy profits, including the new church, Ava also bringing Boyd up to speed on the situation with Ellen May. Meanwhile out at the bar, a mysterious man in sunglasses asks for Boyd Crowder, drawing everyone’s suspicion. The man cleverly forces his way around Johnny and Ava toward Boyd in the back room, but when the gang follows him they find both men embracing. Boyd introduces Sergeant
First Class Colton Rhodes, an old friend who’d in fact jailed Boyd a number of times in Kuwait.
Raylan calls Constable Bob for help, who reveals that the young thieves would have most likely taken the car to a local scrap yard to be crushed. With increased urgency, the pair drive to the yard, Raylan quickly identifying his car, albeit with an empty trunk. Roz and Benny watch from a nearby trailer, keeping Jodie at gunpoint as the convict offers to kill Raylan for them. Roz prepares to turn over the gun, but Raylan interrupts the three, and offers Roz and Benny amnesty for all if they turn Jody over to him. The situation is quickly complicated when the yard attendant enters with Bob at gunpoint, but Raylan manages to get the upper hand on him by offering up his wallet. In the scuffle, Raylan hesitates as Jody holds Roz at gunpoint, while Bob accidentally drives a knife into her foot. Raylan finally subdues Jody, but demands to know why Roz and Benny wanted the bag in his trunk.
Back at Arlo’s house, Bob admonishes Raylan for only using him to keep the situation quiet, but Raylan explains how he needs to make extra money to support his soon-to-be-child. The matter settled, Raylan drives off with Jody in the backseat, the bail jumper now menacingly aware of his identity. Elsewhere, Boyd and Colton bond over beers, as Boyd offers him a chance at some less-than-savory work.
On Roz and Jody’s confession Raylan pays a visit to Arlo, who flatly denies any knowledge of the mysterious bag from his home, but accidentally tips his hand when he refers to the wall Raylan found it within, a detail the marshal hadn’t yet mentioned. As Raylan departs the prison, another inmate mopping the floor takes note of the preceding situation.
Meanwhile, Boyd and Colton threaten to blow Hiram himself up if he doesn’t return the missing money, to which the man ultimately acquiesces. Boyd instructs Colton to “take care of” Hiram, to which Colton flatly shoots the man, though Boyd had only meant to untie and release him. Oops.
While Raylan returns to his apartment to find a waiting Lindsey, and Boyd hides his latest score, the mysterious Preacher Billy (Joseph Mazzello) holds a fiery, snake-handling sermon in his tent. Billy explains a bit of his and his family’s faith, before greeting newcomers to the church, including a curious Ellen May.
Back in prison, the observant inmate asks Arlo about the mysterious bag Raylan had shown him, likening it to a legendary score they could profit from, but Arlo slashes his throat with a razor-blade toothbrush once the man’s back is turned.
As excited as we are to have ‘Justified’ back for a fourth season, it’s easy to forget that the main plots can be a bit slow in coming. We’re certainly intrigued by this mysterious “Waldo Truth” case, but it’s difficult to get a handle on a plot that quite literally, dropped out of the sky, and could go in any number of directions. Elsewhere, ‘Justified’s characters are as electric and diverse as ever, as we see Raylan’s increasing moral ambiguity played off the (mostly) innocent enthusiasm of Patton Oswalt’s Constable Bob. Boyd’s new friend also provides quite a presence, though we suspect there will be more to Colton Rhodes to come. And that’s without even mentioning the mysterious new church, which is sure to come to odds with our characters and maintain some secrets of its own.
It’s a relatively simple outing for Raylan Givens in ‘Justified’s season 4 premiere “Hole in the Wall, but one we have every confidence in the series to expand and deliver upon.
What say you? Did you feel that ‘Justified’ hit a bulls-eye with its fourth season premiere? What did you like about “Hole in the Wall?” Stay tuned for our coverage of the new season, and join us next week for another all-new ‘Justified’ episode recap of “Where’s Waldo?” on FX!