The final season of ' Justified ' premieres tonight, pitting Raylan Givens against Boyd Crowder one last time. But as bad as Boyd is, he's just one of many villains in the hive of scum and villainy better known as Harlan County, Kentucky.
Indeed, one of the strongest aspects of 'Justified' is its deep and rich rogues gallery. From low-life thugs to high-powered mobsters, Raylan has drawn down on a diverse and dangerous pool of foes. Here are the best of the best — or the worst of the worst, if you prefer.
- Gary Hawkins FX
He would've just been a pathetic loser instead of a pathetic villain if he hadn't put his wife in harm's way in an effort to kill Raylan.
- Sammy Tonin FX
As Raylan says, Sammy is such a coward that his own shadow could beat him up. Total Lost .'
- Tommy Bucks FX
Raylan's first 'Justified' victim, a total maroon who should've gotten the heck out of Miami while he had the chance.
- Randall Kusik FX
Poor dude just wanted some chicken.
- Jody Adair FX
Sociopathic porn actor who just wants his money, and some revenge on Raylan on the side. Kind of the worst.
- Mr. Duke FX
'There's rules to being a hitman,' said the professional hitman, about three minutes before getting shot in the chest. One of the weirdest one-off 'Justified' villains of them all.
- Daryl Crowe Jr. FX
The weakest of the 'big bads,' but his season five appearance meant several episodes of deliciously dumb Dewey Crowe. Worth the trade.
- Danny Crowe FX
So much for the 21-foot-rule.
- Jean-Baptiste FX
Short-lived, but menacing while he was around. Who didn't want to see more of those gators?
- YOLO FX
A ridiculous name, and an even more ridiculous final fight with Constable Bob, goes a long way.
- Errol FX
Limehouse's loyal soldier, even though he strayed off the path to make some money on the side. In the end, was right where Limehouse needed when it counted.
- Nicky Augustine FX
Not only does this guy have guts, he also has a filthy mouth. Could've benefitted from a glowing piece of the rock.
- Devil FX
The Devil is in the details, and by the details, I mean a mine-shaft, because Boyd put him there. The good news? Kevin Rankin is on every other TV show, so you don't have to look too far if you're looking for Devil.
- Hunter Mosley FX
Loyal to nobody but himself and Drew Thompson, Hunter is the man who tried to have Raylan killed, and the man who succeeded in killing Raylan's father. Even with those distinctions to his name, Hunter is far from the worst guy in Harlan. In fact, all things considered? He seems kind of nice!
- Wade Messer FX
One of the saddest and loneliest idiots in an ocean of sad, lonely idiots. Still, he was our idiot. Bonus points: James LeGros played Raylan Givens on a TV movie version of Elmore Leonard's 'Pronto.' You learn something new every day.
- Bo Crowder FX
The big bad Crowder before Boyd rolled along, Bo ran most of Harlan's criminal enterprises alongside Arlo Givens, up until the time of his death. Bo loses some luster given the other bad guys we've seen pop up on the show since his reign over season one, but he remains a crucial character in the show's ongoing mythos.
- Ethan Picker FX
Tonin mob enforcer. Took a shot at the title. Didn't work out. Got blown up by cigarette-bomb instead. Awesome.
- Katherine Hale FX
The jury's still out on Grady Hale's widow, but in her few season five appearances, she made a hell of an impression. Whatever she gets up to in the final season will certainly be no good for Raylan Givens, but hopefully plenty good for us.
- Fletcher Nix FX
Easily the coolest one-off villains in 'Justified' history, Fletcher was just as quick to talk your ear off as he was to stab you in the hand with an ice pick. He's still alive as far as we know, so here's hoping he picks another fight with Raylan in the final season.
- Hot Rod Dunham FX
Don't fear the reefer. Do fear the man in charge of the reefer.
- Theo Tonin FX
Forget that this man is the most powerful mobster in all of 'Justified.' All that really matters is this: Theo Tonin keeps an enemy's severed ear with him at all times, and when he's agitated, he speaks to the ear. That's one crazy, deadly mother flubber.
- Johnny Crowder FX
Put in a wheelchair by Bo Crowder, Johnny's vengeance was set squarely against one man: Cousin Boyd. But every single one of Johnny's attempts to usurp his cousin's power (and to steal away his lady) failed, all the way up to that final, fateful night in Mexico.
- Colton Rhodes FX
'I think I'll quit today.' The PTSD-afflicted war veteran was a mess from the beginning, shooting first and asking permission later, except for when it counted with Ellen May. His pivotal role in 'Decoy,' perhaps the best episode of the whole series, earns him major points.
- Doyle Bennett FX
The eldest Bennet brother was yet another one of Kentucky's crooked cops, but he wielded his badge with such authority that you almost had to respect the guy — right until he got a bullet to the brain.
- Coover Bennett FX
'You killed Charlie!' This big, dumb bulldozer of a man isn't the brightest bulb in the bunch, but he sure knows his way around a marijuana farm.
- Jay and Roscoe FX
These trigger-happy brothers stand out as some of the best villains-of-the-week, standing out as one of the bright spots in the show's occasionally bleak fifth season, thanks to killer performances from real-life brothers Wood and Steve Harris.
- Drew Thompson FX
He's a nice bad guy, but still a bad guy. Art Mullen describes him best: 'We have to acknowledge that this guy is awesome. He shoots Theo Tonin, fakes his own death in a spectacular fashion, pushes a guy out of an airplane while he's flying it , parachutes into Harlan County with enough coke and cash to jumpstart the economy of a small country, and then he has the balls to get a job in law enforcement not once, but two times ! He spends a couple of days riding around with you while you're looking for him, and now he's run off with a hooker that's half his age! That's some badass sh--!'
- Dickie Bennett FX
The one word that can best describe Dickie is right there in his name. He's the littlest weenus that Harlan has to offer, quick to pull the trigger but violently terrified when the gun is aimed his way. But this twitchy, self-righteous imbecile is just pathetic enough to be a little bit — emphasis on little bit — endearing.
- Ellstin Limehouse FX
'It's a piggybank!' The lord and commander of Noble's Holler doesn't have a gun up his sleeve, but he has plenty of secrets and skeletons in his closet all the same — and you'll only learn about them if he wants you to. He also makes mean barbecue.
- Ava Crowder FX
Somewhere between shotgunning Bowman Crowder and shotgunning Delroy Baker, Ava Crowder found herself on the wrong side of the law as boyfriend Boyd's partner in crime, and a true pimp in her own right. Unlike some other 'Justified' villains, Ava might stand a small chance at some redemption. Then again, knowing how things normally go in Harlan County, probably not.
- Dewey Crowe FX
Has anyone ever been so speechlessly happy about becoming the proud owner of 0,000? Everything about Dewey is fantastic, from his gator teeth to his four kidneys and beyond. He's not an evil man; just a small-time crook, and a big-time disaster. As Raylan describes him: 'He wants you to think he's bad, but he doesn't have it down yet.'
- Wynn Duffy FX
If there's a villain in existence who enjoys women's tennis more than Mr. Duffy, I have yet to meet him, and frankly, don't care to. Wynn without the mustache is a bit of a downgrade, but a Wynn is still a win.
- Robert Quarles FX
'Do you know me now?' The bleach blond big bad of season three uttered these words at the end of the season premiere, and it turns out that no, we did not know this man at all. Quarles' arc marks one of the greatest downward spirals of 'Justified,' and of any great television drama in recent memory. Coupled with Neal McDonough's show-stopping performance, Quarles rivals anyone on this list. Just ask the gun up his sleeve — er, the gun that used to be up his sleeve, anyway.
- Arlo Givens FX
If Dickie Bennett is the ultimate weenus of 'Justified,' then Arlo Givens is certainly the show's greatest a--hole. A horrible husband, an even worse father, and a bitter old coward through the very end. 'Kiss my a--' are his final words, and they should be etched on his miserable tombstone.
- Mags Bennett FX
'It was already in the glass,' Mags tells Walt McCready as she watches him die, choking on the poison she fooled down his throat. And that's how Mags rolls: a big grinning, huggable mama bear, with do-what-it-takes deadliness when it comes to preserving her family and legacy. Margo Martindale's Emmy-winning turn is one of the series' very best performances, and as far as villains go, trumped by only one…
- Boyd Crowder FX
'What if I told you I was the man who recruited you in that church — but then I also told you I was the man who got shot, who found God, who betrayed his father? That I was a man who killed men, and got a whole bunch of men killed? You see, Devil, I can't discard my past, anymore than I can these tattoos. I told you what I'm offering. There ain't nothing more.' Indeed, Walton Goggins. Indeed.