Justified is back! Timothy Olyphant returns as the badass Deputy US Marshal Raylan Givens, but can this season live up to the quality of last year's truly superb second season?
'The Gunfighter' begins not long after the events of the season two finale, as Winona is told by a cop that Raylan's in the hospital. Fortunately, his gunshot wound isn't fatal and he'll recover.
Three weeks later, Raylan is at a gun range practising with his firearm. His aim is a little off, and he's still clearly feeling a bit of pain from his wound.
At the marshal's office, Boyd and Raylan have a little catch-up session. Boyd reveals that Ava is recovering too after being shot by Dickie Bennett (Jeremy Davies), but Raylan brings up the fact that after Mags killed herself, all of her weed got cleaned out. Boyd claims to know nothing about it before demanding an apology from Raylan.
If your memory is hazy, in last season's finale Boyd was about to kill Dickie for shooting his girlfriend until Raylan insisted he borrow Dickie to get to the Bennetts. Now, Boyd is angry that he hasn't had his chance to ice him, but Raylan counters by saying he'd never send a man to get murdered.
The marshal gets a fierce punch to the face for his troubles, and the two men get into a fight, eventually crashing into Art's office. Boyd is taken away in cuffs.
We get a first glimpse of Neal McDonough after the credits as he raves about Harlan when Emmitt Arnett (Steven Flynn) has him searched in his office.
McDonough plays Robert Quarles, and at its simplest Arnett owes 250 grand by tomorrow. Sitting in on this meeting is Fletcher Nix (Dexter's Desmond Harrington), a creepy henchman of Arnett's. After Quarles leaves, Arnett prepares to give Nix instructions...
The Bennett weed is with Boyd's men as Arlo (Raymond J Barry) and Devil (Kevin Rankin) are trying to shift it to a bloke from Memphis. Ava arrives as Boyd's men are told that the 120 kilos of "premium weed" is no good. Mould, mildew, rats, mice - they can probably only salvage a couple of grand for what they have left.
At night, a pizza guy is delivering an order to a well-off gentleman. However, it turns out that Nix was coercing the pizza man to make the delivery and he takes both of them hostage inside.
The homeowner, remaining calm, opens his safe and takes out a box of hugely expensive watches, but Nix reveals that he was the one who installed the security system. Having already disabled the security, he states that no-one's coming to rescue him.
Nix then suggests a game. He'll put the gun between them while the pizza man counts down from ten. On one, they both reach for the weapon.
Sounds fair, right? But when the pizza guy nervously says "one" and the owner starts to grab the gun, Nix cruelly stabs him in the hand with an ice pick before picking up the firearm and shooting him. Afterwards, he shoots the pizza man in the head.
The crime gets relayed to the marshal's office, where Tim wants Raylan to help him. Why? Because Wynn Duffy (Jere Burns) runs the security firm that did the installation. Raylan reluctantly tags along, but Duffy says he's not involved at all.
Raylan believes him, and suggests that Arnett might have had a hand in it as Duffy works for him. But Duffy makes a call to Arnett, firstly to chastise him for using Duffy's former employee and federal fugitive Nix, and secondly to tip him off that Raylan will be paying a visit.
Indeed, Raylan arrives at Arnett's workplace, but Arnett has cancelled his planned meeting. Arnett's assistant Yvette (Jennifer Birmingham) is there, though, and she admits that she doesn't think Arnett is really in the real estate business. Plenty of guys look incredibly sketchy.
They share a drink at a nearby bar, where Yvette tells Raylan when and where the rescheduled meeting will take place. But when they part ways, it's soon revealed that Yvette is actually working with Quarles now!
Elsewhere, Ava speaks with Boyd in prison, where Boyd tells her to burn the weed. She relays the order to Arlo and Devil, but Devil protests, saying the weed is still good. Ava gets him to cooperate after she smacks him across the face with a pan.
The marshal's team - minus Raylan because of his injury - are looking over the meeting place where Arnett will supposedly turn up. Tim, as the sniper, spots a scruffy long-haired male with a briefcase approach a black vehicle. The driver then points the gun at the scruffy bloke and demands that he get in the car.
This escalating situation leads to Art telling his team to intervene, and Rachel tackles the scruffy guy to the ground while cops box the driver in.
Raylan and Winona arrive back at Raylan's place (playfully arguing about baby names), but are greeted by a gun-pointing Nix. Nix (who actually has the briefcase with the watches) forces Raylan to put his own gun on the floor before he suggests the same game that befell the homeowner from earlier.
Nix gets Winona to start counting down from ten while he places the weapon on the table between him and Raylan. It's tense as Nix readies his ice pick from under the table.
However! Raylan proves too smart for Nix. When Winona says "two", he pulls the tablecloth - and the gun - towards him, and Nix only stabs the table. Raylan takes the gun and shoots the fugitive once in the chest.
Arnett and Duffy are meeting with Quarles as Arnett waits for his man to arrive with the money. Quarles counters that his bodyguard won't turn up. His stern face shows that he's not joking.
Arnett is confused and asks Quarles why he would deliberately sabotage his attempts to pay him back, but Quarles pulls out a concealed gun inside his sleeve and responds: "You had a good thing going here, Emmitt. But you let go of the rope." Arnett is shot in the head.
Yvette checks on the meeting and asks if Quarles is done. "Almost," he replies, before shooting her cold-heartedly too.
Quarles then approaches a stunned Duffy and simply asks: "You know me now?" Duffy: "Yeah." Quarles walks away from the scene.
The episode ends with Dewey (Damon Herriman) and Dickie chatting in prison. Just then, Boyd enters and walks past them, coldly making brief eye contact with a worried Dickie.
• Meanwhile, Neal McDonough is already shaping up to be an awesome (and ruthless) villain. We can't wait to see more of him.
• Plus, over the coming weeks, Mykelti Williamson and Carla Gugino will be making their first appearances!
• Art, ever the joker: "You're a lucky man, Raylan." "I got shot, Art." "The only thing that saved you is all that body fat you got going on there!"
• "Sorry about your tablecloth."
• And there was plenty of topless Timothy Olyphant this week!