FX's hit series Justified features one of the coolest lawmen to ever grace the small screen. Timothy Olyphant brings a charismatic charm to his character, Raylan Givens, which is hard for any woman to resist. His soft voice with an edge of steel, his sleepy bedroom eyes, his panther like walk and that little boy, oh I've been bad, smile. It is enough to make any woman swoon.
Raylan isn't just a ladies man, however, he has plenty of traits that appeal to the men. He has a quick draw that rivals any old west gunslinger. When he says "Take one more step and I'm gonna shoot you" he means it. He has a wicked way with one liners that amuse the bad guys right up until the end. "Outlaw life is hard ain't it" as he smashes a head into the steering wheel of a car. All in all he is an all around awesome guy.
Raylan has two weaknesses - Vanilla ice cream and women. Both have gotten him into trouble at one time or another. He once lost a fugitive while stepping next door to enjoy a dish of vanilla ice cream.
But his main weakness and most troubled area is women. During the course of the series, we have been introduced to a few of the women in Raylan's life.
The main woman in Raylan's life is his ex-wife Winona. Raylan said of the first time he met Winona, (Natalie Zea) he looked up to see the most beautiful woman he had ever seen in his life. Winona and Raylan were married for six years. During their marriage, Raylan taught shooting classes in Glencoe. Winona soon discovered Raylan had a very acute anger management issue, which affected their marriage. She later tells Raylan he is the angriest man she has ever known.
When Raylan is assigned to Miami, Winona stays behind to sell thier house and ends up having an affair with the realtor, Gary Hawkins. She and Raylan divorce and she marries Gary. However, Raylan still has deep feelings for Winona and when they both find themselves back in Kentucky, old desires reignite.
Winona comes to Raylan's room one night, takes off her wedding ring and thus begins their affair. Their reunion is bittersweet and passionate, but we can see it is doomed to failure. Winona still can not overcome her fear that Raylan will go to work one morning and never return. She wants Raylan to quit the Marshal service.
Even though Raylan loves Winona they will never have a successful relationship. Winona doesn't seem to understand that being a marshal is not just what Raylan does it is who he is. It is the culmination of a bad childhood spent with a criminal father, who was abusive. Becoming a marshal is Raylan's way of righting everything that was wrong in his youth. It is his ultimate rebellion and rejection of his father. So it is no surprise when Winona leaves Raylan after he chooses his job over her pleas for him to stay out of a dangerous situation. The situation is made even worse by the fact that Winona is now expecting their baby.
Raylan's return to Kentucky brought him face to face with a woman from his childhood, Ava Crowder (Joelle Carter). Raylan goes looking for his old friend, Boyd Crowder, who has taken up exploding black churches in the name of white supremacy, and finds himself on Ava's front porch. Ava is more than glad to set eyes on Raylan once again. She reveals that she had a big crush on him from high school. Ava even plants a big kiss on him.
Raylan is drawn to Ava even though she is strictly off limits, being a material witness against Boyd. Despite his boss warning him not to sleep with her, Raylan can't resist the passion he feels for her and they end up in bed together.
Raylan and Ava's relationship is short lived. Raylan seems to realize that he has made a mistake by getting involved with Ava. He also can see that she is much more invested in the relationship than he will ever be.
It is bittersweet when he breaks it off with Ava. She is heart broken. She tells him she thought it was fate that brought him to her front porch and she felt like she was getting a second chance. Raylan can do nothing but shake his head.
Although Raylan and Ava broke off their relationship early in the series, there is still an attraction between them. Ava has bitter feelings toward Raylan and Raylan still seems to have a protective urge towards Ava. Their paths keep crossing as they seem to be racing toward an ending that will be both tragic and final for one of them.
Raylan repeats his bad choices in women when he hooks up with bartender, Lindsey (Jenn Lyon). Raylan lives above the bar and serves as bouncer when he is off duty. He strikes up a friendship with Lindsey, who tends bar that quickly turns into a sexual relationship. Lindsey turns out to be a con artist who steals the money Raylan has saved to help Winona with baby expenses. She takes off with her ex boyfriend who has just been released from prison.
Raylan tracks them down only to find the money is gone. While he ends up with Lindsey's ex in handcuffs she manages to walk away.
Thus has went Raylan's love life in the four seasons of Justified. He has had a few brief flirtations. One with a coal mining executive and one with a young poker player. But nothing like the love triangle he has had with Winona and Ava.
Somehow we know that Raylan will keep making bad choices when it comes to women. We can only look forward to meeting the next one that will lead him down the path to new trouble. Perhaps he will be enjoying a nice dish of vanilla ice cream when he meets her. Tune in next season to find out.
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