|"Fire In The Hole"|
|Season 1, Episode 1|
|Air date||March 16, 2010|
|Written by||Graham Yost|
|Directed by||Michael Dinner|
|U.S. Viewers||4.16 million|
| ← previous|
| next →|
"Fire In The Hole" is the series premiere of Justified, the first episode of the first season, and the first episode of the series overall. It was developed and written by executive producer Graham Yost based on the short story "Fire in the Hole" by Elmore Leonard and directed by executive producer Michael Dinner. It first aired on FX on March 16, 2010.
The episode introduces Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens, who is transferred to his home state of Kentucky after provoking a western style shootout with an enemy on a hotel deck in Miami, Florida. He is assigned to investigate the activities of his old mining buddy Boyd Crowder, now the leader of a white supremacist group. Raylan's 19th Century throwback style is a better fit for Kentucky and he quickly gets into another gunfight, wounding Boyd. Raylan also reconnects his ex-wife Winona Hawkins and with Boyd's sister-in-law Ava Crowder.
Marshal Givens returns home and is assigned a case involving an old friend from his coal mining days who has become a white supremacist and blew up an African American church.
U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens walks onto a hotel swimming pool deck in Miami, Florida. He sits at a far table across from a criminal, Tommy Bucks, who is enjoying a meal. Raylan had given Bucks an ultimatum; leave town or draw down. Bucks pulls a gun from under the table but Raylan draws faster and shoots him three times in the chest, killing him.
Raylan and his boss are sent to a hearing in which Raylan boldly states that the shooting was justified as the other man drew his weapon first. His superior disagrees and states that justified or not, the event will attract unwanted publicity. He transfers Raylan back to his home state of Kentucky, to Raylan's dismay. Upon arrival, Raylan reconnects with his new superior Art Mullen, an old friend from his time as a shooting instructor at the Glynco training academy. Raylan is assigned a case involving another old friend, Boyd Crowder, whom he used to work with in the coal mines before becoming a marshal.
That night, Boyd and Jared Hale drive to a federal building under construction. Boyd scopes out the site and tells Jared that it is not a suitable target because they would need a great deal of explosives and only have a rocket launcher. They drive to a nearby church. Boyd turns and reaches for the rocket launcher on the back seat, revealing a large swastika tattoo on his left upper arm. Boyd steps out, shoulders the rocket launcher, and yells "fire in the hole" to the group of people standing outside the church. He fires the rocket at the church and watches it explode. Boyd hurriedly gets back into the SUV and Jared pulls away.
Jared stops in the middle of a bridge and Boyd drops the empty rocket canister over the side into the river. He climbs into the back seat of the SUV and shoots Jared in the back of the head. Boyd calls his associate Devil to pick him up at the bridge.
Raylan lies awake in bed as his morning alarm goes off. He rolls onto his side, picks up his wrist watch, and switches off the alarm.
Raylan goes to the courthouse and takes a seat in the back of a hearing in progress. He stares longingly at the beautiful stenographer, his ex-wife Winona Hawkins. He gets a phone call and leaves the courtroom.
Raylan drives to the bridge where Jared was murdered. Art and Raylan survey the scene. The rocket launcher cap was found in Jared's vehicle. Art tells Raylan about the church attack, where witnesses reported the rocket launcher. Art and Raylan drive to the church to interview the pastor, Israel Fandi. Raylan manages to get Israel to agree to attempt to identify the perpetrator in a lineup.
A pair of large skinheads chop wood outside an abandoned church, laughing when the axe wielder's swing is a little close to his assistant's hand. A car screeches up to the white supremacist's compound and Dewey Crowe jumps out. Dewey runs into the trailer to tell Boyd that his brother Bowman had been shot and killed by his wife Ava.
Back at the Marshals' Office, Raylan hears the same news. Ava, who told the police she was tired of Bowman beating her, was arraigned on the murder charge and released on her own recognizance. He remembers that Ava lived down the street from him, and agrees to talk to her.
Raylan drives up to Ava's house and greets her with a kiss on the cheek; she plants a kiss on his mouth in response. She invites him in and gives him a drink. She shows Raylan where she shot her husband and talks him through what happened and the abuse she suffered, which resulted in a miscarriage. She goes upstairs to shower.
Dewey barges into Ava's house and finds Raylan standing in the hallway, drink in hand. Raylan asks Dewey's name and notes his alligator tooth necklace. He tells Crowe to show him his chest. Crowe complies, revealing a swastika tattoo. Raylan gives Dewey a lesson in manners, making him go outside to knock on the door and saying that he will admit him if Ava wants to see him, otherwise he'll be on his way. Crowe walks out ranting that he'll go but he's coming back in. Raylan sighs, puts his drink on the banister, takes his jacket off and walks outside. Crow pulls a shotgun from his trunk and runs into Raylan as he loads it on his way back to the house. Raylan warns Crowe that he doesn't pull his gun unless he's "gonna shoot to kill." He asks Dewey to think before doing something stupid. Raylan closes the distance between them, snatching the shotgun and pushing the butt into his face. Raylan pushes Dewey back into his car, pumps the shells out of the shotgun and throws it onto the passenger seat. He tells Dewey to go back to poaching gators because it's safer. Crowe talks back but Raylan shoves his head into the steering wheel. Raylan gives Crowe a message for Boyd: his old buddy Raylan Givens is in town.
A fire engine speeds through the streets of Harlan towards a distant blaze. It passes a silver pickup truck, parked across the street from the bank. Boyd and Devil are sitting in the pickup truck waiting for their associates to finish robbing the bank. Boyd's portly protégés rush out of the bank wearing balaclavas, lugging sackfuls of cash, and firing their automatic weapons. They dive into the back of the truck and Devil speeds off.
Raylan sits on Ava's couch, waiting for her to join him. They talk about Boyd and how Raylan needs to catch him in an unlawful act like blowing up a church or making an attempt on Ava's life. Ava makes it clear that Boyd doesn't want to kill her, he wants to "go to bed" with her. She says she is still willing to help. Raylan shifts uncomfortably in his seat. She also says that she knows where Boyd and his gang hang out, giving Raylan the location of Boyd's compound.
Raylan drives up to the church; Devil watches his approach. Raylan gets out of his car and is met by Boyd on the church steps. Boyd compliments Raylan on his clothes, saying he likes how he wears his hat. He orders his henchman to fetch him and Raylan a jar and two glasses. Inside, Boyd pours them both a glass of moonshine and they toast to old times downing their drinks. Raylan puts his glass on the table, gags and covers his mouth. Boyd laughs and tells Raylan that he has been away for too long. Boyd asks how Florida was and Raylan answers that it was sunny and hot, just as advertised. Boyd asks if he has seen his dad and Raylan replies not yet. Boyd and Raylan sit down and Boyd tries to justify his racism. He says that he recruits skinheads and tells them that antisemitism is their moral obligation because it's in the Bible. Raylan says that he thinks that Boyd blew up the church because the pastor was a marijuana distributor, not because he was black. Raylan tells Boyd to take part in the lineup voluntarily or be forced to do so. Before Raylan leaves, Boyd asks him if he would shoot him given the chance; Raylan answers that if he was made to shoot Boyd, then he would.
Boyd participates in the lineup at the courthouse. Raylan and Israel watch from behind a two way mirror. Israel dissembles, blaming darkness and being too busy running away. Raylan walks Boyd out of the courthouse. Boyd asserts that he came and he did his part. Raylan says that he knew that preacher wouldn't have the guts to pick him, so he is not out of the woods yet. Boyd turns to Raylan and says that he knows about the ultimatum Raylan gave the man he killed. Boyd gives Raylan an ultimatum of his own; "leave Harlan in 24 hours or I'll come lookin' for you." Raylan accepts and Boyd leaves.
Raylan bumps into Ava climbing the stairs of the courthouse. She has come from a meeting with her lawyer and asks Raylan to smoke with her. Outside, Raylan lights her cigarette and she asks him over for fried chicken, his favorite dinner. Raylan says he shouldn't because socializing with the defendant in a murder case is frowned upon. Ava says she will make it regardless of whether he decides to come.
Raylan and Art discuss the ultimatum in a diner. Art is concerned because Boyd wasn't specific about the consequences. Art decides to watch Raylan's motel. They are followed there by Dewey and Devil. Devil phones Boyd and Boyd tells them to sit tight.
Ava puts on a pretty dress before cooking dinner in her kitchen. She eagerly answers a knock at the door only to find Boyd there instead of Raylan.
At the motel, Raylan, Art and Deputy Rachel Brooks are sitting at the table playing cards whilst Deputy Tim Gutterson spies on Dewey and Devil. Ava calls Raylan, telling him that the chicken will be ready by the time he gets there. Boyd is standing right behind her. Raylan says he will be right there and hangs up. He tells Art that he needs to go and that he knows that there is something wrong.
The marshals head to their cars and pull out of the motel parking lot with Raylan at the front. As they all drive away, a red pickup truck intercepts them and the two fat nazis fire at Art and Rachael. Art says he's got it covered and tells Raylan to go and save Ava. Raylan drives off while Art, Rachel and Tim work together to overcome the gunmen. Art provides covering fire while Rachel sneaks behind them, surprising them and forcing them to surrender.
Raylan knows that he is being followed, so he cuts his lights, stops, and sneaks into the back seat of their car where he finds Dewey's shotgun from earlier. Raylan picks up the weapon and makes them cuff themselves to the steering wheel at gunpoint. He then makes his way to Ava's house. She opens the door and apologizes, telling him that she didn't know that Boyd would show up; Raylan believes her. He steps into the dining room to face Boyd pointing a pistol at him. Boyd tells him to drop the shotgun outside the door and sit down. He tells Ava to go into the kitchen and watch some TV and she leaves. Raylan takes his jacket off and sits down at the end of the table so that they are facing each other. Boyd puts his handgun on the table. Raylan takes a chicken leg from his plate and takes a bite. Boyd questions Raylan about shooting Tommy Bucks. Boyd says that as long as Raylan is coming after him they might as well forget about the ultimatum and draw right there and then. Boyd calls for Ava to get them a shot of Jim Bean to toast to old times. Instead she comes in aiming the rifle she just used to kill his brother. Boyd grabs for his gun, Ava fires and misses and Raylan draws and shoots Boyd in the chest. Raylan rushes to his side and says that he's sorry. Raylan flashes back to their days mining coal together. They run through the mine to clear for an explosion.
Boyd is picked up by paramedics and put on a stretcher with a bloody dressing on his chest. He is taken out to their ambulance and driven off.
A car pulls up outside a house in a nice residential area. Wynona and her husband, Gary Hawkins, are sleeping inside. Gary wakes up, gets out of bed and starts heading towards the bathroom. Wynona wakes up and tells him that the toilet is broken so he'll have to use the one downstairs. Gary notices that the room is cold. He walks into the dining room and is startled by Raylan, who is sitting at the table in the dark with a beer.
Wynona angrily takes Raylan out to the deck to talk. He tells her a story about searching for a criminal in Nicaragua. He was captured and taken to a coconut plantation by Tommy Bucks. Bucks asked where the criminal was and Raylan told him what he knew. Despite having been given the truth, Bucks taped a stick of dynamite into an innocent man's mouth and lit the fuse. Raylan tells her about the next time Bucks was in Miami and about delivering the ultimatum. She asks if Raylan killed Bucks and Raylan says "yes, but it was justified." Raylan admits that he is bothered by knowing that even if Bucks hadn't have pulled first, he still would have shot him. Raylan says that he never really thought of himself as an angry man. Wynona says she thinks he is the angriest man she has ever known.
- Raylan Givens - Deputy U.S. Marshal, newly reassigned to his home state of Kentucky
- Art Mullen - Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal of the Kentucky field office
- Rachel Brooks - no nonsense Deputy U.S. Marshal at the Kentucky field office
- Tim Gutterson - ex-Army sniper and Deputy U.S. Marshal at the Kentucky field office
- Boyd Crowder - a former mining buddy of Raylan, now a criminal and leader of a white supremacist group called Crowder's Commandos
- Ava Crowder - Boyd's sister-in-law who still holds a candle for Raylan
- Winona Hawkins - Raylan's ex-wife, a court stenographer
- Gary Hawkins - Winona's new husband, a realtor
- Dan Grant - Chief Deputy U.S Marshal of the Miami field office
- Dewey Crowe - a slow-witted member of Crowder's commandos
- Devil Lennox - Boyd's second-in-command in Crowder's commandos
- Israel Fandi - Preacher and secret marijuana distributor whose church is blown up by Boyd
- Tommy Bucks - Gun thug out of Miami, shot by Raylan.
- Jared Hale - white supremacist recruit, killed by Boyd.
- Bowman Crowder (off screen) - killed by his wife Ava Crowder. Bowman was the brother of Boyd Crowder.
- This episode shares its' name with the short story penned by Elmore Leonard, which became the basis for the series.
- When Raylan meets Dewey Crowe at Ava's house, Raylan mentions that he put away his cousin Daryl Crowe Jr., who is the main antagonist of Season 5.