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    Raylan 

Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/7a9797b91d26767c7195f1d9bd2aac89.jpg
"He pulled first; It's justified."
Played By: Timothy Olyphant & Danny Wildman

"Did you wake up this morning thinking today was another opportunity to mess up some bad guy's day? I did."

A Deputy US Marshal with an old-school style of keeping the law. After an incident in Miami, he's reassigned to his old backwoods hometown, which he thought he'd escaped forever.


  • Abusive Parents: His father was verbally, emotionally and physically abusive in addition to being neglectful. Raylan still despises him.
  • The Ace: Women love him, men fear him. He never loses his cool, and always dresses to the nines.
  • Always Gets His Man: Once Raylan sets his sights on you, your days as a free-range outlaw are numbered.
  • Amicable Exes: Largely with Winona, barring the odd sniping between them. They do eventually get back together. Following the Season Finale Time Skip, they've split up again in the intervening four years but neither are bitter and they have a healthy friendship.
  • Archenemy: Being the kind of man Raylan is, he picks up bitter enemies like he's collecting Pokémon. There's his own father Arlo Givens, Gio Reyes, Dickie Bennett, Robert Quarles, Nicky Augustine and Daryl Crowe Jr. But Boyd Crowder is his most constant opponent who he returns to face time after time. The entire series builds up to a final confrontation between the two.
  • Badass Boast: He has a tendency to make them, and they're usually memorable. Funnily, this is lampshaded a little when he tells Wynn Duffy that the next conversation they have won't be a conversation with his usual intimidating Death Glare...only for him to have to go back for information in a capacity that means he has to have another conversation. Duffy finds this hilarious and Raylan is embarrassed.
  • To Be Lawful or Good: In Season 6, he goes rogue because he sees no other way of stopping Boyd. In the series finale, he learns that Ava fled to California, but he refrains from arresting her because doing so would ruin the life of her young son.
  • Black and Gray Morality: He slides into this as the series progresses. While the criminals he fights are thoroughly evil, Raylan increasingly uses morally dark means to undermine his opponents. He turns a blind eye to the mob assassination of Nicky Augustine in Season 4, then uses Kendal as a pawn to manipulate Daryl in Season 5. In "Starvation", he arranges for Judge Reardon to charge Kendal as an adult, knowing full well that Kendal is innocent of any wrongdoing, because he believes it will drive a wedge between Wendy and Daryl.
  • Boring, but Practical: Always goes for a center-mass shot when he draws. It's not as directly lethal as a headshot but one is usually enough to incapacitate a target, and it's quicker.
    • This allows him to win the quickdraw with Boon who always goes for headshots, having the speed advantage in the fight and managing to walk away with only a graze to the head.
  • Broken Ace: The later seasons - especially Season 5 - show the negative effects, personally and professionally, of his Cowboy Cop lifestyle.
  • The Bully: Deconstructed and probably the second most defining trait of his. He has no qualms about browbeating and even assaulting criminals to get what he wants. However, while his pettiness is often justified and hilarious, it is gradually revealed that Raylan is pretty much stuck in this mentality. This attitude haunts him throughout the series, only to hit overdrive in season 5, when Dewey successfully sues the Marshal's office for $300,000 because of Raylan's brutality, he finds himself a woman who is not impressed by his cockiness and his carefree, provocative approach is the catalyst for most of the season's drama.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: It is implied occasionally that some of the criminals he encounters see his hat and think he's some sort of crazy idiot who thinks he's an invincible gunslinger from a Western. Many have learned to their peril that, in essence, that is exactly what he is.
  • Can't Get Away with Nuthin': His sidejob from Season 4 - he just wanted to get some money for Winona and his child, but it turned into a wild goose chase almost immediately. And he didn't even get to keep the money.
  • Car Fu: A criminal draws his gun when he sees Raylan drive up so Raylan simply drives forward and hits the guy with his car. When the guy gets up from this and still tries to shoot Raylan, Raylan reverses and hits the guy with the car again.
  • Chick Magnet: Almost to the point of parody, but it's justified as Raylan is gorgeous, well-spoken, intelligent, and a bad boy. By season four, it's gotten to the point where Art makes fun of his effect on the fairer sex, asking him of a witness, "She in love with you yet?"
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Even off-duty he handles dangerous situations.
  • Country Cousin: Mary, the matriarch of Cope's hill-folk family, was Raylan's mother's cousin. Boyd was surprised to learn that Raylan had "hills" in his lineage.
  • Cowboy Cop: This is the driving point of the series, too. It's reconstructed and deconstructed at the same time: Raylan is an insanely effective cop, his unpredictability serves as a terrific scare tactic and his antics rarely cause much of a stir, since the Marshal's Office has a lot of pull. However, he's also very overconfident and hellbent on preserving his reputation, which can render him impotent or give the crooks a way to use his stunts against him. For example, in "A Murder of Crowes", Raylan's bullying of Dewey Crowe ends with Dewey successfully suing the Marshals office for $300,000.
  • Create Your Own Villain: Discussed. A lot of Raylan's grief comes from the way he solves problems or from past grievances with other families. Allison wonders if it isn't deliberate.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Oh, magnificently. Raylan practically shoots more one-liners and quips than bullets.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Raylan finally manages to arrest Boyd and put him away, presumably for life considering the sheer amount of murders he'd racked up, let alone the one there's no evidence for. However, when Raylan visits Boyd in prison four years later, they're quite genial toward each other in a more genuine way. Raylan still doesn't trust Boyd and he's wise not to, but they do acknowledge a shared bond.
  • Dented Iron: For the first half of Season 3, due to getting shot in his side and not getting it treated immediately at the end of season 2. This seriously hinders his aim and quick draw, forcing him to rely more on his wits and fast-talking for a time.
  • Determinator: If Raylan sets his mind to something, it's pointless to try and talk him out of it.
  • Dirty Business: In the Season 4 finale, he arranges for Sammy Tonin to execute Nicky Augustine and gives his word to never tell about it. It is, by far, the darkest thing he's ever done.
  • Dismotivation / Stopped Caring: Mildly at the beginning of Season 4. He's not even trying to hide that he's emotionally drained by the events of Season 3, he remains in a relationship with Lindsey that is going nowhere and he's doing sidejobs to make some money on the side for Winona and his child, with little interest in other things. He gets over it once he pulls the Drew Thompson case out of his family house.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Lots and lots. Sorrows not necessary.
  • Fair Cop: Part of how he's a Chick Magnet.
  • Fatal Flaw: Wrath, and specifically a violent, patient wrath. He's got a cool head in a fight, but he has an inclination for getting into fights, the series wouldn't have started if he could have controlled his anger at Tommy Bucks.
  • Fearless Fool: He REALLY likes to get in way over his head. He gets his ass beaten twice for it when he gets into fistfights - the first time, he's drunk and against two bigger men, the second he takes on Coover Bennett. And he manages to top himself in Season 3 when he pulls a gun on Limehouse at his own place. Almost immediately, a dozen of men emerge with rifles and shotguns. It's pretty much the only time in the series so far Raylan truly fears for his life. He has gotten quite a bit better about this in Season 4, especially the second half. And even if he doesn't succeed in keeping himself out of incredibly dangerous situations, he at least always has backup. It's a subtle but important part of his arc, since it's mainly due to his growing awareness that he'll soon be a father.
  • Friendly Enemy: With Boyd. Deconstructed later in the series, when Raylan stops considering Boyd amusing in the slightest and is positively giddy at the prospect of getting him into jail in the Season 5 finale. By the final scene of the entire series Raylan and Boyd realize they're still friends.
  • Friend to All Children: While certainly not the most extreme example of this trope, Raylan is still much more patient with kids than he is with any other sort of civilian. He's willing to go on long, time-wasting expeditions to save Loretta (multiple times) and Kendall even when they're far out of his way. He also ended up giving or getting for them pretty decent quantities of money in an attempt to provide for their future. This is justified by his rough upbringing and what he sees as a shared connection with both of them (and he probably sees a little bit of his daughter in Loretta). Somewhat subverted by his own reluctance to pay attention to his own child.
  • The Gunslinger: And he's Famed In-Story for it too, he's the fastest draw in the show and regularly wins engagements that are 2 (or more) to 1.
  • The Hero: Of the entire series.
  • Heartbroken Badass: Throughout the series. Subverted in Season 4 - after it turns out that Winona can't be with him even with a baby on the way, he seems to have resigned at finding any deeper relationship.
  • Heroic Fatigue: The entirety of Season 3 is this for him. While it doesn't impact his ability as a cop that much apart from getting framed for murder due to his own audacity, it's clear he's emotionally drained by the end of it, once he realizes that his father killed an officer mistaking him for Raylan himself.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Narrowly averted in Season 3 where his various stunts come back to bite him when he is framed for Gary's murder. Throwing bullets at bad guys to send a message might be a cool thing to do but it also leaves them in possession of a bullet with your fingerprints on it.
  • In the Blood: Raylan is wondering whether he has a tendency for crime in his blood in Season 2, after he finds himself jumping hoops to cover up Winona's terrible mistake of stealing money from an evidence locker - it's ultimately subverted, since he concludes that he did it out of love and not because of being similar to his father. Revisited in the Season 4 finale. While his motivations were the same, Raylan no longer feels convinced.
  • I Work Alone: Raylan dislikes working with other people. While most of the time he doesn't need any help, he's often making his job a lot harder without backup - this reaches critical mass in the season 2 finale, where he survives two separate situations only because he had Boyd and the other Marshals following him in secret. He eventually grows out of it by Season 4 - he finally realizes that just having Rachel, Shelby, Tim or Bob stand next to him makes responding to unforeseen events much easier.
  • Loophole Abuse: Raylan is quite willing to abuse loopholes in the law to thwart the plans of criminals. This is also how he kills most of the bad guys in the show - he arranges situations where gunning a crook down is "justified". Deconstructed in the Season 4 finale, where Nicky Augustine purposefully doesn't give him such an opportunity - Raylan then bypasses law itself and simply has Sammy Tonin execute him as a one-time deal.
  • Manchild: Downplayed. While Raylan is very much a serious adult, he seems to be stuck in his teenage years - refusing to accept responsibility, acting like a dick, doing crazy stuff with no more than a slap on the hand. This is best shown in Season 5, where the thought of visiting his ex-wife and child appears to be completely alien to him.
  • Nice Hat: It's very much a signature for Raylan. Anyone who doesn't know his name refer to him as 'the Marshal with the hat'.
    • When the hat is ruined in the finale of the show on account of a failed headshot by Boon, Raylan takes Boon's own Nice Hat as a replacement.
  • Not So Different: From Boyd. Both are determined, intelligent men who know how to use their wits and have dark impulses.
  • Not So Stoic: He's more prone to throwing a fit in Season 3, showing that the Bennett and Winona business from Season 2 left a mark.
  • Once a Season: Getting the shit kicked out of him due to completely underestimating his opponent and provoking needless fights.
  • Parental Substitute: To Loretta.
  • Perma-Stubble: He frequently sports a little stubble that never goes into a full-blown beard.
  • Properly Paranoid: He survived this long by distrusting situations that seem too easy and thus being able to spot when someone is setting a trap for him.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: He delivers epic ones to Boyd and Wendy in season 5. In "Starvation", he reminds Boyd that countless people are dead or incarcerated because they believed Boyd's lies. He also calls out Wendy for being as bad as her brothers and for failing to see that Daryl is manipulating her and that Kendall is innocent. In the same episode Boyd gives one right back to Raylan.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Raylan pretty much runs on this and Rule of Cool when doing his job - he'll happily run you down with his car, grab your shotgun straight from your hands when you're aiming at him or kill you at a crowded pool when you're eating dinner. A major reason for him being so feared by both large and small criminals in Harlan.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: In a subdued way, but it's there; he dresses very well for a lawman.
  • Summon Bigger Fish: After Augustine sends mooks after Winona, Raylan reaches out to Sammy Tonin and warns Sammy that Augustine plans to kill him. Sammy proceeds to have Augustine murdered.
  • Tall, Dark, and Snarky: Raylan Givens is a Cowboy Cop with a Dark and Troubled Past that clearly emotionally stunted him in his teen years despite Raylan being in his early 40s. He's impulsive and constantly walking the thin line between law abiding and Dirty Cop. He's usually a Jerkass with a Heart of Gold but sometimes just a Jerkass, with a mouth and wit that cuts deeper than his bullets. Nevertheless, women can't resist him and what is coined in-universe as his Cary Grant swagger. He's so popular with the ladies that it literally gets him in trouble with the law as his bedhopping has lead to cases being dismissed after he slept with a witness or the Marshal's office being unable to bring charges because Raylan was already sleeping with the only witness.
    • He's even had a few men not-so-subtly hint at being interested in him, but they were bad guys and their sexual attention was clearly being used as a weapon to frighten him and visibly effective.
  • Thicker Than Water: Raylan's late mother Francis was the cousin of Mary, the matriarch of Cope's hill-folk family. This tenuous family tie saves his life in "Kin", when Mary acknowledges their blood bond.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Fitting his "World's Oldest Teenager" motif, Raylan loves ice cream. In fact, beyond that and alcohol, it's the only stuff you see him ingest.
  • Tranquil Fury: When Raylan isn't snarking, he's this. It's a combination of his ice-cold gunslinging skills and his hot-head.
  • Unaccustomed as I Am to Public Speaking...: Subverted. When Raylan tells Art that he is not very good at testifying in court, Art dismisses it as this trope since he knows how good Raylan is in talking himself out of trouble. It turns out that Raylan really is very bad at speaking in official settings.
  • U.S. Marshal: One of the most prominent in popular culture.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Art, moreso in Season 2. Huge, monstrous quantities with Boyd Crowder.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Season 5 is essentially an in-universe character deconstruction of him by his associates - multiple characters call him out on his jackassery and recklessness. Done especially often by his unimpressed love interest Allison, who as a social worker has seen the sort of behavior Raylan exhibits in kids from broken homes.
  • What You Are in the Dark: He finds himself in such a situation in the season 4 finale, when Winona's life is threatened by Nicky Augustine, who is in conflict with Sammy Tonin, the new head of the Detroit mob. He can either kill him and lose everything he has or just leave it be, allowing things to settle themselves. Ultimately, he takes a third option and arranges for Sammy to execute Augustine personally, so he can secure his family's safety immediately at the cost of being complicit in a murder. In "Collateral", during a shootout with Boyd, Raylan admitted that he was indifferent to what his daughter would think of him for going rogue. Initially, he was unconcerned after Boyd shot Constable Bob, but eventually chose to help Bob instead of kill Boyd. In the Season Finale, he's presented with the ultimate choice of whether or not to kill Boyd, as Boyd goads him into it. He chooses to arrest the man.
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    Art 

Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal Art Mullen

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/558864289745014a7d38cd66c4b2c837.jpg
"Why do I have the office where the deputies shoot people?"
Played By: Nick Searcy

"That's my bottle. I'm not going to let you drink it all just because your daddy didn't hug you much when you were little."

The grumpy, deadpan Chief Deputy US Marshal and Raylan's boss. He understands how Raylan operates and allows him some leeway, while still maintaining his authority.


  • Badass Beard: He sports a rather nifty one in Season 6.
  • Bald of Awesome: Slightly grumpy, always snarky, a total badass and bald as Picard.
  • Benevolent Boss: He allows quite a lot of leeway and is friends with the people under his command, although he doesn't allow their friendship to get in the way of what's right.
  • Broken Pedestal: Raylan ends up as this after he admits to being the one who was behind Augustine's murder.
  • Cool Old Guy: His age is a frequent source of irritation for him, as he laments getting older and slower. Still, he hasn't lost much of his edge.
  • Da Chief: Of the US Marshal's office.
  • Deadpan Snarker: See right. Art always has something witty lined up to say.
  • Drinking on Duty: He keeps a bottle under his desk.
  • A Father to His Men: A sarcastic, grumpy father.
  • Friendly Enemy: To Frank Reasoner, an old bank robber he used to chase back in the day. When Reasoner tries to run, Art chases after him...with his oxygen tank, to make sure his heart doesn't give out.
  • Mistaken for Misogynist: When Deputy US Marshall Rachel Brooks is called to task for playing fast and loose with the rules in capturing a suspect, she points out that Art is coming down on her harder than he does any of the male deputies in the office and that she didn't do anything Raylan hasn't done, but Raylan never seems to get in trouble. Art, their boss, agrees but says he doesn't come down on Cowboy Cop Raylan because he thinks Raylan is a lost cause and he actually considers Rachel his best deputy. This is backed up by Art making Rachel interim Chief Deputy when he is injured in the line of duty.
  • Only Sane Man: He points out he is this in comparison to his deputies: the only black woman in town, an Iraq vet with PTSD and Raylan Givens.
  • Real Men Love Jesus: In the first season, he was furious at Boyd for using Christianity as an excuse to commit crimes.
  • U.S. Marshal: Chief Deputy, thank you very much.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Raylan, moreso in Season 2.
  • Worthy Opponent: He's a huge fan of Drew Thompson.

    Ava 

Ava Crowder (née Randolph)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/7a45ba1e63302059a78e3a76a411c40f.jpg
"I'm a big girl, Raylan. I've been taking care of myself long before you rode into town on your white horse."
Played By: Joelle Carter

"If I start counting down from ten, I may lose my patience at five."

The quick-witted self-made widow of Boyd's brother Bowman. She's determined not to be pushed around, and has a romantic interest in Raylan and later, Boyd.


  • Action Girl: Doesn't bat an eye at toting a shotgun, throwing a fist or swinging a frying pan.
  • Affably Evil: She is a criminal (being The Dragon to Boyd, as well as being a madam), but is all in all a fairly pleasant person.
  • The Atoner: Implied. In the series finale, Ava flees to California and lives a lawful life, volunteering with special needs children on a horse farm and working at the local school.
  • Babies Ever After: After fleeing to California, Ava gives birth to Boyd's son, unbeknownst to Boyd.
  • Berserk Button: If you are a man who likes to abuse women, you better watch where she is pointing her shotgun. Subverted in "Slaughterhouse" when she slaps around Ellen May, showing herself to be no less violent than Ellen May's former pimp, Delroy.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: She is extremely nice and polite but if you push her to her limit, she will push back with extreme prejudice.
  • Broken Bird: The abuse she suffered at Bowman's hands has hardened her considerably, and when she winds up in prison on a murder charge she really breaks down.
  • Curious Qualms of Conscience: When she finally corners Ellen May at Last Chance Salvation Church, Ava cannot bring herself to shoot her.
  • Deadpan Snarker
  • Defiant Captive: When kidnapped and spirited away in a van, she grabbed the steering wheel and fought her kidnapper.
  • Dirty Business: She grows increasingly ruthless in her criminal activities in season 4. For instance, she arranges for Colt to kill Ellen May because Ellen May has become a loose cannon who knows too much about Delroy's murder. However, Ava is conflicted about this decision. We later see Boyd trying to comfort Ava by rationalizing her decision.
  • Distressed Damsel: She's been kidnapped a few times, by the Cartel (in which situation she turns the tables via Car Fu) and by Bo Crowder.
  • The Dragon: To Boyd by Season 3.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: In the finale, she gets away from Harlan and finds a peaceful life on a farm in California, with her and Boyd's son, whom she names after her uncle.
  • Face–Heel Turn: She was never really a Face (being more of a neutral character), but ever since definitively picking Boyd over Raylan she has definitely shifted over to the villanous side of things, Affably Evil or no.
  • Faux Action Girl: Ava talks a big game and doesn't let herself get pushed around, but her track record is mixed. She killed Bowman (who was unarmed), interrupted Boyd's attack on Raylan but would have been killed herself, is kidnapped by Hunter but manages to escape, fails to intimidate Bo, is kidnapped by Bo and left totally helpless, and later loses a shootout with Dickie Bennett. Season 5 shows that Ava isn't good at intimidation or hand-to-hand fighting (as shown when Gretchen and her gang bully Ava on the prison yard and other prison figures intimidate her).
  • Fish out of Water: Ava was clearly unprepared for state prison life, with little knowledge of its culture, economy, and hierarchies.
    • She's also wracked with anxiety and frustration when serving as an informant in season 6.
  • Frame-Up: In "Shot All To Hell", Albert plants a shank in her cell, which results in Ava being transfered to the state penitentiary. In the Season 5 finale, Albert recants his accusation, allowing Ava to leave prison.
  • Hypocrite: Ava has gone from someone who despised men who abuse women, to someone who abuses other women herself (i.e., becoming a madame, brutalizing Ellen May). In Season 4, Ava is trying to get Ellen May off cocaine and meth. (Whether Ava is doing this out of genuine concern for Ellen May or because she wants to preserve the health and physical attractiveness of a prostitute making her money is up for speculation.) However, Ava has no problem with Boyd and Johnny making money off of the Oxycontin trade.
  • Irony: While in state prison, Ava preaches the virtues of unity and mutual support to Judith's gang. An episode later, the gang rejects Ava because they falsely believe she's a snitch, and Ava's rivalry with Gretchen reaches a boiling point. While in state prison, Ava muses to Nikki about how ridiculous it was for girls to compete with each other and act catty in high school. In the season finale, the drama between Ava, her gang-mates, and Gretchen resembles catty high school bickering between teenage girls. Ava spends much of "Restitution" trying to convince the other inmates that she wasn't a snitch. At the end of the episode, she becomes a snitch for the Marshals.
  • It's All About Me: When the chips are down, this is what drives her. She's willing to become a CI against Boyd to avoid prison time, then shoots Boyd when her situation becomes desperate.
  • Karma Houdini: Ava flees to California, where she quietly raises her son Zachariah. She persuades Raylan not to arrest her. However, it's something of a Pyrrhic Victory: she had to give Markham's millions to Wynn Duffy, and admits she sleeps with one eye open because Boyd is still alive.
  • Klingon Promotion: After Rowena manipulates her into killing Judith, Ava moves up in the prison hierarchy. In "Toll", Judith's former followers give Ava their ice cream to signify that she is now their leader.
  • The Mole: In the Season 5 finale, she agrees to be an informant on Boyd's criminal activities for the Marshals.
  • Moral Myopia: Limehouse even calls her out on it.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Her attempts to cover up Delroy's murder actually result in her being arrested for it. If Ava had simply left Ellen May alone after the latter's exit from the sex trade, Ellen May would not have told Cassie and law enforcement about where to find Delroy's remains. Had Ava not made the ill-advised body swap at Paxton's funeral home, she would not have been arrested while in possession of Delroy's remains.
  • No Honor Among Thieves: In "Trust", Ava learns that her CI work will not prevent her from returning to prison, and that Raylan is about to arrest Boyd for stealing Markham's money. In a moment of desperation, she shoots Boyd in the chest and flees with the $10 million he stole.
  • No Sympathy: In "Hole in the Wall", she minimizes the beating she gave to Ellen May, baffled that Ellen May resents her and carries a gun as a result. When Ellen May confesses that she's melancholy, Ava attributes her sadness to drug withdrawal rather than, you know, working in the sex trade for an abusive madame.
  • Not So Different: From Delroy. Both are ruthless and abusive to their prostitutes. Later, she even tries to kill Ellen May for knowing too much, which is the exact reason Delroy tried to kill her and what led Ellen May to Ava's employ in the first place.
    • In "Trust", we learn that she's not so different from Katherine Hale. Both women are willing to betray their lovers for money.
  • Outlaw Couple: With Boyd, eventually. Especially after he proposes to her. Subverted when she shoots him and flees with the $10 million he stole in "Trust".
  • Reconcile the Bitter Foes: What she intends to do with Judith's prison gang. She urges the gang members to set aside their differences and work together to protect each other.
  • Someone to Remember Him By: She names her son Zachariah, after her late uncle.
  • The Stool Pigeon: Becomes one for Raylan against Boyd in the Season 5 finale.
  • Team Chef: And more than willing to use her Frying Pan of Doom on a disrespectful Devil.
  • Too Dumb to Live: In Season 1, when she repeatedly walks into situations she can't handle, refusing to leave town no matter how many people are after her, and making a spectacularly poor attempt at intimidating Bo that only pours fuel on the fire. Emphasized in Season 5 when Ava gets involved in Judith's prison gang, makes promises she can't necessarily keep, and rubs some very bad people the wrong way. Ava is getting in way over her head, and any misstep could not only lengthen her sentence but earn her the ire of dangerous enemies.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Just prior to the series. She enters the series just after shooting her abusive husband dead at the dinner table. She takes another level when she kills Delroy to protect Ellen May.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Went from being morally ambiguous to an outright criminal with no qualms about murder, prostitution (though she does attempt, perhaps halfheartedly, to make it tolerable for the hookers), extortion, and selling drugs.
  • Unholy Matrimony: Boyd proposes to her in Season 4. Subverted when she breaks up with him in Season 5.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Limehouse, of all people, calls her out on her descent into crime and absolute lack of forethought.
  • You Are What You Hate: Throughout the series, Ava demonstrated contempt for men who abuse women, killing her abusive husband Bowman and shooting Delroy after he threatened to kill Ellen May. In "Slaughterhouse," however, she showed no qualms about pushing and slapping Ellen May herself, and later tries to kill her when she views the hooker as a threat.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: When Ellen May begs to return to Audrey's brothel, Ava is hesitant to take her back because she's a loose cannon who knows too much. She arranged for Colt to shoot Ellen May, but Ellen May runs off before he can do the deed.
  • You Kill It, You Bought It: She takes over the local brothel after she kills Delroy, its pimp at the time. She also inhereits Judith's prison gang after murdering Judith.

    Tim 

Deputy U.S. Marshal Tim Gutterson

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/d2119248c174f56053203e31b3cc1161.jpg
"I can't carry a tune. I don't know how to shoot a basketball and my handwriting is, uh, barely legible. But I don't miss."
Played By: Jacob Pitts

"I love this shit...this shit gets me hard."

A Deputy US Marshal and former Army Ranger.


  • Abusive Parents: It isn't seen, but it's briefly alluded to. He wanted to kill his father, who died before he got the chance.
    "At least you got to shoot your father. Mine had the nerve to die before I got back from Basic with skills and a loaded weapon."
  • Absentee Actor: Along with Rachel, since Jacob Pitts is only contracted for a number of episodes.
  • Ambiguously Gay: A source of much debate in the fandom, due to his some dry remarks about flirting and one scene in which he's attended a bar with another man...where Raylan and Winona are on a date. It's further confused by the nature of his relationship with his 'friend' Mark and his mild chemistry with Cassie St. Cyr.
  • The Alcoholic: Art privately suspects him of this.
  • Beware the Quiet Ones: Tim doesn't have much to say that isn't an extremely dry comment. But he really isn't a man to screw with; he's an extremely dangerous former Army Ranger who will not hesitate to ruthlessly put his enemies down if it comes to it.
  • Blood Knight: It isn't explicit, but Tim does enjoy taking down bad guys. And mind games with Raylan. He loves that shit; that shit gets him hard.
  • Broken Ace: Tim is intelligent, quick-thinking, has a talent for strategy and Raylan even admits that Tim is a better shot than he is, and that's saying something. However, he also has a flirtation with alcoholism and suffers from untreated PTSD that he tries to keep buried.
  • Cold Sniper: Only to his enemies. If you're a criminal and you find yourself in Tim Gutterson's crosshairs, you aren't long for this world as Doyle Bennett found out to his detriment.
  • Consummate Professional: Even when alone with a gun-wielding Colt, a man who Tim has every reason to kill, he still gives Colt plenty of opportunity to surrender peacefully.
  • Deadpan Snarker: A particularly glorious example of "deadpan", too. Tim knows no other language than snark.
    "[to a fellow veteran] Evening soldier. Uh, I didn't bring my cape. I'm guessing this will suffice. [shows military i.d.]"

    "Relinquishing a firearm can be a very emotional moment, and there always must be another deputy in attendance. Add in some premium alcohol, what could possibly go wrong?"

    "I'm officially requisitioning this chicken."
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Subtly implied that he is a mild case - looks like his job shakes him enough to drink after particularly tense standoffs, but it's not enough to make it a problem.
  • Friendly Sniper: To his friends.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Tim is a good man with an incredibly sarcastic and inappropriate sense of humor.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: In a series of crack shots, Tim is the best bar none.
    Raylan: Jess, you ever hear of a spot snipers call The Apricot? It's where the brain stem meets the spine. Hit a fellow there, he ain't gonna pull no trigger. It's just lights out.
    Jess: Oh, are you telling me you're that good?
    Raylan: Me? (Raylan nods at Tim)
    Jess: Really. This is how this is going to go down—(Tim shoots Jess in the Apricot)
  • The Insomniac: As a side effect of his ranger training.
    "Ever since Ranger School I can't sleep past 6:30."
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Art privately suspects of him of having PTSD. Tim confirms this during "Decoy" in typical Tim-esque fashion.
    Tim: For all I know I'm just having a full blown PTSD episode.
    Art: You get those a lot?
    Tim: Only when I'm handling firearms in public.
  • The Stoic: His utterly blank facial expression contributes greatly to him being such an adept Deadpan Snarker.
  • Troll: Sometimes he just likes to mess with people, especially Raylan.
  • U.S. Marshal: Along with Raylan and Rachel.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Somewhat with Raylan; whenever they're partnered, they shoot off barbs at each other and Tim truly enjoys messing with him, but there's a lot of respect there.

    Rachel 

Deputy U.S. Marshal Rachel Brooks

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ad69c2536aa242241b04bc05fc832a83.jpg
"I'm ready to get dirty. Are you?"
Played By: Erica Tazel

"How do you think it'd go over if I came into work one day wearing a cowboy hat? You think I'd get away with that?"

A Deputy US Marshal, Rachel is coolly professional but has some initial disdain for Raylan's tactics.


  • Absentee Actor: Along with Tim, since Erica Tazel is only contracted for a number of episodes.
  • Action Girl: Rachel is good enough to avoid shoot-outs if possible by defusing a situation, but she doesn't let people back her down and that gun isn't for show.
  • Beware the Quiet Ones: Don't let the reserved demeanor fool you. She's a consummate lawwoman who keeps her cool and is not afraid to pull her gun.
  • By-the-Book Cop: Portrayed in a positive light. Rachel is much more willing to follow the rules than Raylan, Tim or even Art and as a result doesn't have to deal with investigations or blowback and is well-regarded within her profession.
  • Cowboy Cop: Art implies that she's been acting somewhat like one in Season 4, and accuses Raylan of rubbing off on her. On the whole, though, she's a consumate pro who doesn't pull off the kind of stunts that so often get Raylan in trouble.
    Raylan: I hope he broke his cell phone in half before he let him go.
    Rachel: I think you're the only one who does stuff like that.
  • Da Chief: In Season 5 and Season 6, when she takes over for Art while he recovers from his Daryl-inflicted wounds.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Rachel gets an episode to herself in "For Blood or Money" when the Marshals have to track her criminal brother-in-law. We learn a fair deal about Rachel's difficult childhood.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Not to the same extent as Tim, but she more than holds her own.
  • Fair Cop: She's very easy on the eyes, prompting Limehouse to try flirting with her.
  • Hero of Another Story: Season 4 refers to her cases and romantic upheavals, all of which occur off-screen.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: She refuses to intervene when Duffy and Mikey torture Albert, the sexual predator who targeted Ava in prison.
  • Mistaken for Racist: A hilarious subversion - she tries to play the racial card when interrogating a black witness when in Florida with Raylan and the man instead blasts her for "serving the white man" and accusing her of being sent to appease a fellow black.
  • Only Sane Employee / The Heart: She often has to play the peacekeeper between Raylan, Art, and Tim. It's the likely reason why Art has, without her knowledge, made her his interim successor.
  • The Reliable One: Her hat at the office and the reason why Art hangs back on her so much in Season 5 and 6 - especially since the other people on the horizon are Raylan and Tim.
  • The Stoic: It takes a lot to phase Rachel, which is partly why she's so good at her job. In the face of almost anything, she remains cool and collected.
  • Twofer Token Minority: She has to deal with being a woman AND black in Harlan (though she doesn't spend much time there, considering the office is in Lexington, about three hours from Harlan in real life). She notes that the town people treat her with a bit of reserve.
    Rachel: But when the cuffs come out, then I'm a "black bitch".
  • U.S. Marshal: And a damn good one. Art even considers her his best Deputy due to her intelligence, professionalism and good judgment. Unlike Raylan, she doesn't get tangled up in cowboy antics or cause trouble.
  • You Are in Command Now: She becomes Interim Chief Deputy Marshal after Art's shooting and remains so during his recovery. She suits it. When she's seen manning his office, it's hard to imagine her out of it.

    Boyd 

Boyd Crowder

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/712f254d4e354ddc039e04a2678691a4.jpg
"I am the outlaw. and this is my world. And my world has a high cost of living."

An old friend of Raylan who took a very different path, becoming a criminal like the rest of his family. Just as intelligent and charismatic as Raylan, he is constantly twisted up in the criminal life.


  • Abusive Parents: Bo was never physically abusive to Boyd, but Boyd did witness Bo beating his mother when he was young. Even though Bo led his son into the violent family business, they seemed to have a pretty good relationship especially in comparison to Raylan and Arlo. However, Bo is still perfectly fine with ordering someone else to beat the hell out of Boyd.
  • Affably Evil: Boyd can be very charismatic and is certainly no sadist like other Big Bads. It's a big part of how he can get others to come to his side.
  • Ambition Is Evil: Deconstructed. Boyd aims to higher things after Raylan shoots him in the pilot - being a preacher, vigilante, miner, oxy kingpin, bounty hunter, heroin peddler, good husband and family man, but in the end he has only one true calling in life: blowing stuff up. Most evident when he decides not to go into hiding after Katherine Hale and Wynn Duffy propose he robs banks for them in the Season 5 finale.
    Raylan: You like to get money and blow shit up.
  • Anti-Hero: Type V.
  • Anti-Villain: Type I, although he slides into unambiguous villain status as the series progresses.
  • Archenemy: To Raylan. No other criminal—not even the Bennetts—plays as big a role in Raylan's life, and the entire show slowly builds up to a showdown between them.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: Has significantly upgraded his wardrobe as the series has gone on, reflecting his growing sophistication as a person and a criminal. In the first season, he wore stained wifebeaters, and now he almost always wears at least a suit coat.
  • Badass Preacher: During his born-again Christian phase. At the end of the series, he's shown preaching to his fellow inmates in prison.
  • Batman Gambit: Pulls off quite a few of these.
  • Because I'm Good at It: Primary reason for lapsing back to his criminal ways - when he tries to lead a more pious life, it backfires spectacularly, so he returns to mining and leads a pretty empty existence, until he realizes that he can't fight his nature.
  • Berserk Button: DO NOT question his love for Ava. Lee Paxton found this out the hard way. And if you happen to make the grievous error of harming her? Expect him knocking on your door with the Crowes to beat the living daylights out of you. Just ask Gunner Swift.
  • Big Bad: Could be seen as one for the whole series, serving as the default heavy whenever the seasonal villains aren't driving things.
  • Big-Bad Ensemble: Battling it out with Avery Markham and Katherine Hale for Season 6's main villain. Markham is currently the biggest threat to Harlan, but Boyd and Hale both plan on taking him down and could easily eclipse him as the show continues.
  • Catchphrase: ''Fire in the Hole!" which is usually followed up by him using his favorite weapon: a rocket launcher.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Done in a veiled but clear way in Season 1, when he makes his feelings clear to his father while speaking at church.
    "Now - Now, Jesus entered a temple in Jerusalem. He found moneylenders buying and selling where they should have been a-praying. He called their church a den of thieves. And he turned over their tables. He cast out the robbers! He cast them out! He cast them out! Hallelujah! He cast them out! And like Jesus, like Jesus, like Jesus, we must never be afraid to strike out against those who practice evil! We must take the high road of righteousness, even if it means walking, walking and leaving our own flesh and blood behind. Because there is no greater piety, brothers and sisters, - than the love of God. Amen to that! He is my one true father. There is no other. There is no other, Preacher. There's no other."
  • The Charmer: When he starts talking he can charm a crowd and it's easy to see how he gets people to follow him.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Double-crosses the mining company and the Bennetts in quick succession. Then, does the same thing with the Clover Hillers.
  • Church Militant: Briefly ran a church dedicated to meting out "justice" to those he thought deserved it.
  • Cop Killer: Has Nick Mooney killed in Season 5.
  • Corrupt Hick: Boyd is angling to be that guy, but has yet to actually secure his control over Harlan County.
  • Crisis of Faith: At the end of the first season - he never recovers. In Season 4, he admits to Augustine that he no longer believes in God. He regains it in the final episode of the series.
  • Cultured Badass: Played with. He quotes Ralph Waldo Emerson, Saul Bellows and Isaac Asimov during his criminal dealings and correctly identifies a quote from Thomas Jefferson used by Quarles. He attributes his literary knowledge to all the time he spent reading books in prison.
  • Deadpan Snarker: A conversation between Boyd and Raylan is a glorious thing to behold.
  • Death Seeker: In the finale, he attempts to goad Raylan into shooting him. Walton Goggins states that his threats to break out of prison and go after Ava and Raylan were merely bluffs.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Bo's massacre of Boyd's congregation utterly destroys him, and he loses any hope at the chance for redemption and his faith is permanently shattered.
  • The Determinator
  • Deuteragonist: After Raylan, Boyd is the character who is the most important to the series.
  • Dirty Business: Boyd is ruthless in his criminal dealings, but he still struggles with guilt over his actions. For instance, Boyd clearly did not enjoy goading Billy St. Cyr into picking up the poisonous snake that killed him.
  • Dragon with an Agenda: He attempts to be this in Season 4 to the Clover Hillers and Detroit. It backfires spectacularly - he fails to secure Drew Thompson and barely gets off the hook from Augustine and the Clover Hillers thank him for his betrayal by putting Ava in jail.
  • The Dreaded: By the criminal underground. Which also allows him to run his business much more efficiently than he realistically should. In reality, he has very little muscle and he survives purely on being Genre Savvy, but no one actually knows that nor wants to check that.
  • Due to the Dead: After Boyd kills Devil in self-defense, he insists on giving Devil's body a decent burial. He even says a prayer after Devil has been buried, much to Arlo's annoyance.
  • Ear Ache: Takes a gunshot to the ear during "A Murder of Crowes". He seems more annoyed at everyone pointing it out than the actual injury.
  • Embarrassing Tattoo: His Neo-Nazi tattoos are a reminder of a period of his life he is not proud of. Though it's heavily implied (Raylan says this, Boyd doesn't contradict him) he never believed in it to begin with (Raylan tells him he's too smart for such aggressive idiocy), and merely used Neo-Nazism, along with his considerable charisma and natural leadership skills, as a means to manipulate rural Harlanites. Played extremely straight by Goggins in real life, in which he occasionally wears those (fake) tattoos openly, as part of his Method Acting, in order to get real reactions of disgust from the general public.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: In the end, he reveals that he had still loved Ava all along.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: In "Collateral", Hagan reminds Boyd of his many murders and betrayals. His words fail to resonate with Boyd, who dismisses Hagan as a "slave" who never got anywhere by following the rules.
  • Evil Is One Big, Happy Family: His criminal enterprise in Seasons 3 and 4 resembles a family, with Boyd in the role of father. Given that most of his biological relatives are dead, the criminal team is the closest thing he has to a family. Subverted in Season 4. He undermines Arlo's plea deal so that he can find Drew Thompson himself, and arranges with Ava to have Colt kill Ellen May. To boot, his own cousin Johnny is plotting against him, though that's nothing new. Come Season 5, his 'family' is in a sorry state. Of Johnny, Ava, Devil, Arlo, Jimmy, Colt and Carl only Ava and Carl are still breathing, and Ava has turned on him. Two of his 'family' are dead by Boyd's own hands.
  • Evil Parents Want Good Kids: His criminal activities are a means to give the family name a clean start.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Boyd doesn't get the blaze of glory death he expected to receive, and is too afraid of dying to pull his weapon on Raylan during their final confrontation. As a result, he winds up in prison and is back to preaching having seemingly been born again, although this time it's to a minimal and not particularly interested flock. Boyd and Ava both believe he will eventually get out of prison, but barring a jailbreak it's extremely unlikely considering his crimes. Leaving aside all the crimes he probably managed to escape justice for, Boyd would definitely have been found guilty of the murders of Carl Lennon, Hagan, Officer Crosley and Avery Markham, not to mention grand larceny and multiple attempted murders of law enforcement officers like Tim. He probably just barely avoided Death Row and is serving multiple life sentences. That said, he doesn't seem too beat up about it in the epilogue, and even seems to have made peace with himself.
  • Feed the Mole: He knows that Wade Messer is an informant, and thus Boyd feeds him flimsy information to deceive law enforcement.
  • Friendly Enemy: With Raylan initially, but Boyd loses his Noble Demon traits and their enmity becomes much more hateful and vicious. By the final scene of the entire series Raylan and Boyd realize they're still friends.
  • Graceful Loser: By the series finale he seems to have accepted his life in prison and the fact Raylan won, able to have a civil conversation with his friend and even go back to his faith.
  • Heel–Faith Turn: Briefly in Season 1. And seemingly for good, in the series finale.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: Boyd has gone from criminal to honest man to honest man posing as a criminal to reluctant criminal to full-fledged criminal.
  • In the Blood: His reason for returning to crime. He says it almost verbatim when convincing Johnny to join him.
  • I Will Fight No More Forever: Boyd decides to give up the violent criminal life and goes to work in the coal mine. It's a 10-Minute Retirement.
  • Knuckle Tattoos: He's got "SKIN" across his right hand.
  • A Lighter Shade of Black: When Boyd becomes less of an anti-villain and more of a straight-up villain later in the series, he slides into this. While Boyd is deceitful and utterly ruthless, he still has sympathetic moments, in contrast to the more depraved and jerkass villains operating in the Justified universe.
  • Lonely at the Top: At the end of Season 4. He strikes a cushy deal with Wynn Duffy, but Colt and Arlo are dead, Johnny betrayed him and he failed to protect Ava from getting arrested.
  • Loophole Abuse: Whenever he realizes that he cannot get what he wants through direct means he finds a loophole that allows him to get to his goal through indirect means.
  • Love Makes You Dumb: He keeps Ava close even after learning that she's an informant for the marshals. To boot, he never expected her to shoot him and run off with the $10 million he stole from Markham.
  • Man of Wealth and Taste: Compared to the general population of Harlan county, he's definitely this.
  • Never My Fault: Although he was good at accepting blame during his religious phase and the brief aftermath, Boyd ultimate has a tendency to shift blame to others while downplaying his own. Raylan calls him out on it.
    Boyd: Look, I am sorry your name got dragged into this, Raylan.
    Raylan: I bet.
    Boyd: But with everything that is going on in this county, I am not the problem.
    Raylan: It's the Jews or the blacks. Maybe it's the Muslims. The Taliban got you down? I know it's anyone but you, Boyd, so, tell me, who is the problem this time?
  • Never Speak Ill of the Dead: Boyd speaks of his late father Bo respectfully, even though Bo had most of his followers massacred, and Boyd beaten. Boyd also spoke kindly of the late Devil, even though he killed Devil in self-defense. He even delivered a short prayer when burying Devil, much to Arlo's annoyance.
  • No Honor Among Thieves: Boyd has deceived and betrayed criminal associates on multiple occasions. This becomes a recurring theme in Season 6, when Boyd abandons any pretense of a moral code and murders his colleagues left and right.
  • Noble Demon: He was The Atoner in Season 1, and becomes a Noble Demon for a few seasons; he doesn't kill without need and has many humanizing moments, but as the show progresses he loses his more noble traits due to the increasing pressure placed on him by outside influences like Quarles, Augustine and the Mexican cartels.
  • Not So Different: From Raylan and later from Billy St. Cyr. Boyd admits that Billy reminds him of himself from his church period. His treatment of Ava in "The Hunt" suggests that he may not be all that different from Bowman and Bo.
  • Oh, Crap!: In "Moneytrap", Boyd's expression at the wealthy swingers party suggests this. Boyd realizes that he's in over his head when several wealthy crimelords order him to kill a man, or be destroyed himself. It's even more alarming when they tell Boyd that his late crimelord father recognized their power.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Walton Goggins briefly drops the Kentucky accent in "Trust", when Boyd shouts at Ava.
  • An Offer You Can't Refuse: He likes to give people those before he actually resorts to violence. You tend to do what he wants when he starts reminiscing about your mother never locking her back door. In season 4 a group of corrupt businessmen give him one of these offers and expect him to do as he is told. It's a very bad mistake. Boyd turns the situation around on them and gives them an offer of his own.
  • Outlaw Couple: With Ava. Even moreso after he proposes to her. It comes to a violent end when she shoots him in Season 6.
  • Pyrrhic Villainy: Things tend to work out this way for Boyd. Though he's always able to survive, he typically loses out in one way or another. In Season 1 he brings down his father, but loses his Church. In Season 2 he defeats the Bennetts, but Ava ends up in the hospital and Dickie evades him. In Season 3, Quarles is captured, but Arlo goes to jail and Boyd misses the chance to claim Mags' money. In Season 4 he outlasts Nicky Augustine and gets the chance to be Wynn Duffy's new partner, but at the cost of Ava going to jail. And in Season 5 he manages to kill Johnny and survive the Mexican cartel and Daryl both, but his fledgling empire is in tatters, Ava becomes a CI, and Rachel, Raylan, and Vasquez are coming for him.
  • Rage Against the Heavens: Averted. He holds no ill will against God for the massacre of his little community and admits that it was his own hubris that doomed his church.
  • Rage Breaking Point: Boyd has two bouts of uncontrollable rage in Season 5. The first is when Lee Paxton insults Ava, which earns him a furious beating from Boyd. The second is when he learns that Ava was transferred to the state penitentiary instead of being released. Several guards have to restrain him as he bellows in rage.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: He received a blistering one from Raylan in "Starvation". Raylan reminds him that his criminal file is full of dead and incarcerated people who got that way because they believed his lies. Gives a similar speech to Raylan in the same episode. He receives two scathing ones in "Collateral". Hagan reminds him that he's a vile murderer, not some legendary outlaw, while Zachariah points out that he's no different from Bo or Bowman.
  • Redemption Failure: Boyd has tried to go on the straight and narrow or at the very least stay out of crime, particularly in the earlier seasons, but circumstances keep drawing him back in.
  • Reformed, but Rejected: In the early seasons Boyd tries not to be a criminal, but no one takes him at all seriously on either side of the law.
  • Refuge in Audacity: This is how Boyd established himself as a major crime boss in Harlan County without actually having the muscle to fully back it up. He makes bold moves and issues outrageous demands, and his targets are not willing to call his bluff.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Boyd has quite a vocabulary and shows it off.
    Augustine: Man, I love the way you talk... using 40 words where 4 will do.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: A large part of his charisma comes from his intelligence and eloquence contrasted with his more crass mannerisms.
  • Smug Snake: In "Collateral", he claims to be an "outlaw" who lives life on his own terms. In reality, Boyd is a petty criminal who leads a life of crime because it's all he knows, and who works for others instead of reaching kingpin status.
  • Stopped Caring: Towards the end of Season 5, after Ava breaks up with him, his longtime friend and loyal partner Jimmy gets killed and he barely survives the Mexican/Crowe/Detroit heroin deal. He just wants to be left alone, lay low and have a clean slate by the finale, and it gets so bad that only the prospect of robbing banks for Duffy and Hale brings him out of it.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: In Raylan's words, Boyd likes to "get money and blow shit up." He does not disagree with this assessment.
  • Summon Bigger Fish: When he realizes that he cannot deal with the Clover Hillers on his own, he asks the Detroit mob to neutralize the Hillers' political connections. He later explains to Ava that if he gets in trouble with Theo Tonin there are no bigger fish to summon to solve the problem for him.
  • Take Over the City: Take over the rural county, anyway. From Season 2 onwards, Boyd's ambition is to control Harlan County the way his father used to.
  • To the Pain: Boyd gets to deliver a pretty amazing version of this trope to Lee Paxton.
    Boyd: People of Harlan County, rich and poor, will marvel at your debasement and venality. They will spit venom when they speak your name, and they will take your suicide as the last act of a coward. Now your reputation is ruined, your good word worthless, but death will not be the end of your suffering. For generations, your children and your childrens' children will have a mark against their name, and that will be your legacy.
  • Undying Loyalty: Deconstructed. Boyd is an immensely magnetic man who easily acquires allies, but his devotion to them is only skin deep, while they give him a second chance after a second chance - he abandons the White Supremacist ideas that kept Devil close, undermines Arlo's plea deal so he can go after Drew Thompson himself, cuts ties with Johnny, even though he had a good reason to turn on him and finally he abandons the notion of being with Ava again after she breaks up with him to protect him.
  • Unholy Matrimony: He proposes to Ava in Season 4. We learn that he was squirreling away money without telling Ava because he was saving up for a new house once they're married. Subverted in Season 5 when she breaks up with him.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: In Season 6, due to the cumulative Villainous Breakdowns over the course of Season 5 and his increasing desperation.
  • Vigilante Man: During his religious fanatic phase when he vows to rid Harlan of drugs.
  • Villain Ball: In the pilot he really has no reason to attack Raylan and the other marshals. He does it primarily to prove a point to Raylan and to show that he is not afraid of the marshals. He suffers the consequences for this but learns from his mistake and becomes very Genre Savvy.
  • Villainous Breakdown: He has these from time to time due to being constantly hit with Pyrrhic Villainy, but in Season 6 Boyd appears to be disintegrating before our very eyes. Many of the tropes that made him Affably Evil in the first place fade away due to his increasing desperation; he grows increasingly violent, needlessly cruel, treats his minions as disposable, loses his temper more easily and forgoes any sense of Honour Among Thieves he may have once possessed.
  • Villain Protagonist: Justified is just as much Boyd's story as it is Raylan's, and given that he's on the other side of the law even in his least-villainous moments he fits as this.
  • Villain Team-Up: With the Crowes. Who he enlists to knock the shit out of Gunner Swift. And then enlists to go after Cousin Johnny.
  • Villainous Friendship: He and Jimmy were a Type I.
  • Wild Card: Boyd varies from enemy, ally, ally of convenience or even voice of reason.
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    Winona 

Winona Hawkins

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Winona_Hawkins_9029.jpg
"I'm done trying to change who you are."
Played By: Natalie Zea

"Raylan, you do a good job of hiding it. And I s'pose most folks don't see it, but honestly, you're the angriest man I have ever known."

Raylan's slightly more uptown ex-wife, Winona still harbors strong feelings for him despite having left him for realtor Gary Hawkins. Over time, her relationship with Raylan re-ignites as her relationship with Gary deteriorates.


  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: In season 6, Winona finally admits that she has a case - she notes that the idea that she doesn't have to worry about Raylan (whether it's because he's retired or they aren't together) is actually more distressing than not being able to sleep due to him hunting bad guys.
  • Amicably Divorced: She and Raylan eventually reach this point, where they are perfectly civil and even friendly to each other without being overtly romantic.
  • Can't Get Away with Nuthin': She slips up just once in her life when she steals from the evidence locker, and was just about to turn around in the bank and go put it back when the place is robbed and she's exposed.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Especially towards Raylan.
  • Distressed Damsel: When Augustine's men pay her a visit. She's visibly terrified, but of course, Fear Is the Appropriate Response. It doesn't stop her from killing one of them with Raylan.
  • Genre Savvy: As of Season 3, she's been much better at recognizing what to do in high stress situations. Particularly calling Raylan immediately when she finds the gun used to murder Gary.
  • Hello Court Stenographer: Mike Reardon especially thinks so.
    Mike: I know fifty men in this building that'd pay good money to sniff your gym clothes.
  • Idiot Ball: Grabs it pretty hard by stealing from state evidence.
  • Mama Bear: When the life of her unborn baby is threatened, she demonstrates that she can be just as dangerous as Raylan.
  • Put on a Bus: In Season 4, she leaves to take care of her child. This is likely due to Natalie Zea a major role on another show.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Went from being relatively cold to Raylan in Season 1 to cheating on her husband, stealing money locked away as evidence, and leaving Raylan in the dust despite the fact that she's carrying his baby.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: When she was still with Gary.
  • Working with the Ex: Alternatively, with Raylan and Gary.
  • Your Cheating Heart: She's cheated on both Raylan and Gary, usually with each other.

    Duffy 

Wynn Duffy

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/8de40a4ea6fc1be3d2bbace707091778.jpg
"The police are just a janitorial service used to clean up your blood after you've been murdered."
Played By: Jere Burns

Quarles: "You can't have the "Duffy" without the ''Win''."

A Dixie Mafia middleman well-known for his bloodthirsty approach. He first appears as a loan shark working for Emmitt Arnett, but gradually rises through the Dixie Mafia power structure. Intelligent and ruthless, he clashes frequently with Raylan with whom he has a grudging mutual respect.


  • Affably Evil: In a rather genuine way. Sure, he's a snarky psychopath who kills without remorse, but he does reach a point with Raylan where they do seem to like each other. Of course, they both want the other dead, but other than that they appreciate that the other can be reasoned with. Wynn even gives Raylan his sincere condolences for Arlo's death and Raylan thanks him for it.
  • Ambiguously Gay: His hired thug lives with him in the RV/office, though it's not clear if they're romantic partners or just roomates. It's become increasingly ambiguous, with Wynn putting his arm around Boyd in an unscripted moment that comes across as more than a little flirty.
  • Ax-Crazy: More pronounced in his first appearances, and since then he's mellowed out a little.
  • "Blackmail" Is Such an Ugly Word: In "Burned", Art and Raylan threaten to tell Markham and Katherine that Duffy was the informant who betrayed Grady, unless Duffy agrees to reveal information on Boyd's heist.
  • Bodyguard Betrayal: In "Trust", Mikey grows so disgusted with Duffy's CI work that he stuns Duffy, handcuffs him to a table, and calls Katherine Hale.
  • Broken Pedestal: For Mikey, who feels deeply betrayed by the revelation that Duffy had been an informant for the Marshals at one time.
  • Characterization Marches On: While certainly just as slimy as he is in later seasons, in his early appearances he's portrayed as a Faux Affably Evil psycho with a Hair-Trigger Temper and without any of his amusing quirks. Characters speak of him in hushed tones and accuse him of sadistically torturing his victims, something later Duffy wouldn't get his own hands dirty with.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Like you would not believe. Even in the world of Justified where everyone has a witty line here and there, Duffy stands out.
    "I would love to be of more help, but I gotta get back to watching women's tennis."

    "The point is, Mr. Crowder, when he asks me, and he will, where Robert Quarles is, does Theo Tonin sound like the kind of man to whom you'd like to say, "I'm sorry, but he escaped from a disease-ridden whore factory up in inbred holler"?!"

    "Hi, this is Wynn Duffy in 236. Could you send up another pot of coffee, please? Because this one tastes like my ass on Sunday. Thank you, dear."

    "My suite is being cleaned. The microwave exploded."
  • Deceptive Disciple: Grady Hale was Duffy's mentor. Duffy repaid him by serving as an informant to law enforcement, which got Grady arrested and imprisoned.
  • The Dragon: First to Emmett Arnett, then to Robert Quarles, and then, after the collapse of the Detroit Mob (who he worked for as a Kentucky pointman) Katherine Hale.
  • Dragon Ascendant: In Season 4, he has risen in status in the Dixie Mafia following the fall of both Emmett Arnett and Quarles.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: He was portrayed as much more dangerous than his boss Arnett. However, when Quarles takes over Duffy seems quite tame in comparison.
  • Dragon with an Agenda: He is ambitious enough to want to take over the Dixie Mafia operations in Kentucky from his bosses but is smart enough to realize that without Detroit's approval he will never succeed.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: He is rather shocked by some of Quarles' more viscerally disturbing shenanigans, though he keeps his mouth shut about it. However, in "Slaughterhouse," Duffy admits to Raylan that he was behind the anonymous tip on Brady's murder.
  • Evil Makeover: In Season 4, he shaves off his moustache, coiffes his hair, and wears expensive business suits. He's back to the moustache in Season 6.
  • Face Death with Dignity: When he believes Katherine is going to kill him, Duffy remains glib and apparently unconcerned, calling her out on sleeping with Markham, and mocking her supposed love for Grady.
  • Friendly Enemy: He and Raylan get along relatively well when they're not at each other's throats. Raylan seems to regard him as the voice of reason in the Dixie Mafia, though perhaps only relative to Quarles' slide into desperation. Duffy, for his part, is properly wary of and seems to understand Raylan. This becomes very prominent in Season 4 when Duffy goes out of his way not to do anything that might anger Raylan. In Season 5, Raylan even goes out of his way to warn Wynn that a mob accountant was out to kill him. Granted, Raylan was (unintentionally) responsible for the mob accountant wanting to kill Wynn in the first place.
  • Genre Savvy: Not quite dangerously so, but very aware of the tropes. Specifically, he scrupulously avoids all of the pitfalls that doom Quarles (much more on these in Quarles' own entry). Perhaps most tellingly, when Boyd offers to become his 'partner' in taking down Quarles, Duffy tells Boyd the full bounty on Quarles' head, rather than, and as Boyd assumes, giving him a much lower amount so as to get a larger share. In Season 4 he considers Boyd and Harlan County to be too much trouble despite the potential profits and hates that the Drew Thompson situation requires him to deal with Boyd. He then goes out of his way to maintain a Friendly Enemy relationship with Raylan because the last thing he wants is for Raylan to be personally angry at him.
  • Grandpa, What Massive Hotness You Have: In the tanning bed scenes from "Nobless Oblige" and "Burned", he's shown to have a very fit physique for his age.
  • Grew a Spine: For much of Season 3, Duffy was Quarles' reluctant henchman. Toward the end of the season, Duffy grew tired of Quarles and agreed to have him killed so as to collect Theo Tonin's bounty. He also puts his foot down about Quarles' drug use in the motorcoach office, ordering Quarles to smoke his drugs in his own vehicle. Played with in season four. He recognizes the insanity of the Drew Thompson situation and when things reach their climax he ends up rebelling against Nicky Augustine by fleeing Kentucky, reaching out to Sammy Tonin and backing him against Nicky in the upcoming power struggle.
  • The Informant: He was the informant who helped law enforcement convict Grady Hale.
  • Karma Houdini: After helping Ava escape from the authorities in exchange for millions of dollars, Duffy vanishes. Raylan shares a rumor that Duffy is surfing in Fiji.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Duffy repeatedly shoots Cyrus with his own air gun in "Good Intentions", the same air gun Cyrus used on a mentally disabled man in "The Kids Aren't All Right". In ''Sounding", he orders Mikey to torture Albert (a sexual predator) with a cattle prod for information.
  • Loan Shark: How he was introduced. Since then, he's been expanding.
  • Manipulative Bastard: He plays Boyd and his gang against Quarles, not succeeding only due to bad luck and Quarles having more lives than a Time Lord cat. Showrunner Graham Yost agrees: "I will say this about Wynn Duffy: He is a survivor. He will play every angle. While we’re playing checkers, he’s playing three-dimensional chess."
  • No Honor Among Thieves: Duffy is less concerned about loyalty and more concerned about saving his own skin. He served as an informant in his younger days, which resulted in Grady Hale's conviction and imprisonment. Duffy explains to Mikey that honor has no place among criminals, reminding him that Markham and Katherine wouldn't hesitate to betray them if it served their ends.
  • Not So Above It All: Despite being cool and reserved almost all the time, has spectacularly and terrifyingly blown his top once or twice.
    Arnett: You're gonna get your portion.
    Duffy: Of what?! The land?! What am I, A FARMER?! Show me the cash, Emmitt, or I swear to God I'm gonna get a machete and a blowtorch, and I'm gonna make your body as small as I possibly can!

    Duffy: The point is, Mr. Crowder, when he asks me, and he will, where Robert Quarles is, does Theo Tonin sound like the kind of man to whom you'd like to say, "I'm sorry, but he escaped from a DISEASE-RIDDEN WHORE FACTORY up in INBRED HOLLER"?!
  • Only Sane Employee: Of the Detroit Mafia. He seems to be the only one who isn't greedy to the point of incompetence.
  • Pet the Dog: Calling in the Brady Hughes tip might be one (unless he was just trying to get Quarles out of his hair). It's played a little straighter in Season 4, when Wynn offers his condolences to Raylan about Arlo's death. Raylan even thanks him and admits that he believes Wynn is being sincere. In "Starvation", he gently gives water to an injured Mikey and assures him that he fought well against Daryl.
  • Psycho for Hire: For the Detroit Mob, who know him as 'crazy'. As his Character Development kicks in, however, he mellows out a lot, to the point where Raylan and Boyd consider him the voice of reason in the Dixie Mafia. This is probably due to the fact that his psychopathic ways never really got him anywhere (he only began stepping up after he mellowed), and he saw what could happen to him if he didn't get some self-control with Quarles.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: He's a fan of women's tennis, wears a sleep mask while resting, and tans himself in a tanning bed.
  • Retired Monster: At the end of the show. Duffy gets away clean, and is now surfing in Fiji, unrepentant, but out of the crime business.
  • Running Gag: On several occasions, Duffy ends up splattered with blood when someone near him is killed. Duffy never bats an eyelash.
  • Sadist: Particularly in his first appearances, but it never entirely goes away, as evidenced by his torture of Cyrus in Season 5.
  • Say My Name: In "Fugitive Number One". Mikey!
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: When he finds out that the Marshals have Drew Thompson he immediately makes plans to flee Kentucky rather than wait for the inevitable You Have Failed Me from Nicky Augustine. However, he then reaches out to Sammy Tonin and backs him against Nicky in the coming power struggle. This allows him to return in the season finale and even gets a promotion.
  • Seen It All: He's become this by Season 4, it seems. He doesn't even bat an eye when Augustine shoots Barkley in the head right next to him, splattering him with a little bit of blood. He also shows no surprise that Raylan is able to thwart Augustine and Boyd in their search for Drew Thompson. He is in fact Genre Savvy enough to prepare for their inevitable failure.
  • Soft-Spoken Sadist: For a ruthless Dixie Mafia man, he has a very unassuming voice. But see Not So Above It All.
  • The Starscream: He hates working for Quarles but is smart enough to wait and see how things turn out before making any move against him. When Theo Tonin offered Duffy an opportunity to move up in the Dixie mafia by bringing in Quarles (plus a cash incentive), he moved decisively against Quarles, even collaborating with Boyd Crowder.
  • Villain Cred: The first mention of Duffy is about him cutting off a man's face and sewing it to a soccer ball. We later see him visibly disturbed by later events, such as the "ear story," Quarles' shenanigans, and the "chainsaw guy," suggesting that maybe he isn't so crazy after all.
  • Villains Out Shopping: "Sounding" shows Duffy and Mikey playing Scrabble to pass the time.
  • Villainous Friendship: As of Season 5, he and Mikey appear to be a Type I, living together in the motorcoach, and expressing genuine concern for each other's safety. Duffy even chooses to reveal to Mike that he's been an informant for the Marshals in the past. It looks like their friendship can't survive this revelation, as a furious Mikey ties Duffy down and calls Katherine. However, at the last second, Mikey sacrifices himself to kill Hale and save Duffy's life, culminating in an emotional Duffy holding Mikey as the latter dies.

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