14-15. Katherine Hale and Mike Cosmatopolis & Yolo and Constable Bob, Justified
Befitting its Elmore Leonard heritage, Justified loved to play with expectations, introducing villains who’d be undone by the last person you’d expect or heroes in the unlikeliest of places. The most noteworthy of the former was Katherine Hale (Mary Steenburgen), a ruthless fixer who became one of the final season’s Big Bads. Amongst her achievements was finally getting the upper hand on the show’s long-time cockroach Wynn Duffy (Jere Burns), their increasingly dangerous business partnership reaching a boil once she learned he ratted out her late husband. Ready to kill him, she was stopped by his long-time bodyguard Mike (Jonathan Kowalsky), who admitted while Duffy may need to die Mike would still have to kill anyone who harmed his boss. Katherine pumped him full of bullets, but he still had enough strength to reach out and crack her windpipe in two, and she died in disbelief that such a marginal character could take her out.
On the other side of the spectrum was Constable Bob (Patton Oswalt), whose main claim to fame was carrying a “go bag” to be ready “when this shit goes Road Warrior.” These self-delusions meant he was dismissed by his peers, regularly pushed around by those who’d known him all his life. His chance to shine came in “Decoy” when he was taken captive by Detroit gangsters on the hunt for an old enemy, and he endured several beatings by the cocky Yolo (Bobby Campo) when he refused to disclose any information. It turned out those beatings were simply Bob biding his time, letting Yolo get close enough so Bob could stab him in the leg, get into a brawl, and eventually gun him down. Yolo’s superiors were stunned at the outcome, but as Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) succinctly put it, “People underestimate Bob at their own peril.” [Les Chappell]