Timothy Olyphant as Raylan Givens, proudly old-fashioned Deputy U.S. Marshal
Miami, March 3, 2010
Episode: “Fire in the Hole” (Episode 1.01)
Air Date: March 16, 2010
Director: Michael Dinner
Costume Designer: Ane Crabtree
Justified was one of those shows I’d been aching to see because:
1) Everyone in the world was telling me to watch it
2) The promos looked badass
3) Timothy Olyphant is awesome and his previous show (Deadwood) was criminally brilliant
I try to avoid learning too much about shows I haven’t seen yet, especially serials with actual plot lines, so all I really knew to expect was Olyphant as a badass U.S. Marshal fighting a bunch of rapid Kentuckians.
Imagine my surprise when I pop in the first DVD, and I see Raylan in Miami, surrounded by bikini clad women and Latin music against the backdrop of a bright tropical sky. As he sauntered around the pool in a fashionable but not-exactly-rugged suit, I wondered if this was the same show I’d been hearing about.
Then, the laconic Raylan sits across from his target, peering out from under a Stetson and telling him he planned to shoot him on sight two minutes before doing exactly that. At this point I knew that – in so many ways – this was the right show.
Raylan working in Miami makes even more sense when he explains, two episodes later:
Miami is a sunny place for shady people.
What’d He Wear?
Normally a guy like Raylan, whose uniform is a cowboy hat and jeans, would be uncomfortable wearing a suit. He may be here, but Olyphant’s easygoing demeanor would probably have Raylan looking calm and collected if he was wearing a pink unitard. Luckily, the show’s costumers opted for a suit instead.
Although born and bred in the coal mines of Kentucky, Raylan is assimilating into his adopted home in Miami with a lightweight tan suit. Ever the cowboy, he still sports his Stetson hat and boots, but his cool confidence keeps the outfit from looking like a caricature.
The lightweight wool suit is tan in color, almost perfectly matching his hat. The coat has narrow notch lapels with pick-stitched edges and a single rear vent. The pockets are standard, consisting of a welted breast pocket, and straight flapped hip pockets. The front is darted, and the coat drapes nicely on Olyphant’s frame with a slightly suppressed waist.
The front fastens with two light brown horn buttons that match the four buttons on each cuff, but Raylan wears the coat unbuttoned anyway.
After Raylan is transferred back to Kentucky from Miami, he wears the suit jacket with a black shirt but ditches the trousers for a more characteristic pair of jeans. The trousers are flat front with plain-hemmed bottoms, breaking short over his dark brown leather boots.
The trousers have belt loops, and Raylan wears a brown Western-style tooled belt in tanned leather, complete with a tan-finished full grain leather Bianchi Model 59 Special Agent® thumb break paddle holster. Raylan later uses a different Bianchi Model 59 to fit his Glock when he adopts that sidearm in the second episode.
Raylan wears a French blue long-sleeve dress shirt with a spread collar, front placket, and buttoned barrel cuffs. He wears a solid black necktie against the blue shirt.
Raylan wears a brushed steel TAG Heuer Series 6000 Chronometer wristwatch. We don’t see much of the watch under Raylan’s cuffs, but it appears to be the one he wears for the rest of the show, with the exception of his stainless Rolex Submariner worn later in the episode.
Raylan also surprisingly wears a ring on the third finger of his right hand, although it unsurprisingly has a horseshoe on it. The ring is sterling silver.
And, of course, this marks the first appearance of Raylan’s trademark hat. Timothy Olyphant had approached Baron Hats, the trusted Hollywood hatmaker that had he had worked with previously on Deadwood, to create the hat for his character. Baron Hats delivered what they now sell as “The RG”, a sahara tan cattleman’s hat in 200XXX beaver with a tall 4.25″ crown, 3.25″ brim, and a slim tooled leather hat band with a three-piece buckle set.
You can order your own version from HatCountry.com for just less than $130… you pay $10 extra for tan instead of black.
Go Big or Go Home
Raylan is a modern take of the strong, silent type. He’s certainly brave, but he shows a natural fear when he’s scared, injecting enough humour as a defense mechanism to keep the situation light – at least for him.
When a character uses nothing but his wit to repeatedly get out of situations, it gets old, but that’s not Raylan Givens. Raylan may use his wit to distract himself or his enemy from the reality of the situation, but he will fight back when he’s cornered and he’s good enough to come out on top. He’ll tell a joke, but he uses the same steely gaze as when he’s preparing to shoot someone down, so you know not to spend too much time laughing.
Scott Tobias of The Onion‘s AV Club summed it up perfectly in his review of the pilot:
Olyphant has played more heavies than not, but the common denominator in all his work is a devilish smile, an offhand wit, and extraordinary self-possession, which makes him a natural Old West hero in the John Wayne/Clint Eastwood tradition. As Raylan, Olyphant shows off that rascally charisma of his, but he’s a darker, more complicated character than his 19th century sheriff shtick would seem to indicate at first….
Raylan likes to keep it simple—his statement to officials after the fact (“He pulled first. I shot him.”) is hilariously concise—but the moral clarity of shooting a man after he draws first becomes a hell of lot murkier if he kept his “shoot on sight” promise to an unarmed man.
Plus, Raylan is insanely good at what he does, and – in this case – that’s shooting bad guys.
How to Get the Look
Raylan’s cool brand of confidence allows him to get away with wearing a cowboy hat with a suit. If you think you can do it, do it, but make sure you keep your chin up and prepare to shoot any bullying gun thugs on sight.
- Tan lightweight wool suit, consisting of:
- Single-breasted jacket with slim notch lapels, 2-button front, welted breast pocket, flapped hip pockets, 4-button cuffs, and a single rear vent
- Flat front trousers with belt loops, side pockets, and plain-hemmed short break bottoms
- French blue long-sleeve dress shirt with spread collar, front placket, and button cuffs
- Black necktie
- Baron Hats “The RG” sahara tan 200XXX beaver cattleman’s hat with a thin tooled leather band
- Dark brown leather Western-style boots
- Brown tanned leather Western-style tooled belt
- Tan full grain leather Bianchi Model 59 Special Agent® paddle holster for a SIG-Sauer P226
- Silver-toned wristwatch with a round case
- Sterling silver horseshoe ring with braided side detail
Later in the episode, Raylan finds himself in a similar situation across from the volatile Boyd Crowder, who eggs him on. Boyd asks Raylan what kind of gun he used to shoot “that gun thug in Miami.” Raylan replies:
That time? SIG 226.
The SIG-Sauer P226 to which Raylan is referring is a fine Swiss semi-automatic pistol that enjoyed its time in the sun with American military and police before the striker-fired Glock supremacy took over. The P226 is offered in three major American police calibers: 9×19 mm Parabellum, .357 SIG, and .40 S&W. It was developed in 1984 when the U.S. military was testing new pistols to replace the M1911A1. The P226 was the only other pistol besides the Beretta 92F to pass all required tests, but the Beretta was cheaper to purchase as a package. Individual branches and departments began to slowly adopt the P226 across the country, and it became a very common pistol to see in LEO holsters by the late 1990s.
Although newer DAK trigger SIG-Sauers and striker-fired sidearms like the Glock and the Springfield XP are taking over the law enforcement community, the SIG P226 is still in production as a very popular top-of-the-line pistol. A new standard model P226 is offered by SIG-Sauer for $1,015, but a more tactical version like the stainless P226 X-Five Allround can cost upwards of $1,700.
Raylan’s use of the P226 would be technically unauthorized, but Raylan is an unorthodox lawman so this makes sense. The only SIG-Sauer pistol ever authorized for the U.S. Marshal Service was the SIG-Sauer P228, a slightly more compact version of the P226 chambered only in 9×19 mm. (The Marshals’ Special Operations Group also was issued the .40-caliber P229 until 2004, but that’s a whole different matter.) The P228 was issued to marshals from 1992 to 2000 after the agency switched over from revolvers. The P228 was usurped by the .40-caliber Glock in 2000.
Also, Raylan isn’t actually using a P226 there… nor is it a SIG-Sauer… nor is it an actual gun at all.
Independent Studio Services (ISS), the same company who gives TV characters their cans of “Bilson” beer or “Morley” cigarettes, is an exclusive supplier of Hollywood “non guns“. Since actual firearms are just converted to blank-fire for film and TV productions, there is still a certain danger associated with handling and using these weapons on screen. From the ISS site:
Non guns are revolutionizing the film and TV industry. ISS Weapons is proud to offer this option to productions that are looking for a safe alternative to standard weapons, or that do not have the required permits to use regular blank firing guns.
Although the difference is obvious to seasoned gun users, the non gun is an attractive option not only for their safety, but for their convenience (no FFL license required to handle), reliability (no possible jams), and consistency (one size flash load fits all weapons).
Non guns have been used in a ton of film and TV productions like Fargo, The Negotiator, 24, Breaking Bad, and The Sopranos. They come in a variety of styles, resembling SIG-Sauer, Glock, 1911, or Beretta pistols, revolvers, or even AK-47 rifles.
Do Yourself a Favor and…
Buy the first season. This is one of those shows you should start from the beginning.
We all have regrets.