Our Justified Coverage
Ranking the Justified Seasons
Ranking the Justified Big Bads
Ranking the Appearances of Deadwood Actors On Justified
Top 11 Justified One-Off Appearances
The 10 Best Justified Supporting Characters
Justified evolved into a show that featured primarily serialized stories where very few characters of any significance popped up only once. Some of the rare ones who did though were genuinely great. Here are the eleven best examples of one-off characters on the show.
11. Chadwick Boseman (2.4)
While not the main role in this episode, Boseman did make a great impression here as a former drug dealer who is trying to turn his life around by becoming a magician. You can clearly see how charismatic he is here and how he deserved something more.
`10. Tony Hale (1.6)
Tony Hale plays a corrupt art dealer or appraiser or whatever. Only it’s essentially Buster Bluth/Gary from Veep still so it is really great stuff. This should happen more often in television: great sitcom actors playing their personas in big dramas.
9. Jake Busey (6.4)
Jake Busey has always had a tremendous presence as a henchman and in similar roles. He has got a distinct look and a tremendous energy. He was perfectly suited for this small role on Justified. Boyd and Duffy need someone to blow up a safe, and Busey is so drug-addled that he accidentally blows himself up instead. Great stuff.
8. Alan Tudyk (5.5)
Credited as Wray Nerely, Tudyk is blissfully cast against type as a ruthless, cold-blooded assassin of series big (if perpetually in the shadows) bad, Theo Tonin. After killing Will Sasso, Tudyk came to Kentucky to kill a snitch. In the process, he gets to have a number of great scenes with Nick Searcy before being ceremoniously killed after a shootout. Cast Tudyk as more psycho assassins.
7. Chris Ellis (1.2)
Chris Ellis is one of those classic “that guy” working actors who pops up places all the time and always gets the job done. He is normally some sort of authority figure, but here he was cast against type here as a competent thief. With three months left on fifteen year prison sentence, Chris Ellis has to break out because someone has figured out where he has stashed his money. Ellis nails it.
6. Carla Gugino (3.2)
Gugino and Olyphant had just instant chemistry, and it became crystal clear that they could mine their relationship for so much stuff. So, naturally this was her only appearance playing
Karen Sisco a federal agent on the show. Probably because they couldn’t even call her that name due to some legal issues or whatever.
5. Scott Wilson (2.6)
The great Scott Wilson played a recently paroled bank robber who decided to rob a couple last banks and fly away to an island. Scott Wilson was a master of playing a sweet old man, and the climax where Art has to chase him is basically one of the most wholesome scenes in the show.
4. Shea Wigham (6.12)
In a pretty beast move, the show devoted a not-insignificant amount of time of their penultimate episode to Boyd driving around with Shea Whigham. Whigham had the unfortunate duty of delivering absurd, only on television, dialogue designed to capture the entirety of the journey of Boyd Crowder’s life in their few short scenes. But it is Shea Whigham, so he manages to pull it off.
3. Alan Ruck (1.4)
Ruck played a former cartel accountant who escaped Raylan’s captivity years ago who has since been secretly been hiding out being a dentist for poor people for the last five years. Until finally a rich person just pushed him too far, and now Raylan has to catch him before the cartel kills him. Alan Ruck goes all-in here and treats the role as if it was the biggest break of his career.
2. Eric Roberts (5.9)
Eric Roberts both effortlessly pops up for one episode to create a great buddy cop episode with Olyphant while simultaneously functioning as a Ghost of Christmas Future for Raylan Givens. Roberts was WILDLY overqualified for this role and just knocks it out of the fucking part. They could have gotten a LOT more out of this actor combo and Roberts in general.
1. W. Earl Brown (1.8)
The great W. Earl Brown showed up in this one episode and delivered one of the best performances on the entire run of the show. Probably the closest thing to an abolitionist message of the show happened here. As Cal Wallace proves the true and utter stupidity of the prison system. What possible good does it do to continue torturing Cal Wallace with mistreatment and imprisonment. Can we not imagine anything better? Is a better world not possible?