Bad Guys Gone Good: Our Favorite TV Villains Who Turned Over a New Leaf

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Photo: FX

Boyd Crowder – Justified

The best thing about the FX drama, Justified, was the nuanced way it painted folks from the South. The show never reduced its characters to cartoons or stereotypes, and the main antagonist, Boyd Crowder was no exception.

Boyd was the nemesis to lawman Raylan Givens. The show’s central conflict focused on the push-pull between Raylan’s constant quest to bring Boyd to justice. Audiences couldn’t ever really get on board with deeming Boyd a “villain,” even though he was an outlaw in just about every sense of the word. He indulged in just about every kind of illegal behavior, from drugs to guns to a little bit of prostitution.

Although we wanted to dismiss his bad behavior on circumstances and environment, Raylan never would cut Boyd a break. His relentless pursuit of Boyd made him the underdog we all needed. Even when their struggles hit an all-time high, Boyd always deferred to his loyalty to Raylan. They dug coal together, after all.

The bond formed while they were in the coal mines connected them in ways that made them both better men, and it was this relationship that prevented Boyd from ever really fulfilling his potential as a legit villain.