Justified Season 6

We’ve reached the end of the road. With the conclusion of season 6, Justified has finally gone off the air. It’s sad, really, because this has been one of the most consistently well-written, well-acted series on TV in an extremely long time. Fortunately, the final season did not disappoint in the slightest.

Season 6 is the culmination of everything that came before. Raylan and Boyd, the two main characters, were often like ships passing in the night for much of the series. Their exploits affected one another in tangential ways, and they only occasionally crossed paths directly. This season, however, removes all other distractions, and Raylan’s final task is to confront Boyd directly and bring him to justice.

But it’s not that simple. It’s never that simple. It’s Justified, after all.

There are several factors complicating what you thought would be a straightforward tale. Well, I didn’t ever think it would be straightforward. If there’s one thing Justified is great at, it’s having complex, interweaving stories.

The first big problem is Boyd’s girlfriend Ava. She made a plea deal with the U.S. government that she would go undercover to help them capture Boyd in exchange for them getting her out of prison and dropping all the previous charges. The second big problem is that Boyd is up to his old ways, embroiled in yet another high-minded but nefarious criminal scheme. The third big problem is a new villain, played by Sam Elliot, moves into Harlan County to take over the marijuana business once it becomes legal for medical purposes.

The three stories are essentially on a collision course. They dance around each other for a while, but by the halfway point of the season, they start crashing into one another. There are a few turns here and there with the story, and one major twist that I definitely did not see coming. I doubt anyone did. We get a climax and a finale that does not disappoint.

The acting is as solid as ever. Timothy Olyphant and Walton Goggins are pitch-perfect playing their characters Raylan Givens and Boyd Crowder. The old west attitude Olyphant imbued into Raylan gives the viewers something to grab hold of right away. But the ultra-charismatic persona of Boyd is who you end up rooting for even though he’s the bad guy.

The person who impressed me most this season was Joelle Carter who played Ava. She’s been on the show since the first episode, and she’s always been a good actress. However, she was frequently a sidekick to Boyd, and I never felt she really came into her own. This season changed all that. She brilliantly portrayed a woman pulled in different directions, emotionally tortured, and confused as to what decision to make in her life. Her anguish on screen feels real.

Sam Elliot was good as the other villain, but I missed his mustache. He would have been a lot more intimidating with it. He doesn’t quite reach the same heights as Mags Bennett or Robert Quarels, two of the shows all-time greatest villains.

My only complaint about this season was the lack of an equal for Raylan to face off against. They did bring in a character named Boon halfway through the season to fill that role. Unfortunately, I felt it was a little too late for that. He should have shown up in the beginning so we could really grow to fear and despise him. As it was, his villainy was ramped up at the end, kind of like the writers realized they needed someone to match Raylan. The final quick-draw was cool, though.

They even managed to include a fitting send-off for the show. Raylan has his final words with pretty much everyone you’d want him to have final words with. The last scene is a surprisingly poignant moment between him and Boyd. When it ended, I wished it would keep on going.

Justified is a rare television show. It has a phenomenal cast of characters that run the gamut from smart, stupid, funny, menacing, lovable, despicable, and every possibility in between. Elmore Leonard has always been known for his great characters, and this series did his characters right. The show also had writing that never faltered. It never had a bad season. As I said in previous reviews, it was the most consistent show on TV.

Very few shows can carry off the level of charm, humor, action, drama, and intelligence that Justified has done. It comes highly recommended. You owe it to yourself to watch it. As for me, I can’t wait to watch it again.

Verdict: Awesome

8 Responses to “Justified Season 6”

  1. August 31, 2015 at 6:53 am

    I’ll keep that show in mind then 🙂

  2. September 1, 2015 at 7:37 am

    Wonderfully said, Brik. Justified has been such a solid show throughout each of the 6 seasons. And this final season was a brilliant farewell. I loved how it brought it all back to Harlan and back to the beginning. In a sense. The way all the storylines come crashing together is so well orchestrated, and it never feels forced.

    I too am going to miss this show.

    Sidenote – I started watching The Shield not long ago, and man has Walton Goggins improved as an actor. Or maybe it’s that Boyd is such a strong and well constructed character – Walton doesn’t shine nearly as much as he does in Justified.

    • September 3, 2015 at 1:55 pm

      I figured you’d like the ending of Justified. I haven’t seen The Shield yet, I was thinking about it, but since they announced it will be released in HD in 2017, I guess I’ll wait.

      I think Walton Goggins’ signature role will be Boyd Crowder from here until the end of his career. That’s not a bad thing. He is brilliant in the role.

      • September 3, 2015 at 2:06 pm

        Ha, yeah, The Shield definitely had that vintage feel! The last couple of seasons and a half were pretty terrible. But I had to stick it out.

        Boys Crowder is one of those iconic characters – you’re dead right, absolutely nothing wrong with that being Goggins’ signature role.

  3. 7 Paragraph Film Reviews
    September 28, 2015 at 6:14 am

    Absolutely with you on everything. Really didn’t buy Avery – but don’t think that many people could have matched Quarells. Also, would have preferred they had Raylan (Old Sk00lz) vs Mercenaries as the big showdown instead of the cheesy (but properly creepy) gunslinger.

    Still, not much to complain about Justified S6. Great wrap up, so many good characters drafted back in. Completely satisfying ending to a great show. Finger’s crossed for a movie in 5 years!

    • September 29, 2015 at 11:23 am

      I think they didn’t go with the mercenaries shootout for the finale, because it would have been too similar to the Season 1 finale.

      I also think the reason they did the gunslinger standoff for the finale was that it so closely mirrored the opening of the series, when Raylan quick-draws on the guy in Miami.

      You definitely make some good points, though. I, too, would love a movie, just to spend more time with these great characters. But then again, it ended so perfectly, I don’t know what they would do next.

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August 2015


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