Harlan, Kentucky bids us a fond farewell.
For six seasons Timothy Olyphant has been struttin’ his fine ass across the screen as Raylan Givens, in F/X’s Justified. Like other wonderful shows of late, this one too is coming to an end. As Raylan and Boyd bid us adieu, we finally get to see the lawman and the outlaw meet up for one last battle —for the heart and soul of their beloved Harlan County, Kentucky.
Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant, The Crazies) is finally saying goodbye to Harlan, Kentucky. He has decided to relocate to Florida, in order to be near his ex-wife Winona (Natalie Zea, The Following), and their infant daughter. But he isn’t saying goodbye just yet; Raylan came back home six years ago to get enough dirt to put his old childhood friend Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins, Django Unchained) behind bars, and he isn’t leaving until he does just that.
They say that psych profiles of cops and criminals are pretty much identical, in the case of Deputy US Marshall Raylan Givens, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if that were true. In the sixth and final season of Justified, things end where they began; with Raylan squaring off against Mr. Boyd Crowder. Rarely does a show remain at the top of its game for its entire run, but Justified: The Final Season does just that.
Let me tell ya, Raylan Givens is one crazy mo-fo, and in Justified: The Final Season, he is still the shoot first, and ask questions later kind of US Marshall that we’ve all grown to love. With his severely flawed character still intact, all my man wants to do is catch the bad guys; but sometimes Raylan looks an awful lot like the foes he apprehends. His personal life is a shambles, and he still intensely hates a father that’s been dead goin’ on 3 seasons now. Raylan has spent much of his life trying to be the exact opposite of his good for nothin’ criminal father Arlo Givens (Raymond J. Barry, Training Day), but as he begins the task of selling his childhood home, he’s forced to go through his father’s belongings, which brings up all sorts of feelings that Mr. Givens isn’t used to dealing with.
Justified: The Final Season, like the years that preceded it, is based on the novella “Fire in the Hole,” by the late Elmore Leonard. It says goodbye on its own terms, the way you would expect things to come to an end in a place like Harlan.
The 3 disc Blu-ray set, contains 13 episodes that move along at break neck speed. It opens with Raylan using Ava (Joelle Carter, High Fidelity) as an informant against Boyd. Even though Ava is tired of living that life of crime, she wants out of her obligation to Raylan and the District Attorney before Boyd discovers what she’s doing, and puts the former cheerleader in an early grave. Boyd is working on yet another scheme to obtain great wealth, and be the Harlan power broker that his daddy was. He aligns himself with Katherine Hale (Mary Steenburgen, Back to the Future III), the widow of a former crime boss Grady Hale, and Wynn Duffy (Jere Burns, Breaking Bad), a member of the Dixie Mafia, who also worked with Katherine’s late husband. But there’s so much more a brewin’. Stormin’ back into town is Avery Markham (Sam Elliott, Hulk), former lover of Katherine, and also the former partner of her late husband Grady (Small world, ain’t it). Markham is back in town buying up land for some nefarious reason, and he wants these properties so badly that he’s employed 3 mercenaries, Ty Walker (Garret Dillahunt, Raising Hope), Seabass (Scott Grimes, ER), and Choo choo (Duke Davis Roberts), who was bequeathed that nickname because when he punches you, it feels like you’ve been hit by a freight train. These 3 men who once served in Iraq together, now shakedown land owners for their boss Markham. Of course it wouldn’t be Justified, if there weren’t a whole mess of backstabbing going on. Ava spying on Boyd for one; while Katherine and Wynn are planning to steal Avery’s money and make him pay, because Katherine believes that it was Avery who snitched on her husband, then had Grady killed while he was in prison. Plus Boyd’s desire to skunk them all and retain his Jessie James hero status in his home town. As if Rayland didn’t have enough to deal with, now he has to juggle enough balls in the air to bring the whole lot of ‘em down, while he himself is trying to stay out of the crosshairs of the local District Attorney –Whew!
Tension is the word of the day on Justified: The Final Season, from the very first scene the ride begins and it never lets up. The US Marshalls in Lexington have their hands full, and a lot of it is thanks to Raylan himself, who teeters on the line between right and wrong, as he wrestles with the fact that he may be more like Boyd than he wants to admit.
I could give you all the technical specs of Justified: The Final Season, but come on, do you really know what any of that means? Just trust me when I say that it is a pleasure to view, and when you hear that bass kick in as the theme song begins, that’s enough to make you just sit back, relax, and settle into nearly an hour of some of the best that TV has to offer. Extras include “Hollywood to Harlan,” a behind the scenes featurette that explores what goes into creating the show; deleted Scenes; “Dutch Speaks,” an interview with the late Elmore Leonard; and finally, “Directing the Show: Adam Arkin,” a look at the actor/director who has helmed several episodes over the course of six seasons.
Justified: The Final Season does not disappoint in the least. Timothy Olyphant is still fantastic as Raylan Givens, supported by a very talented cast of actors. If you haven’t seen Justified, I suggest you do, and if you’ve tuned in, but haven’t seen the final season, why not?!
My Not Guilty verdict is completely Justified.
Justified: The Final Season (Blu-ray) 2015, Sony, 583 minutes, NR (2015)
VIDEO: 1.78:1, 1080p AUDIO: Dolby Digital 5.1 (English)
SUBTITLES: English SDH, French EXTRAS: Featurettes, Deleted Scenes ACCOMPLICES: IMDB