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He Said, She Said Review Site

Justified: Season 6

What She said:

She

I miss Justified already. I have to admit that during the week leading up to the series finale, I was actually a little depressed. I didn’t want the fun times in Harlan, Kentucky to end. But, as they say, all good things must come to an end, and the show’s creators did not want Raylan Givens, Boyd Crowder, Ava Crowder, and crew to overstay their welcome. And so, Season 6 sought to wrap up all the loose ends and finally answer the question of whether or not it’s actually possible to make it out of Harlan alive.

The major overarching plot of Season 6 really revolves around Raylan’s commitment to bringing down Boyd Crowder before he moves on to a life in Miami that includes his infant daughter. Raylan truly is a man about work, and he cannot leave Kentucky without doing his best to finally put a stop to Boyd. Of course, there’s a lot of other stuff going on at the same time. Let’s just say that Season 6 has no shortage of bad guys.

Justified

A mysterious henchman, Ty Walker, has shown up in town and is negotiating with local homeowners to buy up their land on behalf of businessman Avery Markham. It turns out that Avery is doing this with the intention of building a legal weed growing empire. As we all know, Harlan is an ideal growing town. So anyway, Ty actually approaches Raylan at one point asking to buy his parents’ place, but Raylan detects something is up and turns him down even though the offer is quite sweet. It is revealed that Avery is an extremely rich, powerful, and dangerous man.

So then this woman named Katherine Hale shows up. She’s the widow of an Atlanta mobster who was murdered and the former lover of Avery. She’s trying to figure out exactly who murdered her husband, and suspects that Avery had something to do with it. She also is money hungry and decides to become involved with the business opportunity unfolding in Harlan. Katherine is also a powerful and scary woman, but she’s not the wisest in the bunch, and her inexperience seems to be her downfall.

Justified

Boyd, of course, is trying to figure out how he can make as much money as possible from what is going on. At first, he teams up with Avery, and then he decides to pit himself against the man and build his own empire. Neither one seems to work out so well, so eventually he just goes back to the basics of what Boyd Crowder does best—he decides to rob  Avery. But Avery is no dummy, and this turns out to be the most difficult heist of Boyd’s career.

But this isn’t all about Boyd and Avery. Over on the good-guy side, we’ve got Art attempting to enjoy retirement while Rachel Brooks steps in to lead to Lexington U.S. Marshals. Of course, Raylan has no respect for Rachel and decides to do things his own way. He has pressured Rachel into allowing him to use Ava as a CI. That’s all well and good, but Ava does not turn out to be too productive. Boyd initially keeps her in the dark about much of what he’s doing, and Raylan gets very little out of Ava that he can use to stay ahead of his nemesis. The whole CI thing blows up for Raylan when Ava goes rogue. She really just wants to disappear and make a new life for herself, without the threat of violence or drama. However, there are very few options for her.

I won’t give too much away, but as the season progresses, things come to a head for Raylan, Boyd, and Ava. They are forced to face their demons and things don’t exactly end the way you might expect. At least they ended up surprising me.

There is a whole lot that happens and needs to be wrapped up before the end of Season 6 of Justified. We end up with a lot of characters doing a lot of things at the same time. However, it’s still fairly easy to keep straight. They kept characters like Wynn Duffy in the mix, but were careful to downplay him a little so that they could focus on the more crucial main stories of Season 6. But don’t worry, you’ll still get your Wynn and Mikey fix.

Season 6 felt very nostalgic for the show. Throughout the course of the story arch, the writers were careful to put in throwback references to scenarios that cropped up much earlier in the show. When the makers of the series decided to wrap things up after Season 6, they set out to meticulously end things in a way that gives every character a proper and complete ending. For some, that means getting killed, but others surely live to ride off into the sunset.

The final episode of the series was a pretty big deal. The writers set things up in a way that the viewer isn’t 100% sure how everything will wind up, and they ended up going against what I presumed would be the outcome. However, they somehow managed to make it work. As shocked as I was, I was also satisfied.

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The show is sharper than ever, with exceptionally written dialogue, intense drama, and plenty of shootouts. You’ve got to love Raylan this season. It’s probably self-serving, but he is entirely devoted to bringing in Boyd during Season 6. There are no distractions from women or booze. Just straight up “eyes on the prize.” But that’s really the core of Raylan’s personality. He’s a man who is burdened by his commitment to his craft, and that commitment is further intensified when he’s working in his hometown.

As per the usual, this season is marked by fantastic performances. Timothy Olyphant, Walton Goggins, and Joelle Carter all shine in their respective roles as Raylan, Boyd, and Ava. But we’ve also got some great villains brought to life by such talents as Sam Elliot (Avery), Mary Steenburgen (Katherine), Garret Dillahunt (Ty), and Jonathan Tucker (Boon). I should mention specifically that Boon turns up as Avery’s new henchman later in the season, and is a total psycho. I really enjoyed the creep factor that Tucker brought to screen in his role. It’s also great to have Kaitlyn Dever back as Loretta, a character who has been with us since Season 2 and continued to play an important role throughout the series. And let’s not forget about Jere Burns as the slippery and conniving Wynn Duffy. Wynn takes a bit of a backseat this season, but he’s still involved and makes appearances in nearly every episode.

As usual, the production value on this series is superb. Harlan is about as authentic as Harlan can probably be, considering that show is actually filmed in Southern California. The cinematography is also of a quality that makes Justified feel more like a long movie than a weekly cable show. But that’s a testament to just how strong original cable programming has become.

Season 6 of Justified was everything that I was hoping it would be, and I will definitely miss this show dearly. It will be interesting to see what some of the key actors go on to do next. In my mind, they’ll always be the characters that they helped bring to life on the show, and it will be strange to see them in another capacity post-Justified. Well, it’s been a great run, and I am grateful that I let myself indulge in this series.

Thumbs up.

Justified

What He said:

He

This show coming to a close hit me right in the feels. The finale was barely over a week ago and I already miss it (a lot). Hell, I started missing it during the final season.

Justified

I’m not even sure where to begin my review. I guess I’ll start at the beginning. I’ve said this in other reviews, but this is a show that we have both wanted to watch for some time. We’re living in a golden age for hour long dramas though, which makes it hard to see everything on your watchlist. Network TV, cable channels, Netflix, Amazon, tv shows are popping up everywhere, and a lot of them are pretty damn good. So, when we got some free time last summer, we finally decided to take the plunge. We knew the show’s final season was coming in 2015, so we figured what better time to start? We might not have been able to watch it all as it aired, but we’d at least get to see the final season as it was unfolding.

So, I think a part of the reason this is really bumming me out is because I have seen a lot of this show in the past half year. We watched a lot in a short period of time and really came to love this show. We got to know and love these characters and then BAM, it’s the final season. This one is going to leave a void for a while.

The final season of Justified is all about Raylan trying to put Boyd behind bars once and for all. This will be his last case before he leaves Harlan for good and moves to Florida to be with his newborn daughter. He never wanted to come back to Harlan to begin with – he hated growing up there – and is extremely motivated to get out.

Justified

In true Justified fashion though, the overarching plot is hardly the only thing going on. Justified likes its subplots and it likes a lot of them. Also in typical Justified fashion, the subplots are all loosely connected to the main storyline of the season. They might not all be connected to each other, but they always end up playing a role in the climax.

It all begins with a bank robbery. Boyd’s endeavors as a drug dealer have finally come to an end. He simply didn’t have the man power to keep up that business. He is still very good at robbing banks, so he return to his roots when hired by Katherine Hale (Mary Steenburgen) and Wynn Duffy (Jere Burns) to steal a safe deposit box.  Boyd and his men get suspicious – and angry – when they discover that the safe deposit box does not contain money, but rather a ledger.

The ledger contains information about various pieces of property around Harlan country. The ledger and the properties belong to Avery Markham (Sam Elliot). Markham is an old school gangster who has returned to Harlan for the first time in years. He owns a bunch of land in Harlan, but wants more. He wants to stockpile land, because he has it on good authority that marijuana is about to be legalized in Kentucky and he wants to grow it legally. He made a fortune doing the same thing in Colorado.  I mentioned he’s a gangster though, so he is attempting to strong arm people into selling their property to him. He offers them more money than their property is worth, but things don’t end well for the people that refuse.
Markham knows Boyd is the one who robbed his safe deposit box, so he is not too fond of Boyd and there is drama between the two of them. He doesn’t know Katherine, who is a former lover, is the one who hired Boyd to do it. The two resume their relationship when Markham returns to town, but Katherine has a secret agenda. She suspects Markham is the one who killed her husband many years ago and is hell bent on finding out the truth. When Boyd, Katherine, and Duffy discover that Markham has brought his weed fortune with him to Harlan, they plan on stealing the money. Boyd and Katherine/Duffy aren’t exactly best buds either.

These aren’t the only tense relationships this season either. Ava (Joelle Carter) has never forgiven Boyd for her stint in prison. He promised to get her out, but failed and their relationship is extremely strained as a result. So-much-so that she has turned into criminal informant for Raylan. If she helps the Marshals get Boyd, she gets a new life. She is stuck between Boyd and Raylan throughout the entire season.  Boyd doesn’t know she’s a criminal informant, but he knows something is up with her. There is also a lot of heat between Ava and the Marshals, because they really pressure her for intel, even a little unfairly so at times. Raylan's bosses threaten to throw her back int jail about every five minutes.

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There is a slew of colorful supporting characters this year too. Garret Dillahunt plays Ty Walker, Markham’s head goon. He and another guy named Choo Choo (Duke Davis Roberts) have some really entertaining scenes with Raylan and some of the other marshals. If these two aren’t memorable enough, Markham brings one of his enforcers from Colorado. This guy (named Boon) is a real whackjob. I thought the first two were entertaining, but this guy really makes a name for himself; especially considering that he was only in five episodes. It goes without saying, but there are no shortage of bad guys for Raylan to trade barbs with.

This season is loaded with a slew of supporting characters and cameos from some fan favorite character from past years. Dickie Bennett (Jeremy Davies), Limehouse, and Wynn Duffy’s favorite enforcer Mikey (Jonathan Kowalsky) all get one last hurrah; the last getting quite a bit of screen time actually. The stuff with Duffy and Mikey is actually fantastic this year. Even Loretta (Kaitlin Dever) pops back up!

One other thing that stood out was how prominent Ava was featured. She’s never been a minor character, but between Raylan, Bod, and whoever was playing the main villain each season , she was easy to overlook. I don’t know if the writers noticed that or it’s merely coincidental, but Ava is almost the main character this year. Besides working with Raylan a lot, due to her status as a criminal informant, we see plenty of her story too. This was easily Joelle Carter’s best season. Don’t misunderstand that either. She was never bad. Joelle Carter is a fine actress. But she really shined this year. I enjoyed it tremendously.

I enjoyed this season quite a bit. It’s filled with everything that makes Justified a great show. There are some great gunfights, colorful characters, and a ton of witty dialogue.  There’s action, drama, great characters, humor, this show literally has everything I could ever want out of a show. It’s also really well written. It’s not just god quality, the show has a habit of doing the unexpected. I don’t mean shock value, I mean that it keeps you on your toes. The ending was also absolutely fantastic. For a show that I only started watching last summer, I quickly grew to really like it and I’m really going to miss this one. I already do actually.

Rating: Thumbs up.

This movie review was given the He said, She said seal of approval on April 26, 2015.