It physically pains me to type these words, but Justified has officially hung up its cowboy hat. After six seasons of gun-slinging, moonshine and a wacky moral compass, the series wrapped up its near-perfect season with a satisfying finale that tied up loose ends in a manner so fluid, it’s almost unheard of in a television finale. So who died? Not that many people, surprisingly. But let’s break the finale down by character:
After being rescued from that silly BOLO put on his head, Raylan had one thing on his mind: ending Boyd Crowder’s life. It’s what he’s wanted since unwillingly stepping back into Harlan County. It was interesting to see the two meet up in the woods and watch Raylan literally force Boyd into an western style shootout by tossing him a new gun. As we’ve grown to learn with Raylan, arresting Boyd just wouldn’t be enough. But it had to be enough if Raylan wanted to remain on the right side of the law, which was probably why it felt so right seeing Boyd taken away in handcuffs. Raylan has always reasoned that his actions were justifiable, but for once he was able to just do the right thing as a marshal when it came to Boyd. That, however, didn’t stop Raylan from getting a western shootout with Boone, a scumbag on a whole other level. I’ll admit that I was initially worried Raylan had been put down for good when Boone shot at him. But to end Raylan’s life by any other means than Boyd would’ve been a travesty, and luckily Raylan was able to leave Lexington to be a real father to Willow.
Boyd’s always had a definitive sense of style, so you’ve gotta give the man credit for evading the marshals–who were quite literally on his tail–by tossing dynamite at them. It was pretty obvious that by the end of the episode it had to be Boyd, Raylan and Ava meeting up for a final showdown. And seeing the tears in Boyd’s eyes during the scene while forcing Ava to look at him was just another one of the countless examples of Walton Goggins hitting an acting home run throughout his time on Justified. I’m not sure whether Boyd actually wanted Raylan to shoot him by egging him on when Boyd refused to participate in the shootout or not, but somehow he managed to survive another day. That being said, it was no surprise to see Boyd prospering in prison as a preacher–he’s always had a way with words. And as often as the two have been at each other’s throats, seeing Raylan visit Boyd and admit that their bond in the mines was something deeper the two shared was the perfect ending for the parallel characters.
I was pretty disappointed to see Ava sell her uncle out when she was captured by Avery (Zachariah may have been dead, but it was still something she could’ve left out). What was smart, however, was her appeal to have Boyd save her by bringing up the fact that she was officially the only person who knows where the money was hidden. Dollars have always spoken to Boyd on a deeper level. Perhaps Boyd’s ability to survive rubbed off on Ava after all these years, as she not only managed to evade Markham and stay alive in Boyd’s presence, but she even carjacked Raylan after his shootout (really?? Raylan left his keys in the car?!). I loved the idea of Wynn Duffy being the one to help Ava leave Harlan, even if it wasn’t 100 per cent confirmed by Raylan. Another surprise I didn’t see coming into the mix was Ava being pregnant with Boyd’s child, nor did I anticipate Raylan letting Ava go when she was right in his clutches. But with Boyd believing her dead (a brilliant move by Raylan) and her son to raise, I’m not all that upset about Ava walking away punishment free, either.
Rachel and Tim
As much as I wish to have put these two characters in their own separate categories, there just wasn’t enough to say about Tim nor Rachel. Justified’s overarching flaw has always been neglecting the two cops who somehow dealt with Raylan’s chaotic marshal work all these years. That being said, both of their goodbyes to Raylan were appropriate for their characters. And I can’t help but hope that with Raylan gone, Rachel will be able to prove her worth yet again and eventually take over for Art when he retires for good.
“There, you dumb son of a bitch!”
After countless years of dealing with Raylan’s swayed moral compass and sense of justification, it only felt right to see him toss Raylan his badge, ignore the BOLO, and help get Raylan into the woods to get Boyd. That was, after all, Art’s original job for Raylan, as he reminded us. Art has always been the wisecracking father to Raylan that he never had, and I’m glad that the two were able to end their relationship on a high note as Raylan left Harlan County for good.
Although he seemed like a big player at the beginning of the season, Avery didn’t really end up doing that much horrific damage to the Lexington residents before being blown away by Boyd. That being said, Sam Elliott brought swagger and stone cold delivery to the character who basically acted as the perfect catalyst to wrap up the series, introducing a sum of money no criminal could pass up.
It was a nice touch bringing up Dewey’s tooth necklace again. We miss you, Dewey!
Raylan getting told by the cop while he was sitting in the back was a fun touch at him in a reverse situation.
The cinematography during the scenes with Avery and Ava were just beautiful.
Boyd to Avery: “For a bonafide stoner, you’re awful quick.”
I loved that Loretta came out of the truck to keep Boone from shooting at Raylan a second time
Yeah…that new hat on Raylan just didn’t work.
Thoughts on the finale? Let us know in the comments below.
Samantha Sobolewski has been a TV Junkie since learning to count with The Count on Sesame Street. Since then she's graduated her TV tastes to the likes of such shows as Sons of Anarchy, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, The Newsroom, New Girl and Pretty Little Liars. You can find her freelance writing, sitting in the nosebleeds at a Raptors game, binge-watching The West Wing or on Twitter: @samsobolewski