"I take orders from the Octoboss."

Justified is still good

tn_justifiedWell, you guys know I’m not much of a TV watcher, but I have managed to keep up with JUSTIFIED, the FX show starring Timothy Olyphant as badass deputy marshall Raylan Givens, a character who originated in Elmore Leonard’s Pronto (although it’s credited to the later short story “Fire In the Hole,” since that’s what the pilot was adapted from).

This week we finally got to meet Raylan’s much referred to pops, who was a bastard as promised but luckily in a small-timer way. Some of the previous references to him made it sound like he was some international super-crook, but in this one he’s mostly an old man who smashes things with a bat. I was hoping somebody recognizable like Robert Forster or somebody would turn out to be the dad, like a surprise casting coup type deal. Instead it’s Raymond J. Barry, who is perfect. What they went for is much better than what I wished for. It’s a great character and great relationship.

My favorite episode so far was last week, though. Raylan went to L.A. after a mob accountant turned dentist played by Cameron from FERRIS BUELLER (looking alot like Anthony Bourdain these days). That was a great Elmore Leonard feel because they get you rooting for this dentist in the opening scene when he removes gold fillings from a rich asshole in the parking lot for yelling at his secretary.

Anyway, I want to point you to this article posted on elmoreleonard.com which reveals that Leonard likes the show so much he’s working on ideas to give them for season 2. Also, the comments here is a good place to discuss new episodes if you ever feel like it.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 14th, 2010 at 11:28 am and is filed under Blog Post (short for weblog). You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

141 Responses to “Justified is still good”

  1. Yeah, I’m still enjoying the show and last week’s was the best, although last night’s was excellent. I only know that actor from Walk Hard, so seeing him smashing those guys over the head with his baseball bat and being a crazy bastard.

    I tend to prefer my TV shows to be more serialized then this, but Justified is such a well done procedural that it doesn’t really matter that the shows ongoing storylines are progressing so slowly. A Tuesday night with an hour of Lost and an hour of Justified is a good night.

    My favorite moment in the entire show was the bit last week when Ruck was explaining about his love of Herbie the Elf and Raylan just goes, “THE LITTLE GAY FELLA? ARE YOU TRYING TO TELL ME YOU’RE GAY?!” That was hilarious.

  2. three words.
    pam grier cameo.

  3. This is my favorite new show this season.

  4. I’m still maybe slightly disappointed that it’s shaping up to be a crime-of-the-week show and not more of a long-form story-arc show, but it’s been damn entertaining either way.

    I haven’t watched this week’s episode yet, but I’m hoping the presence of Raylan’s father means we’re going to get more of Raylan’s back story.

  5. I really dig this show, even though I tend to like more serialized stuff. Guess they’ll have some kind of story arc in the future, probably involving the Walton Goggiins character. I like the show’s vibe – it reminds me of Out of Sight a lot, so although I never read a Leonard novel they must have captured his style in some way. And you just have to love the fact that he’s seemingly unable to close a case without shooting someone dead. Haven’t seen the last episode yet, but the one with the “dentist” was my favorite so far.

  6. This show has been really good, but I do agree Brendan that the show’s ongoing storyline is developing very slowly. However for a procedural cop drama it is excellent. It don’t like anywhere near as much as I liked The Shield, but really there are few shows as good as The Shield.

    Vern, I agree with your point that the dude from Ferris Bueller does look a lot like Anthony Bourdain these days. Speaking of Anthony Bourdain, my brother and his wife went and saw him do a Q&A recently here in Austin to promote his new book, and He mentioned that he is going to be a regular character on the new show about New Orleans called Treme from the creators of The Wire. The first episode of Treme premiered last weekend and it was very good. It could unseat Justified as my favorite new show of the year.

  7. Honestly I kind of like the fact that all the episodes so far could be stand alone episodes. It seems to herald back to a time when TV was something you caught on a certain channel at a certain hour and just enjoyed it for the entertainment it was. Still, for the serial junkies most of our generations tends to be, you can start to see some storylines that could well continue throughout a season. Raylan’s relationship with his wife and his father, for one. Timothy Olyphant makes a great fucking lead. So glad he’s got something better to chew on than…well, Hitman, for example.

  8. I also like that he has a new case each week, with the added bonus of implied back story (like he had already chased the dentist in the past, etc.) They’re definitely starting to set up some ongoing storylines, for example this episode tells us that something is about to happen that ties into the pilot episode and will have consequences. I don’t care if they have a big story arc or not. But I like the continuity, that different things that happened before may or may not come back again and cause problems. Also it looks like his relationship with his dad and stepmother will be interesting.

  9. I haven’t seen this show but I will track it down. I don’t get FX so we’ll see. I love the full poster for the show: http://www.imdb.com/media/rm1441369088/tt1489428 . Very iconic. Based on Vern’s review and everyone’s comments I’m getting kind of a ROCKFORD FILES vibe. Is that close to the mark? That show was one of the greatest ever. The sharp writing still holds up today if you’re able to catch an episode on late night TV.

  10. Darryl-The first three episodes are on Hulu for free.

  11. Damn Hulu doesn’t work in Canada. And I ain’t paying for no cable tee vee

  12. Just watched the first one on Hulu. Thanks for the tip, Brendan.

    It was pretty good. Definitely had that Leonard feel, and I think I finally see Olyphant’s appeal — though he still occasionally has that weird, pained look on his face, like he’s got heartburn or something. Rolaids, dude. Try ’em.

    Now I’ll have to check out the other two free ones and then…and then…

    …oh my god, what am I gonna do then?! BRENDAAAAAAAAHHHHHHN!

  13. Have to download it in the UK, but really liking it. I love the fact that death does seem to have an emotionalconsequence (like Smoking Aces of all things). It’s not as self-consciously hip as I was worried it might turn out. Raylan is remarkably low key. Surprised no-one has mentioned last weeks episode about the kidnapped snitch – that felt really Elmore Leonard to me, witht he fake draw scene and the girl being in on it [SPOILER]

    And Natalie Zea is lovely.

  14. Meant to add, the theme tune is also great.

    And in an Olyphant connection, Vern, if you ever watch The Show That Must Not Be Named but is Set in Baltimore, Deadwood is also worthy of your attention.
    I think it may even be better.

    Damn you Yanks and your amazing TV shows nowadays.

  15. Jareth Cutestory

    April 15th, 2010 at 6:35 am

    Charles: Awesome way to mention THE WIRE while staying on topic.

    frankbooth: Olyphant had a pained look on his face throughout DEADWOOD. They didn’t have Tums back in the old west.

  16. I was really into the show for the first two episodes but it seems to be getting a tad stale.

    This shit needs to be on HBO with a little harder edge to it.

  17. Love the no-bullshit approach (“If you take another step I’ll shoot you.” . . . Bang!) and the dialogue is pretty sharp (“Use it or drop it!”) Five eps in, it’s as promising as anything I’ve seen.

    ‘Course, ALIAS had a terrific first season too and we all know how that turned out.

  18. It has it’s moments where you can see it’s potential or it’s attempt at an original character/style, then it loses it. I’ve watched the last 4 or so episodes and think it’s so-so. The episode where the guy from SEX IN THE CITY (not Mr Big) is an informant who got kidnapped was not, in my opinion, any good. The previous one before that with an escaped con was pretty weak as well. The latest with the Marshal dealing with his dad had it’s moments and was probably the best of the bunch since the pilot. Basically, as sad as this sounds, if there was something else on Tuesday nights I’d watch it:)

  19. The one thing that sucks about the Walter Groggins storyline is that you KNOW he’s going to turn out to be evil, and all his redeemed soul stuff is going to be some pose, or dropped at the first chance. It bums me out, just one of these days I would love for a TV show or movie to have a bad guy reform and STAY REFORMED.

  20. Best episode so far tonight, I thought. Loved Raylan’s Dirty Harry-like speech. “If you did that…where would it end?”

    Is it just me, or did we get a shot of Olyphant’s badass pubes?

  21. What are some other books and stories you guys’d like to see get turned into ongoing TV shows? My vote is for I AM LEGEND, I think that could be an amazing series, maybe if they turned it into a road series, with the dude wandering around in an America overrun by Vamps, especially if they kept the book’s twist that SUPERDUPEREXTRAMAJORSPOILERS the vampires are in fact rebuilding society and have souls and are afraid of him. Like how Battlestar Galactica did whole episodes from the Cylons POV, this show could do episodes totally from the perspective of the ‘evil’ vampires.

  22. Season 4 premieres tonight, in case anyone still watches. Although I can’t think of many reasons not to watch after the last two seasons.

  23. Last season was still pretty good, but I thought it was the weakest so far. I think mostly it had to do with all the time spent on Limehouse and Nobles Holler, which I just didn’t find to be a very fruitful subplot. Also, Mykelti Williams’ really broad performance was a constant distraction. It took time away from Quarles, who I thought was by far the more interesting villain, and Boyd and Dickie and all the other more interesting stuff. They could have truncated the Limehouse stuff to about 1/3rd of the air time it received and still moved the plot forward.

    Since it looks like Limehouse is sticking around, I hope they do a better job with the character this season.

  24. I think season 3 is the best so far. I like all the Limehouse stuff, which I’m sure will become more important this season. I think the only weakness of the season was how much the Boyd subplots just felt like limp excuses to keep the character around because everybody likes him. Luckily they made him crucial in the ending of the season.

    Oh shit, I better read an episode guide or something to remind me what all was going on.

  25. I wish more stand alone episodes, like the one with the dentist from season 1 or that oldtimey bankrobber in season 2. Not just episodes that are all about the main story arc of the season. I really like seeing Raylan doing actual U.S Marshal shit and not just being involved in personal businesses with the local yokels.

  26. Personally, I like the longform stories over the individual episodes; it affords us more time to hang out with weirdos like Quarles and Wynn Duffy, who would have been dispatched after one episode if this show was more like MAGNUM PI or CSI or something. And I think the show does a good job of making episodes distinct adventures that tie in with the overall plot (like the one where Dewey thinks his kidneys have been stolen), instead of just being one overarching story like THE WIRE.

  27. Anyways, I’d have to pick season 2 as the best so far. Even though I wasn’t as gaga for Maggs Bennett as the rest of the world seemed to be (just seemed like a case where an actor delivers a monologue in an impassioned voice and everyone just sort of assumes it’s great acting), but she was still an awesome character and I think the Bennett family story worked better than the clusterfuck of conflicting criminal interest in season 3. The final scene, with Raylan and Maggs at the dinner table, was such a perfect climax for the season, too.

    Although, to season 3 and Limehouse’s credit, it was pretty awesome when Limehouse chopped off Quarles’s arm with the meat clever.

  28. That reminds me that I still have the rest of season 1 and the complete 2nd season on my DVR.

  29. Alright, that bit with the airbag was pretty good. Tonight was my 1st ever JUSTIFIED episode. Pretty good. Any show with a bad guy who quotes Keynes is okay by me.

    Reckon I’ll give it a go, maybe watch this season simultaneously with season 1 somehow if I get a hold of the discs.

  30. “You ran into an asshole this morning? You ran into an asshole. You run into assholes all day? Then YOU´RE the asshole” Man, I love this show!

  31. Was this weeks episode great or what? So much awesome stuff…
    – The amazing speech-off between Preacher Billy and the Goggs
    – Chief Art at his most exasperated
    – The spectacular introduction of the Truth family, who simply do not give a fuck
    – That UFC asshole trying to “tap out” during the streetfight
    – Wynn Duffy!

  32. Yeah, I especially dig the introduction of this backyard fighter guy. I have a feeling he’ll be giving Raylan some real trouble even though so far I’m rooting for him. That’s very Elmore Leonard.

  33. Oh yeah, as soon as that scene was over I turned to the person sitting next to me and said “I LIKE this guy.” Hope he sticks around for a while. I like Boyd’s new buddy as well. His reaction when he accidentally capped that guy in the first episode was priceless “Oooh.. shit.”

    What did you think of Constable Bob? I know some people thought he was too goofy for this show, but I thought he was okay. If he’d just been an oblivious doofus who thought he was hot shit it might have been too cartoony, but as he said to Raylan he KNEW he was ridiculous and that everyone looked down on him. I liked him. Plus he stabbed a teenage girl in the foot.

  34. I hope Michael Ironside will return. He was just briefly in season 3,but it would be great if they could give him something to work with. He seemed like the kind of knucklehead loser who never really made it big time and got stuck beating up people beacause thats what he did best.

  35. A bit like Ironside himself, then?

  36. It was a little weird having a guy so familiar from Blade 3 as Constable Bob, but I kinda liked him. I liked his obsession with knifing and his talk about his “go bag.” And his awareness of being used by Raylan. And that when it was time to “go” he was not an accurate stabber. I do hope he gets to purposely stab someone at some later point though, it might feel triumphant.

  37. It was cool seeing Oswalt play basically a modern day Barney Fife to Olyphant’s Barney Fife, especially after seeing him in YOUNG ADULT.

  38. I’m digging this season so far, but does the lack of a concrete Big Bad (Yost said they’re not doing an over-arching villain this year) make anyone else kind of concerned? Even at their rangiest, the previous three seasons usually had some kind of longform tension to keep things of a piece. Boyd, Wynn et. al. already exist on the fringe of Raylan’s world and constant contriving to link them into Raylan and marshal’s could become problematic, fast.

    Eh, it’s hard to be worried. Yost and his team have proven that they get these characters, this world, and the language that keeps the action flowing. Hell, last year the huge event with Arlo that coalesced the entire season into one thematic whole…that was a last second re-write. So even when they’re flying by the seat of their pants, the Justified team knows how to keep things humming.

  39. I’d argue that Season 3 didn’t have an overarching big bad. Quarles started off that way, but he gradually self destructed and became more of a wildcard amongst a whole group of rivals bad guys.
    Enjoying season 4 so far, and I do think introducing the bare knuckle guy is funny considering how Raylan doesn’t have a great record on the show when he takes on people hand to hand. Also basing it around a mystery is interesting too, though is it at all realistic that the Marshalls would be investigating that sort of thing?

    And maybe it’s just because he doesn’t get featured enough on the show, but where does Art’s description of Tim possibly having PTSD and itching to kill people come from? He’s always struck me as one of the more level headed and composed characters in the show.

  40. Stu – yeah,the stuff about Tim was news to me. I thought I missed something from last year.

  41. Oh wait, I just remembered that Art thinks that guy is after his job, so maybe he was bullshitting him to try to put him off pursuing the position?

  42. And that´s why Art was out on the field and everyone else was like “why?”…? Hmm…

  43. Stu, Shoot- In the past, whenever Art or Raylan need to talk with Tim off-duty he has always been drunk. Don’t know that we’ve ever seen a sober Tim out of the office. Easy to miss as neither he nor Rachel has received all that much development over 4 years.

    And you’re right Stu, Quarles doesn’t ‘really’ count as a Big Bad, but I would say that that kind of proves my point. His storyline was sort of dragged out and featured a whole bunch of contrivances/stupid decisions by Raylan and Boyd to keep Q in action. Him burning out as a threat contributed to the kind of aimless feel that 3 had. Still a great, GREAT, season of television, but it didn’t have the command or conclusion that 2 earned with the Bennett clan.

  44. My favourite episode of JUSTIFIED ever sofar is perhaps “Hatless” in which Raylan loses his hat after getting his ass kicked by a couple of hicks outside a bar after provoking them. It has one of the best Raylan lines ever.
    Sitting by the bar asking the loudmouthed hicks to be quiet and they ask “Why? he says:
    “Because I didn´t order assholes with my whiskey” and then they beat the crap out of him.

    Another great line in the episode: “back off or I´ll paint your office with your own shit.”

  45. Great episode this week. Some great acting from Oliphant in his reaction to the news about Arlo. Nice to see the Drew Thomson mystery moving forward. For a few episodes there it seemed like the series was spinning it’s wheels. Not that I’m complaining too much… it’s some highly entertaining wheel-spinning, like with titanium spinning rims and everything.


    So, Sheriff Shelby Parlow is Drew Thomson, right? In this weeks episode Ellie May asks him if she could ever re-invent herself, and he responds that if you pretend to be someone long enough it’s pretty much the same thing. That and the fact that he said his wife left him 25 years ago pretty much seals it. It would also explain why he’s helping Ellie May so much… he’s tried to leave behind an ugly past as well. Do you think he had something to do with that police-uniformed hitman?

  46. Oh shit Crustacean, I think you’re right. I didn’t pick up on that.

    I have a question about that episode. Didn’t it seem like Raylan set up his own father? He purposely let that guy believe that Arlo was making a deal (even though he had really turned it down). It was because of that misinformation that the guy killed Arlo. I don’t think Raylan would do that on purpose, but why would he not see that coming? Does he know he fucked up and that’s part of why he’s being so closed up about Arlo’s death?

    Also, did anybody else get the implication that Raylan has some secret reason for wanting to find Drew Thompson? That guy that killed his dad seemed to think so.

  47. That a good point about Raylan being complicit in Arlo’s death. I don’t think he intentionally set him up, but I do think he manipulated that guy without giving two fucks about the consequences for Arlo. I think Arlo’s death is going to have some big repurcussions. It’s clear that he meant more to Raylan than he lets on.

    Well, it’s clear that Drew Thompson has a big connection to Arlo Givens and Bo Crowder, and a theme of this show has always been how people are compelled to dig up the past when it should probably stay buried. I think it’s Drew’s connection to Raylan’s past that’s driving him to solve the mystery. Any reasons past that, except maybe he wants to find Drew as a “fuck you” to Arlo, I’m not sure about.

  48. Vern- Arlo was in protectice custody, so it’s not like he was sending him to the wolves. More than that, it just seemed like an oversight on Raylan’s part, not being able to see the full ramifications of his manipulations.

    Can we all agree that last night’s was probably the best episode of the whole series? Between Bob withstanding torture (and paying off that knife trick) the Tim/Colt phone call, Drew’s Vietnam story and Raylan/Boyd’s delight about the astronaught (none of that sentence made sense to anyone who didn’t watch) it was an unbelieveable mix of tension and adrenaline. I was a little worried for a couple episodes there, concerned that maybe the pay-off to the Drew mystery wouldn’t be worth this much attention. Nope. JUSTIFIED is still at the top of its game.

  49. The last few episodes have been amazing. Loved Art’s little “this guy is awesome” speech last week, and the Tim/Colt thing has been great stuff all season, and the standoff between them this week was brilliant.

  50. I don’t know about best of the whole series, but it was a good one. I like how much it was like a western (and even like an Elmore Leonard one, 3:10 to Yuma). Transferring a prisoner, holing up in a building, circling the wagons. I really like that Tim has gotten more to do this season, and especially in this episode. I liked the trick Colt played to get his gun. And it was so satisfying when Raylan called Bob “a tough sonofabitch” since Bob’s been trying desperately to impress him all season. And he did it without his go bag.

    And now all the sudden Ava’s digging herself into a hell of a hole! It was great to see her tell that asshole off, but now I’m afraid she’s gonna get killed. (But more likely cousin Johnny will. And Colt.)

  51. It is sort of worrying that they’ve built this season to a place where wiping the board clean seems inevitable. Really, Raylan and probably Boyd are the only ‘safe’ characters. For everyone else, the writers have pushed the narrative to a place of such tension, where everyone is out to kill everyone else, that it’ll feel almost like a cop-out if there aren’t major, physical, repercussions.

  52. How great is Mike O’Malley as Augustine? I always remember him from this horrible kids game show GUTS and a bunch of shitty sitcoms, but here he’s great as a fearsome killer. There’s something about his… affable heartlessness that I have found incredibly entertaining. I’m kinda hoping he sticks around, although I suspect he’ll be dead by the end of the season.

  53. He kind of reminds me of Dana White if he was a ruthless gangster instead of the president of UFC.

  54. Justified Season 4 Death Rating

    Cousin Johnny: 5/5
    As Harlan said, “That’s what happens when you choose live your life as a small time asshole.”

    Colt: 5/5
    This showdown with Tim can only end one way. Well, two ways really, but who do they think they’re fooling?

    Augustine: 4/5
    Nobody would be more deserving, although I do admit I find his jovial cruelty somewhat endearing, in a very Elmore Leonard kind of way.

    Ava Crowder: 2/5
    She done fucked up threatening Augustine like that, but I’ve no doubt Boyd will talk their way out of this mess. It’s kind of his thing.

    Limehouse: 2/5
    It’d be a surprise if they turfed ol’ Limey after just re-introducing him, but stranger things have happened on this show.

    Ellie May: 2/5
    This week Ellie May is the new Drew Thompson. Maybe she’ll eat it in the crossfire?

    Tim: 1/5
    I’ll be furious if they rob Tim of his moment of glory, which will doubtlessly be punctuated by a sardonic quip. Hopefully Rachel will get a turn in the spotlight next season.

    Sherriff Parlow/Drew Thompson: 1/5
    I assume we’re done with Drew this season, although some big self-sacrificial act of redemption isn’t off the table.

    Constable Bob: 1/5
    He’s a tough sonofabitch.

    Raylan Givens: 0/5
    Yeah right.

    Boyd Crowder: 0/5
    You need to get your Walter Goggles checked if you think he’s going anywhere.

    Art Mullen: 0/5
    Art is an immortal machine that runs on bullshit and produces world-weary exasperation, and Raylan isn’t running out of fuel any time soon.

  55. I finished re-watching the entire run of THE SHIELD, and it’s amazing how night and day Boyd is from Shane, but how Goggins had both characters down rather easy and quickly.

    I enjoyed last night’s show immensely. Aside from everything else mentioned, the movie references were pretty funny in how quick they were (Colt picking up on the FORREST GUMP thing and saying a young Depardieu should play him, Art’s exasperated shout-out to THE WILD BUNCH).

  56. Chopper Sullivan

    March 29th, 2013 at 1:18 am

    I’m all for cliffhangers, but the ending to the last episode was just mean.

  57. Interesting that it has a reference to Freaky Deaky (where a character sits on a chair that will detonate a bomb if he gets up), while last week’s episode seemed like an homage to 3:10 To Yuma (where an officer has to hide out with a prisoner before escaping on a train).

    I like what they’re doing with Limehouse. I hope Boyd doesn’t kill him. Sorry to lose Colt as a character (he was probly the highlight of this season), but glad he didn’t take Tim with him.

  58. Have to go through 2 and 3 again to be sure, but my gut is that this was probably the best season so far. The mystery structure, while odd at first, eventually built to an elegant, melancholy whole. Nice that they finally used Gutterson and Rachel, too.

  59. Hopefully I don’t need to remind you season 5 premieres tonight. I’m stuck in the worst snow storm of my life, but the good television forthcoming warms these bones a bit, between this and the TRUE DETECTIVE premiere next week. Also not forgetting the returning HOUSE OF CARDS and HANNIBAL next month as well.

  60. I liked the Elmore tribute at the beginning. It was an okay start. I won’t say “disappointed” but it sort of lacked the bang I’d been hoping for, but I’m assuming that will accumulate as time goes on. That said I liked the turns by Dave Foley, Will Sasso and David Koechner all playing it straight. Michael Rapaport made a mark as well. Interesting to see what mischief he causes in Harlan.

  61. So it appears that Olyphant and Yost told FX they were done after next season. Sad to see the show going when it’s still at the top of its game, but I’d rather they do this than fade into repetition and irrelevancy.

  62. JUSTIFIED wrapped up what was almost certainly the worst season the show has ever done. Just a bunch of dud storylines with endless convolutions that were nowhere near as interesting as the show needed them to be.

    Reading interviews, it seems like some of that was out of the writers’ control. They had a major actor quit, other actors with limited availability, etc. But the real killer was that they decided to end the show after next season, meaning that this season was devoted to nothing more than spinning shoe leather and moving people to where they need to be for the endgame. Disappointing, after an unbroken run of excellence.

  63. I agree. JUSTIFIED is still better than almost anything else on television, but it’s disappointing given that the fourth season was maybe the best they’ve ever done. A lot of the things I found most interesting at the beginning of the season got shunted aside for a bunch of disconnected plotlines that went nowhere e.g. Ava’s prison drama, Boyd’s adventures with the Mexican cartel. All of the other seasons had pretty clear themes and narrative arcs, but I’m still trying to figure out what the hell this season was about. The last episode made it clear what the end game was, but there was a hell of a lot of wheel spinning to get there.

  64. I think this was the weakest season, but I still really enjoyed it. I liked Michael Rapaport with his enjoyably over the top accent, Dewey was hilarious, Raylan was more badass than ever with his greying hair, his conflict with Art was good, and that little girl from DUNE has grown up to be, uh, someone who I enjoy. Boyd got to blow a guy up. There were multiple surprising, sudden deaths and character’s arcs not at all going the way you expect, like in an Elmore Leonard novel.

    But I really was looking forward to seeing what that Jean-Baptiste guy would do, and after he was gone I read that the actor wanted to leave and they actually intended for him to be important. It feels very low key compared to other seasons, and not necessarily in a good way. And did Jimmy really have to cry and then get killed? He shoulda got a spotlight episode after his long henchman career.

    I think the show’s biggest weakness has always been in keeping the main characters around even when they don’t need to be. In earlier seasons it felt like Boyd shouldn’t be in every episode but they liked him so they had to give him a storyline just to keep him there. That was definitely the case with Ava this season. There was some interesting stuff there but really it was an unnecessary drag on the season.

    But I like how the season ends as kind of the last chapter before the book starts wrapping up. It looks like the story is going full circle with Raylan trying to get Boyd, with Ava’s help, so he can get retun to Winona and Florida. I hope Art, Rachel and Tim all make it out alive.

  65. Vern- The writers are so good that even a weak season still came with multiple indelible moments and scenes (the dog-grave death was so Leonard it hurt [apparently inspired by White Boy Bob’s death in OUT OF SIGHT]). I have absolute confidence that next year will be one of the show’s greatest runs, if not THE best. Boyd vs. Raylan has been a goldmine for five seasons, so a no-holds-barred showdown between the two will be amazing.

    That actually reminds me of another weak link in this past season: Raylan and Boyd interacted…twice? Three times, maybe. And again, it’s symptomatic of them knowing what the final season would be about. I get, and respect, the way that that tied their hands, but it’s still a bummer.

  66. Of the ones that I have seen (didn’t finish the 1st one) I definitely agree this was the weakest season. But by no means bad at all. Had some excellent bit parts (really liked Eric Roberts, one of the few things of his that I’ve seen that trades on his Southern roots), awesome one-liners and a lot of the trademarks of the show.

    I agree about the Jean-Baptiste character, but also the brother played by Jason-Gray Stanford who I remember fondly from MONK and looked like he was going to be formidable but they killed him off too early as well I believe. And the Ava stuff dragged a bit, but how it was tied up at the end will prove to pay off in the final season I think.

    I’ll be sad to see this go, as I think it’s the best show on FX right now. However I am looking forward to FARGO and season 2 of THE BRIDGE. It’s been a very good year for TV so far. TRUE DETECTIVE, HOUSE OF CARDS, and of course HANNIBAL have been my favorites so far.

  67. This season has been definitely moving with more momentum than last year’s, and the show is looking to go out with a bang. Which I’m happy about, despite it going away. All the guest spots and bit parts have been satisfying (and in some cases too short-lived for my liking), and the leads have been delivering on all fronts too.

    My sadness about it going away is at least partly relieved by BETTER CALL SAUL, which I think if given the chance can achieve better things than expected of it’s predecessor.

  68. Vern, have you been up on this last season so far? It’s been damn good, and if the momentum continues I’m sure they’ve saved the best for last.

  69. Yeah, I’m kinda sad there’s only one episode left. It’s been a great season. They’ve run through so many great villains already it’s unbelievable.

  70. Agreed. I was really bummed at the news that this would be the last because the 5th season was kind of a bummer, but provided the finale delivers, this has wrapped up things the right way a lot of shows really haven’t. Even some great shows tend to peter out by the end, but this is going out with both barrels blasting. That final image from the last episode was just perfect.

  71. That show finally showed up on a streamer over here, after German TV treated it as bad as only German TV can. (If I remember right, they only showed the final season on a little pay TV channel, years after it came out on DVD.) Just finished season 1, which I only saw half of back in the days. Totally forgot how damn entertaining it was. Haven’t heard otherwise, but it would be cool if they managed to keep up that quality till the end.

  72. They do CJ.

  73. Wasn’t too fond of the first two season 2 episodes (The pedophile on the run and the the pregnant fugitive) though. Also the resolution to the “The Miami cartel want’s to see Raylan dead” storyline felt a bit lazy. It wasn’t a HUGE drop in quality, but a noticable.

  74. CJ, on the contrary, I think the “Jess, you ever hear of a spot snipers call “the apricot”? It’s where the brain stem meets the spine. Hit a fella there, he ain’t gonna pull no trigger.” exchange is one of the highlights of the first two seasons. But that could be because I’m a big fan of Tim Gutterson.

  75. Yup, that was a great moment. Also I love it when Raylan gives his partners moments to be badass. But otherwise the two episodes were for me at least a bit boring. Probably just “Adjusting to new plot” syndrome, now that Bo Crowder is gone and we move on to another villain.

  76. Just stick with it for a couple more. If you don’t like it just stop I guess. There’s nothing wrong with not being in to show. I have a friend at work that I loaned my sets of The Wire to and she devoured the series in a couple weeks. I then recommended Breaking Bad to her. She couldn’t get in to it. No harm no foul.

  77. Nah, I really loved season 1 and was entertained enough by what I saw of season 2 so far, but S1 was high point after high point, while S2 started more like “Okay, that was good.” And since the show is already finished, I won’t waste years on it, in case I turn out to not like what follows. Just a few weeks. I can live with that.

  78. At the time I had some misgivings at first about season 2 transitioning to a season long arc format after season 1 had so many standalone episodes that felt like little Elmore Leonard stories. But I got used to it and it gets really good. Season 3 is my personal favorite, but I enjoyed the whole run.

  79. Season two was my introduction to the brilliance of Margo Martindale. I also really liked the character of Loretta and think that actress did a great job as well.

  80. Okay, Episode 2.3 was as good as anything in season 1. Dewey Crowe pretending to be Raylan because he couldn’t buy a proper mask was a hoot. Dewey might be my favourite side character anyway. He seems to be the writers’ secret weapon that they can use whenever they need a character to act hilariously dumb.

  81. At first I wasn’t quite into Justified because of all the one-offs…but I ended up enjoying them too, they are like great little short stories. 2nd and third seasons are the best. I think they figured out the formula best in the third season where they would do their side one-offs, but a lot of them were a little more tied into the main narrative instead of being completely standalone. Like the super scary pawnshop guy who was vaguely tied into Quarles but barely. The second season did it well too, just the first season they felt so disconnected, but still fun.

    Best show ever! Even the season that took a quality dip, 5, was still good but I thought that was the signal it got tired, until 6 was fantastic. The main problem with 5 is really just a weak villain…it’s nice that they went a little different and decided to just stack the bad guys with genuine idiots, but takes away from the threat level aside from them being blunderingly violent, and not even scary violent. The brothers in season 2 were a better example of having morons being genuinely interesting characters and dangerous, but still funny and dumb.

  82. I really enjoyed season 1’s mix of standalones and arc. Can’t tell yet how the other seasons handle it, but they did a good job of laying the groundwork from the beginning, hyping Bo Crowder’s arrival up long before we actually see him in prison, hinting at Raylan’s father trouble, making you wonder what the fuck Boyd is up to and every once in a while drop a cartel killer into the mix. And all that while giving us extremely entertaining villains of the week.

    So far season 2 doesn’t seem to do it that differently, as far as I can tell, with the new crime family as a background threat, while we follow the Marshall Service’s quest to catch one-off villains.

    BTW, I really enjoy that as…what would be the right term for it? Heightened reality? Pulpy? I don’t know. You know what I mean. As much as the show is that, it’s the only crime show I’ve ever seen where the cops actually have to deal with all kinds of red tape and paperwork regarding their gun use. Kinda nice to see such a gunplay heavy show that goes: “Yeah, good guys killed bad guys, but now they have to explain themself for doing so!”

  83. I did like season 1’s mix too, the setup was great…it’s just to me some of the stories seemed so different than the rest of the show, like the one where he flew to LA or whatever to capture the dentist. Seems like so much of a disconnect. Isn’t that the one with the guy in the mansion too? Season 2 seemed, as I recall, to keep things smaller.

    The show is definitely a heightened pulp reality for sure. You don’t get that tone very often where it’s not too over the top, but not too serious, but also not too silly. The shocking thing to me was the pilot where Raylan went ahead while everyone else was going to hold off the bad guys, and it was cool that they were all super competent. That was neat.

    As for the gun thing…you def picked up on something the show was doing. They even said at one point in season 1 they had Raylan simply stop shooting people, they would come up with other solutions. Maybe heavier in season 2, he barely shoots anyone. Because in the real world there’s no way he’d still be on the force, so even though it’s pulpy, they still try to ground it. I used to read the weekly interviews with the creator of the show who would talk about the episode that showed the night before, interesting stuff.

  84. I won’t spam here what I think of every single episode, but it was nice to see a pre-fame Chadwick Boseman unexpectedly popping up as drug dealer with magic ambitions.

  85. That was him? Ha, been awhile…that was funny, I love how half the time the criminals have such modest ambitions. I remember one of them had a guy who made terrible porn videos.

  86. Finished season 2 earlier and that was indeed still good. A teeny bit less than season 1 maybe, but not a lot. I disagree with it being more serialized at this point. They did pretty much the same mix of standalone stories, with a huge background threat that only became the main story in the last few episodes. Margo Martindale absolutely deserved her Emmy. I loved that the big, evil plan of the new villains was basically just selling out to a corporation and they would’ve gotten away with it, if – of course – some of them weren’t so goddamn stupid.

    The biggest flaw of that season was IMO the Boyd Crowder story. I kept hearing that the rivalry between him and Raylan is more or less the engine of the show, so I was a bit more patient than I usually would’ve been, because seriously, right now he suffers a lot from “Character who was supposed to be in it for only one season, but everybody loved him so much that they kept him and now none of the writers know how to use him after his story was told”-syndrome. I mean, over the course of 13 episodes he went from “reformed but depressed”, to anti-hero who blows up a bunch of assholes in mostly self-defense, to criminal mastermind and Ava’s lover, with a touch of Deus Ex Machina.

    Still, can’t wait to start season 3 once I return from work.

  87. To me the one flaw of the show is that it’s stuck in the old TV ways so they felt they had to keep the same characters around no matter what. So I agree there are some seasons where Boyd and at least one other character could’ve left and come back later, but instead they keep checking in on them. Ultimately it works out, though.

  88. The driving force behind the quality of the show is of course Olyphant’s ability to interact with all the other characters in briliant ways. When the show returns we will see if that still goes, and if it works to have the “hillbilly whisperer” roaming around in a big city. I know they’re going to adress all the shooting, for one. And that could be interesting.

  89. Looking forward to the new series. As for Boyd? I don’t understand not liking his presence. Although me and a friend of mine made a deal. He’d watch The Shield if I watched Justified. I had a predilection to avoid it because every movie I saw when I lived in Phoenix seemed to have an EPK kit for Justified so it made me not want to watch it. Long story short. We agreed and both watched those series. Personally I prefer Walton Goggin’s character Shane on The Shield but that might be why I never minded his character on Justified always being around. I also prefer that show to most others so I’m a bit biased.

  90. I apologize my comments keep getting flagged as SPAM Vern.

  91. It’s a worry, Pegsman. City Primeval is super tight and very tough, written in that period when Leonard was moving from being a great crime writer to being feted as “the greatest living crime writer”. The novel is terrific, but there’s not a lot of space in it for the kind of ongoing relationships that made Justified so good. And while Raymond Cruz is clearly proto-Raylan Givens, making him actually Raylan could be tricky and deprives the audience of the chance to discover that character.

    Part of me thinks that if they wanted to reboot Raylan, they should’ve just Quantum Leaped Olyphant into the Carl Webster stories. Although I guess period drama is more expensive to make.

  92. My memory is a little hazy, but I sort of remember wishing City Primeval was about the judge whose antics make up the first chapter, rather than the “it’s an urban western! Get it?” stuff that followed.

    I mean, it mostly entertained me for the train/bus ride I read it on. But I’ll admit to being surprised when I heard they were making it into a TV series (albeit with a different protagonist)

  93. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind Boyd. I can see why they kept him around and upgraded him to regular cast member. And I think we can all agree that Walton Goggins is one of those actors who are always watchable. Yet every time they cut to him in season 2, I felt like the show was treading water, despite some highlights (like him getting rid of the assholes who robbed the mine or the duel of words between him and Raylan and the town meeting). It wasn’t really about him or his actor, but the way he was used in season 2. At one point he gets hired as bodyguard/muscle for that mining company woman, but one episode later Raylan basically takes over his job and that point in Boyd’s career is instantly forgotten. It’s a bit sad that an otherwise excellent show like this fell into the same “We just drag this character around for no other reason than him being popular” trap as almost every other show of this era.

  94. A bit off topic, but that scene in a season 3 episode of THE SHIELD where Dutch strangles the kitten is one of the darkest, most disturbing things I’ve ever seen broadcast on US tv.

    I’d give Goggins performance in THE SHIELD the edge over his work in JUSTIFIED. The entire death of Lem storyline and Shane’s character’s ultimate fate was pretty amazing work from Goggins.

  95. I surely hope the new Raylan miniseries will be good…like pegsman my concern is him being in the city…a lot of the charm is him dealing with lots of hillbillies.

    There were a few times it felt like they were giving Boyd stuff to do just to do it…I think season 2 was him being blackmailed by the mine criminals? But to me even that ended up working because all of these little things was death of a thousand cuts, where you not only see Boyd going back down the criminal path, but sucking in Ava.

  96. Season 3 started a bit slow, but was really damn good. And I fully agree about Neal McDonough. Not just about his performance, but also his character. When we meet him, he seems like the smart, capable clean-up guy that the mob sends when things go south and who has the potential to be the most dangerous villain yet. But then all of his plans immediately backfire, because he keeps underestimating his opponents and before the middle of the season it becomes obvious that he isn’t a dangerous supervillain, but just another one of those dumb criminals that the show does so well.

    The Boyd Crowder moments were again the weak spots of the season, but at least this time they felt like they were actually building up to something that will pay off later. I gotta have to applaud them for the way they handled Dickie though, who was obviously another case of “Everybody liked him, so we keep him around for no other reason”, but although he seemed to be written a bit goofier than in S2, they had at least the restraint to just give him a minor subplot that only appeared in a few episodes.

    And interesting development was how they turned Raylan into a bit more of a fuck-up. He never was a flawless hero, but here he screwed up more often, unnecessarily pissed off his co-workers much more and all around the writers found a bunch of subtle way to show that his lifestyle is starting to take its toll. Other shows would’ve given him a drinking or painkiller problem, maybe a scene or two of him taking a dramatic shower, where he leans with both hands against the wall.

    Gonna have to take a JUSTIFIED break for a bit though, because I have to catch up on a few STAR TREKs before my free Paramount+ subscription runs out. Fingers crossed that the show won’t randomly disappear again before I can finish it.

  97. I never had problems with checking in with Boyd, but I did feel like I would have gotten rid of Dickey. I kid of like the idea of once a main villain is gone from the season, they’re gone. But hey, they’re doing a whole world. Loved Neal’s character because while he’s not super smart, he is ruthless and totally nuts. Ma Bennett had a head on her shoulders which made her dangerous in a different way.

    I love seeing Raylan on the ropes. Love it when he screws up, so different than the usual hero. When Art yells at him unlike the typical movie cop, the show is clearly siding with “yeah Art is right you’re a fucking asshole.” And yeah it’s believeable…no melodrama, the show doesn’t do melodrama…but you can see it in a lot of small ways.

    One of my favorite episodes of the show is the one where the Bennets have the party which ends with whatshername finding the watch. I thought Raylan was really going to die that time, no smart talk, no standoff, just Raylan vs a full on raging psychopath.

  98. I never really minded Boyd as co-lead. If he hadn’t been there, the show probably just would’ve given more subplots to Art, Tim, and Rachel. Which wouldn’t have been *bad*, but seeing the subplots they did get, I never thought to myself “whoa, where has this been all my life?”

    The one exception to the show’s usually graceful ‘keeping old characters around’ thing was the Ava prison storyline, which I know was necessary to justify her later actions, but shit, they really made it feel like eating your veggies. Makes me wish they could’ve pulled a Battlestar Galactica and just put the whole thing in the previouslies. “Yeah, we focused five minutes of every episode on Ava getting tortured by some power-mad asshole, you just don’t remember it. Anyway, now she’s out of jail and part of the main plot again!”

  99. As I said before, I don’t mind Boyd as a character at all, but sadly most of his scenes in seasons 2 & 3 were about him, his cousin, Arlo, sometimes Ava and one or two guest characters, sitting in darkly lit backrooms and talking about their plans or other peoples’ plans. Every once in a while you got a betrayal and sometimes Raylan thankfully interacted with Boyd, but after season 1, pretty much nothing with him was as good as any of the other plots without him. (Although at least in season 3 it felt like the writers were saying: “Please bare with us and pay attention! This is all gonna be important in the future!”

  100. I remember liking how he was integrated into the season 2 storyline…not only using his preacher stylings in the big oil meeting, but also seeing his big plans start to solidify as he made his deal with Mags.

  101. CJ – as a side to your comment that you’re switching over to Star Trek shows for a bit – Strange New Worlds has been one of my favorite shows in the last few years. It’s a lot of fun and Anson Mount is great. Ethan Peck is also really good.

  102. Yeah, STRANGE NEW WORLDS is a lot of fun, although it amuses me how 20 years ago when ENTERPRISE came out, the Trekkos were like “Waah, why is Trek still not serialized!? Go with the times, man! Give us long story arcs or die!” and now they have a show whichs whole selling point is “Every episode is self contained like back in the days! None of that story arc shit to be found here!”

    I am however surprised how much I enjoyed PRODIGY. At first I was a bit skeptical, because of the typical cartoon stock protagonists (Loudmouth teen who thinks he’s the boss, reluctantly evil daughter of the main villain, gentle giant, even a cute animal sidekick!), but the story was quite engaging (although it’s technically STAR TREK: FARSCAPE FOR KIDS), got more and more exciting and they dropped some cool fanservice stuff once in a while. Not sure if I’m happy about where season 2 might head (Mild spoiler, but that the show was NOT told from the POV of some Starfleet officers was one of the reasons why it was so refreshing), but I hope it comes out soon.

  103. In my book, when it comes to Boyd Crowder you never want him to stop talking. Like Negan on WALKING DEAD showed us, not everyone can do it. But done right it’s more entertaining than a gunfight.

  104. CJ Holden – *puts on pocket protector* I think the arc-based storytelling complaint was more of a Voyager thing, because the premise of “a lone Starfleet ship, stranded decades away from the Federation, tries to survive the journey home” didn’t gel with the usual reset button storytelling where the ship is always spic n span at the beginning of each episode, with as much Whatever as they needed. The Battlestar Galactica reboot had its problems, but it’s still better regarded because it was a more effective take on the same basic idea instead of being reheated TNG 90% of the time.

  105. Did they really say that about Enterprise? I don’t remember most shows being serialized in those days. If people really said that, well, it is has finally been proven how very wrong they were. (It does have an arc with the characters, but allows it to happen across different adventures and locations.)

  106. Enterprise had arcs, particularly in the last season, but I recall them being largely season premiere and season finale stuff. Most of the time, you were more likely to get a standalone episode. DS9 was heavily arc-based, to the point where the whole show was one big storyline with the first season as something of a prologue. But they still had standalone episodes and side stories.

    Can’t speak to Discovery, but Picard so far has been doing one plot a season, with them feeling more like two-parters that just keep going and going than anything else.

  107. Yup, one of the main criticisms when ENTERPRISE started was that it was still mostly a prodcedural (They had of course the thing with the temporal cold war going on, but that only seemed to come up every few episodes), while TV shows left and right, from BUFFY to 24 and even Star Trek’s own DS9, were telling long form stories. It was still a pretty normal thing to do, but the times were changing. Which is why season 3 was about the Enterprise going on a special mission and season 4 consisted mostly of 2, 3 or even 4 parters.

    And Kaplan, if there is one thing I know about Trekkos, and I say that as one myself, it’s that they have no idea what they want and change their opinion every few hours. I mean, they were happy when Berman and Braga stepped down and let the guy who made DR GIGGLES run ENTERPRISE in its final two seasons, because according to them, they ruined Trek with VOYAGER and the first two years of ENTERPRISE. Now they desperately want them back, because VOY was better than TNG or whatever. Seriously, I don’t get them.Ask 10 Trekkos about the best parts of their favourite franchise and you will get 10 different answers. I mean, they say that Trek is about peaceful exploration, only to praise how DS9 handled moral grey areas and call WRATH OF KHAN the best movie!

  108. Yeah fans who talk about the peaceful exploration of Trek are kinda full of it. The movies that do that, mainly the first one where the whole thing is exploring a giant vessel, and the one where they find Jesus, are the less violent action ones and the ones fans like the least. The first Trek movie seemed to be doing exactly what the mission statement of the show was. Not to say the exploring new worlds isn’t a hallmark of the show. I’m not really a sci-fi guy, but I’ve seen a lot of TNG, DSP and Voyager. Tried a few of the others but eh.

    I did really hate how Voyager made a big deal of being out in the middle of nowhere but tackled the same old stories, and they still were able to use the holodeck all they wanted (with the figleaf of talking about rations which you never saw actually enforced). The idea of two factions on the same ship also sounded like a great idea if they had done anything with it except one lone traitor. I watched some of Battlestar and I really like the episode where the people who made the fuel were going on strike, which couldn’t be allowed to happen because they needed the fuel or they’d be stuck. You could see all the sides, that was a great episode…Trek isn’t going to get that gritty but that’s the kind of stuff would have been interesting to see in Voyager. But it got good when Seven showed up and was basically a chaos agent.

  109. To be fair, I think the most popular Trek movie is still Voyage Home, which is more of a comedy than anything else. There’s some minor conflict and antagonism, but most of the drama comes out of problem-solving and “can we pull this off?”, not “can we beat up this guy?”

    Not that I’m against Trek as action movie, it’s just that whenever it goes action movie, it tends to follow the same Wrath of Khan remake formula. “Villain X wants revenge against A (usually Earth). To do this, he has Bigass Warship B and Sci-Fi Superweapon C. The crew has to stop him. There’s no negotiating with him and no way to neutralize him nonviolently, so they have to blow up B and/or C plus fight X in a one-on-one wrestling match.”

    That’s pretty much all of the Kelvin movies except for Into Darkness, which had *two* villains doing a time-share.

  110. I really liked the first two seasons of Discovery because you never knew where it was going or what was going to happen. All the twists and turns were fun and exciting. Then it started to slow down in the third season. This last season I kind of struggled getting through. I know Star Trek has always been a show with a message, which I usually love, but it’s starting to feel clunky, like every episode is a Very Special Episode or an After School Special. I have no problems with the messages they’re conveying. It’s that they way they go about it feels heavy handed.

  111. Voyage Home made the most money of the OG series, but to me that’s an anomaly…that was the silly Trek comedy the regular folk could go to. Look, Spock did the neck pinch on an asshole on the bus, ha ha ha. But amongst fans is that one really well regarded? I have no idea, I’m not really into it. I’m sure more than part 5. I feel like amongst the fans that Khan is easily number one of the originals, and First Contact of the TNG series.

  112. It’s not like the Trek shows don’t do comedy episodes, though. There are probably more wacky larks about Tribbles or Troi’s mom than there are episodes like Balance of Terror or Space Seed that remotely resemble the modern Trek movie. And like I said, it’s always superweapon, blow up the Earth, big fistfight. If they did action but focused on something other than a supervillain with a doomsday plot… maybe that’s a tall order for a two hour movie that has to be epic enough to get people into theaters instead of waiting for Redbox, but spending two hundred million dollars on Chris Pine movies with constant explosions doesn’t seem to be working out financially, so…

  113. Pine flicks are their own thing…just straight action movies. The TNG Trek flicks were a mix, but generally veered toward the big villain and action premises. The original movies were all over the place, which is interesting, don’t usually get that in a series.

    Trek shows did do comedy episodes but you’d generally see them if you’re watching every week. A movie that comes out on its own, and is jokey and set in modern times with icons like Spock fucking around with jukeboxes is a totally different thing. But really I hear about Khan a lot, but not really Voyage Home. It seems like the disposable one.

  114. Random STRANGE NEW WORLDS thought, since we already started to talk about it here: This version of Pike is great. I’m glad they decided to give him his own show after his DISCOVERY guest spot, but am I the only one who thinks that he is sometimes too much of a buddy instead of a captain? He lets his crew say and do things, especially that short haired pilot, that makes me often think: “Sheesh, show some respect when you talk to a superior officer! He asked you to fly through the asteroids, not make a pun about your sex life!”

  115. To me that’s part of the appeal of the show. It’s people who like each other doing a job they like together. He even has them over to his apartment for dinner parties.

  116. I just think it’s a bit odd to see a Starfleet crew talking to each other, including their Captain, as if they were on shore leave, even while lifes are at stake or whatever. Makes me wonder if the writers tried to compensate for the (admittedly rightful) criticism that the crew in DISCOVERY had not enough personality and maybe went a tiny bit too far with that.

    But 2/3 into SNW and I understand the love it gets from the fans. It’s best of both worlds. Classic Trek with modern storytelling. Formula without formula. They already tackled philosophical questions, submarine fights in space, a body switch, space pirates (Who admittedly maybe came across more cartoony than they should’ve been) and we even got a downer ending involving a child! Seems like I’m gonna renew my P+ subscription for a month, when the next season appears.

  117. I revisited the first Abrams TREK movie last night (still fun but dumb) and reread the review of it this morning. It’s funny to read Vern’s opening salvo about how TREK is some nerd shit that a cool dude like him would never be into in a million years, what are you kidding me? And now less than a decade and a half later he’s a hardcore Trekko who watches and has opinions on TREK shows that I never even heard of. The nerdification of America is real, you guys.

  118. I assume he got pulled in by Academy Award nominee Michelle Yeoh’s participation in DISCOVERY, then liked Captain Pike as much as the rest of the world did and watched STRANGE NEW WORLDS too. What other explanation would there be? That he…was always into Star Trek?

  119. Next you’ll tell me he’s ever seen a single episode of FELICITY.

  120. I think the most logical explanation is that Vern has gotten so big now that he has several writers doing the job for him. And they don’t always show up at the monday meetings, and we the readers get served some mixed messages.

  121. For all the criticisms lobbed at it (more WARS, less TREK etc etc) the 1st Abrams Trek is still very very entertaining and compulsively rewatchable for me. Terrific pacing, great cast chemistry, smart-alecky banter…it all comes together like some weird alchemy the sequels simply couldn’t replicate, or merely succeeded partially.

  122. I accept this dis but it’s really a continuation of seeing that movie and enjoying having something to watch with my wife that she’s more into than me but I can enjoy. Now I watch the new Star Trek shows with her (but not the old ones). She also watches Reacher and Tulsa King with me.

    But actually CJ is also right, I think I started watching Discovery when I was doing a column about Michelle Yeoh for the deceased websight that those rebellious guys had.

  123. I wouldn’t call it a diss. I’m out of the loop on these new shows but I’ve liked TREK my whole life. I was just making an observation of how time can change the essence of a man.

  124. Don’t know if anybody is still interested in hearing my further opinions on the other seasons, but yeah S4 was so far the weakest one. It felt like they had a really cool idea for a season arc, but after a few episodes already went out of story material. That however apparently gave us the season’t biggest plus: More screentime for Boyd! It seemed like he got more (or at least as much) screentime than Raylan this time. His plot was also pretty convoluted (It started with him feuding against two preaching siblings, then he and Ava tried to join the upperclass criminals club and somehow there was also the Dixie Mafia* involved, at some point he was forced to look for the same guy that Raylan was looking for, while trying to find the season’s MVP Ellen May and deal with his old army buddy who became more a more of a trainwreck until he stopped being one and then some other stuff happened), but it felt like the first time since season 1 that he (and Ava) had a reason to be here.

    I’m kinda torn on Constable Bob, but at least he only appeared a few times and got a really cool payoff. I wasn’t too fond on Raylan kiiiiiiinda feeling bad for losing Arlo. Yeah, relationships with shitty family members are complicated, but recently I became really allergic against popculture pretending that we are supposed to like the most abusive assholes, because we are related and in the end they had some good moments after all.

    Anyway, while still entertaining, this was the first season that was a bit of a slog to get through. By the end I didn’t even know anymore why everybody wanted to find that one person and what Arlo had to do with it.

    *Am I the only one who was surprised that Wynn Duffy was still around? When he first appeared, he seemed like a one-off villain to me.

  125. I don’t know if surprised is the word, but I was always pleased to see Wynn Duffy. I’m unaware of the production history, but I suspect that you’re right and that he was intended as a one-off villain, but Jere Burns really had a lot of fun with the character, and I can imagine the writers responding to that. And it fits neatly with the feel of Leonard’s writing too, in that you never knew which small-time character in one novel might turn up as a major player in the next.

  126. Yeah Wynn was supposed to be the villain of that two-part story in the first season and then was dead…but they liked him too much so they brought him back.

    The fourth season started a but slow but has one of the funniest episodes (the one with the hick family could be a great play). And the episode where everyone was trying to get Waldo was fantastic. The dick sucking speech. Ava becoming a bad guy along with that really sad hooker giving a pathetic performance where she’s like a lost dog.

    And I loved Ron Eldard as the henchman. Guy is tied up…”Take care of him.” Eldard shoots the dude in the head. “I meant UNTIE HIM! I guess I better be more specific.”

  127. I’m not sure if Duffy “died”, but I seem to remember that the guy he was working for did, so that’s the kinda surprising thing about him. He was basically just the scary main henchman who helped someone else with his business. But what do I know? I even thought that when SUPER MARIO LAND 2 came out, Wario would be a onetimer like Tatanga and now that motherfucker has been part of the Super Mario canon for decades! Not complaining though. Duffy is a good character, I just never expected him to stick around for so long.

    And yes, the big standoff episode was amazing!

  128. Actually that may be true, I don’t know if we even saw him laying prone. I think he might have been writhing around on the floor. And actually remember in that ep the only bad guy who DIDN’T get shot was the big boss. He shows up later in part 3 but in a different location and a mustache so easy to forget it’s the same guy (I don’t think I caught it the first time either), and he’s the guy Quarles shoots when we see he’s got the sleeve gun for the first time. He was Ice Pick’s boss and was killed by the mob because of his bad real estate decisions which of course we saw in those first season episodes.

  129. Ah yes, right. That’s the downside of bingewatching. You hardly have time to process the information from the four seasons that you watch at once.

  130. To me sometimes that’s the benefit. When you watch them real time and this incident happened two years ago can’t remember. Although ‘m not ever a binge watcher…I do half and half. My friend will save all the GOTs and watch them in one long day where to me it’s like how can you even enjoy them, seems like a chore. I might DVR (although who needs that now that they stream) and watch one a night or depending on what else, string out even more. Might take me a few weeks to watch a season or 10-13 shows.

  131. Binge watching isn’t for me what it is for others either. I rarely watch more than two episodes of anything in a row or even per day. The last time I actually did that was when I had a surgery last year and even that was more a case of “I just let Pluto TV run and am too weak/lazy to switch the channel”.

  132. Yeah I feel like that way I can actually enjoy a show. If it’s something I don’t care about I might throw on whatever and half watch it while doing other things, especially if it’s some older show where they had to have 24 episodes a season so there’s just a ton of them. I’ll watch sitcoms that way cause I don’t need to “watch” them like dramas.

  133. Okay, season 5. I kept hearing that it was the worst season, mostly because the had to hastily retool their planned storyline, but honestly, it was the best since season 2, if you ask me.

    We got more Dewey than ever (and dammit, I actually rooted for that Nazi dumbfuck to get out and have a happy end at some point.), Boyd’s adventure in drug smuggling, that just kept getting worse and worse with every episode, was a huge highlight for a “simple plans gone wrong” fan like me, they did a good job of making Michael Rapaport actually feel dangerous and I liked how the Crowes got in the end defeated because Raylan played legal chess for a change. Then there was the running gag with the “21 foot rule”, which resulted in probably the most hilarious death of the show, only rivaled by the cigarette bomb. We also got a whole bunch of entertaining side criminals. Yeah, Ava’s prison story wasn’t the most exciting, but at least added a clever ticking clock to Boyd’s drug problems.

    Can’t wait to see how it all ends and I hope that new mini series will find its way to German screens fast.

  134. It was good…even weak Justified is good…but it seemed more disjointed than other seasons, and Rappaport was just a hole in the show. He was an okay villain and it was cool they fully leaned into making an idiot into the main bad guy…but in practice doesn’t quite work. I loved his psycho brother and yeah, led to the best and most hilarious death in the entire show’s run which is really saying something. So I liked it, but felt the steam was running out.

    But then 6…wow, 6! Aside from the Bennets, has the best villains in the entire series and great, great shit. And they get to lean fully into the dangerous stakes, since it’s the last one.

  135. Man, season 6 was one hell of a ride. For 2/3 it was “just” another season, which means it was one damn entertaining piece of TV, but then it kicked into high gear and ended pitch perfect. I wish I could erase all my memories of it and watch it for the first time again.

    The only problem I have was (Spoiler) that I really wish they had kept Dewey around longer, but there was also something darkly hilarious about how useless he was, even after he got murdered. They set up the whole thing about his necklace, so that you think “Oh, that will break Boyd’s neck!”, but then it’s just waved off like nothing. Even if it became at least a little bit helpful later on.

    One of the main reasons why this show was so enjoyable IMO was that it wasn’t another plot twist show. They had all these long standing story arcs, but let them breathe. Whenever there was an episode that wasn’t important to the arc, there was still enough going on, so that it didn’t feel like they were treading water and wasting our time. They never randomly killed off main characters for the sake of shock value. Episodes were never written as a way to just deliver the next big cliffhanger, like so many other premium shows these days do. And even if the show was extremely violent, it never reached “How much more sadistic can we get?” levels. (Not that I didn’t enjoy the craziness of shows like SPARTACUS or SONS OF ANARCHY.)

    Can’t wait for CITY PRIMEVAL. Fingers crossed they can keep the level of quality up and we might get a new Raylan Givens adventure every few years, maybe even to the point where an “Old man Givens” story could happen.

  136. I was happy with where the characters ended up. Each kind of got a perfect resolution. I agree that what made this show great was really sticking to characters and not constant plot point. Sons is a perfect show for that, constantly needing to one-up itself in melodrama.

    Poor, stupid, dopey Dewey. What a great character, that was a real shock but kind of not really. This season gave such a great wide bench of new villains, Sam Elliot, Mary Steenbergen, another Deadwood vet with Garret Dillahunt, and Boon is the MVP, aside from Mags the best villain. I love that actor and his weird quirkiness, and he’s the most capable true for for Raylan. I always thought it was kind of weird doing a Western show but Raylan has a standard cop gun, but here come Boon like he’s out of a Western.

    The only bit I hated was Boyd murdering that random guy. I get that he’s desperate, but they seemed like they needed to make him more of a bad guy at the last minute. I don’t mind Boyd being a murderer, but that seemed off. At least they should have had the guy try to maybe attack Boyd to make it fit…he kills an innocent guy but more motivated. I feel like if they really wanted to make Boyd a villain he should have been cornered by one of the other main agents and killed them. But the show didn’t want to be that mean, which I can appreciate. But if Boyd had killed Tim then it would have made that standoff even more tense cause you KNOW Raylan might just straight up murder Boyd for real.

    This was really an excellent show, breezily entertaining and kind of light, but you can take it seriously and has real stakes. Really looking forward to the miniseries and also hope they do one every few years.

  137. BTW, am I the only one who loved the running gag how everybody talked about Tim like he was some kind of monster, yet we never saw him say or do anything questionable? Art even called him “a ticking timebomb”, but apart from rarely showing emotion and obviously having seen lots of shit during his time in the army, he seemed to be the probably most by-the-rules Marshal in that office. Unless I missed something.

  138. It could just be an inside joke between the writers and the actors. Jacob Pitts looks like the kindest man in Harlan County, but his character is also the deadliest with a gun. The banter between Givens and Gutterson are among the highlights of the show.

  139. Another character beat that I loved was the ambiguous relationship between Duffy and Mickey. It’s like once they decided to keep them around, the writers enjoyed portraying them different in every scene. Sometimes it was a clear boss/bodyguard relationship, other times they seemed like a secret gay couple, then they were just like two guys who spend every day together for work reasons and became good friends and sometimes Duffy acted more like a father figure. And after their last scene together (Which by the way got an actual “Holy shit!” out of me), we still don’t know what exactly was up between them and I love it.

  140. It seemed in the beginning Justified had plans to do more with Tim…his PTSD and the timebomb thing, then the time he’s called in unexpectedly and you see he was home alone drinking. But they sort f dropped that aspect which worked. It was nice to see a counterbalance to Raylan, a real straight-arrow who’s good at his job. Also liked how you could see how fucking annoying it would be to have to deal with Raylan. Usually in cop movies the boss or co-workers who get annoyed are fuddie-duddies Who Don’t Know How to Get the Job Done. But in this show all of them are very competent and smart, and they think Raylan is a dick and THEY ARE RIGHT.

    I also liked Wynn and Mickey and their weird relationship. That last scene of Mickey was the hardest Justified ever got.

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