Klavan On The Culture

"Justified" Still The One

Justified is back for its final season, and I can’t let that fact pass without mentioning that it’s still the best crime show currently on television. The writing remains top-notch and the acting excellent, including the hyper-cool Timothy Olyphant, the brilliant Walton Goggins, the mighty Nick Searcy, and Joelle Carter, who has not only gotten even more beautiful somehow, but also owns the season in the role of a frightened moll in a deadly bind. Plus two veteran favorites of mine — Sam Elliott and Mary Steenburgen — are on hand to play somewhat against their usual type. Both are terrific, as they always are.

The plot line has U.S. Marshall Raylan Givens (Olyphant) running his ex-lover Ava (Carter) as a confidential informant to get to her present lover and Raylan’s nemesis, gangster Boyd Crowder (Goggins). Sure, it’s Notorious country style, but Notorious is one of those stories that can be used in different ways and never gets old (see Mission Impossible 2).

As always, Justified has a special touch with violence. It’s unexpected, sudden and deadly and the threat of it keeps you tense throughout every episode. This story is not going to end well for someone, maybe for everyone, so the suspense level is very high.

I say it every season, but I say it once again: great stuff.