Actors: Timothy Olyphant, Nick Searcy
Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, Widescreen, NTSC
Number of discs: 3
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
DVD Release Date: June 2, 2015
Based on the short story “Fire in the Hole” by crime novelist Elmore Leonard, “Justified” worked as an adaptation with room for growth. Timothy Olyphant carries the narrative as U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens, bringing a familiar gunslinger swagger to the western set-up, though this FX series is far more similar to “Sons of Anarchy” than “Deadwood.” With his personal knowledge of Harlan County, Kentucky, Raylan is perfect candidate to take down a local crime family. This location becomes the primary premise for the series, along with Raylan’s vendetta against local criminal legend, Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins).
The final season inevitably deals with the resolution of this longstanding conflict, though it also provides an additional final villain with the arrival of an aggressive pot farmer and drug lord intent on buying up local land for expansion. Avery Markham (Sam Elliott) continues the tradition of providing Raylan a new storyline each season, though he even becomes an enemy of Boyd over time. Not only does he come into town with big plans, he has a small fortune with him, stored in an impenetrable safe that Boyd sets his sights on. He also comes with a small army of soldier turned mercenaries to help obtain the property from locals unwilling to sell, headed up by a bearded Garret Dillahunt. In case these soldiers don’t provide enough of a challenge for Raylan,
also has a trusted gunslinger as his right-hand man (played by Jonathan Tucker)
for a final shootout showdown. Markham
The last season introduces plenty of colorful new characters, mostly because of the need to replace all of the series regulars who are dispatched. Plenty of bodies drop in this final season, both new and old, while other storylines continue to drag on for another season. As much as I enjoy the writing and acting for most of the major roles, both new and returning, it is probably best that the series called it quits now. As much fun as these new characters are, the old love triangle between Boyd’s current fiancé and Raylan’s former flame, Ava (Joelle Carter), has been stretched thin over the six seasons. Even Raylan’s dynamic with his boss (Nick Searcy) has become somewhat predictable and derivative of itself.
The dialogue is clever and far more engaging than anything to come out of “Sons of Anarchy” (not to mention lacking the forced melodrama of that series), and the action is exciting and decisive in this final season. There is limited sentimentality in the resolution of the series, but this somehow adds to the poignancy of the brief epilogue. I would have continued to watch this series for several more seasons, but I think this is a perfect example of how less can be more. I only wish the same could be said of the special features for the final season package. All thirteen episodes are included on three discs, but only one featurette on the making of the show is included in the extras.
Entertainment Value: 9/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 8/10
Historical Significance: 7.5/10