I’ll tell you what, I would not have predicted that a topical political issue would be the thing tie up many of the mysteriously dangling threads in the first half of “Justified’s” final season, but that’s what happened. Weed is back to the forefront of this show, and the expectation of its eventual legality is why scary people are killing innocent Kentucky-ans.
There’s so much to like about “Justified.” How well it handles plotting and characterization. How surefooted and streamlined each episode feels. How it’s both comfortable in its genre while simultaneously and subtly transcending it. All of that was on display this week, but the show’s playful knack for language and dialect took center stage in this episode.
Over the seasons, as the show’s central characters and conflicts have matured, “Justified” lightened up on the mystery-a-week, procedural episodes that primarily comprised its first season or two. That could be a good thing when the formula began to feel stale and season-long arches featured an interesting villain (i.e. Margo Martindale as Mags Bennett), but those slightly more autonomous episodes also exemplified some of “Justified’s” greatest strengths: Deft plotting and compelling (and fun!) side characters.
And not just because it’s cold and snowy outside and the first episode of “Justified’s” final season opens with a brief scene of Winona and baby Willa in Florida before jumping quickly over to Raylan and a muggy-looking Mexican bar. I won’t lie though, that may have put me in a pretty agreeable mood.