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.
This show is taking us through a dark and winding path this season. We’re not sure where the show is headed but there’s that feeling that something terrible is going to happen to one of the characters. The only question is who. After this week’s episode, Kalinda seems to be the one with the target on her back.
WHAT AN EPISODE. Can we just take a minute to paint a picture here? We have a show on a network, in its sixth season, that produces 22 episodes a year, scrapped its entire format AND killed a central character last season and is still giving us gripping, Emmy-worthy episodes that are 42 minutes of pure joy to watch. This week’s episode was a testament to everything that is amazing about this show.