The gun thugs were plentiful. The body count might have exceeded the total population of Harlan County, Ky. But in the end, “Justified” went out on a surprisingly compassionate note.
Over six seasons the darkly comic FX crime drama, created by Graham Yost, served up an array of colorful “big bads” to menace Timothy Olyphant’s swaggering United States marshal Raylan Givens, including Margo Martindale’s Emmy-winning crime queen in Season 2, Neal McDonough’s sleeve-gun wielding nutter in Season 3 and Sam Elliott’s dope kingpin this year.
The final season, however, mostly amounted to a three-way showdown between the core characters — Raylan, his hometown nemesis, Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins) and their shared love interest, Ava Crowder (Joelle Carter). The finale put them all in a room together one last time, as Boyd and Raylan squared off in a callback to the series’s inciting incident — Givens’s “justified” shooting of a criminal in Miami that nevertheless resulted in him being re-assigned to his home state, Kentucky.