Part Three of Sound on Sight’s list of the Best TV episodes of the year so far includes entries from Game of Thrones and Inside Amy Schumer.
The venerable genre series’ final episode pays tribute to its literary inspiration in surprisingly bittersweet fashion.
The penultimate episode of Justified prompts some reflection on just how we got here.
The series’ third-to-last outing gets seriously gnarly.
A twist-rich episode shifts the power dynamics just in time for the endgame.
The pace kicks it up a notch as key recurring characters take what may be their final bows.
Justified follows up the season’s best episode with its worst, because of course it does.
An uncharacteristically intimate episode examines the series’ two main romantic pairings, and uncovers some sad, troubling material in the process.
Justified: finding pathos in the strangest places.
An exceptionally entertaining hour nevertheless exposes some troubling flaws.
When it comes to planned-in-advance TV endings, in general, you can do it straight, or you can do it serpentine. Do it straight (Breaking Bad, The Wire) and you guarantee a high degree of fan contentedness, though usually at the cost of spontaneity. Do it serpentine (Lost, Battlestar Galactica, The Sopranos) and you run the risk of pissing off a large percentage of the fanbase, though you’ll have the side-benefit of being debated into eternity. On occasion, a series finds a way to split the difference and reaps incredible rewards. Justified seems destined to opt for the former route. While it’s supplied some artful twists and surprise developments in the past, it’s never been a series built on narrative trickery or hifalutin thematic development. It’s always had (at least) one foot planted firmly in the realm of traditional genre storytelling.
“Noblesse Oblige” continues to do things at its own deliberate pace, even as the end looms in the distance.
A plot-thin establishing episode reasserts the series’ considerable wit.
Justified has looked and felt a little different with each new season, so it should perhaps be less surprising in retrospect that its fifth season was, once again, something new: a letdown. The series’ incredible writing team has been articulating variations on a narrow set of very old themes so gracefully for so long that, if anything, they deserve immense credit for their unlikely four-season streak of greatness. It wasn’t that the Crowe-family-centric fifth season was bad, per se – one could easily stitch together a potent highlight reel – it was more that it finally felt like the series was simply spinning its wheels for the first time. It’s the job of the series’ sixth and final season, then, to right the course and get us re-invested in Justified’s vision of Harlan County and its assortment of charismatically gifted heroes and villains. “Fate’s Right Hand” has a lot of work to do, but for the most part, it’s a smoothly paced and assured premiere, one that portends a back-to-basics approach, albeit a ruthless one.
There are plenty of interesting new series to be on the lookout for, but many TV fans will be most excited about the return of some of television’s best offerings. Here are Chief TV Editor Kate Kulzick and Managing TV Editor Deepayan Sengupta’s picks for the most exciting (currently scheduled) midseason returns of 2015. Banshee …
That’s what you get for cautious optimism. Justified’s fifth season finale has a lot of heavy lifting to do: it has to convince us that our time spent with the Crowes was meaningful, that Boyd’s Mexican misadventures amount to more than a diversion, that Ava’s prison scenes weren’t just a too-sadistic sojourn into tonally misaligned territory, and that Raylan’s sense of detachment this season has been leading our perpetually behatted hero somewhere new and intriguing.
Watching a season of Justified expand and contract its narrative can be a thing of beauty, even when it feels like the show isn’t necessarily at its best. “Starvation” continues down the sullen path of Season 5, a year that’s seen Raylan grow increasingly distant amidst a particularly nasty and bleak set of circumstances, but does so in a way that honors its main character’s histories and relationships. For longtime viewers, it’s a welcome sign of things likely to come. Probably.
Justified, Season 5, Episode 11: “The Toll” Written by Benjamin Cavell Directed by Jon Avnet Airs Tuesdays at 10pm ET on FX – It’s been a pretty dark week for lovers of fine TV drama, and Justified compounds the issue with one of their grimmest episodes ever. “The Toll” doesn’t do much to clarify exactly …
One of the key maxims of Elmore Leonard is that criminals are, by and large, dumb. So far, the most consistent throughline of Season 5 has been that “dumb” can mean a lot of different things,..
Justified, Season 5, Episode 9: “Wrong Roads” Written by Dave Andron and Leonard Chang Directed by Michael Dinner Airs Tuesdays at 10pm ET on FX – Now that it’s too late for Justified‘s fifth season to rank with the restof the series – relatively speaking, there’s simply been too much chaff to make that cut …
Justified, Season 5, Episode 8: “Whistle Past the Graveyard” Written by Chris Provenzano Directed by Peter Werner Airs Tuesdays at 10pm ET on FX – Take what you can get: “Whistle Past the Graveyard” doesn’t fix what’s wrong with Season 5 of Justified, but it at least has the decency to provide a few jolts …
Justified, Season 5, Episode 7: “Raw Deal” Written by VJ Boyd Directed by Bill Johnson Airs Tuesdays at 10pm ET on FX – Why does it feel like so little happens in “Raw Deal”? A relatively major character bites the dust, Boyd’s Mexican adventure appears to be imperiled nice and early, Ava makes a play …
Justified, Season 5, Episode 6: “Kill the Messenger” Written by Ingrid Escajeda Directed by Don Kurt Airs Tuesdays at 10pm ET – Thank goodness; “Shot All To Hell” appears not to have been a fluke, and Season 5 is finally, officially, cooking with oil. “Kill the Messenger,” while not bucking the trend of Justified‘s almost …