It has taken me a few days to really process how Justified ended it’s fantastic run. I have avoided reading anything about the finale because I do not want to know what the rest of the world is saying before I get my opinion out. Sometimes even my own opinions are influenced by what I read. I should not have to mention that this is going to include plenty of spoilers.
The final showdown happens between Boyd and Raylan. There is a moment where I was convinced that Raylan was going to shoot Boyd even though he refused to pick up the gun. Then they cut to Boyd being led out in handcuffs. It really threw me off because I really expected a big shoot-out between the two, but then when you think about it, they had their battle in the first (or was it second) episode. That did not end well for Boyd. More on that in a second.
For the long portion of this season, there has been a constant fear that Raylan will die at the end. They kept playing that damn song, you know “You will never leave Harlan alive…”
That is foreshadowing. Hell they beat us over the head with the idea. It only seemed natural that Boyd and Raylan would kill each other. And that made me sad. I just did not want either of them to die.
As Raylan drove Ava, I knew something bad was going to happen. I thought for sure Boone would just t-bone them, but instead he comes from behind. Then comes the showdown that this season has tried to make us think would be an even fight. I guess I just never really took Boone all that serious. But he proved to be about as quick as Raylan. When they both dropped, I knew Raylan would make it. I figured he was either wounded and Ava would have to make a decision, escape or save his life. Instead, Loretta stops Boone from firing a kill shot and we see that Boone’s arrogance is what cost him. He bragged in an earlier episode that he aims for the head because what if the person is wearing kevlar. The bullet just grazed Raylan’s head, but then Ava got away.
So many times this season the show has pushed into thinking that Raylan would die. With all the stuff about finally leaving to be with his family and Winona saying she would be okay with him staying with the Marshall’s. It seemed like everything was coming together for him and then it would all be cut short. Kudos to Graham Yost for really making us worry about our hero, but then pulling the old switcheroo.
We flash-forward four years later and see that Raylan is with his daughter, but he and Winona are not together, she is remarried (this guy seemed a bit better than Gary, maybe). He is still a Marshall and he shown a picture of Ava in California. He goes out to her and even though it was a bit hokey, it turns out that she had Boyd’s son, which is why they could never find her at first, since they were not looking for a pregnant woman. Raylan decides not to bring her in and instead pays a visit to Boyd in prison.
Boyd is back to preaching and even gives Raylan some of the same crap he said before. Raylan shows him a death certificate for a woman matching Ava. He gives Boyd a story about how they tracked her to Oklahoma and she must have fallen asleep at the wheel and died in a car crash.
I loved how Boyd keeps pushing Raylan to admit there was another reason for the visit. Finally Raylan says that if he were a sentimental person, there might be one reason for driving all the way there to give the news in person. Boyd finishes it off by saying “we dug coal together.” It gave me chills and it really did wrap up the series so well. Remember, that was one of the things that brought Raylan back to Harlan. It was a punishment for his actions in Florida, but Art wanted his help with the Crowders since he grew up with them and as Raylan put it “we dug coal together.”
This will go down as one of my all-time favorite shows.