The most difficult thing to do with any form of storytelling is to tell an ending that doesn’t disappoint. It’s why in the world of television there are hundreds of disappointing endings for every Breaking Bad. So it’s unfortunately not that much of a surprise to say that the final season of Justified is it’s weakest one ever. At a time when the show should be closing towards an ending, Justified just seemed to be expanding its story even if at its heart it knew that it wanted to come back to a Raylan-Boyd showdown. The final season can only be described as a convoluted mess.
Season five of Justified certainly had its issues but with a well-defined Crowes storyline and a great performance from Alicia Witt it felt like it meant something. That was until it introduced Mary Steenburgen’s Katherine Hale character. Steenburgen certainly brought a presence to the show but her small plotline felt like clear setup for this season and felt so far away from everything else going on. Unfortunately, this just continues to be the case as even more emphasis is put on her character and a couple others (including Sam Elliott’s Markham, Garret Dillahunt’s Ty and Jonathan Tucker’s Boon). Justified has always had a wonderful gallery of rogues, but it is in this season they stretch that gallery a little too far. It’s as if we have seen too many villains of a certain type for any of these new ones to be interesting. For instance, Boon is supposed to be the ultimate challenge to Raylan, but he comes off as quite boring. It is really disappointing when the big set piece of the finale ends up being a showdown between Raylan and this guy who was just randomly introduced a few episodes beforehand.
At its heart the final season of Justified is about Raylan trying to finally put Boyd behind bars by having Ava inform on him. That in itself is such an interesting premise that with the actors involved it really should have been a slam-dunk. That is not even mentioning the fact that this show still had tons of material with other side characters like Loretta or Dickie Bennett, etc. Instead of honing in on that though, Graham Yost and company decided to keep on expanding. That’s just the wrong way to go for a storyline that ends in such a definitive and unambiguous way.
The final season of Justified is just a complete disappointment.