It’s bittersweet knowing that Justified is all over.
On the one hand, you wish you could continue with Raylan’s adventures for years to come, getting that fantastic dialogue, that clever humor, those excellent shootouts, and of course, the rich characters.
But it had to end sometime and the story had to close, so what better way then to conclude when the series was on high with a finale that felt like it fit the show?
The biggest thought going into Justified Season 6 Episode 13 was of the fates of the characters, especially Raylan, Boyd and Ava.
Would it be a tragedy? Would Raylan survive?
One of the tensest moments of the hour was when Raylan walked in after Boyd’s bloody massacre with Markham (who was dispatched rather quickly by Boyd, but he was still a worthy character to add some mayhem to the season).
To see Raylan itching to pull on Boyd, to end their battle once and for all, was nerve-wracking. Even with him kicking over a gun with bullets after Boyd declared he was out added to it.
And yet, Boyd wouldn’t do it. He wouldn’t draw on Raylan.
But Raylan, even with the opportunity to take him out, showed that spot of growth for his character in ending it the right way: with Boyd in handcuffs.
Of course, we did get a Wild West shootout, but with Boon. And what a visual masterpiece in watching those two characters face off on the road, each ready to grab their guns.
I was worried for a moment that perhaps Raylan would meet his end after being shot, but he luckily survived. And Ava ran out on him. Again.
The real interesting thing about the hour was that everything was wrapped up rather quickly, finally completing the task of capturing Boyd Crowder and bringing him in.
Yet, the finale also provided something of an epilogue, jumping ahead in four years time.
Raylan got to be with his family, even if Winnona had moved on and found someone else. There was certainly a sense that he had been able to move on from Harlan, and he did get out alive.
So did Ava, who also happened to have a son, Boyd’s. But I was pleased that Raylan didn’t drag her in and instead simply said everything would be OK. Their meeting at her doorway certainly echoed the pilot, as did much of the dialogue and moments during the hour.
And then there was Boyd, back to his preaching days (man, is he a charismatic character) but stuck inside prison for who knows how long.
It certainly made it fitting that the final moments involved a conversation between Raylan and Boyd. Raylan lied about Ava being alive, and Boyd commented on Raylan’s decision to meet him because they dug coal together. Despite all those struggles and battles, there was a sincere connection between those two because of Harlan County.
Truthfully, watching those two characters interact whether it was a gun battle or a conversation was always electric. Timothy Olyphant and Walton Goggins really brought those characters to life in such a compelling way, as did many of the other actors that came on the show.
There definitely is going to be plenty to miss about this series.
Justified, the sort of modern-day Western, may not have gone out guns blazing, but it succeeded in finding a satisfying ending that stuck true to its characters and story. So long, Raylan Givens, it was a blast of a ride.
What did you think of the finale? Sound off below. And if you want to see it again, be sure to watch Justified online right here at TV Fanatic!
Sean McKenna was a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. He retired in May of 2017. Follow him on Twitter.