The ‘Justified’ Series Finale Was a Pitch-Perfect Ending to One of TV’s Best Dramas
Justified fans, it has all come down to this. Tonight’s series finale “The Promise,” finally brought the house down, as the six-season rivalry between Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) and Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins) came to a bloody end. Find out who lived, who died, and who left Harlan alive by our full review of bittersweet series finale “The Promise”!
You’re warned of every conceivable spoiler for the past, present and future of FX’s Justified from here on out, but ladies and gentlemen, Raylan Givens took a bullet to the head. Okay, so it was closer to the hat, and the bullet itself only grazed his temple, but good grief, if that wasn’t a heart-stopping minute to have the Harlan lawman laid out on the highway, motionless. Before we get there, let’s back up.
It all came down to the machinations of a vengeful Avery Markham, holding Ava hostage for the remaining $9 million of his fortune, while Raylan wound up in cuffs for evading the other Marshals too long. Ava reluctantly telephoned the mountain cabin in search of her uncle, but with poor Zachariah blown to bits, only Boyd answered the call, reluctantly accepting Ava’s coded pleas to have her “uncle” meet Boone and Loretta with the cash.
With a little help from Art, Raylan managed to free himself from custody and resume the hunt for Ava, while Art went to rejoin the deputies on the mountain. Boyd meanwhile managed to evade the authorities (with dynamite!) long enough to make it back to Ava and Markham at the barn, wherein a vicious firefight took out Markham through the eye. RIP, Sam Elliot’s unnervingly un-mustached face.
Boyd even thought to pull the trigger on Ava, before discovering his empty magazine, at which point Raylan caught up and entered the room, demanding their final showdown, and even kicking Boyd a loaded gun to make it a fair fight. In the end, Boyd refused the offer and left his fate to Raylan, to which the Harlan lawman finally did right by Art and the other Marshals, putting Boyd in cuffs rather than seek out vengeance.
Of course, the story wouldn’t end there, far from it! Raylan elected to personally escort Ava back to prison, only to find themselves cornered on an abandoned stretch of road by Boone and Loretta, who’d followed them from the barn. Raylan finally got his climactic showdown, albeit not with Boyd, and both men made lightning-quick pulls that left Boone choking on his own blood and Raylan motionless on the road, hole through his hat and all. Boone used his last ounce of strength to aim another shot, only for Loretta to literally step in, before Raylan regained consciousness. Ava, bless her heart, chose not to stick around.
Flash-forward! A whopping four years later, Raylan spends quality time with Willa down in Florida, despite Winona having ended up with another man. Back at the Miami office (hi, David Koechner!) Raylan discovers a newspaper photo with a familiar face, before heading all the way out to Lebec, California, to confirm that Ava made it west after all. After a tense few minutes, Raylan lets Ava know he won’t take her in, particularly after learning that Ava escaped Harlan county with a baby on board, named for her uncle Zachariah, but sired by none other than Boyd Crowder.
Speak of the devil, a (maybe) reformed Boyd leads an exuberant prayer group, putting his orator skills to work before learning of a visitor; none other than Raylan Givens. The two exchange a few witty sentiments, before Raylan offers a reason for his visit, namely that Ava died in a car crash several years, earlier under a false name (cough, cough). Boyd sheds a few tears, noting Raylan as the sole exception to those born in Harlan truly getting out alive, before wondering why Raylan would deliver the news in person. They once dug coal together, Raylan confirms, a bond Justified has long foretold could never be broken.
So ends Justified. Long live Justified.
A surprisingly low body count, but a pitch-perfect ending to one of TV’s best, often-overlooked dramas. Raylan survived and made it to Miami (with a new hat!), despite eventually losing Winona, while Ava managed to flee as far as California, giving birth to a baby boy that Boyd Crowder would never learn about, for the rest of his days preaching behind bars. Art, Rachel and Tim all got sentimental send-offs, and even Wynn Duffy lived to retire to a surfing sunset in Maui.
We’ll miss Justified like no other, but did the FX gunslinger drama go out on top? Which death (or in this case, survival) proved the most surprising? What will we do with our Tuesday nights ever again? Oh cruel fate, your six season passing hardly seems … wait for it … Justified. Thank you all, and goodnight.
(GIFs via UPROXX)