Sunday, May 8, 2011

What I’m Watching: Justified (Season Finale)

Justified: Season 2, Episode 13 “Bloody Harlan” (B+)

After such a strong season, ending on just as strong a note is especially tough. Yet this episode pulled it off with flying colors, most notably in the demise of two of the surviving Bennett family members. Things had already reached a point of no return in terms of the conflict in between Boyd and the Bennetts, and the resolution of it all had to turn out violently. At the start of this episode, Raylan was only tangentially involved, though he was considerably more front and center once Dickie knocked him out and hung him upside down, ready to beat him to death with a bat. It’s interesting to see how much the relationship with Boyd and Raylan has developed, to the point where Boyd comes in to save Raylan’s life and then essentially gets permission from the lawman to kill Dickie. As it turns out, it’s not Dickie who takes the fall but Doyle, who goes out with quite a bang with a bullet straight through the forehead. That’s no match for Mags, however, who’s still a live and well sixty seconds before the end of the episode but makes the ultimate departure by poisoning herself the same way she took care of Loretta’s father. I thought for a moment that it was Raylan’s glass that was spiked, and her demise really caught me by surprise and brought a terrific character arc to an end. Ava did the most she did all season by getting shot, and we didn’t see much of Winona in this hour. I can’t wait to have these characters back, and this whole season and its guest cast has been excellent.

Season grade: A-
Season MVP: Margo Martindale as Mags

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