Saying Goodbye to Raylan Givens and Justified

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Last week the series finale of Justified aired on the FX network and the Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant), Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins) and Ava Crowder (Joelle Carter) saga came to an end after six fantastic seasons.  The six seasons of the adventures of Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens and the criminal elements of eastern Kentucky had many interesting characters, crime bosses and families with a history of crime and violence.  The finale in some ways offered a complete circle to where the Justified series began in the pilot episode.  When the series began, Raylan was transferred from the Miami office after a justified shooting and sent to the last place on earth he wanted to see, his hometown of Harlan, Kentucky (the justified shooting did occur after Raylan’s warning if “You don’t get out of town in 24 hours, I’m gonna shoot you on sight”).  Immediately back in Harlan, Raylan is connected with the neighbor girl, Ava, who had a crush on him while growing up and Boyd Crowder, who dug coal with Raylan when they were nineteen.  This triangle would be the centerpiece to the next six seasons and result in the finale showdown between Boyd, Raylan and Ava.

(Spoiler Alert)  I will try not to give away too many details about the finale in case others who haven’t watched the series plan on binge-watching the show or are behind on viewing their DVR shows, but following are some of the ways I felt the finale justified what was set in motion in the pilot episode.  Raylan’s boss, Art Mullen (Nick Searcy), was always trying to save Raylan from himself and was justified in saving him one last time in the finale.  The silver-tongued, cold-blooded killer Boyd Crowder was justified in not drawing on Raylan due to an unwritten code that Boyd carried toward the man he dug coal with at nineteen and who was able to get out of Harlan when Boyd believed that “the only way to get out of our town alive is to have never been born there.”  Raylan was justified in his duel with Boon (Jonathan Tucker), but not justified in ending the show wearing that awful hat.  Ava was justified in finally getting out of Harlan and Raylan was justified in protecting Ava’s secret and I was justified in my belief that the two of them shared feelings from that first kiss in the pilot episode.  Raylan was justified in leaving Harlan to be with his ex-wife and daughter and I was justified with the satisfaction that Raylan and Winona (Natalie Zea) never belonged together.  Finally, I was justified in watching every great episode and considering the Raylan Givens’ character as one of the best on TV.Justified - FX

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