Justified: The Promise
April 15, 2015 4:49 AM - Season 6, Episode 13 - Subscribe

The series finale. Lots of bullets, some dynamite, and ice cream in the park.
posted by Thorzdad (32 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
It wasn't the "showdown" series end people expected, but it was pretty satisfying, imho. It was a bit hard to tell whether Boyd really bought Raylan's story about Ava's fate, though. If you can fake being filled with the spirit, you can probably fake a bit of remorse. Given the general tenor of the episode, though, I'm going with Boyd bought the story.

All in all, a nice wrap-up to a great show. My Tuesday nights have a big hole in them now.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:03 AM on April 15, 2015 [3 favorites]

But, damned if I don't feel just a little (okay...a lot) cheated that Loretta didn't shoot Boone. I really wanted to hear a big shot fired just as he and Raylan were about to draw, and to find that she had plugged Boone in the back.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:07 AM on April 15, 2015 [10 favorites]

I agree with Thorzdad - I thought for sure that Loretta would gun down Boone at that moment or drive the truck into him or something along those lines. Usually I like when my expectations are upended, but I think that would have been much more satisfying than the standard high noon duel that happened.
posted by Falconetti at 8:03 AM on April 15, 2015 [1 favorite]

Yeah, while Loretta had some agency in saving Raylan's life, it would have been nice if she had been more instrumental in Boone's downfall. Kicking away a gun doesn't have the same punch. I also wish they spent a minute on where she ended up or said something about how Vasquez stood down from going after Raylan. Those are basically my only quibbles about the finale though. Very quality season and show.
posted by Green With You at 8:20 AM on April 15, 2015 [1 favorite]

A little time will need to pass to determine how it holds up, but this season, particularly the last 6-7 episodes or so, is one of the best end runs of a series I can think of (particularly after such a "bleh" Season 5).
posted by The Gooch at 8:26 AM on April 15, 2015 [2 favorites]

I'm really sad to see the show end but I think it wrapped up in a really satisfying way. I also was expecting Loretta to shoot Boone, but I wonder if she felt that it was Raylan's fight. I also wondered if she'd just slide over into the driver's seat and hit Boone with the car and bring everything to an anticlimactic but pragmatic end. I'm ok with it, though. Loretta is a survivor and she's young and I don't know that she needs to add a death onto her list just because the guy had it coming.

Also that gun fight - so revealing of character. Boone with the showy but more risky headshot that fails, Raylan with the practical and non-flashy shot to the chest that wins the day.

Had Raylan been killed, I wonder if Loretta and Ava would have teamed up and gone back to get the money for themselves.

Ava said it all when she told Boyd that she did what she thought he would do in her situation. I don't know if he believes Raylan completely about her dying but I suspect he does. And I also believe that he thinks you can never leave a criminal life behind, and yet Ava has and he would never be able to leave her in peace.

That final scene was perfect. They went full circle and they're something like friends again, because some ties never fade.
posted by PussKillian at 8:34 AM on April 15, 2015 [4 favorites]

Man, I found it unexpectedly crushing to find out Raylan and Winona couldn't even make it four years. I suppose Raylan having a good relationship with his daughter and a not-awful relationship with Winona was as much of a happy-ever-after as we could expect, but I was still rooting for those two.
posted by no regrets, coyote at 9:36 AM on April 15, 2015 [5 favorites]

The more I think about it, Loretta not killing Boone was the correct move. If you think about it, she's the only "innocent" out of the whole cast of characters. Dirty-ish, yes, but she's not harmed anyone. In a way, Loretta is Harlan.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:47 AM on April 15, 2015 [5 favorites]

I also wish they spent a minute on where she ended up or said something about how Vasquez stood down from going after Raylan.

Graham Yost touched on the Vasquez situation in his interview with Sepinwall:

"No matter how much Vasquez might have jumped up and down, it wouldn't have mattered. He had two stated purposes. One was to get Boyd Crowder, and the other was to get Katherine Hale for being responsible for the death of his boss. Well, she ends up dead, so you can't get her more than that. And Boyd, he gets arrested. So he ends up with a pretty big win. "

Also sounds like schedules played havoc with getting recurring characters like Loretta more screen time.
posted by schoolgirl report at 9:54 AM on April 15, 2015 [3 favorites]

In a way, Loretta is Harlan.

I agree, and her stopping Boone was Harlan letting Raylan go, letting him leave Harlan alive.

After all my hating on Boone, I like the way it went – sort of a symbolic rebirth for Raylan. He let go of his anger at Arlo and that let him do the right thing and take Boyde in, instead of shooting him. And then there is one more trial by shoot-out and Raylan gets to live, but his hat – which is such a symbol of his cowboy Marshal persona, doesn't make it. Loretta, standing in for Harlan County, kicks away Boone’s gun, letting him go. And in true Justified fashion, the serious, symbolic moment is wrapped up by the oh shit moment of Ava speeding away.

I think it was a fitting ending for something based on Elmore Leonard's writing - his characters aren't about big changes. It makes perfect sense to me for Raylan to be able to make the change of letting anger go (it did take him 6 years in Kentucky to do that!), choosing not to shoot Boyde. But he's still a US Marshal, still can't work things out with Winona, still not 100% by the book (not bringing in Ava, lying to Boyde)
posted by Sabby at 12:01 PM on April 15, 2015 [6 favorites]

I loved the name of Duffy's "dog grooming business".
posted by Thorzdad at 12:32 PM on April 15, 2015 [1 favorite]

They Dug Coal Together: Timothy Olyphant and Walton Goggins Look Back on ‘Justified’.

I like how Timothy Olyphant is open to doing Raylan mini-series. "Justified" is over and has said what it wanted to say. But I would love to watch some fun Saturday Afternoon movies where Raylan travels to exotic locales to solve crimes and shoot bad guys.

After all the fan speculation I'm happy that Raylan was still alive and still a marshall. He still has a smart-ass partner with David Koechner. He couldn't make it work with Winona, but I liked how his jealousy has shifted to being happy for her but very protective of how the new guy treats Willa. "Stubborn, but not angry" feels like the right amount of character growth for him.
posted by Gary at 12:47 PM on April 15, 2015 [3 favorites]

I loved the name of Duffy's "dog grooming business".

posted by Gary at 1:15 PM on April 15, 2015 [3 favorites]

Yeah, overall I found this very good and satisfying. I hated Boone's comic exaggerations of character -- it was very deliberate and I respect that they made that choice, but every second he was on the screen I felt he utterly didn't belong in the show. The duel was an extension of this, it's what they were aiming for with him -- he's a throwback to Raylan's throwback, an old-west marshall and an old-west outlaw with a six-gun. I'm impressed with the theory and ambition but it just didn't work at all for me.

But as much as I generally didn't like the duel, given that I have to live with it I think I'm happy with how they executed it, and the result. Boone was an overconfident hotshot, that's true, but he'd also explained earlier why it actually made more sense for him to go for the head-shot -- he had no way of knowing if Raylan was wearing body-armor. For him, in that situation, the head-shot was more reliable. But not this time. Also, I think that he outdrew Raylan, which we've never seen before. That's been my expectation, that Boone, all things equal, was more than Raylan's match (someone has to be), but shit happens.

I'm a little iffy on Raylan's decision not to bring Ava in. I really liked his exasperated statement about all the people he's picked up who expected him to give them credit for not doing the things that they shouldn't do, anyway. Ava on the straight-and-narrow isn't an achievement, it's how most people live. And so, likewise, being a fugitive but raising a kid and being a good parent shouldn't make a difference, either. The real reason for Raylan's decision is Ava's argument -- Boyd. With Boyd, Raylan's judgment is altered and, for him, keeping this child out of Boyd's influence was the trumping consideration. Because he was the child of a toxic outlaw himself. It makes sense.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 1:47 PM on April 15, 2015 [4 favorites]

I have now watched the shootout between Raylan and Boon about ten times and I think Raylan outdrew him, but only by a very thin margin. They added a blood splatter squib to Raylan's side which confused me at first, because it looks like a center of mass hit but he ends up just having a graze on his head. I half expected Loretta to pick Boon's gun up and plug him just to be sure.

The Ava wrap-up was really satisfying. It explains her decision making over the last few episodes and gives Raylan a perfect reason to leave her alone. It also explains who she was calling just prior to her "arrest."

I don't know whether the writers knew where they were going with Raylan/Boyd from the very beginning or not (I suspect not), but I like how a recurring theme with them seems to be that they like each other and hate each other at the same time. Circumstances conspire to pit them against one another, but at the end of it all, when they're not forced to confront one another, they get along all the same as when they dug coal together. Raylan may think Boyd is a criminal (and hate that for reasons tied up with Arlo), and Boyd may think Raylan is a hypocrite (the lawman out to shoot him), but they can still have a conversation.
posted by axiom at 3:54 PM on April 15, 2015 [2 favorites]

One thing I noticed was how the season was bookended by reminders of Boyd being a white supremacist. In the first episode, our first view of Boyd is of him chopping wood, sans shirt, with his swastika tattoo on full display. Then, in the meeting at the prison, Raylan specifically mentions Boyd's racism. I have to wonder if this was done to remind the audience that Boyd really is a loathsome creep.

I kind of wonder if the writers felt Boyd had become a bit too sympathetic/popular with the audience, and they had to remind everyone who and what he really is.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:19 PM on April 15, 2015 [3 favorites]

Raylan specifically mentions Boyd's racism

He does, but not only that. He also mentions his born-again schtick from earlier seasons; moreover, he mentions both in the context of a larger discussion about how Raylan never believes anything that Boyd says (but maybe likes talking to him anyway).

My takeaway on Boyd has been that he can talk almost anyone, especially himself, into believing the words coming out of his mouth, at least for a while. Whether it's preaching, or race-baiting, or getting Earl to abandon his mission to kill Boyd. Boyd can talk a blue streak and he is willing to say anything if it serves his purposes, even if that sometimes means he gets sidetracked into believing his own bullshit (cf. his little group of disciples that Bo kills off).
posted by axiom at 6:01 PM on April 15, 2015 [6 favorites]

I kind of wonder if the writers felt Boyd had become a bit too sympathetic/popular with the audience, and they had to remind everyone who and what he really is.

I definitely found myself snapped back to reality this season. I'm not sure that I found Boyd sympathetic but I was definitely charmed by his verbal sparring with Raylan.

I don't have much else to add to what's been said but I also appreciated the way the story came full circle, including Rachel's "Nice hat." I still think season two was the best and the Quarles storyline spiraled unbelievably out of control, but I walked away satisfied.

The only complaint I had was the way they deliberately hid Raylan's ring finger at the playground, but that's only because I thought I was more clever than the show.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:06 PM on April 15, 2015 [1 favorite]

So, how did Boyd escape the perimeter that Rachel and Tim had set up? Dynamite will hold someone off, but it won't keep them from following you.

Such a great series, but when Boyd walked into the barn, I felt cheated.

Still hoping for the Tim/Rachel spin-off, which will now take place in Seattle, apparently.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:18 PM on April 15, 2015 [1 favorite]

Kudos to a face off that wasn't guns blazing. Raylan looking Boyd in the eye and delivering the line about digging coal is some ice cold shit. And kudos to a writing team that made it work -- they play to the complexity of feeling sympathetic to Boyd because Groggins is just so awesome, but in the end, Raylan is there to protect Ava, and even though it plays to the 'aww, they are buds' moment, when you step back, you realize that's all a sham. Really some excellent writing around Boyd for the season -- Ava's final betrayal of 'I did what I thought you would' to the 'I'm an outlaw' speech.

Glad than no one died, if only because the absurdity of the crime in Harlan just got comical. Letting everyone live reminded me of Fargo - in the end, our film heroes are just at work, and really, people don't die at work all that much. Just before they chase Boyd up the hill, I found myself thinking 'when was the last time I heard about a manhunt this complex?'

Honestly, I hope the Rachel/Tim spinoff is literally just them getting drinks every night and giving each other shit. Wouldn't that be the best marshal show ever? Never having to watch some tinpot criminal like Boon think he is Scarface but hearing how Tim cut them down to size over a Bud?
posted by 99_ at 10:18 PM on April 15, 2015 [6 favorites]

I was a child in a Southern Indiana coal mining county and even though some men hated each other, they would stick together like brothers. It's a rough life and I wasn't surprised at all when they agreed that they were bonded due to it.I'm sad it's over for many reasons with one being how I felt like I knew some of these people.
I think there was a lot of book ending. Boyd didn't change from ep 1 to finale cause he was in jail and preaching. Raylan moved back to Floida where he lived in ep 1 and is still single. Interestingly he wasn't wearing his hat when he spent time with his daughter. I'm not sure there are even a handful of scenes where he's not wearing. That symbolized growth to me. And Ava gave birth to a Crowder instead of killing one in her dining room. She finally gets to re-engineer a male in the sketchy Crowder family. A rebirth for her.
posted by Lil Bit of Pepper at 2:36 AM on April 16, 2015 [3 favorites]

I cheered when Ava drove off. My husband claims I shouted "Go Ava, Go!" But I was to swept up in the moment to say what I said. It made me happy that she was using the same quick thinking to both stay safe and plan her get away before Raylan had time to do anything. Did he leave the keys hoping she would escape if he went down? Or just hoping she'd escape generally? I believe he would have brought her in but would feel nightly conflicted over it.

For as much as I wasn't looking forward to a Boon - Raylan show down, I found it satisfying. We knew Boon was good. And had previously missed a head shot (though the intent of it was not clear.)

I think they wrapped up at the right time, but I am going to miss them.

The we dug coal together. Wow, what a perfectly acted scene. Hit me right in the feels.

(I'd love if they did a mini-series follow up at some point, as mentioned in one of the linked articles).
posted by [insert clever name here] at 10:05 AM on April 16, 2015 [1 favorite]

After all of this, Wynn Duffy is the big bad winner, $9 million richer. I so did not see that one coming!

I, too, was thrilled when Ava drove off. So relieved Raylan let her stay.

Raylan looked truly happy with Willa at the park. So sad that things didn't quite pan out with Winona.
posted by hush at 7:39 PM on April 16, 2015 [2 favorites]

After all of this, Wynn Duffy is the big bad winner, $9 million richer. I so did not see that one coming!

This was the one detail that rang a little hollow -- even if you grant the idea that Ava was exhausted by life she had stumbled into (agency is a weird issue -- the only crime she is directly guilty of is murdering one asshole pimp, though her time running a brothel is certainly a moral black mark, and let's not forget she was pretty exasperated with Ellie at the end of that story arc and likely would have killed her, given the chance), why didn't she just offer Wynn $8 million? I really doubt he would have balked, or squeezed her for the last portion. I actually was expecting Ava to own that land (after all, the pumpkin patch photo really looked like 'Local Landowner Has Pumpkin Festival' -- and if I'm being miserly, there is no way to call that 'the background').

I get that it's story convention and all, but I think it's lazy and/or weak to have THE MONEY always be this absolute totem that people in dire circumstances can't be more rational about.
posted by 99_ at 10:03 PM on April 16, 2015 [3 favorites]

why didn't she just offer Wynn $8 million?

Let's presume Ava hid all 9 million in roughly one place. Not exactly enough time to dig 9 separate holes on separate mountains, for example. And according to Raylan's outline of events, it all happened very quickly -- Ava was in Wynn's van within at most a few hours of escaping.

From Wynn's point of view, he wouldn't help Ava unless she took him to the cash herself. He's not going to help her, then watch her just promise payment and walk away. I'll get your money, brb! No, if he helps her for the promise of money, he's going to take her to get it himself, and it had better be there, know what I'm saying?

From Ava's point of view, she can't take Wynn to the money and then say, umm, yeah, you only get part of this here stash.

So it's an all-or-nothing thing for her. Wynn is essentially saying, I'll help you but you have to give me literally everything you got and by the way, you're not leaving my sight.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:27 PM on April 16, 2015

So it's an all-or-nothing thing for her. Wynn is essentially saying, I'll help you but you have to give me literally everything you got and by the way, you're not leaving my sight.

But Wynn was the ultimate pragmatist. It's in his interest to get her away clean as well. Fiji might have an extradition agreement. Just pointing out that the trope of 'GIVE ME ALL YOUR MONIES' is not just the rational choice, and even if Boyd or Markham were more of the self aggrandizing egotist, Ava and Wynn are survivors. Would not have been hard for them to find a 90/10 split reasonable. He let go of that diamond bracelet pretty easily to further another goal. I really can't seem him getting tetchy about 10% of his found money.
posted by 99_ at 10:42 PM on April 16, 2015 [1 favorite]

How was Wynn Duffy not wanted by the authorities for something? It looked like he was simply let go free at that checkpoint. How was everyone in the Harlan crime world (that were still living) not being detained for, at the very least, questioning?
posted by Thorzdad at 9:38 AM on April 17, 2015

How was Wynn Duffy not wanted by the authorities for something?

When Vasquez released him, it was made clear there were no pending charges. Marshals'-based shows and movies always make it seem like the specter of 'FUGITIVE' means you can run roughshod over the entire 4th amendment, but I suspect their authority stops at "in plain site" for checkpoints.
posted by 99_ at 10:57 AM on April 17, 2015 [1 favorite]

I think the finale needed to be ninety minutes long, and the initial resolution was unduly compressed, but I still enjoyed it.
posted by mecran01 at 7:40 PM on April 17, 2015

Such a great finale to an amazing, relatively unsung show. I'm so impressed, after a messy fifth season, that the writers could put their best foot forward and deliver a final year about as good as their previous high water mark - season two.

I loved how we were primed for a bloody shoot-out with Raylan and Boyd - and that it didn't happen. That final scene in the jail was note perfect. Those two actors have been amazing for six years.

And the shoot out we did get was on a lonely road out of Harlan, after another version of "You'll Never Get Out of Harlan Alive" played. And somehow, Raylan still made it.

What a great show. What a great honour to the legacy of Elmore Leonard.
posted by crossoverman at 5:29 PM on April 18, 2015 [5 favorites]

Man, I found it unexpectedly crushing to find out Raylan and Winona couldn't even make it four years.

I was kinda sad, but big huge round of applause for this show for staying true to who these characters are and not wimping out on it at the last minute. Raylan's never going to be a different enough guy with a different enough life that he and Winona could work it out for very long, much as they might want to. And she could never accept who he is as much as she thought she could when she was a horrifically sleep-deprived single parent; she just really wanted to be able to because she was lonely and overwhelmed. We think all sorts of very optimistic things about what we can put up with and settle for and make out of ourselves at moments like those, but once they spent some actual time together and regained their equilibrium, I'm sure their old issues were still their issues. Plus I think even during their "reunion," Raylan knew it wouldn't work out. It was always mainly Willa he was going to Florida for.
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:10 PM on April 21, 2015 [5 favorites]

I loved this show so much and was happy to see it end, but the last two seasons were sort of a trainwreck from my point of view. Nearly every character with more than just a few lines was infused with so much personality. Boyd and Raylan are two of the best television characters ever, as far as I'm concerned, and the rogue's gallery of weirdos they hung out with--Wynn Duffy, Arlo, Constable Bob, Dewey Crowe, Mags Bennett, Boone, Loretta, Dickie Bennett...you name it--were all fantastic.

I spent most of the last season stressing out over whether Wynn would survive it.

I felt like the final season lost its way a little bit when they went out of their way to make Boyd into a Really Bad Guy. I would have preferred had he been perhaps a little bit sweeter and a little less murderous.
posted by MoonOrb at 8:37 PM on October 27, 2016

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