Grading on a curve, FX’s Justified might be one of the easier long-running series to jump into cold. If you absolutely had to, you could get away with watching nothing but the pilot before diving into tonight’s premiere of the show’s sixth and final season. The premise was simple in 2010 and it’s simple now: Timothy Olyphant’s Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens and his literal white hat have been reluctantly repatriated to their native Kentucky and set against Givens’s erstwhile coal-mining buddy, aspiring crime boss Boyd Crowder. Crowder, played by FX veteran Walton Goggins, was famously slated to serve as Givens’s final casualty in the pilot, dying in line with the Elmore Leonard story that served as the show’s source material, but received a reprieve from the creative team and instead blossomed into Givens’s primary antagonist. In the intervening years, the pair’s fortunes have intertwined, branched off, and reunited, and the penultimate season’s finale set them against one another again in what promises to be as overt an all-or-nothing showdown setting as we’ve seen in Harlan since that first hour. Once more, with feeling, and you’re right on time to catch the big dance number.
(Read the rest at Grantland.)