Justified Season 6 RayActions – Episode 6, “Alive Day”

justifiedOn January 20th, FX’s Justified began its sixth and final season. Based on several Elmore Leonard works, Justified follows Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant), a US Marshal who is “exiled” to his hometown of Harlan, Kentucky. Raylan frequently finds himself in conflict with erstwhile mining buddy, now criminal mastermind, Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins), as the two attempt to coexist in a world that seems a little too small for both of them. Justified highlights the local culture and explores numerous themes, such as family, religion, history and the thin line that divides the good guys from the bad.

Join Jeff (of Slazenger1) and me in the coming months as we honor this criminally underrated drama with a series of “RayActions” to each of Justified’s Season 6 episodes. These posts will not be particularly formal, but will give us the chance to make some observations and reflect on each episode, likely culminating in a full Season 6 Dead Season Discussion after the finale.

This week’s RayAction is focused on Justified Season 6, Episode 6 – “Alive Day.” It contains SPOILERS for the entire series of Justified. Fire in the Hole!

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Jeff
This is it! The mid-season mini-climax I’ve been waiting for. So much happened in this episode and it wasn’t even a super-sized one. Let’s break it down.

First and foremost, we say goodbye to our beloved Choo-Choo. We only met you 4 episodes ago, but you’ll be in our hearts forever. How can you not feel for the guy after Seabass insults him and the camera cuts to him looking like a confused, hurt puppy. He’s does the honorable thing and agrees to clean up his own mess. Unfortunately, he sides with Walker in the end, drawing on Raylan and Tim. Still, in between there was that beautiful moment of hope when he was in the car with Caprice. Had the two of them taken the tiny Toyota out of town and into the sunset to live happily ever after, I would have loved it. But that’s not the way things work on Justified, no matter how much you close your eyes and hope things will be different when you open them. Choo-Choo simply wasn’t meant for this business of crime, as Raylan suggested to Markham earlier.

vlcsnap-2015-03-03-16h55m27s87 vlcsnap-2015-03-03-16h55m18s251 vlcsnap-2015-03-03-16h59m14s57And so, in an episode where he mentions his Alive Day, and when Walker so nicely tries to talk Markham out of ordering him to do what must be done, Choo-Choo meets his end. I asked about Choo-Choo having a train-related death back in episode three’s RayAction and behold, Justified delivers with Choo-Choo parking in the path of an oncoming train. Of course, they give it the patented bad guy death subversion that we love this show for, Continue reading

Justified Season 6 RayActions – Episode 5, “Sounding”

justifiedOn January 20th, FX’s Justified began its sixth and final season. Based on several Elmore Leonard works, Justified follows Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant), a US Marshal who is “exiled” to his hometown of Harlan, Kentucky. Raylan frequently finds himself in conflict with erstwhile mining buddy, now criminal mastermind, Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins), as the two attempt to coexist in a world that seems a little too small for both of them. Justified highlights the local culture and explores numerous themes, such as family, religion, history and the thin line that divides the good guys from the bad.

Join Jeff (of Slazenger1) and me in the coming months as we honor this criminally underrated drama with a series of “RayActions” to each of Justified’s Season 6 episodes. These posts will not be particularly formal, but will give us the chance to make some observations and reflect on each episode, likely culminating in a full Season 6 Dead Season Discussion after the finale.

This week’s RayAction is focused on Justified Season 6, Episode 5 – “Sounding.” It contains SPOILERS for the entire series of Justified. Fire in the Hole!

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Jeff
If Justified is going to make its final season bigger than just wrapping up the stories of our core cast, then they’re doing right by us in the guest casting department. This is the type of episode I refer to as a Guest-stravaganza (or Guest-STARvaganza, if you want to be extra clever). Sure, half of the guest stars are people we just met this season, but seriously: Mary Steenburgen, Garret Dillahunt, Sam Elliott, Mykelti Williamson, Scott Grimes, Choo-Choo (Duke Davis Roberts), Brad Leland, Jeff Fahey (so that’s what happened to Frank Lapidus), Danny Strong and PATTON OSWALT! What fun! Side Note: I smell a TV Land sitcom starring Danny Strong and Patton Oswalt as brothers who run a diner. It’s called Short Order (which is also, incidentally, a reference to the number of episodes of the show that will be produced).

vlcsnap-2015-02-22-12h46m42s0 vlcsnap-2015-02-22-12h47m32s0 vlcsnap-2015-02-22-12h47m45s165 vlcsnap-2015-02-22-12h47m52s0Even with the welcome return of Constable Bob Sweeney, a tasing, an explosion and a death by Choo-Choo, the fuse on this episode–and perhaps the entire final season–appears to be a slow burner. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy myself, but Continue reading

Justified Season 6 RayActions – Episode 4, “The Trash and the Snake”

justifiedOn January 20th, FX’s Justified began its sixth and final season. Based on several Elmore Leonard works, Justified follows Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant), a US Marshal who is “exiled” to his hometown of Harlan, Kentucky. Raylan frequently finds himself in conflict with erstwhile mining buddy, now criminal mastermind, Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins), as the two attempt to coexist in a world that seems a little too small for both of them. Justified highlights the local culture and explores numerous themes, such as family, religion, history and the thin line that divides the good guys from the bad.

Join Jeff (of Slazenger1) and me in the coming months as we honor this criminally underrated drama with a series of “RayActions” to each of Justified’s Season 6 episodes. These posts will not be particularly formal, but will give us the chance to make some observations and reflect on each episode, likely culminating in a full Season 6 Dead Season Discussion after the finale.

This week’s RayAction is focused on Justified Season 6, Episode 4 – “The Trash and the Snake.” It contains SPOILERS for the entire series of Justified. Fire in the Hole!

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Patches
“The Trash and the Snake” was an episode that, presumably like Negroni, takes a little while to grow on a person (or me at least).

Wynn Duffy took Boyd on an adventure to meet his “crack” safebreaker. (See what I did there? Wynn would be proud.) Jake Busey’s and dirty blondes with snakes named Rudy were involved before Jake randomly exploded. That happened about halfway through the episode and it was never mentioned again. I enjoy Justified’s unique sense of humor as much as anyone, but Continue reading

Justified Season 6 RayActions – Episode 3, “Noblesse Oblige”

justifiedOn January 20th, FX’s Justified began its sixth and final season. Based on several Elmore Leonard works, Justified follows Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant), a US Marshal who is “exiled” to his hometown of Harlan, Kentucky. Raylan frequently finds himself in conflict with erstwhile mining buddy, now criminal mastermind, Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins), as the two attempt to coexist in a world that seems a little too small for both of them. Justified highlights the local culture and explores numerous themes, such as family, religion, history and the thin line that divides the good guys from the bad.

Join Jeff (of Slazenger1) and me in the coming months as we honor this criminally underrated drama with a series of “RayActions” to each of Justified’s Season 6 episodes. These posts will not be particularly formal, but will give us the chance to make some observations and reflect on each episode, likely culminating in a full Season 6 Dead Season Discussion after the finale.

This week’s RayAction is focused on Justified Season 6, Episode 3 – “Noblesse Oblige.” It contains SPOILERS for the entire series of Justified. Fire in the Hole!

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Patches
Even if we’re still too early in the season for a trip to the fireworks factory, “Noblesse Oblige” still had a lot going on. Raylan and Rachel teamed up to investigate missing explosives, only to match wits (actually, that’s probably singular) with Harlan’s answer to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Choo-Choo explained the finer points of bank vaults to Ava after catching her spying for Boyd. Avery Markham demonstrated a callous disregard for both upper teeth and Federal kidnapping and terrorism statutes. And Boyd found out he was being played by Katherine Hale and Wynn Duffy before pledging to kill Markham. The look on his face did not seem to indicate his warpath would end there.

I know this is opening a huge satchel of worms (I’m going green) because everyone uses a different rubric, but it might be time to start asking if Justified is the best show on television right now. It has to be in the conversation, right? Continue reading

Justified Season 6 RayActions – Episode 2, “Cash Game”

justifiedOn January 20th, FX’s Justified began its sixth and final season. Based on several Elmore Leonard works, Justified follows Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant), a US Marshal who is “exiled” to his hometown of Harlan, Kentucky. Raylan frequently finds himself in conflict with erstwhile mining buddy, now criminal mastermind, Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins), as the two attempt to coexist in a world that seems a little too small for both of them. Justified highlights the local culture and explores numerous themes, such as family, religion, history and the thin line that divides the good guys from the bad.

Join Jeff (of Slazenger1) and me in the coming months as we honor this criminally underrated drama with a series of “RayActions” to each of Justified’s Season 6 episodes. These posts will not be particularly formal, but will give us the chance to make some observations and reflect on each episode, likely culminating in a full Season 6 Dead Season Discussion after the finale.

This week’s RayAction is focused on Justified Season 6, Episode 2 – “Cash Game.” It contains SPOILERS for the entire series of Justified. Fire in the Hole!

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Jeff
God bless the writers, crew, cast and casting directors of Justified. I know that USA Network says “characters welcome,” but Justified does distinct and wonderful characters better than any other show on TV. Even in its final season, Justified is not satisfied to simply rest on everything it has built over the past five years. Instead, the writers continue to introduce colorful and interesting individuals who are fully-formed from their first appearance on the screen, no matter how short it is (Jackie Nevada, anyone). This episode is a notable showcase of just how awesome the series is in that respect. Continue reading

Justified Season 6 RayActions – Episode 1, “Fate’s Right Hand”

justifiedOn January 20th, FX’s Justified began its sixth and final season. Based on several Elmore Leonard works, Justified follows Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant), a US Marshal who is “exiled” to his hometown of Harlan, Kentucky. Raylan frequently finds himself in conflict with erstwhile mining buddy, now criminal mastermind, Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins), as the two attempt to coexist in a world that seems a little too small for both of them. Justified highlights the local culture and explores numerous themes, such as family, religion, history and the thin line that divides the good guys from the bad.

Join Jeff (of Slazenger1) and me in the coming months as we honor this criminally underrated drama with a series of “RayActions” to each of Justified’s Season 6 episodes. These posts will not be particularly formal, but will give us the chance to make some observations and reflect on each episode, likely culminating in a full Season 6 Dead Season Discussion after the finale.

This week’s RayAction covers Justified’s Season 6 premiere, “Fate’s Right Hand.” It contains SPOILERS for the entire series of Justified. Fire in the Hole!

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Patches
Justified is back. And I mean that both literally and figuratively.

First, the literal part. I have missed this show more than any other show on television. I watch Homeland, Always Sunny, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Sherlock, and Game of Thrones. Most of those shows, I can watch when it is convenient. I have no compulsion to watch them NOW. The exception is Game of Thrones, which can sometime be – “oppressive” or “a chore” are too strong, but – heavy. It takes a lot of energy to watch Game of Thrones. It’s epic, meaningful, constantly tragic, and most of the time, almost relentless in its humorlessness.

I missed Justified so much because it so effortlessly avoids either problem. It is deep and meaningful and explores important topics and themes, but it’s loaded with quirkiness, humor, and local flavor. Justified is a lot like Raylan describes bourbon to a Mexican Federale: Continue reading