Top 35 Shows of 2013: No 2 Justified

I’ve come to a conclusion. I don’t like you Raylan. Never much liked you neither Boyd.

After a string of big bads, TV’s most entertaining drama went for different approach in S4 with the mystery of Drew Thompson. Justified took us and its characters on merry chase around Harlan as the good guys and the bad attempted to figure out who Drew was, what he knew and how to find him. You won’t find 42 minutes of TV as fun as Decoy which was like watching a Shane Black movie – the back and forth between Tim and Colt, the tense showdown in the high school between Raylan and Boyd and Constable Bob surviving a beat down in the only way he knows how.

Justified often gets overlooked in end of year polls or Emmy nominations and that is a real shame because it is a show that is so confident in what it does well that it is a genuine pleasure to watch every week. Every new character seems to be introduced in such a way it feels like the audience has known them for years. The dialogue is the best on TV and the characters of Raylan and Boyd especially revel in their choice of words. Words matter as much as actions do in this show.

The show finally gave more screentime to Tim and Rachel and if it can build on their character development in S5 then we are in for another winner. We also got to deepening relationship of the most unlikely couple on TV Ava and Boyd and the sad inevitably of Ava’s fate will make for troubled times next season.

At the heart of Justified is the ongoing feud and friendship between Raylan and Boyd, two characters whose paths keep on crossing and whose fates could mean the end of the other. Sometimes Justified feels like its heading to a brutal conclusion where either Boyd or Raylan kills the other or they both die, other times it gives a little bit of hope that both men and their families can get out of Harlan alive just as long as they learn not to be their fathers sons.

With S5 starting next month the show is heading into its final stretch (S6 is likely to be its last) but whether the show ends tragically or not it will certainly take its audience on one hell of a ride, full of interesting bad guys and quotable dialogue.

Favourite episodes: Kin / Decoy

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