Justified (Season 6 – Final Season)

Well it is in the can and over with and it ended on a very good note, barring one annoyance.

This season focused on Boyd and Raylan’s struggle, but involved Sam Elliott playing Avery Markham and Mary Steenburgen playing Katherine Hale as new bad guys in a tug of war between multiple groups. We also had a lot of  Wynn Duffy which I personally enjoyed.

The season was perhaps the best one to date. The acting still really good, and the fact that almost all the side characters popped up in this (or were put down as the case may be). It was a really good send off for the series.

The only issue I had was the last 20 minutes of the season finale. I won’t say what happened other than it moves forward a few years to give sort of an epilogue, but I think that is where it did a disservice to the series. Not everything needs to be wrapped up completely and sometimes its best to leave things where they end, takes away from the climatic end.

Pros: Acting, story and pace were all great.

Cons: Sometimes its best to not have an epilogue, just leave it where it stands after the final climax.

Made me want to watch Deadwood, maybe I will do that.

Justified (Season 5)

I never realized that I wanted a season to focus on Dewey Crowe’s family, but evidently I did.

Just like prior seasons Justified is entertaining to watch. This time however the story is three factions and the mixing between them. One of them is of course our main star Raylen Givens, the tough Federal Marshall. The second is Boyd Crowder and his crew (which I am just as entertained if not more so by Boyd as by Raylan). The third and final is Dewey Crowe’s family… and they were entertaining.

The backstabbing is upped a notch, the violence is pretty intense and the white knuckle moments are still there. It is true, that other than Boyd and Raylan, none of the new characters measure up to Margo Martindale (yes I am still beating her drum), but they were definitely entertaining.

Oh, and Wynne Duffy seemed to be in it more this season and I approve of more Mr. Duffy.

Pros: Still great acting and writing. .

Cons: Still no Margo Martindale, other than that things were great.

The final Season 6 is in the queue.

Justified (Season 4)

This is absolutely my favorite season as we get to see Boyd Crowder coming back, along with Wynn Duffy and of course Givens.

The writing and acting are still good, nothing to complain about at all. The new story arc isn’t probably the most imaginative, but the whole completed story arc between Raylan and his dad Arlo is absolutely the most gritty real feeling to it.

Pros: Still great acting and writing, but I will be sad to see some of the cast not returning.

Cons: Frustrated with some plot things and how people got treated, but we can’t have everything we want.

 

The Americans (Season 4)

This is sadly the first season I have seen that has slid backwards.

The acting is still great, so no problems there. However the storylines were a lot less interesting. Maybe its because the renowned character actress Margo Martingale didn’t have as big an influence this season.

Let me say that Frank Langella was a high point in the season. He is older now, but still able to push through with his acting and make me feel like he is a real person.

The low points came once again with Paige, the daughter. Now that they have told her who they are, they waffle around telling her no when she throws temper tantrums. That whole situation sucks and I try and fast forward sometimes through those scenes.

The other areas overall was Phillip’s fascination with EST, and more focus on the Rezidentura. None of those were entertaining and I don’t really care to know the people.

Pros: Frank Langella is still keeping it real.

Cons: Slower stories with no payoff, and the whole daughter situation. Can we please move on yet?

 

The Americans (Season 3)

I should just slap my review for season 2 here, but multiply everything by five.

The story is still really good. The writers are obviously hitting their strider. Phillip and Elizabeth are even more interesting to watch, along with Frank Langella who is back as a handler for them.

During the season it covers how Nina may be able to get out of prison in Russia, Stan deals with his divorce and with both Phillip and Elizabeth pushing back and forth over what to tell Paige.

While everything positive is great, I am absolutely hating the Paige stuff. That was almost enough for me to stop watching. Her fits may be “teen” for tv, but in my experience in hard circumstances that would have been done by now.

Pros: writing, most of the acting (honestly all of the acting) and just overall still getting better.

Cons: The angst has been kicked up to an 11 for the teenager… Not liking that.

 

Justified (Season 3)

I am sad that Margo Martindale is no longer in the series after the end of Season 2, that being said Season 3 hit a better stride.

Following up on the events of Season 2, we know see a mad dash by various groups to fill in the vacuum left by the Bennett demise. On top of this we have a second interrelated plot involving Mags Bennett’s lost millions.

Boyd Crowder, my favorite co-star/sometimes villain is rebuilding his own power base as well, aligning with none other than Raylan Givens dad, Arlo.

This results in kidney theft, prison escape, Detroit becoming involved and the appearance of a bad guy as good as Mags if not even better. Neal P. McDonough, also known for his work as Damien Darhk in the CW DC universe. He steals the show and makes you wince every time he stares at someone with those Husky blue eyes (referring to them in the animal sense, not in a weight way). Oh, and a favorite from first season, Wynne Duffy is back as well.

The one thing I did dislike was the attempted framing Givens. I absolutely hate false charges and the whole “will our hero be taken down by lies”. It is such a common trope that just seeing it done annoys me. Other than that though, it was a great series and I am already on season 4 now.

Pros: The acting, filming and directing are still great and with Mr. McDonough the villain is awesome.

Cons: I hate the “frame the hero” storylines.

Already watching Season 4!

The Americans (Season 2)

Not only is it still a good series, it got better as well.

The series continues with following their family as Philipp and Elizabeth continue spying. It starts with a horrific death of another “illegal” couple they are friends with, and wraps the season up with finding out who and why the murder happened.

They got over the whole “will they, won’t they” situation and established the two main protagonists (are they protagonists if they are the Soviets?) who love each other. We get a bit more of a larger overarching story and the plots run together well.

The only real negative I have is not the actress playing Paige, their 14 year old daughter, and not the actual writing, I just hate the whiny self-entitled privilege that she works from. That is a good writing thing, but its the part of the series that drives me nuts.

Pros: This is still better than Homeland, and a great thriller.

Cons: I still hate angsty 14 year old drama.