Them long, hard times to come: FX’s ‘Justified’ begins final season

20 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Justified’ EP on the End of the Series: “We Didn’t Want to Outstay Our Welcome”.

Ima give you 10 seconds to put down that Oxy and consider your situation: Them long, hard times to come have finally arrived. “Justified,” the best, funniest, most murderously violent backwoods crime drama-soap opera of all time, begins its sixth and final season on FX on Tuesday night. The final season of FX’s kicks off Tuesday and the show’s impending swan song was a hot topic during the drama’s final stop in front of the Television Critics Association. “We started talking about [when to end the series] in season four, and just felt like this chapter of Raylan’s (Olyphant) life was about Raylan and Boyd (Walton Goggins),” exec producer Graham Yost acknowledged. “And that was basically it. This season, which will feature guest star Sam Elliott (sans mustache) beginning in the second episode, focuses on the marshals’ efforts to finally stop the criminal enterprises of Boyd Crowder. You’re plumb out of Mags Bennett’s “apple pie.” But there’s no way to sugarcoat the withdrawal symptoms that await, 13 episodes down the road. Parks & Recreation (8 p.m., NBC) – Leslie’s team works together to strengthen her case that the Newport land should be turned into a national park.

It’s been wonderful to be able to see the finish line and enjoy it.” But what that finish line is remains up in the air. “We don’t have the ending, yet,” Yost admitted. “We don’t have the ending. A lot of fans felt a little of the same sentiment, though they weren’t as demonstrative, when Yost and Olyphant said last year they would end “Justified” after season six. “They were asking if we could do extra episodes so we could split some off for one more season,” said Yost. “But Tim and I talked about it and we kept coming back to the question, ‘Do we have enough story?’ Olyphant telegraphed that message at the start of season five, when he said, “You want to stop before you’re repeating yourself. Secrets of the Arsenal (9 p.m., AHS) – Four stories highlight great escapes in the first season finale: a monocular that helped save a stranded pilot; the rifle that helped a WWII hero cheat death; the hand-drawn map used to destroy SAM sites; and a Saint’s medal that served as one scout pilot’s lucky charm. That doesn’t mean we haven’t been thinking about the ending. [The whole team] has been talking about the ending.” “[Elmore Leonard] would just start writing, and if he didn’t like where it was going, he’d throw out the pages,” Yost told reporters Sunday. “You can’t do that on a television show, except to a degree that when you’re going toward the ending, we have a certain amount of flexibility. Supernatural (9 p.m., CW) – After the massacre at the ranch, Sam and Dean double their efforts to find a cure for the Mark of Cain (a topic close to my heart).

While she spent much of the show in a relationship with Boyd, she was sympathetic to Raylan as well. “We’ve written 11 of the 13,” he said earlier this week. “We tend to approach it the same way Elmore approached his books. We’re going to have to do it in the next few weeks, but we absolutely don’t know exactly how this is going to end.” If Raylan does survive through his final battle with Boyd, Olyphant has a very specific idea for where he thinks his character will ultimately end up: “On FX.” “Timothy has been pitching for a long time that Raylan goes out to Hollywood and becomes a technical adviser for a Western show [like they have on Justified],” Yost explained. “If [Raylan] survives.”

Last we saw, he was back in God-forsaken Harlan County and had persuaded his former girlfriend, Ava, to be a confidential informant against her current yet estranged fiance, Boyd, the spiky-haired local crime boss. Face Off (9 p.m., Syfy) – Oscar winner Rick Baker is the guest judge for the season’s first Spotlight Challenge, which has the artists working in teams to create two original alien characters. In this last season, we can be sure that the bourbon will flow and the bullets will fly — the “Justified” body count has been as Shakespearean as the treachery — but not of which bodies and whose bullets. So begins the stretch run of one of the best television shows ever made about the South. “Justified” gets so many things right about the region, in an outsize but offhand way: The generations of rural poverty, the struggles between fathers and sons, the wit, the love of the spoken language, the unwritten racial mores, bourbon, manners, seething class resentment, the underbelly of violence beneath the facade of church and religion, and most poignantly, the desperation Raylan feels to escape all this.

Leonard actively promoted the show while alive, and he said that of all the actors who have portrayed his characters in various productions, Olyphant’s Raylan came the closest to what he envisioned on paper. “I think Elmore liked the show,” says Yost. “He was the kind of guy who, if he didn’t, would have said so. The last scene he ever wrote, just before he had his stroke, was between Arlo and Raylan.” Yost himself, who previously worked on significant TV projects like “Earth to the Moon” and “Band of Brothers,” says it’s a little hard while working on a show to imagine where it will ultimately settle in history.

Winona hooked up with Raylan again for a spell, got preggers and moved to Florida with the baby, all but forcing Raylan to have a series of dead-end affairs with hot blondes. It’s been home to some of the nation’s most vicious union violence, depicted in “Harlan County U.S.A.” Full of hills and hollers and . . . it has virtually never been seen in the show. The dilapidated houses, the little brick churches and such, were filmed around Cumberland, says Jason Edwards, a former reporter at the Harlan Daily Enterprise, who often helps the show with research. A mobster says a hit man has “killed more people than malaria.” Raylan says, “That dog woulda been happy to chew my face off and use it as a Halloween mask.” So, look, knock back that shot of Elmer T.

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