JUSTIFIED, Season 3 Finale

This outstanding series just keeps getting better. Even the average episodes are better than just about everything else on TV. SLAUGHTERHOUSE is a perfect example of how great this series is. After a season of densely layered plotting and head scratching behavior from Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant, where’s your Emmy nomination?) it all works out amid kidnappings, pills, dismemberments and gunfire. Every scene bristles with anticipation and drama. Raylan’s homespun tales and professional confidence are balanced by the mess of his personal life. This season comes to a head in the search for whoever shot a Kentucky state police officer. Everyone knows who did it (or do they). And the final scene tears at your heart for Raylan’s past and future. Last year Margo Martindale won a best supporting actress Emmy for her portrayal of hillbilly crime matriarch Mags Bennett. There are about four actors who should at least get nominations. Olyphant is perfect (ask Elmore Leonard about that, he’ll tell you). Neal McDonough and Mykelti Williamson are fantastic villains, but no one is better than Walton Goggins as Boyd Crowder. If you haven’t ever watched this series, you are missing some of the best writing in television. One of my favorite scenes in JUSTIFIED’s three year run was in season 2. Raylan confronts local crime boss Wynn Duffy in his motorhome. Raylan punches him to the ground, then threatens to shoot him at a later date by tossing a bullet on his chest and saying, “the next one’s gonna come faster.” A brilliant scene, brilliantly acted. Can’t wait for season 4. — Alan Yudman

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