Justified is becoming Wire-esque in its storyline and character development. Early in the season it was a cool show, with offbeat plots, sharp dialog, and fresh, well-defined characters. Now the end of Season One approaches, and we can see how everything that seemed merely episodic three months ago is showing how interrelated it was. It’s a thing of beauty, and can’t be an accident.
The show’s worth watching to see what happens with Boyd Crowder alone. Is he legitimate about his “church,” though in a twisted way? Is he bughouse nuts? Is there some criminal enterprise here we still haven’t seen? No one—including the other characters—has a clue. It’s fascinating to watch everyone else act on incomplete knowledge, knowing how what appears to be a reasonable action by a character isn’t going to work out like he expects, but wondering how bad the eventual miscalculation is going to be.
Best of all, it makes sense. No supernatural aspects. No wild chases with gunfights to let God sort ‘em out. Solid writing and performances by excellent character actors, run with rare vision by Graham Yost. It’s enough to get me watching television again.
(Editor’s Note: Speaking of watching television, The Bridge will premiere on CBS July 10. Written in part by friend John McFetridge, this Canadian show has received good reviews and word of mouth from north of the border. I’m familiar enough with John’s work and standards to look forward to it with anticipation, and recommend everyone giving it a shot.)