From Harlan County criminals like Ava to Lexington marshals like Rachel (Erica Tazel), the women on Justified are just as messy, complicated, and ultimately tough as the gun-slinging male leads. And we wouldn't want them any other way.
The lovely thing about "Justified" is that it delivers all the shaggy charm of a diverting character piece even as a supple, strongly structured story gives the whole affair an unmistakable energy and direction.
So many shows have trouble wrapping information the audience needs in dialogue that is actually a pleasure to listen to, but Justified makes it look easy. Many conversations this season went down like a nice Kentucky bourbon.
"Justified" makes the case that even people who make bad choices are worth spending time with -- if they have a code, if they have some kind of loyalty to the place they're from, if they have decent manners, damn it.
Justified is a rare treat, a show with subtle humor, humanity and flawed heroes and antiheroes that feel like real people. Coming off a phenomenal second season, it would have been easy for the show to drop the ball.
The plot twists are just that -- twists meant to keep us watching -- rather than the dramatic developments of a genuinely great show. But it is definitely great fun and the cast is jaw-droppingly good.