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Justified - 4.13 - "Ghosts" - Preview

 I mentioned last week that "Get Drew"/"Decoy" felt like a true season finale, and all that's left are loose ends.  That remains true in the season finale, "Ghosts".  Instead of bringing together the disparate storylines into one big finale, as in the first three seasons, this season chose spread out the conclusions over the course of the last four.  As a result, "Ghosts" is less of a climax to the season and more a dénouement, if you'll excuse my French.

It's interesting to note how each season finale of Justified has, in a way, defined the show to itself.  They've gotten progressively less violent and more melancholy (as the episodes' titles got progressively more ominous): Season 1's "Bulletsville" featured a climactic shootout. Season 2's "Bloody Harlan" had a bit of gunplay but eventually ended with a quiet scene between Mags and Raylan. Season 3's "Slaughterhouse" culminated in a short, talky standoff between Quarles, Raylan, and Limehouse.  Season 4 continues this trend: it's the quietest finale that Justified's ever done.  It's a fitting end to a season that bucked the guest-star-villain trend of the previous seasons and mostly succeeded in branching out the show from the lighthearted action show it sometimes gets labeled as.

Though at times it feels a bit too neat and tidy, "Ghosts" wraps up the season satisfactorily (unlike a certain zombie show I could mention).  It brings the various threads to a close that nicely with the other seasons, while opening things up for the story to continue.  The episode is mostly focused on the two last lingering plot threads: Boyd and Ava dealing with the aftermath of Ellen May's confession and possible police investigation of Ava's murder of Delroy, and Raylan's ongoing conflict with the Detroit mob.  It's a strangely paced yet meticulous episode, and one that defines what Justified ultimately wants to be: a show about people damaged by their past, where the gunfights and car chases are incidental.

One little spoiler I will give you: "You'll Never Leave Harlan Alive", the song that ended both Seasons 1 and 2 and was left out of Season 3 to the chagrin of fans, makes a triumphant if understated return.

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