The sun is quickly setting on Justified.
As the contemporary Western's cast and crew shoot a scene for the show's penultimate season, the light is going, even though it's only 4:15pm. But in the mountains of California's Angeles National Forest — which are standing in for the deep, dark hills of Kentucky, the show's setting — the sun rises late and sets early.
Whether intentional or not, the first episode of Justified's fifth season feels truer than ever to the spirit of Elmore Leonard, the literary giant who died in August and whose short story "Fire in the Hole" inspired the FX drama.
"It's been sad," executive producer Graham Yost says of working on the show after Leonard's passing. "Our first response was sadness at the loss, immediately followed by gratitude that we got to know this guy and spend time with him. [He was] a writer who I long admired and read almost all his stuff. I got a chance to try to bring his world to life on TV, but better than that, just spend time with him on occasion. He was just a neat guy. There's the old song, 'Never Meet Your Heroes.' That doesn't apply in the case of Elmore."
Justified postmortem: Graham Yost answers our burning questions
The premiere (Tuesday at 10/9c, FX) will feature a special 90-second tribute to the late author, but the show itself, full of Leonard's trademark crackling dialogue, will continue to honor him until it ends...
He's a hunkier Chuck with the mad fighting skills, reckless bravado — and propensity toward angst — of Alias's Sydney Bristow. Meet TV's new Six Billion Dollar Man, Gabriel Vaughn, who you'll recognize as Sawyer from Lost. And Josh Holloway is very much the main reason to tune into CBS's Intelligence (Tuesday, 9/8c), a proficient if initially perfunctory action thriller that benefits immeasurably from its star's gruff, bluff machismo. Although a little less brooding (over a long-missing wife who might be a terrorist) would make Gabriel, and Intelligence, a lot more fun.
[WARNING: The following story contains spoilers from the Season 4 finale of FX's Justitfied. Read at your own risk.]
Justified's season finales have generally lived up to their names. Just as "Bulletville," "Bloody Harlan" and "Slaughterhouse" were as violent and intense as you'd expect, the Season 4 finale, "Ghosts" was at times often hauntingly quiet. But that's not to say that no bullets flew.
Having pretty much wrapped up the season-long search for the mysterious Drew Thompson (Jim Beaver) in this season's penultimate episode, trigger-happy Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) was eager to settle into his 30-day suspension by spending some quality time with his pregnant ex-wife Winona (Natalie Zea). Unfortunately, Winona was being held captive by the thugs of Nicky Augustine (Mike O'Malley), the Detroit mobster who had hoped to catch (and kill) Drew Thompson first.
Justified Finale: Will Boyd and Ava get their happy ending?
Though Raylan quickly dispatched the thugs with a few slugs to the chest, the only way to ensure Winona and the unborn baby's safety was to settle his beef with Nicky once and for all....
Will Nicki Minaj's "wife" Kree make the cut? How about Devin, the (quoting Nicki again) "Spanish Ken doll?" And could this be the end of the road for such curiosities as Zoanette "What's Tone Got To Do With It" Johnson and the appropriately named Charlie Askew? All will be revealed as Fox's American Idol moves back to Hollywood for a 90-minute live results show (8/7c), where America decides this year's Top 10 — but I wouldn't be surprised if the judges get a "wild card" pick should one or more of their faves fail to capture the voters' attention.