Adam Arkin Adam Arkin

Cheers to Adam Arkin for becoming one of TV's highest-caliber directors.  

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The veteran actor (Northern Exposure, Chicago Hope), who still does stellar guest shots on shows like The Chicago Code and Sons of Anarchy, has quietly emerged as one of the small screen's most reliable helmers. At FX, he's practically a house director, having shot episodes of The Riches, Dirt, SOA and Terriers. But his finest behind-the-camera work has been on Justified, and he outdid himself with this week's installment, "Reckoning."

As Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) dealt with the aftermath of his aunt's murder — and the ruthless Mags Bennett (Margo Martindale) seemed ready to sacrifice son Dickie (Jeremy Davies) to save her dirty coal-mine deal — Arkin maintained an air of simmering menace while coaxing Emmy-worthy performances from the cast. As a result, "Reckoning" rivals the "hoop-de-doo" of "Brother's Keeper" (also directed by an actor, Tony Goldwyn) as the apex of Justified's consistently superb second season. Next week's finale has got some mighty big boots to fill.

What did you think of this week's Justified?

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