'Justified' Season 5 finale: 'Restitution' sets up a very intriguing final season

justified-season-5-finale-restitution.jpg"Justified" may have revealed in its finale Tuesday (April 8) why so much of this season felt a couple of degrees off: It was just the first half of a larger story.

That's the takeaway from the final minutes of the finale, "Restitution." After dispatching with the Crowe family about three-fourths of the way through the episode, the episode gets down to what fans of the show have been waiting to see for five-plus years: setting up a final cat-and-mouse game between Raylan and Boyd.

That final scene on the bridge was a legitimate jaw-dropper -- watching Ava emerge from the truck to essentially become Raylan's informant speaks to just how much her being in prison and Boyd's actions on the outside has changed their relationship.

It's entirely worth wondering why Graham Yost and the "Justified" writers weren't quicker to pull the trigger on the Crowe storyline the way Wendy did on Daryl in the finale. Still, Yost says that when they started breaking stories for Season 5, they couldn't help but think about the final season next year.

"We started discussing, well, how do we want this whole thing to end? Where do we want to go?" Yost says. "And [writer Leonard Chang] said, you know, maybe we should just be thinking about this [as] one big season that's divided in two parts.

"That said, you've seen the finale. You know that the Crowe story reaches a conclusion, but the story of Raylan, of Boyd, and of Ava and the office, particularly Rachel and David Vasquez, our U.S. attorney, that everything, and that would involve Gutterson as well, everything is pointed in a certain direction for next year, and that was our goal from pretty early on."

Those last 10 minutes didn't exactly redeem the muddled aspects of the season, but they sure did get me a lot interested in how the the final run will play out. Boyd has always been Raylan's "white whale," as Yost puts it, and the promise of Raylan getting to put his file to use in the brief time he has before he heads off to Florida is tantalizing to say the least.

So is knowing we'll likely see more of Mary Steenburgen's Katherine Hale -- who apparently was the real mover behind her imprisoned husband's criminal operation -- and the continued partnership of Wynn Duffy and Boyd as they move from drug distribution to bank robbery.

"I think Raylan has looked the other way because Boyd has served his purposed at times, but I think that as we see toward the end of this season, Raylan's frustration with that and where Boyd's life has taken him and brought him to do things that Raylan is just agog at," Yost says. "... So it's not going to be easy. We can't just -- you know, Raylan is not just going to go shoot Boyd in the first episode of the final season. We have to figure a story. And that's one of the reasons we brought Mary Steenburgen in, to create and bring in another world and another thing that Boyd can be involved with for the final season."

What did you think of the Season 5 finale of "Justified"? Are you excited about what it set up for next season?
 
Photo/Video credit: FX