Thursday, March 26, 2015

Justified (Season 2)

In season two of Justified, we get more old-west-style law and disorder. We get more backwoods crime families, questionable greys, and more of one man trying to live by a self-imposed ethic. It is all wrapped up in super smooth dialogue and interaction—people saying one thing while meaning another. And, as in season one, we get more of the fascinating, conflicted bad-guy Boyd Crowder.

But something else we get a lot more of—even more than in season one—is the conflicted righteousness of Raylan Givens. We already know that he has a high sense of justice, and he does not hesitate to judge for himself who has transgressed that justice, or how they need to be dealt with.

This season, however, we see another dimension to his “justice.” When someone he really cares about makes a big mistake and commits a crime, but then comes to their senses and wants to reverse that mistake… He is willing to compromise himself to help them make things right and avoid all the negative consequences.

The thing that makes this so complex is that we can see what he is doing is wrong, but we can also justify it. We might likely do the same thing. And that ends up being the problem when we are the standard of good, right and wrong. We can’t be trusted with justice.

And the idea that we all collectively can do any better is only partially true. We manage to hold checks and balances between each other, but we ultimately betray the concept. Either we fail to be consistent, or we are too consistent.

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