The final season of Justified debuts this January. We’ve already seen teasers and commercials, and dammit, this is becoming real. The show is ending. It’s going to be over. No more Raylan and his shoot first ask questions later (while continuing to shoot) investigative technique, no more eloquent monologues from Boyd that end with him dynamiting something or someone into smithereens, none of it. Gone forever. Unless…
A SPINOFF. People love spinoffs! Kind of! And with AMC’s Breaking Bad spinoff Better Call Saul leading the way, there’s never been a better time to spin off your beloved television series. Let’s do this. Let’s make a Justified spinoff. Here, look, I even brainstormed some options. Feel free to add yours below, or maybe just shout it out the window in the hopes some FX executive happens to be walking by. Whatever works.
NOTE: All of these operate under the assumption that the characters involved survive the final season. This probably will not happen. It’s why we have options.
Title: Art’s Place
After retiring from the Marshal service, Art and Mrs. Art jet off to a tiny Florida town near Ft. Lauderdale to follow their dream of opening a little breakfast spot near the beach. Art spends his mornings frying up some eggs and yapping with the locals, and his afternoons out on his boat Raylan doing some fishing. (“Why’d you name the boat Raylan, Art?” “Because it can be an unpredictable pain in my ass.”) Everything is going great.
But in the process of talking to his regular customers every morning, Art starts to realize that his idyllic little beach community has … problems. The police force is understaffed and underfunded, and the criminal element has started to creep in. Art promises himself and Mrs. Art that he’ll stay out of it, but then one day two young punks come in and try to stick up Art’s Place. That’s it. He’s had it. He has to do something. He takes the Chief of Police out fishing that afternoon and says “Do you want my help or not?”
Think Taken crossed with Murder, She Wrote.
Title: Til Death Do Us Part
Years of sexual tension around the office finally explode and Tim and Rachel begin a torrid love affair that ends in marriage. Unfortunately, now that Rachel’s running the office in the wake of Art’s retirement, they’re left with a dilemma: she can’t be married to someone under her direct supervision. They talk around the problem a bit on their honeymoon before Tim announces “You know what? I’ll just quit. I can give shooting lessons or something. Besides, we’ll wanna start a family some day, and your job is too important.”
SMASH CUT TO: Eight years later
Rachel is still running the Marshal’s office, having just won a handful of prestigious national honors for her work breaking up the resurgent Dixie Mafia. Tim is now Mr. Mom, running 7-year-old Ashley and 4-year-old Tucker to and from school events and sports practices, and serving on the local PTA. Lots of awkward interactions with other moms. A scene or two where he explains the “apricot” to a horrified class on Bring A Parent To School Day. And so on and so forth.
Title: Harlan High
The year is 1985. A young Raylan, Boyd, Winona, and Ava are students at Harlan High. Dickie Bennett’s there, too, hair still a mangled multidirectional boondoggle. So is Limehouse, probably, and Dewey Crowe. This is admittedly all I have so far. Would watch.
Title: All I Do Is Wynn
The heat gets too hot in Harlan and Wynn Duffy decides to pack up his RV and hightail it out of Kentucky. Next stop: The open road. He travels from town to town — a different location each season — using his underworld connections to tap into the local criminal element, help them hit a big score like a lawbreaking mercenary, maybe check out the women’s tennis scene in the area, and then he runs off as soon as the money’s been counted and the shares have been distributed. Vegas, Albany, Austin, Seattle, he drops in wherever the road takes him and parks the ol’ Wynnebago just long enough to cash out.
Don’t ask him about Kentucky, though. He doesn’t like to talk about Kentucky. And he’s never going back. (Spoiler alert: He is definitely going back. In the final season. Special guest appearance by Timothy Olyphant.)
Title: Blizzard of Bullets
He did it. He finally did it. Boyd Crowder — former Nazi, former Man of God, former international drug smuggler — went clean(ish) and opened a Dairy Queen franchise. And then he opened another. And another. And another and another and another. Within five short years, using some … oh, let’s say “inventive” negotiating tactics, he ended up becoming the South’s preeminent ice cream tycoon. But then a lengthy exposé in a popular magazine reveals his colorful past to the public, and the Dairy Queen higher-ups decide to cut ties with their hotshot franchisee to save face.
Now Boyd’s pissed. At the world, sure, because he just had his dream life ripped away from him again. But mostly he’s pissed at Dairy Queen. How dare they? How dare they? After all the Blizzards he sold for them. There’s only way to right this wrong: sweet revenge. He takes the small fortune he accumulated building his DQ empire and invests it all in starting up his own line of ice cream restaurants. He’s taking you down, Dairy Queen. In the boardroom and in the streets. By any means necessary.