‘Justified’ Final Season: Who Won’t Leave Harlan Alive? [Video, Photos]

Justified’s sixth and final season premieres January 20. While FX fans are still mourning the loss of Sons of Anarchy’s final ride, it’s time to start looking at the new season of shows, and the network sent out screeners for the first three Justified episodes of the season Wednesday. While exact details or spoilers can’t be given away, here are a few teasers to whet your appetite for the last season of Justified and the final fate of Deputy Marshal Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) and his nemesis, Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins).

Shows like Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead are known for their fearlessness in killing off major and beloved characters, but most TV series aren’t as bold about cleaning house. Justified has killed off its fair share of characters, but is also known for keeping ones around who where supposed to die.

For example, Wynn Duffy (Jere Burns) was supposed to die in what should have been his one and only episode in the first season, but has become a recurring character. In fact, it seems Duffy will become even more important in this season of Justified, as he’s been promoted to full cast credit in the intro. Also, in the network’s media kit book, he has a multiple page profile like Olyphant, Goggins, Joelle Carter, Jacob Pitt, Nick Searcy, and Erica Tazel. No other cast members have such an extensive bio as Burns and those mentioned above.

Another character who survived his initial appearance on Justified was Boyd Crowder himself. Believe it or not, Boyd was supposed to die in the pilot, and not only did they decide to keep him around, but made him the pivotal nemesis and shadow for Raylan for the entire arc of the show. It’s hard to imagine how Justified would have turned out if showrunner Graham Yost hadn’t decided to keep one of the most compelling villains on TV around.

In honor of Justified’s impending final season, FX has been posting some flashbacks to classic moments, including this clip illustrating the antagonistic — and often funny — relationship between Raylan and Boyd.

Having said that, when a show hits its final season all bets are off, and Justified is no exception. Sorry to say, but at least one major character will die, and you won’t have to wait long to see who becomes the first casualty. Judging by their first choice, fans are in for a bloody season, indeed.

Many fans of Sons of Anarchy complained that the first few episodes of the final season were too “slow” or “boring,” but understand the writers of the last season of any show are building up to a big finale, which requires some setup. Justified is no exception to this, and while the premiere is pretty fast-paced and goes out with a bang, expect a little slower pace for the next two episodes while new villains and plot points are put in place.

Speaking of new villains, we’ll have a few introduced in the first episodes, including one who may be even more dim-witted than Dewey Crowe (Damon Herriman). Who would have thought that possible?

Another quick teaser for the final season of Justified: If you let out a sigh of relief when Ava was released from jail, resume holding your breath. Caught between the threat of going back to jail, which is a death sentence, and the possibility of being discovered as an informant, which is also a death sentence, Ava is in even deeper trouble than ever before.

But what you really want to know is will Raylan Givens die, right? In one of the trailers for the final season of Justified, FX has revealed a bit of dialogue that may hint at Raylan’s fate. His former boss, Art Mullen (Searcy), warns Raylan that one of these days, the bullet may find him rather than his target. Is it foreshadowing, or are the writers just messing with our heads?

Finally, if you’re one of those people who love spoilers and you’re screaming for more info about what character is going to die first on Justified, here’s a hard fact spoiler for you: it isn’t Raylan Givens. As far as everyone else? No comment.

The sixth and final season of Justified premieres January 20 at 10 p.m. on FX.

[Photos via FX media site/ James Minchin]