This week marks the penultimate episode of "Justified's" second season, and without giving anything away, the show has built on the promise of its first few episodes.
Thanks to shrewd casting -- including the addition of the terrific Margo Martindale as a crime boss mom, and Jeremy Davies as her sadistice near-idiot of a son -- and a cleverly serialized storyline, the show continues to deliver a mix of action, laughs and drama.
The FX series has managed to keep moving forward while still providing solid procedural elements within its episodes, and continues to showcase star Timothy Olyphant while strengthening contributions from the supporting cast, which frankly were pretty meager in Season One.
"Justified's" tone -- essentially a modern-day western, down to the cowboy hats and "He drew first" dialogue -- also makes a strong case to revive that genre. The rap on westerns has been that they skew old, but programs like "Into the West" and "Broken Trail" -- while, yes, playing predominantly to audiences over 50 -- have drawn big enough audiences that it's hard to imagine there wouldn't be enough younger viewers to make the right western viable.
After "True Grit," somebody's going to take a stab again at westerns on TV, and just remember, you heard it here first.
That parenthetical note aside, "Justified" (which has already been picked up for season three) will wrap up its latest run on May 4.
There are a lot of terrific dramas on right now, and "Justified" -- as laid-back as its hero -- is kind of easy to overlook. But make no mistake: This show's as loaded as a 10-gallon hat.