Justified seasons 4-5: Binge or skip?

edited January 2015 in Justified
Hello everyone!

I started watching Justified a little while back since I have heard so many good things and I knew the final season was approaching. I recently finished season 3 (wow!) and am now debating whether to make my way through seasons 4 and 5 or just skip them and watch the final season live. I have heard that season 4 and 5 don't quite stack up to 2 or 3 and are more procedural like season 1 (at least I have heard this about season 4). If that's the case I may just check out some recaps and hop on the season 6 train as I don't get much joy out of the gangster of the week stuff. I have also unintentionally caught some promo stuff recently and know what key players are still around... it doesn't seem like the pieces are too hard to put together if I skip ahead.

So my question is - will I miss anything major if I skip ahead past seasons 4 and 5? How do they stack up compared to seasons 2 and 3? Any (relatively) spoiler-free suggestions would be much appreciated. Thanks!


  • 4 is better than 5. But it's got some interesting moments. I think you could binge 4 and skip 5.
  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    Cosign with Shane. Season four has some great Boyd and Raylan moments, hell arguably some of the best Raylan Boyd moments, and has some great stuff with Art, Rachel and Tim too which is rare enough. Season five is entirely forgettable, the only reason to watch would be the setup for Ms. Hale, but that was scant. I guess it explains how Boyd and Ava end up at odds...
  • ksa1001ksa1001 Plano, TX
    I'm one of the few that apparently wasn't completely up in arms about season 5. I didn't really mind it and I'm not a fan of skipping anything personally (for what it's worth)
  • pavlovsbellpavlovsbell Brooklyn, NY
    @ksa1001 -- I agree completely.
  • since Bald Move wasn't podcasting it, and i didn't worry about friends spoiling it (no friends watch it, despite my urging) I would watch season 5 a few episodes at a time. I watched the last 5 over one weekend, and I didn't find it bad; just not as great as some of the earlier stuff. It's totally watchable in a good way. I would binge it.
  • I'm with everyone who's saying 5 wasn't bad, just not as good as the previous 3 seasons. It's skippable if you don't have the time though. Maybe check out some recaps from season 5 so you have an idea what's going on in the early part of season 6.
  • I can never understand why anyone would skip a season of Justified or anything really and just watch the next one. I'm such a completionist it seems crazy to me. I mean it's there you might as well watch it and if you can't catch up in time for the new season just watch it later i say. If you skip you'll miss out on a lot of character growth and nuance.
  • I agree with @Jim Jones‌ ultimately. I would say definitely watch season 4, and I would recommend watching season 5 if you have the time to do so, knowing that it is a step back from the others to temper your expectations. Personally, I don't think season 5 was bad or anything. It just wasn't as good as the rest. There are a couple of episodes that might be classifiable as "bad" but as a whole it's still Justified. Also, both have running, serialized plots. There are a couple of "bad dude of the week" episodes, but both seasons like seasons 2 and 3 have running plots.

    I also do kind of agree with @Poppy‌ though. Where I can see that you're certainly not going to be skipping the best of Justified by moving past season 5 you would be missing some interesting "how we got here" information. Some pretty big stuff happened in Season 5. I would recommend watching it, but knowing that it's not the end of the world if you skip.
  • Thanks everyone for the feedback! I am making my way through season 4 and enjoying the direction it's taken since the momentum has started building... I'm getting more comfortable with the big mystery arc that I was worried about given that the bones of Justified are still very much present. I will probably stick it out through season 5 and try to be caught up mid season so I can be current for the end of the series. Thanks!
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