Suggesting that, by this time next year, Raylan Givens will have flushed out and flashily executed every redneck criminal in the Kentucky hills, Variety reports that the next season of Justified will likely be its last. FX president Nick Grad says that ending the show after its next, now implicitly confirmed sixth season is “the plan right now,” with the caveat that things could still change if the story demands it. Like perhaps some heretofore-undiscovered variety of lowlife emerges that could stand to have Timothy Olyphant plug a few holes into it.
Despite the fifth season premiere’s diminished ratings—at 2.84 million, the lowest debut of the series thus far—Grad says talking about ending Justified next year isn’t a reflection of viewership, but about giving it a proper, satisfying arc. “If you’re making a great, 80-hour movie, it has to have a beginning, middle and end. Going out at the right time is going to make your show last forever—we want to make shows that stand the test of time,” Grad says. Which is commendable and all, but still: If Raylan Givens leaves in 2015, who will be around to sardonically square off against the radioactive mole people of 2016?