TV Club: Justified: “The Hunt”

No one ever means what they say on Justified. For most of the characters, that’s a natural side effect of positions in the criminal fraternity. To say anything of substance is to risk self-incrimination, so entire paragraphs of crucial meaning must be housed in metaphors and inflections. Language can never be just workmanlike on this show, not when everything from basic exposition to deadly threats must be kept hidden yet remain unmistakably present in the constant stream of one-liners. It’s no surprise then that the dialogue has always been such a highlight of the viewing experience (and the Elmore Leonard experience more broadly). And it’s not just the criminals who engage in this carefully coded doublespeak: Raylan has long employed on-the-nose hypotheticals and strategically unfinished sentences to threaten suspects without ever quite doing so explicitly, and Art gets in the fun tonight with his interrogation of Avery …

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