<p>Margo Martindale of &quot;Justified&quot;</p>

Margo Martindale of "Justified"

Credit: FX

Waxing Episodic: 'Bloody Harlan' is 'Justified' at its peak

Ahead of the series finale, relive the finale to the tremendous Season 2

In HitFix's new feature "Waxing Episodic," we reflect on an episode of television we'll never forget.

FX's "Justified" is coming to an end next week.

Let's all respectfully tip our morally color-coded cowboy hat to Graham Yost and company's  often superb Elmore Leonard adaptation, which has dispensed heaping servings of badassery on a consistent basis, especially if you pretend Season 5 just never happened.

But just as Season 5 is accepted by anybody sensible as the "Justified" nadir, I'm unprepared to accept the contention that any "Justified" season other than the second constitutes its peak.

"Justified" has reliably hovered in the second half of my Top 20 for all of its non-Season 5 seasons, but Season 2 was the only one to crack my Top 10, finishing at No.7, which seemed insufficiently rapturous to me in retrospect, but I looked back at the six shows that finished above and you're talking about the final "Friday Night Lights" season, the fourth "Breaking Bad" season, 26 near-perfect episodes of "Parks & Recreation," Season 2 of "Louie" and Season 1 of "Game of Thrones." I'm not going to quibble with any of those preferences, while distancing myself from the decision to place Season 1 of "Downton Abbey" at No.3 would just be bitter, disappointed ret-conning of my preferences and there's no point to that.

To my mind, "Justified" has been a near-great show for four seasons of its run, a perplexingly bad show for one season and, for one 13-episode stretch, it was great.

Once I decided that this week's Waxing Episodic feature would focus on a Season 2 "Justified" episode, it became a question of which one to choose. "The Spoil" features Mags Bennett's town-hall speech against Black Pike Mining, which may be my favorite moment of the season. "The Reckoning" was Timothy Olyphant's submission episode for the only "Justified" season that earned him an Emmy nomination. 

But sometimes it's safer not to try to outthink the room. The best season of "Justified" is as satisfying as it is in large part due to its climactic episode, a glorious bloodbath that left several major characters dead and at least two more major characters nursing bullet-wounds into the next season. 

Appropriately titled "Bloody Harlan," the Season 2 finale featured shootouts, explosions, highfalutin speechifying, heroic sacrifice, nefarious double-dealing and as much Raylan Givens ethical and moral ambiguity as one could ever want.  

Some more thoughts on "Bloody Harlan," as well as thoughts on what made Season 2 of "Justified" so special, after the break... This'll definitely contain Season 2 spoilers, but probably more.

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HitFix First Look: 'Amazing Race' teams dangle high above Monaco

HitFix First Look: 'Amazing Race' teams dangle high above Monaco

Check out an exclusive clip from the Friday, April 10 episodic

It's always a bit surprising when "The Amazing Race" is making its first appearance in a particular country, but Friday (April 10) night's episode will be the initial visit to Monaco for Phil Keoghan and company. [Actually, I can't say with any certainty that this is Phil Keoghan's first visit to Monaco. I just know it's his first visit with "The Amazing Race."]

Check above for a HitFix exclusive clip of the couples dangling high above Monaco in a task that features both ziplining -- It feels like we've done that at least once already this season -- but also precarious wire-balancing. 

Do not watch if you have vertigo!

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<p>Matthew Perry of &quot;The Odd Couple&quot;</p>

Matthew Perry of "The Odd Couple"

Credit: CBS

TV Ratings: 'Big Bang Theory,' 'Odd Couple' rise for CBS Thursday

'American Crime' slips below The Mulaney Line for ABC

Fast National ratings for Thursday, April 9, 2015.

"The Big Bang Theory" and "The Odd Couple" both recovered slightly from last week's doldrums and helped lift CBS to a primetime sweep.

For the second straight week, Thursday's numbers were generally weak.

"Grey's Anatomy" got a small bump in a special 9 p.m. airing, but ABC's "American Crime" still slipped below The Mulaney Line in the key demographic. FOX's "Bones" was also down in the key demo, but added a few overall viewers, as did "Backstrom." 

Let's get to the unimpressive figures...

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'Daredevil' star Charlie Cox = Corey Stoll + Will Forte

'Daredevil' star Charlie Cox = Corey Stoll + Will Forte

"Marvel's Daredevil" premieres at midnight tonight on Netflix.

Sepinwall really liked it.

On the podcast, we said very nice things about it. 

So I don't want to distract you from qualitative elements of "Daredevil."

But this was in my notes several times, so I want to share it so that you can be distracted too:

"Daredevil" star Charlie Cox looks an awful lot like Will Forte in certain lighting.

And in other lighting he looks an awful lot like Corey Stoll.

Now you can watch "Daredevil" and think about that constantly.

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HitFix First Look: Phil and Carol compromise on porn in 'Last Man on Earth'
Credit: FOX

HitFix First Look: Phil and Carol compromise on porn in 'Last Man on Earth'

Check out a scene from Sunday's new episode

Marriage and cohabitation are all about compromise, so it's no surprise that Carol and Phil are having some difficulties in this Sunday's "Last Man on Earth."

When last we saw "The Last Few People and Cows On Earth," Carol had gently goaded Phil into cleaning up his toilet pool, one of many chores that we've established Phil is capable of performing when he stays up all night.

But in this HitFix Exclusive scene from Sunday's (April 12) episode, will Carol's efforts to domesticate Phil go too far?

Check out the scene:

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<p>&quot;Marvel&#39;s Daredevil&quot;</p>

"Marvel's Daredevil"

Credit: Marvel/Netflix

Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 276 - 'Daredevil,' 'Game of Thrones'

Dan and Alan also review 'Louie,' 'Veep,' 'The Comedians' and 'Silicon Valley'


Happy Thursday, Boys and Girls!

As promised, it's time for the week's second installment of The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast. 

Tuesday's podcast featured "Mad Men" and "Better Call Saul" talk.

So this podcast is all reviews, including "The Comedians," "Louie," Netflix's "Daredevil," "Game of Thrones," "Silicon Valley" and "Veep." Not surprisingly, there's some tip-toing around spoilers and whatnot, but we reviewed six things in this podcast and we're variable degrees of positive on five of them.

And that's not bad!

Today's breakdown:
"The Comedians" (00:01:15 - 00:12:15)
"Louie" (00:12:15 - 00:21:40)
"Daredevil" (00:21:40 - 00:37:08)
"Game of Thrones" (00:37:10 - 48:25)
"Silicon Valley" (00:48:30 - 00:57:35)
"Veep" (00:57:45 - 01:12:50)

As always, you can subscribe to The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast over at the iTunes Store, where you can also rate us and comment on us. [Or you can always follow our RSS Feed or subscribe on IHeartRadio.] 


And as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.

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<p>Colin Farrell&#39;s Mustache</p>

Colin Farrell's Mustache

Credit: Lacey Terrell/HBO

'True Detective' Season 2 has a premiere date, trailer, Colin Farrell's Mustache

Check out a glowering Vince Vaughn and an intense Taylor Kitsch and Rachel McAdams

After many months of #TrueDetectiveSeason2 memes on Twitter and beyond, HBO has finally released the first real look at the second season to the Emmy-winning anthology.

HBO also announced that "True Detective" will premiere on Sunday, June 21.

In addition to first images of stars Vince Vaughn, Rachel McAdams, Taylor Kitsch and Colin Farrell's Mustache, HBO unveiled an evocative teaser trailer featuring all of the show's leads brooding and looking intense. 

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<p>Christina Aguilera of &quot;The Voice&quot;</p>

Christina Aguilera of "The Voice"

Credit: NBC

TV Ratings: 'Voice' special beats down 'Idol,' as 'Survivor' leads CBS Wednesday

'Law & Order: SVU' gets a nice bump, as NBC is second for the night

Fast National ratings for Wednesday, April 8, 2015.

A special Wednesday airing of "The Voice" took a massive bite out of FOX's "American Idol," which stumbled to ugly numbers, but couldn't stop "Survivor" from carrying CBS to victory in the key measures.

On the more positive side of the ledger, that "Voice" airing helped give NBC's "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" a boost, though "Chicago PD" couldn't hang onto that momentum and dropped a hair.

And with "Modern Family" out for a week, ABC's comedy block posted some small declines as well.

On to the numbers...

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<p>&quot;Survivor: Worlds Apart&quot;</p>

"Survivor: Worlds Apart"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Survivor: Worlds Apart' - 'Keep It Real'

Will Joe's winning streak continue? Can the women come together?

Pre-credit sequence. When we left things, Jenn had just orchestrated the season's best Tribal Council, sending Kelly packing. Rodney's pissed off by the way things went down, blaming Mike for swapping the vote from Hali to Jenn, calling him "our idiot redneck." Using this as his wedge issue, Rodney lobbies Will. Rodney's frustration with Mike remains off in the future and he's only securing Will for a long-term decapitation. "Sorry I'm still here to disappoint you," Jenn tells Mike, who respects her play. "The No Collars are back in town," Jenn says, vowing to mess with things while she can. This is a mighty cocky four-person minority alliance. I'm sure eventually somebody will look at the numbers, though.

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<p>The &quot;American Idol&quot; Season 14 Top 8</p>

The "American Idol" Season 14 Top 8

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' Season 14 - Billboard Hits plus the 'Idol' Save Returns

Who got sent packing on Wednesday's show?

Odd "American Idol" Season 14 fact: Unless I'm missing something, every single remaining "American Idol" Finalist this season is from the Eastern or Central Time Zone.

Daniel Seavey and Adanna Duru were the only two contestants from the West Coast and they're gone.

Last week, the otherwise dismal Daniel got hosed by the "Idol" Twitter Save, in which his geographic core was disenfranchised if they happened not to be watching an online live feed.

The "Idol" Twitter Save returns on Wednesday (April 8), but with all of the singers' hometowns watching the same feed, nobody can claim that they're being Seaveyed. And, once again, viewers from outside of the ET/CT time zones  have been cut out of the elimination process.

Tonight's theme is Billboard Hits, so follow along and chime in with your own thoughts...

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