Justified has always been a story about the man in the hat, Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant). But over the years, Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins) has garnered almost as much importance. A character who was never supposed to survive more than an episode, or possibly a season, Goggins’ magnetic portrayal of Boyd has made him a fan favorite. In Justified‘s final season, the two (sometimes friendly) foes will finish their long history together. But it will be Ava (Joelle Carter) who links them, with all three in mortal danger. Hit the jump for some hints about what showrunner Graham Yost says will be coming up in these last episodes.
Yost recently sat down with THR to talk about what to expect this season.
When it comes to the pressure for ending such a long-running and beloved show, Yost said:
“You don’t want to screw it up. You want to make sure it feels like it’s part of the whole series — to not do anything in the final season that’s not right for what you’ve been doing [all along]. I would say in the current television environment, there is a lot of focus on shows, especially in their final year. And especially when you’re doing something that’s a bit more serialized than shows were 10, 15 years ago. You have to wrap up not only the season, but also the series. So how are you going to do that? There’s a lot of focus on that. So, it’s a concern. But at the same time, we have to ignore that, and get down to the job at hand: what’s the most fun story we could tell this week?”
As for the show’s continued high stakes, Yost commented,
“Something that [FX Networks CEO] John Landgraf said, right at the beginning … he wanted a showdown in every episode. It didn’t have to literally be Raylan drawing his gun, but there had to be some big conflict. We’re still trying to do that.”
Yost also said that the writers “haven’t landed on an ending” when it comes to Raylan and Boyd’s final showdown (will either one get out of Harlan alive?) He also teased that while new characters played by Sam Elliot and Garret Dillahunt will have a major impact on the story, other well-known characters like Art (Nick Searcy) and Wynn Duffy (Jere Burns) will also have “significant roles.” (No mention of Jacob Pitts‘ Tim or Erica Tazel‘s Rachel, but if either one of them doesn’t make it through the season, I will be inconsolable).
However, he also said that the writers are not interested in doing “Justified‘s greatest hits,” and that not every character from the past will make an appearance in the final season (although some, he hints, will).
Yost then commented briefly on FX’s policy of letting its episodes run long, something Sons of Anarchy did repeatedly throughout its final seasons. For Justified, though, “the scripts remain the same” as before. Ultimately, it’s “a show that feels like it’s an Elmore Leonard show. That’s the most important thing. That’s always been with us.”
Justified returns to FX Tuesday, January 20th at 10 p.m. Collider will be covering the final season with weekly recaps.