Hap and Leonard’s third season — despite taking place in the 80s, and the novel on which it’s based being written in the 90s — turned out to be surprisingly and terribly relevant to current events. As Hap (James Purefoy) and Leonard (Michael K. Williams) ventured to and from Grovetown in search of Florida (Tiffany Mack) and the truth of what happened there, the show gave us a raw and often horrifying view of racism and hate. Hap and Leonard has always succeeded because of its authenticity, whether that means the study of its East Texas location, the brotherhood between its leads, or in holding a mirror up to society. And yet, as crazy as Hap and Leonard can also sometimes be, Season 3 never felt like it was going overboard, especially because this story was so specifically grounded in villains who felt real to life. There was nothing extraordinary about Truman Brown (Pat Healy) and his cronies, or the evil that persisted in Grovetown. They are a kind of everyday evil. As Hanson (Cranston Johnson) is reminded, they’re human — even if they don’t act like it.
The Season 3 finale brought several important storylines to a close (in a different enough way from the book that readers of the novel will also find some surprising twists), including mending the break between Leonard and Hap after the alley, and Florida’s fate. When I spoke with executive producer John Wirth from the set of Hap and Leonard last fall (on the day they were shooting the very end of the brawl in the alley, so yeah, it was intense), he gave some additional insights into these final two episodes, and how things ended up as they did.