SPOILER ALERT! This week’s episode of Justified, written by Nichelle Tramble Spellman and Dave Andron and directed by Don Kurt, raised Raylan’s stress level, the tension between Boyd and Quarles, and the season’s body count. As we’ll be doing each week throughout the season, we asked exec producer Graham Yost to take us inside the writers room.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: After the season premiere, you said that we should remember Winona getting pulled over by a Kentucky State Trooper after Raylan was shot. We found out she was leaving him then. How do you think fans will feel about that revelation?
GRAHAM YOST: I don’t know. I think the most important thing is she came back. And I think she treated him lovingly and they had a good time, and she knew she had to leave, but she wasn’t gonna be a jerk about it. Although leaving with a note is kinda being a jerk about it, but it was the best that she could do.
At least they got to talk about it in this episode.
We wanted them to part as adults who love each other, but who can only take it so far given his line of work.
You said last week that we’ll see more of Winona.
You’ll see a couple other sides to Winona this season.
But for the time being, she’ll stay with her sister.
Should we expect another potential love interest for Raylan to pop up and complicate things?
I don’t know if you should expect it. But he’s a handsome man, and he carries a gun, and he’s a cool badass, so it wouldn’t be out of the question. You’ll just have to be watching episodes 7, 8, 9, and 10. And 11.
Do you think fans really thought Winona had taken the money?
I think the people who have problems with the character might’ve jumped to that conclusion, and that was something that we were playing with.
Charlie took the money and retired to Mexico. Will we see him again?
There are no plans to see Charlie again. We’re just gonna let him ride off into the sunset to a little bit of Dave Alvin music written for the show.
Was that always how you envisioned ending that money storyline, or was it just a cool out?
It was a cool out for us. We wanted Raylan to think that Winona had the money, because we thought that would add a little extra kick to his drive to find her, and it would just sorta make him grind on it more and be angrier with her when he finally found her. So the money had to be somewhere. I just felt that having Charlie take it would be the most fun way to go. Our feeling is that after Raylan and Winona put the money back, sometime in the ensuing weeks, he sniffed around and went, Well, I wonder what that was all about… and found this box of money. He knows that there’s no trail to it, and he took it home. He didn’t think anyone would ever miss it because it doesn’t exit – it got lost in the paperwork. So when Raylan comes thinking that maybe Winona took it, now it’s been exposed, now people are gonna start to talk to Charlie. So he pulled it out of the floorboards at home, got in the car, went to an airport, flew to El Paso, got another car, and that was it.
About Raylan’s line, “Saw all that Kenny Chesney on your computer, I figured you were capable of anything.” Who is or isn’t a Kenny Chesney fan in the writers room?
You know, honestly, that was Tim [Olyphant]. It was just the name that came into his mind when he was saying, “What if you, you know, search through your wife’s computer, and you find out, ohmygod, I didn’t know you were a Kenny Chesney fan. It’s just sorta [showing] how much we don’t know about the people we’re tied up with.
Speaking of tied up, let’s talk about Wynn coming back into the house and hearing Quarles beating up on that guy tied to the bed. Was that the same guy we saw tied up earlier in the season?
Yes, as far as we know. It was an uncast extra who was willing to be tied up in the bed. (Laughs)
So what’s it gonna say on that poor guy’s IMDB page? “Bondage guy.”
I know. He didn’t have a name in the script. It was just 19-year-old boy.
What exactly is going on in that room?
I will say this, you will see in episodes 7 and 8 that this didn’t end will.
It can’t be good that Quarles now knows that Arlo is Raylan’s father and in Boyd’s crew.
In 7 and 8, you’ll see what happens from the knowledge that Raylan has a close connection to Boyd in more ways than one.
It sounded like Arlo was talking about Helen as if she was still alive. That’s dementia setting in?
Yes. It will play an important part in the rest of the season, at several points. If you remember way back in the first season – way back when – when Helen comes to Raylan and says, “You’ve gotta bail your father out of jail” and Raylan does, Helen explains that Arlo was diagnosed at the VA as PTSD-bipolar and he’s supposed to be on medication and it’s hard keeping him on the medication. This is following through on that.
Why did Arlo tell the cops to direct any questions about the shooting at Boyd’s Oxy clinic on Helen’s property to Raylan: Was it the dementia or him wanting to screw with Raylan?
That’s the thing with Arlo, even if he’s starting to suffer from dementia, that doesn’t mean he’s not going to still try to stick the knife in a little bit and twist. It’s like the only way he can get any attention from his son is to be a dick to him.
So Limehouse’s second-in-command Errol got Tanner to hit Boyd’s clinic to try to jump-start the war between Boyd and Quarles, and now Limehouse isn’t going to try to stop it.
Right. He basically says, “This is something you started, now we’re gonna have to see it through.” And so now Limehouse has to play a game that’s different from what he’d originally imagined. He just wanted to keep tabs on everything. Now he’s been thrust into the middle of it.
Is Boyd now banking with Limehouse, or was that a one-time transaction?
He is now a customer of Limehouse. He wants the Limehouse Intelligence Service.
Are we going to see more Limehouse intel agents?
There will be a critical thing later on in the season, that’s all I can say.
Prostitute Ellen May (Abby Miller), will we see more of her? I love that she keeps coming back.
Yeah. She had a small bit earlier on in the second season, and then we needed someone for Raylan to get information from toward the end of last year, and she did a great job. So we just thought, Let’s bring her back. Part of it is conservation of characters. Well, we’ve already cast this person. We know she’s good. Let’s keep using her. She plays an important role. She’s in several more episodes this season.
Are we going to see more of pimp Delroy (William Mapother)?
Yes. Pay attention. He’s big in episode 9.
Raylan punched Delroy twice, which was awesome, but also made it look like Raylan was coming a bit unglued because of Winona. Will that subside now that he at least knows she’s with her sister?
He’s not in a great mental state because Winona has left him. That will have an impact. I wouldn’t say he becomes further unglued because of that. Other stuff will happen in hopefully every episode that continues to push Raylan to the edge.
What about Tanner? Will we see more of him after getting thrown out of that moving trailer?
We will see him in episodes 8 and 9. Big…. When we came up with the idea for the fight in the moving trailer, we thought Ah, this is gonna be fun. It will be a pain in the ass to shoot, but it will be fun.
The accidental shot of the driver was great.
That’s the kind of thing where in one version, it was a purposeful shot. “No, I don’t want to shoot anyone on purpose just to stop a trailer.” “Okay, so let’s make it accidental.” We go through a lot of that. There’s a lot of adjustments to be made as you go along.
Last question: Will Limehouse use that axe on a human anytime soon? Please.
I would say you would have to keep watching.
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