It’s safe to assume that as the season 2 finale of Justified creeps closer, the bullets will continue to fly, even if — SPOILER ALERT if you haven’t watched last night’s episode — Mags has agreed to keep the lid on the Bennett-Givens feud. Now that Mags has essentially disowned Dickie and given him the family business, he doesn’t think he needs to uphold her deal with Boyd, who’s gone full outlaw again and reteamed with Johnny to get the county back under Crowder control. Having seen next week’s episode, we can confirm there will be a body count.
What are your favorite TV and movie shootouts? While you’re thinking (Heat? Scarface? The Matrix? Open Range? Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid?), let’s talk about Justified‘s latest: Early in last night’s episode, while giving Winona a ride to a meeting with divorce lawyers, Raylan got out of the car at a red light to talk to the men in the car behind them. “Hey, fellas. Uh… forgive me, I can’t tell if you guys are followin’ me or not,” he said politely, leaning into the driver’s rolled-down window. “Yeah, I’m just a little out of sorts to be honest with ya. I shot and killed a guy just three days ago. So at this intersection here, I’m gonna go right. I want you two to go left. I go right, you go left. You go right… yeah, I’m gonna want some answers. Alright? You guys have a good one.”
Later, Raylan was giving Winona another ride (and discussing Neil Young) when those same guys turned his car and sent them fleeing into an office building for cover. I’ll tell you why I love Justified shootouts: It’s not like on other shows where the hero does some fancy action-movie stunt to get off the shot. Raylan lying down and shooting a guy’s ankle? So much cooler. (And reminiscent of the season 1 finale when he was lying down beneath that window and shot up at the man about to climb in it.) I’m not sure how I feel about Winona making a run for the exit sign — on the one hand, it’s cool that she wasn’t relying on Raylan to save her, on the other, she was leaving him — but Raylan got to take out the second guy from a kneeling position above. Also hellacool. (And almost like he knew she’d do that?)
When it was over, Winona had one word for Raylan: Yes. Earlier, he’d suggested they move back to Glynco, the U.S. Marshals training academy. How great was that conversation? When my Spoiler Room colleague Sandra Gonzalez and I sat down with Justified exec producer Graham Yost recently, he teased that scene — and literally got tears in his eyes when he told us what Raylan would say to Winona: “I’ve been wondering if I’m just a criminal at heart, you know, truly my father’s son, but then you got out of the car today without kissing me, and I think bulls—, I didn’t help you [return the money she’d stolen from the evidence locker] because I’m an outlaw. I helped you because I’m in love with you.” What Yost didn’t tell us? How the scene would play out.
Winona: “That’s sweet, Raylan.”
Raylan: “That’s sweet, huh?”
Winona: “Of course, you’re in love with me.”
Raylan: “Oh, really?”
Winona: “And I love you back. Now what?”
What do you think, Justified fans? Something tells me Raylan won’t get to leave Kentucky permanently until the series ends. (Here’s some fun trivia from our chat with Yost: Producers had hoped to send Raylan back to Miami for two episodes this season and have him “hook up with Carla Gugino not being Karen Sisco, but a character not unlike Karen Sisco for legal reasons,” Yost said. “Story-wise, we just couldn’t get there.”)
And P.S. How are we feeling about Boyd and Ava being a couple? Yost had hinted that Ava didn’t just marry Boyd’s brother Bowman because he was a high school football star. She likes the bad boys — as long as they’re honest with her. The woman knows how to use a shotgun. She has to make it to season 3, right?