'Justified' EP Graham Yost talks 'Where's Waldo?'
SPOILER ALERT! In this week’s episode of Justified, “Where’s Waldo?”, written by Dave Andron and directed by Bill Johnson, the bag mystery deepened as Art (Nick Searcy) suited up with Raylan (Timothy Olyphant) and Tim (Jacob Pitts) to meet Waldo Truth’s family and learned they’re really looking for a pilot named Drew Thompson. And Boyd (Walton Goggins) paid Preacher Billy (Joe Mazzello) a visit and made Wynn Duffy (Jere Burns) a business proposition that he politely/violently refused. As he’ll do throughout the season, showrunner Graham Yost takes us inside the writers room. Read our full recap of the episode here.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Let’s start with Art. U.S. Marshals have mandatory retirement at age 57, and Art, we learned, just turned 56.
GRAHAM YOST: It just gives us another color to play with Nick and the character. We’re trying to stay at least reality adjacent. A chief deputy can retire, and they have to retire at a certain point, but then the Marshals service can always ask them, “Hey, do you want to come back? Because we’ve got an opening in Tucson and we’d love for you to fill in for a year.” It’s not like they’re suddenly out on the street working in private security. They often stay related to the Marshals service. But anyway, in our world — I think we’ve discussed this before — we’re now in our fourth season and the whole timeline of the Justified story really has taken place over maybe six months, or at most a year. So, in other words, don’t think that we’re going to be having a retirement party for Art Mullen anytime soon, but at least it’s on the table.
When talking about who might someday take over for him, Art dropped the news that Rachel was married and recently left her husband.
We see a little more impact of that in her life in the third episode, and that then follows directly into the fourth.
Are we going to see Art out in the field more now? Because those scenes with him, Raylan, and Tim were great, starting with the stake out car scene — Raylan falling asleep, the talk of Pilates class and exotic dancing.
Here and there. The Pilates class was a nod to [EP] Fred Golan, who takes Pilates and often, it’s around a six o’clock or 6:30 p.m. class, so he’ll leave early on those days. Originally, when we were breaking that episode, it was just gonna be Raylan and Art, and Tim [Olyphant], as is his wont, will just say, “Well, let’s throw Gutterson into that mix, too,” and it just became a really fun scene.
Art’s “Marshal’s stiffy” was also a fun line.
It’s an Andron line. [Laughs] He just came up with it, and there’s a couple other references to it in the season so far.
The Truth Family, was that a dead guinea pig in the house?
I’ve seen Tim Olyphant on Ellen talking about how his family’s guinea pig does nothing. Was that the inspiration there?
It might have been, I’m not sure. Or something could have just come up from Dave Blass and his production design team. It just felt right for the Truth family. The Truth family was inspired a little bit by this great documentary, The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia, this sort of crazy ass family. That was our homage to them.
I love seeing Raylan with smartass kids. Milo (Ethan Jamieson) was amazing. Are we gonna see him again?
You know, we have no plans to see Milo or the Truth family again. I was sitting outside having coffee with Fred Golan one morning, and we were talking about Milo. It was just in script form, just the idea of him riding his bicycle away from these guys and riding up to the house yelling that he’s being chased by pervies, and I actually did a spit take. I’d taken a sip of coffee and I had to spit it out, I was laughing so hard. There was just something about this kid on a bike yelling “Pervies!” that made me laugh. The kid was fantastic. And the moment where he gives Raylan two fingers — you know, that’s one of the things where we really kind of grin and shrug our shoulders and go, “Man, how lucky are we to work on this show.” But loved all the Truths, in particular Beth Grant [Mother Truth], who I’ve worked with a couple of times in the past. She’s the woman who goes under the bus in Speed [which Yost wrote]. She’s always been great, but this is one of those things where oh my lord, she was wonderful.
You also had children from Preacher Billy’s Last Chance Holiness Church come sing for Boyd and Ava (Joelle Carter).
The song they’re singing, which is “Shall We Gather at the River?”, is the song that the Temperance Union marchers are singing at the beginning of The Wild Bunch, so that is just a small little tiny homage to Peckinpah.
NEXT: Ellen May and Wynn Duffy make Boyd’s life difficult
Ellen May (Abby Miller) is now a member of the church, defying Ava and Boyd. I assume we should be worried for her.
Yes, we should. We should be very worried for Ellen May.
Why get her involved in the church? Is it to see how far Ava and Boyd will go to keep the truth about Ava killing Delroy from coming out?
Yeah, there was that. And someone pitched it, and it’s just one of those things that comes up in the room, and it lands, and we all kind of nod, and it’s just the idea of Ellen May being at a real low point and really kind of needing to be saved. Not only is she a prostitute, but she’s on and off again pretty wired into drugs. She needs saving, because we like her and we hope for her even in her small world.
We’ve talked before about Boyd and his long, eloquent speeches. It was nice to see him preaching again when he went head-to-head with Billy.
The thing we liked about that one was that he was talking about himself. He was talking about his own spiritual journey and the fallout from that — his turn to atheism, really, and his loss of faith. That was a fun thing for Andron to write, and he did a great job. And of course Walton just nailed it, but so did Joe. We had to shoot out of sequence due to availability of Michael Dinner, our esteemed executive producer and directing producer. He couldn’t shoot the first episode but he wanted to shoot the first episode, so we shot the second one first. And that’s Bill Johnson, who directed that. So that was the first stuff we saw of Joe playing Preacher Billy.
Cassie (Lindsay Pulsipher) now seems like she could be another badass woman in the Justified universe.
Cassie plays an important role in the season — not throughout, but she has a part to play. When you see the third episode, you see that she’s not so much badass as she’s the pragmatic hand guiding things and keeping things afloat for her brother.
Billy’s response to Boyd — to no longer accept donations from his followers — makes you think he might actually be on the up-and-up.
He’s a good guy. And I wouldn’t say that she’s not. But as I say, she is a little more practical. She understands that if you want a ministry, you need to be able to afford to have that ministry. It’s not free.
Switching gears with Boyd, that scene where Wynn Duffy (Jere Burns) shot his own dealer after Boyd suggested he become Wynn’s heroin distributor in Harlan — Boyd seemed genuinely surprised he did it.
I thought that was great. He was very surprised by that, which we thought was important.
So will Boyd continue to try to work with Wynn? I’ve seen it teased that Johnny (David Meunier) may want to team with Wynn Duffy as well.
You will see. Wynn is more involved with Boyd this season than he is with Raylan, I’ll say that.
We found out that it was a Dixie Mafia soldier that Arlo killed in prison — which Wynn brought up to Boyd. How does that fit into the season?
You’ll see that that’s why something that happened 30 years ago has an effect on the present. You find out a lot more about that in the third episode, a tiny bit more in the fourth, and then it really takes off in the fifth.
What can you say about the role of Shelby (Jim Beaver) this season?
There’s something about Jim Beaver that indicates integrity, but compromised integrity. Boyd saved his life in the second season, when Shelby was working mine security. First of all, Boyd and the guys robbed him, but then Boyd took him with him down into the mine while the other guys blew up. And then that led Boyd to pull him into running for sheriff in the third season. We know that Shelby has had some history, 20 years or so in the Harlan police. So, we liked the idea of a guy who gets into bed with Boyd thinking well, I get to be sheriff. And it turns out to be maybe not the best deal he’s ever made. And so he’s bristling at being Boyd’s guy, and that has an effect on how things go for Boyd and others in the season.
This episode introduced Randall (Robert Baker). Is he Lindsey’s husband or ex-husband?
You’ll find out the status of their matrimonial connection in episode 3. In the room, there was that pitch of “I want to have a word with my wife,” and we thought that’s a great blow for an episode.
That backyard MMA-style brawl, that was meant to show us that Randall’s dangerous enough to be a threat to Raylan?
Yes, and there was something else. When he was talking to Hoppus [Josh Close], who’s the rich kid fight promoter in the track suit, he mentions “that other thing” he wants. [And Hoppus says, “You got the money? You get the cash, I’ll make the call.”] You find out what that thing is in episode 4. I think I’ve told you before how we had an idea for this first chunk of four episodes: it’s Boyd versus Preacher Billy and the fallout from that, and for Raylan, it’s not only the beginning of the mystery but also Lindsey and Randall.
Last question: Is that Tombstone poster in Raylan’s apartment new, or am I just now noticing it?
The Tombstone poster has been around for a while. It used to be on the set of the Marshals office. It’s sort of floating around.