SPOILER ALERT! In this week’s episode of Justified, “Truth and Consequences,” written by Benjamin Cavell and directed by Jon Avnet, Raylan’s underwear drawer got robbed and Boyd’s latest visit to Preacher Billy’s Last Chance Holiness Church came to a tragic end. As he’ll do throughout the season, showrunner Graham Yost takes us inside the writers room. (Read our recap here.)
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So Lindsey (Jenn Lyon) admits to Raylan (Timothy Olyphant) that she used to get close to men to find out what they had to steal so Randall (Robert Barker) could take it, and he still trusted her. We’ve talked before about how you don’t want Raylan to be perfect. Is that the idea here?
GRAHAM YOST: One of the things in Elmore [Leonard’s] world that we’ve embraced is that people have a hard time changing. You end up doing the same things again and again, and you swear you’re not going to. But Raylan has a blind spot for pretty women. That’s basically it. You see what you want to see and you hear what you want to hear.
Where did the idea for that scam come from?
It might have come out of one of [Elmore’s] books, just that notion of two people working that scam: The girl gets close and then the guy closes in and takes the money — and they hit criminals, people who aren’t gonna report it.
And that’s why they felt safe stealing a Marshal’s money, because they know Raylan’s not gonna report it because he’s not supposed to have that kind of money that he could only get from moonlighting?
Yeah. And then there’s also something that comes out — and it plays out in episode 4, as well — which is that Randall runs this scam, and yet he can’t help but get jealous. He goes off his nut because of that.
Segue: What exactly was Randall spraying down his pants at the gym when Raylan went to see him?
Oh, just some kind of crotch spray. And there was a lot of debate over that, can we shoot an insert of that so the audience knows what he’s doing? It was like, “Oh guys, I don’t think we really want an insert of a crotch spray, we’re not that kind of show.” Let it be a question for Mandi to ask me.
There were some nice character moments in that scene, like Raylan giving Randall a deadline to start back to Florida.
Raylan loves to give his deadlines.
And Randall referencing Raylan’s “Gary Cooper walk.”
Every now and again, we like to go at the things that we see in the show and other people see in the show. We believe that our characters are self-aware enough that they see it as well.
You mentioned episode 4 will have more Randall and Lindsey. It picks up right away, with Rachel (Erica Tazel) helping Raylan look for them and his money. What was Rachel being reprimanded by Art at the start of this episode meant to show us?
It’s not that she’s turning into a mini-Raylan. I think I said to you at the beginning of the season that we wanted to get a little bit more into Rachel and Tim [Jacob Pitts]. The Tim stuff doesn’t really kick off until episode 6 or so, but then it will play out through most of the season. We just wanted to show that these people have complicated lives, and that by going through this thing with her offscreen husband, there’s something where Rachel can commiserate with Raylan a little bit. It’s not easy being a Marshal and what that does to your personal life.
Sticking with Raylan, what was the inspiration for having Drew Thompson’s “widow,” Eve Munro (Julia Campbell), be a psychic?
That was something that Tim [Olyphant] pushed. I think he got hooked on a show this year, like America’s Psychic Challenge or something, and he just desperately wanted to have a psychic on the show. We went back and forth on it, and we just gave it a shot. It added a little color. You’ll see down the road there’s more references to it and there’s some fun to be had.
In a season about faith, it fit. And it had its payoff: She knew which gym Raylan would be at, which led to him figuring out that FBI Agent Alex Barnes (Josh Stamberg) was dirty.
It was interesting, in the first cut, we didn’t have the scene of Barnes in the elevator, so we didn’t know he was bad until Raylan figured out that he was bad. And it just didn’t work. We realized it was too much information for the audience to process in one scene. We needed to be ahead of Raylan, so we added that scene of him in the elevator talking to Mason Goines [Michael Graziadei], who’s got Eve in the motel room.
We found out that Drew Thompson had witnessed Theo Tonin (Adam Arkin) murder a government informant — which is why Goines kidnapped her, hoping she could tell them where Drew is. Does this mean we’ll see Theo Tonin again?
The actor who plays him is the directing producer on The Americans [Yost’s new show premiering Jan. 30 on FX], so we hope to see Theo. But you’ll see we have a proxy for Theo: A new character, Nicky Augustine, played by Mike O’Malley, comes in episode 5.
Why link Drew to Theo Tonin?
So there was some value to finding Drew Thompson in the present day. It’s not just a 30-year-old case. Drew Thompson has information that could bring down Theo Tonin. So, if they can find Drew Thompson, this is a huge win for the Marshals, and in particular, a huge win for Art, who’s headed toward retirement, and then also for Raylan. And because it has to do with Arlo, there’s personal stakes in it for Raylan.
We haven’t seen Arlo in a while. When will we next see him?
Oh, you’ll see him in episode 5.
We know that Wynn Duffy (Jere Burns) works for Theo. Will he get involved in this, too, then?
Yeah. The great thing about Wynn Duffy is that if there’s anything bad going on, it’s not hard to link him to it.
NEXT: Bye, Billy
Moving on to Boyd (Walton Goggins), in his opening scene with Cassie (Lindsay Pulsipher), he wondered if Cassie and Billy (Joe Mazzello) are into incest.
We liked the fact that Boyd would sort of assume that. Again, this is Boyd’s view of the world: Everyone is suspect, nothing is as it seems. So, he’s confronted with Preacher Billy, who he comes to see at the end of episode 2 really is a true believer and he’s not running a scam, so he assumes that Cassie is. And he goes to a dark place about them. He has no justification for saying that. It’s just his dark imaginings.
I liked the way that Lindsay Pulsipher played that scene: Cassie seemed to enjoy going head-to-head with Boyd. It was almost like she was attracted to him, in a strange way. She wanted the challenge.
We wanted to make sure that Cassie was a formidable adversary for Boyd, that she’s not cowed by him.
So Cassie guessed that Boyd’s next move would be to send his henchmen there, and that’s why the snakes were free to bite Jimmy (Jesse Luken)?
We struggled with that for a long time. We actually had a shot of Billy in the corner of that back room area praying while it was all going on, like he had released the snakes. And we just found it distracting and it didn’t really help the scene. But yeah, they were expecting something, so the snakes were released.
Jimmy getting bit in his face — and leaving the snake’s head attached to it — was fairly graphic.
Well, we’ve seen some incredibly graphic things on Justified. And by the way, you’re gonna see some this season. [Laughs] There is this great Carl Hiaasen book [Double Whammy] where a guy gets bitten by a pit bull. The pit bull just chomps onto his arm, and he shoots the pit bull but he can’t get the head off, so he just saws off the rest of the body and goes around through the rest of the book with this big lump wrapped around his arm, the head wrapped in a towel. There was just something about that: Okay, it’s fine, you’ve killed the thing, but you can’t get the head out. There was something natural to us about Billy and Cassie using what they have at hand, using the snakes as a way to get back at these guys. But it also, as you see in the episode, becomes part of the story: It’s well, why doesn’t Jimmy die having been bit by all these rattlesnakes?
Boyd figured out that Cassie milks the snakes before Billy handles them, so he brought one to the church that still had its venom. My favorite part of that scene was that Boyd tried to convince Billy not to do it once Cassie had come clean.
We wanted as a subtext for Boyd throughout this thing that he had a sympathy for Billy, and an understanding of Billy, and almost a wish that he still had the faith that Billy has. So it kinda hurts him to bring down a man of faith. And yet, it then confirms again his dark nihilistic view of the world. So it was just the idea that he offers up the challenge, it’s a test of Billy’s faith, and he’s hoping that Cassie will stop him and that that will be that. The church will then have to pack up and move on. That’s all he wanted. He didn’t want Billy to die. It was Billy’s own feeling of having been betrayed by Cassie and his own hubris — that “No, no, the Lord is gonna protect me.”
So Billy is dead.
Yes. Much to Joe Mazzello’s chagrin.
Have we seen the last of Cassie?
I would say keep your eye out for Cassie. She plays a role in the season.
And what can you tease about Johnny (David Meunier)? He went to see Wynn and offered to serve up Boyd and help kill him. When will we see how that turns out?
We had this big dangling thing from the end of season 3, where you find out that Johnny had been working with Limehouse to betray Boyd, but then shut that down and said, “I’m not working with you anymore, we’re done.” So, we had established that Johnny was traitorous, and we felt like we needed to follow that along: What does Johnny want, and how will he go about getting it? You’ll see in episode 5 or 6 that it starts to take a turn. Johnny picks up on something else, but it’s related to that. He has the long game that he would be the king of Harlan and not Boyd.