Prashant Gupta / FX
Prashant Gupta / FX
So that happened.
If you don't know what that is, we honestly feel sorry for you, because you clearly haven't watched Justified's bloody amazing season finale.
Fair warning, you should probably run far far away because we went to Justified showrunner, Graham Yost, to talk to us about the supershocking ender and who we can expect to return to Harlan in season four!
Deadly Disarming: "We tried to mix it up," Yost laughs about Robert Quarles' (Neal McDonough) unorthodox demise. "It's not the same as last year, and it's obviously not the same as [season-one finale] 'Bulletville.' We went for something different." Seeing one of the more scary bad guys on TV get disarmed in such a gory way is shocking to say the least, but Yost tells us the inspiration for the slaughterhouse showdown: "We knew that everyone would expect a showdown between Raylan (Timothy Olyphant) and Quarles. I don't think they'd expect Raylan to hold Quarles' arm while Limehouse (Mykelti Williamson) chops it off." But something unexpected wasn't the only inspiration for that final scene, Yost explains it was also seeing that amazingly moody slaughterhouse set with those cleavers lying around.
Daddy Issues: It's no coincidence that the further degradation of Raylan's relationship with his father coincided with his becoming a father. "We knew that Raylan would lose Winona (Natalie Zea) in the first half of the season. And Raylan is going to become a father and his own father is now part of Boyd's crew and really becoming part of Boyd's family. So on the surface it seems that Boyd is the winner. He's got the girl and he's got a relationship with a father figure at least, and Raylan's got none of that."
Prashant Gupta / FX
As shocking as Arlo's (Raymond Barry) confession to killing a guy in a hat to protect Boyd was, did Raylan expect any different? Yost says: "I think that if you followed Raylan down the hall at the end and said, 'Wait a second, how do you feel about that?' I think he would probably shrug and say, 'Well I never expected much different from him.'" The good an bad of that confession is that this likely ends the father-son storyline in Justified.
Baby Mama Drama: In the closes scene we saw Raylan's ex slowing gestating. Their relationship is complicated to say the least but will Winona be around next season to deliver? Possibly in a limited capacity. "[Natalie Zea's] in a pilot. In her deal she carved out three episodes for us depending on availability." So what does that mean to the holy grail of babies with perfect genes? Might not have much impact at all. Yost explains that they don't even know when the baby would be due: "The whole timeline of Justified has really only spanned six months. Since the pilot to where we are in the story now. Maybe a year."
Rebel Royals: We admit we were sweating bullets there for a bit. We adore Boyd (Walton Goggins) and just couldn't picture a get out of jail free card for him. Luckily for Boyd and Ava (Joelle Carter) they will live, and out of the clink, to rule another day. Yost tells us that next season: "We'll be looking for them to be the King and Queen of Harlan. They'll be riding high for sometime." Awww, our little Bonnie and Clyde couple is all grown up.
Not Done Yet: You might have picked up on the feeling that the Boyd-Johnny-Limehouse story is just beginning. And that's because it is. Yost explains to us, "That's certainly a big question mark that we're leaving open to hopefully bring back people for season four."
There might be mountain of drama and backstabbing to mine in season four but does Limehouse really want to be left alone like he claims? "I believe that's what' he believes and I think that he will try to maintain that but there may be a different type of struggle in the subsequent season," Yost elaborates. "He is but he's not someone who runs into a bank, he's not dealing drugs. It's financial. He provides information and a safe place for money to be stored. That's all he wants. But we'll see how long he can maintain that." So the struggle for Harlan in season four may not be criminal power motivated but rather fiscally.
Big Bads: Did you like this season's two antagonists? It's a hard task to follow up Margo Martindale's Emmy-winning performance of season two. Yost says, "One joke was that it took two men to fill the shoes of Margo Martindale." And while we all mourned the loss of Mags Bennett, Yost thinks no one will feel sorry for Quarles: "They might, in fact, feel that he still deserved a bullet in the head. He almost gets off easy."
Yost parted with, "I hope people are satisfied. I think it's the goal of any show to give the audience what they want in a way that's unexpected."
Was the Justified surprising and satisfying? Can't wait for season four? Hit the comments!