The battle between Raylan Givens and the Crowe family on Season 5 of “Justified” had its stakes raised in a big way with the shooting of Raylan’s boss, Art. Tuesday’s (April 8) season finale will bring that story to an end, but executive producer Graham Yost says Art’s shooting has already changed Raylan.
“It’s … Raylan’s [Timothy Olyphant] struggle because he wants to get Daryl [Michael Rapaport], but he can’t just kill him because then that would doom Kendal [Jacob Lofland] to a long stretch in prison,” Yost tells reporters on a recent conference call. “But it’s also something that happened in the 11th episode, when after Art [Nick Searcy] was shot and Raylan is talking to Tim Gutterson [Jacob Pitts], and Tim is basically saying do you want to go out and just find Daryl and kill him? And Raylan says, ‘I don’t think that’s what Art would want.’
“Raylan has the struggle in him of the guy who wants to get revenge and yet can’t because of the kid, but he also wants to try and do things in a way that Art would respect. We’ve always seen Art as his good father and he’s, obviously, incredibly disappointed Art this season in a way that he never has before, so that’s the struggle.”
The season finale will also find Raylan and his fellow marshals continuing their uneasy cooperation with Boyd (Walton Goggins), who’s just as interested in tracking Daryl down as they are, albeit for entirely different reasons. Yost says the “Justified” writers had planned from the start of the season to bring Boyd and Raylan together, but the way it went down surprised them.
“We wanted to see Boyd and Raylan working together again, and they did in the penultimate episode,” Yost says. “But, boy, the takeaway from that was very different than I think what we had first imagined. It became far more acrimonious and fraught than we had first thought.”
The finale will also answer some lingering questions about Boyd and Ava’s (Joelle Carter) relationship, though Yost says fans of the couple might want to prepare themselves for something less than a joyful reunion.
“The one anchor [Boyd] has had, the one thing he’s had is that he loves Ava. That’s the most important thing in his life,” Yost says. “And yet, he makes certain decisions at the end of this season that sort of makes you wonder how important that is. And you’ll see what happens at the end of the season. … Big questions are asked about Boyd and about Ava, and that’s stuff that we want to explore next year.”
The Season 5 finale of “Justified,” “Restitution,” airs at 10 p.m. ET/PT Tuesday on FX.