Joelle Carter, Walton Goggins
It's been an up-and-down season for Justified's Boyd and Ava Crowder.
Although the pair got engaged and made strides toward becoming the king and queen of Harlan County, Boyd (Walton Goggins) and Ava (Joelle Carter) were constantly hounded by the ghost of Delroy, the owner of the whorehouse whom Ava shot in self-defense in Season 3. In fact, Boyd and Ava's season-long quest to silence Ellen May (Abby Miller), the hooker with a heart of gold who witnessed Ava shooting Delroy, climaxed in the penultimate episode when Ava had a chance to off Ellen May once and for all.
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But she couldn't go through with it. "In that instance, that was just too much for her," executive producer Graham Yost tells TVGuide.com. "It was a character-defining moment." Adds Carter: "I really did want her to enter the tent thinking she could do what she was there to do and be what she needed to be for Boyd. But when really faced with it, the idea is much easier than the action."
But with Ellen May now in custody, Boyd and Ava have only one more play in the finale (Tuesday at 10/9c, FX): They must move and/or destroy Delroy's body. The question is: Will Ava's previous inability to act give Boyd reason to doubt her commitment to the cause?
"I think [initially] she's not sure," Carter says. "But ultimately he's right there for her. That's the beauty of their love story. It's just, 'OK, this is another thing we're going to have to deal with. But we're going to deal with it together.'"
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Or will they? Although Ava has Boyd's full support, Carter says that Ava will ultimately take her own path. "You really see Ava step up and say, 'This is my problem. I have to put an end to it. I have to fix it,'" Carter teases. "She really wants to do it on her own. I think she wants to protect [Boyd]. She's learning the business of being an outlaw, so she's taking it to her mind that she needs to do this for herself and for them. It's mainly to keep him out of harm's way."
But will she be successful? And will the couple get their happily ever after in the dream home they toured earlier this season? Carter coyly hints that viewers might not want to hold their breath. "[The plan] ends up going all wrong," she says. "And Ava will end up in a place she's never been before."
Justified's Season 4 finale airs Tuesday at 10/9c on FX.