[WARNING: The following story contains spoilers from the Season 4 finale of FX's Justitfied. Read at your own risk.]
Justified's season finales have generally lived up to their names. Just as "Bulletville," "Bloody Harlan" and "Slaughterhouse" were as violent and intense as you'd expect, the Season 4 finale, "Ghosts" was at times often hauntingly quiet. But that's not to say that no bullets flew.
Having pretty much wrapped up the season-long search for the mysterious Drew Thompson (Jim Beaver) in this season's penultimate episode, trigger-happy Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) was eager to settle into his 30-day suspension by spending some quality time with his pregnant ex-wife Winona (Natalie Zea). Unfortunately, Winona was being held captive by the thugs of Nicky Augustine (Mike O'Malley), the Detroit mobster who had hoped to catch (and kill) Drew Thompson first.
Justified Finale: Will Boyd and Ava get their happy ending?
Though Raylan quickly dispatched the thugs with a few slugs to the chest, the only way to ensure Winona and the unborn baby's safety was to settle his beef with Nicky once and for all....
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...
Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) finally got his man out of Harlan alive on the Tuesday's episode of Justified, but the end of the Drew Thompson mystery/pursuit doesn't necessarily mean an end to the case — there are still two episodes left this season, after all. TV Guide Magazine called up executive producer Graham Yost for a preview of the homestretch.
How long has the Justified fan waited for someone to ask this question to Boyd Crowder: "Where did you get all of those teeth?" You'll likely be grinning yourself, while cringing at the edge of your seat, as the pleasures just keep multiplying — a high-octane Justified highball of great banter, tremendous suspense, clever twists and reversals — in a harrowing, hilarious and fantastically entertaining episode, so eventful you might mistake it for a season finale, but thankfully there are still two more episodes to go (Tuesday, 10/9c, FX) in this terrific fourth season.
It has all been building to this violent showdown between the forces of good (the U.S. marshals) and evil (everyone else, from Boyd's crew to an army of thugs and snipers representing the Detroit mob). The target is Drew Thompson (the great Jim Beaver), a 30-year fugitive in sheriff's clothing, currently in the marshals' custody, although they feel like sitting ducks, outnumbered and outgunned in Harlan as they calculate several desperate escape maneuvers while awaiting rescue. The episode, written by exec producer Graham Yost and Chris Provenzano, is titled "Decoy," and revolves around a series of standoffs, confrontations and subterfuges that leave few unscathed and unbloodied. Special props to Patton Oswalt as the loyal and lovably resilient Constable Bob, who even Raylan has to admit is a "tough son-of-a-bitch" by the time the dust settles, following a tense encounter outside a (metaphorically apt) high-school principal's office.
FX president and general manager John Landgraf came to the network in 2004 when the channel's scripted offerings were limited to Nip/Tuck and The Shield. Since then, he's built a stable of hits, from the recently departed Rescue Me to ratings monster Sons of Anarchy to the critically beloved Justified. Landgraf talked to TV Guide Magazine about doing Elmore Leonard justice, bucking the antihero trend — and why he didn't pick up Breaking Bad.