"We just liked someone who was incredibly in control and then could lose it," executive producer Graham Yost says of Dilahunt's character, Ty Walker, a special ops veteran who's currently spending his days trying to buy property in Harlan and his nights hunkered down with the other members of his private contract security detail at a pizza parlor that used to be a bank.
Adds Dillahunt: "This guy is a little lost. There's definitely something off, something loose. There's some kind of damage. He could probably use some help rather than just jumping into creating another war zone for himself. He might enjoy his work too much. He might have a little peccadillos that really get under his skin more than they should. If I was a relative of his I'd say, 'Get some counseling. Quit this job and go get some counseling.'"
On Tuesday's episode (10/9c, FX), viewers will get a clearer sense of why Walker is guarding the pizza parlor's safe as well as his connection to Avery Markham (Sam Elliott), a gangster returning to his roots in Kentucky after amassing great wealth growing pot in Colorado. As such, Walker will also have a rather intriguing conversation with Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins), a man who shares Walker's tendency to be loquacious.
"Everyone is real witty, aren't they?" Dillahunt says with a laugh. "It's one of the cool things about the show. There's definitely a style to it; there's definitely an attempt to preserve the way Elmore Leonard used language. It was the same on Deadwood, so those kinds of speeches are surprisingly easy. It's nice to play someone who's not afraid of language, not afraid to use it."
But as both Yost and Dillahunt suggest, Walker's golden tongue might not be his only weapon. And as we saw in the previous episode, you might not want to call him a "peacock." "He doesn't appreciate being — is it weird to say pigeonholed about being called a peacock? — underestimated that way," Dillahunt says. "He's afraid of being perceived that way. Ty Walker doesn't wear suits very much. He's not used to being that pressed and conservative businessman. So, he's self-conscious anyway about walking around in these skinny-legged suits, and then for someone to sort of assume that's who he is, it really bothers him."
If something that simple can set Walker off, should Raylan (Timothy Olyphant) and Boyd be worried about tangling with him? "I think he sees them more as a challenge," Dillahunt continues. "There's no hatred involved. It's just like, 'How I'm going to take this guy out? What are his weaknesses?' It's actually better for Raylan, Boyd and everyone else involved if Walker's an actual threat."
But how much of a threat will be actually be? Could he actually take one of the show's heroes out in its final run? "He certainly is confident in his abilities," Dillahunt says. "One thing I didn't want to do... was be the tough guy who comes in and underestimates the hillbillies. I think everyone at this point is just too far ahead of us if you tried to take that route. So I think it's more interesting, and he's more of a threat if he actually is aware of the capabilities of these guys, both Boyd and Raylan. But at the same time, he hasn't lost yet, and he has no reason to believe he won't find a way. It's the last season so everybody is fair game. There could be some unexpected deaths."
Justified airs Tuesdays at 10/9c on FX.