'Justified' EP Graham Yost talks 'This Bird Has Flown' in weekly postmortem

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Switching gears, Randall wanting to get into cockfights was hilarious.

I’m trying to remember. We were all interested in the chickenfighting world. I think when [executive story editor] Ingrid Escajeda and [producer/writer] Chris Provenzano went on their little research trip [to Harlan], they found out some cool stuff. At one point, we were thinking of actually having a chickenfighting sequence and then we heard how difficult it was when Eastbound and Down did it, and it was like, “Eh, maybe we should avoid that.” But we still wanted chickens. We liked the idea of Randall talking about how he was going to be a manager of fighters, and we just assume he’ll manage other backyard MMA fighters. Well no, it’s chickens. We just thought that was funny. And then we thought Raylan doesn’t get his money, he just gets a truck full of chickens, was also funny.

The scenes at Hoppus’ house, when that new character Gina (Navi Rawat) took Raylan and Rachel (Erica Tazel) to see him so they could ask about Lindsey and Randall, were great. I loved Gina’s reaction when Raylan grabbed Hoppus’ –

Just call it junk. It’s funnier to do that than to grab him by the throat. She was great. We had plans for [that character], and I’ll be honest, they’ve just kind of fallen by the wayside. The story takes off and we don’t end up going back there.

I also loved Hoppus’ “Bitches, chill” line after Raylan told him the girls he was with might want to collect themselves.

There’s a line from RoboCop when Miguel Ferrer is with a bunch of hookers, and [Kurtwood Smith] comes in and he says, “Bitches, leave.” There was just something about that that was appealing.

It was a nice moment when Raylan and the convenience store clerk Alvin (Dean Bottrell) that Randall beat up bonded over Lindsey doing them wrong.

I thought that was a great little scene. This guy has had the crap beat out of him, and he’s like, I thought she liked me. It’s this little moment of heartbreak. When you’re working on a show and you see a scene like that, you give a little cheer: It’s a plot beat and you’re moving on, but it’s really well done. It’s a tribute to the writing, and the casting, and Bill Johnson, who directed the episode.

I think that beanbag gun that Rachel loaned Raylan was the first one we’ve seen on the show.

It’s obviously a mislead because it looks like a regular shotgun, so we wanted the audience to think, “Holy s—, Raylan’s gonna kill this guy.” It gave us a different way to go.

I have to ask: Why didn’t Raylan keep an eye on Randall after he shot him? He should have been standing sideways talking to Lindsey so he could see if Randall got up.

He’s so focused on the girl. And listen, we can debate that stuff forever. How is his body positioned and would he expose himself? There are times when you’re doing a TV show and you need the guy to get up and beat on him again, you know.

That fight was worth it.

We wanted to have a lot of fun, playing right up to the moment when Lindsey unloads on Randall that you don’t know what she’s gonna do, and in fact, you’re thinking she’s completely gone to the dark side because she’s shot Raylan. It’s a classic Elmore Leonard bad girl, which is ultimately she’s just trying to look out for herself and everyone else is just in her way.

Was Raylan’s line “I knew you liked me” scripted?

It was scripted. It was something Tim had wanted from the beginning of working on that episode. The last beat between Raylan and Randall was a late add [Laughs] where Randall starts talking about the chickens again and Raylan shoots him again. It’s one of my favorite moments. It’s funny, when you see it on the dailies, it’s just a click and then Robert goes [Moans]. You put in the big kaboom, and then visual effects puts in a little bean bag, and it really sells it.

Will we see Lindsey again?
Well, she’s in the wind. So we can’t say for sure. But that was the plan for this season, that the first four episodes for Raylan were ultimately about the money that he shouldn’t be making and Lindsey.

Will we say Raylan have another love interest this season?
There will certainly be flirtation. There will be that.

Last thing I wanted to touch on was Shelby (Jim Beaver). Him hanging up on Boyd after secretly having Cassie (Lindsay Pulsipher) on speakerphone so that Boyd and Ava could hear if she knows anything about Delroy was fantastic.

Shelby keeps on telling Boyd, “I don’t know want to work for you anymore,” and Boyd says, “That’s fine” and then [Laughs] keeps on getting him to do things. Shelby is obviously not happy in the situation.

That scene also showed though that he was reading about Drew Thompson being alive on his computer. Should we expect Shelby to get involved in the hunt?

He will be up to speed when he figures out what Raylan’s doing, and that’s basically what episode 6 is about: Raylan begrudgingly accepting some help from Shelby in looking for Drew Thompson.

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