'Justified' postmortem: EP Graham Yost dissects 'Over the Mountain' and teases what's next

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Dewey found Messer near death and was about to finish the job when a family stumbled upon him, so he couldn’t. Was that always the plan?

In the initial break, I think that Wade died earlier in the episode. It was Tim’s idea to extend Dewey’s quest to find Wade through at least half the episode, so that we didn’t know if Raylan was gonna find Wade before Dewey did and maybe save Messer’s life, and then it just doesn’t turn out that way. We thought it’d be great if Dewey was tantalizingly close to succeeding and then gets interrupted in a way that he can’t just kill this family. That’s not Dewey. They’ve also got weapons, so it probably wouldn’t have turned out well for ol’ Dewey Crowe.

I loved the scene with Darryl (Michael Rapaport) recapping the Crowes’ woes and Danny adding that they were out of Wild Turkey. It reminded me of the “we’re dealing with a lot of s–t” mound scene in Bull Durham, which I assume wasn’t the inspiration.

It was just wherever we could have Jean Baptiste (Edi Gathegi) and Danny together and this little bit of tension that we feel between the two of them. You will see a big dose of them in episode 5. Big dose.

Raylan and Gutterson went to see Boyd, a natural suspect in Messer’s disappearance. This was the first scene Raylan and Boyd had together this season. We’ve talked before in postmortems about how you have to keep them separated because if Raylan sees Boyd with a weapon, he should technically bring him in.

We wanted to address that and also have an answer for it, which is basically Raylan needs something from Boyd. Raylan will talk very tough — “Well, I’m just gonna mess up your life and throw you in jail for the rest of it” — but Boyd’s kinda like, “Yeah, yeah, okay, let’s get to what you really want.” And so he helps him.

Boyd, who’d been feeding Messer bad intel to forward to the Feds, gave Raylan the number of the cell that Messer had used to contact him. Raylan had it tracked, and Messer’s body was discovered near a bed and breakfast.

It was supposed to be a gas station or a gift shop, and they just found that place up in Frazier Park, which is outside LA. We needed it to be at a place, so Messer almost made it to safety.

Ahhh.

Yeah, I know. I told you the cake bit for James?

Yes. You tried to get a cake from Costco with the words, “Can I get you a blowjob?” on it [a memorable Messer line from the season premiere], and Costco wouldn’t do it. So the caterers had to write it on themselves.

That was the day that the Costco cake arrived.

I also loved when Raylan returned back to Boyd’s bar and found Boyd and Gutterson playing Scrabble.

Tim asked that they shoot a shot of the board, and there were crazy words on it, and the angle and the lighting just didn’t fit. It was jarring in the cut, so we had to leave it out. I honestly can’t remember any of the words.

Boyd told Raylan that the Crowes must have killed Messer, and Raylan believed him.

Raylan has feared that the Crowes’ appearance in Kentucky does not bode well, and so Boyd just confirms that. It’s also another case of Boyd helping Raylan. The way this show’s been structured, Raylan gets help from Boyd, and Boyd gets nothing from Raylan except for the fact that Raylan doesn’t kill him, shoot him again, or put him back in jail.

After Dewey and Darryl watched the cops at Messer’s body, they went home and had it out.

We wanted to see the fallout with Dewey. There’s a big scene in episode 5 where we get another glimpse of that and then at the top of episode 6 as well. What does having killed a man do to Dewey? What choice is he gonna make: Is he going to go all in, or is he gonna get the hell out of town?

Raylan went to see the Crowes at Audrey’s and told Darryl to leave town. When Darryl said they won’t go, Raylan took 14-year-old Kendal (Mud‘s Jacob Lofland) out of Darryl’s custody.

You’ll see that we use Kendal more and more. He becomes truly central to the story as the season progresses. Raylan can’t get them for Messer. What can he do? How can he strike back? Well, he can draw the focus to himself by grabbing Kendal. There’s something in the story Allison [Amy Smart] tells Raylan [about the father who attacked her as she removed the son he had chained to a radiator] that leads him to come up with the idea of going back and grabbing Kendal. This family, the Crowes, when assaulted from the outside will band together, and he wants to take them down. You’ll see in the next episode what his strategy was, and Allison states it, which is basically to draw fire: “You come up, you kill Wade Messer, you had no need to do that. You’re screwing everything up. I’m the one who’s your problem. Come at me.”

Darryl wasn’t prepared to let Raylan take Kendal, but Kendal volunteered. Was that him not wanting anyone to die, or him having a plan?

When Kendal says to Darryl, “You know what to do” — which is the response to Kendal being taken and put into the Child Protective Services system — that’s part of a plan that will unfold in episode 5. But it’s also that there’s no point in everyone dying and this all going to hell at that time. There’s no way for Darryl to back down, so it had to be Kendal, and he’s smart that way.

NEXT: Here’s Johnny!

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