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

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We saw the return of Johnny Crowder (David Meunier), who met with Boyd and Ava (Joelle Carter) in jail.

When we hit upon that in the room, we were pretty excited. We just liked the idea of the three of them being together in a scene, and we just thought, what about a meeting at the jail? You know no one’s gonna have a gun, so it’s a safe place to have a confab. We had seen that Boyd had figured out that Johnny was involved [with his heroin shipments being hit] and now here he is. As the episode unrolls, you find out that Boyd had another reason for getting him there, which was to find out where he would go from there.

Boyd and Carl (Justin Welborn) eventually saw that Johnny was meeting with Hot Rod (Mickey Jones), and Boyd made it sound like he’d want to kill them sooner or later. Violence lies ahead?

Violence lies ahead.

Moving on to Ava, she had a disturbing encounter with a guard named Albert played by actor-turned-Emmy-winning screenwriter Danny Strong (Recount, Game Change, Lee Daniels’ The Butler). Ava’s “Aren’t you a little short for a Stormtrooper?” line was hilarious, but Albert’s “Disrobe and bend over” wasn’t. Helllll no, you do not do that to Ava.

I know. He’s a bad guy.

Tell me about casting Danny.

We needed someone who could be believably beaten up by a female guard [Officer Susan Crane, played by Ariane Alexander], so we needed someone who was not a big and imposing guy. And [Justified exec producer/writer] Dave Andron knows Danny and reached out to him, and he was very interested. Now, let it be known that we all hate Danny because he’s an incredibly successful writer. When that happens, I always say, “Well then I’m just gonna become a very successful actor, and screw you.” No. He’s one of those actors who just loves the opportunity to do something weird and messed up and was just fantastic.

Are we going to see him again?

You will see him again. He plays a big part in episode 5.

And Officer Crane is protecting Ava for Boyd.

If you go back in the very first episode of the season when Boyd is meeting with Ava and the lawyer, she is the guard who is standing outside and clears her throat when Boyd and Ava are hugging too long.

Sheriff Mooney (William Gregory Lee) and Mara (Karolina Wydra) presented “Boyd’s” hand to Lee Paxton (Sam Anderson), who believed Boyd is dead. Lee said he still wants to continue the case against Ava anyhow.

You’ll see right at the top of episode 5 where that goes.

Boyd and Carl lifted the tarp on what I assume was the fallen members of their crew.

Remember back in the third episode, when it’s the Boyd and Mara tattoo scene and she’s running her hands all over his body, which Walton just hated — kidding — there was some talk: “Can you get more bodies?” They end up showing Paxton this severed hand with Boyd’s tattoo on it to prove to Paxton that Boyd is dead. You sense that there’s something else going on, and that’s the little hint at the end of the episode that there is.

The Canadian drug lord played by Will Sasso got arrested in Detroit, and Art traveled there to hear him say that Sammy Tonin had told he had a Kentucky lawman in his pocket who was there the night he’d killed Nicky Augustine. He recommended Art ask Sammy’s former righthand Picker (John Kapelos), who’s now hiding out with Wynn Duffy (Jere Burns), for the full story. Is that going to unfold slowly this season?

No. That’s next episode. Everything is laid out next episode. I love 504, for the Dewey stuff and the Raylan showdown with the guys and getting Kendal, but the big episode of the middle of the season is 505, and that’s next week.

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