'Justified' postmortem: EP Graham Yost dissects 'Kill the Messenger'

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Moving on to the Crowes, Allison went to do a home check on Kendal and Wendy, and when she left, Danny was outside with Chelsea the big-balled dog and barked at her. Was that barking scripted or something AJ Buckley found on set?

That was all scripted. We could have called the episode “Plausible Deniability.” We didn’t want Danny to push her off the road and then walk up and say, “Hey, it was me.” But we wanted him to let her know that it was him but in no way was it incriminating. Now, if it was a CSI show, they would find paint traces on his bumper and all that stuff, but that’s not our show.

I loved that line when Allison saw Raylan with a bruised face, too: “What the hell happened to your face?”

That was just an attempt to get the information out without having to go into the scene. Okay, we know what they’re going to talk about, but we don’t have to see it.

When Darryl can’t find Jean-Baptiste, there’s that scene where Danny makes up the story about Jean-Baptiste being fed up with Darryl and leaving town.

As we spoke about last week, the death of Jean-Baptiste was not part of the original plan. Initially when we broke episode 6, we had Jean-Baptiste in it. So then we had to adapt. That scene between Darryl, Kendal, and Danny talking about Jean-Baptiste was something that was shot after the rest of the episode was shot.

Dewey trying to sell his pool —

“It’s my dream.” “Some cosmetic damage.” You work with what you got. So when we had the scene in episode 5 where Dewey is giving away his turtle dog and gator teeth necklace to Teena and Meena, that established his state of mind. We wanted to further that in this episode and then have him say, “No. I will not [give up my dream].” That gives him the whole idea of going at Boyd, and that, of course, takes a Dewey-like turn because things just don’t come easy to Dewey Crowe.

When Danny is carrying that guy out past Dewey, sees the prostitute and says, “How you doin’, sweetheart?” and then, “Goddamn it, I was havin’ a good hair day” — was that scripted?

I’m pretty sure the “good hair day” was AJ. One thing about that scene is he had to carry a guy for several takes, and by the end, he was exhausted.

I’m really liking what AJ’s doing with Danny. From the beginning of the season, Danny’s been described as a psycho, and he’s realllllly showing it.

He is spectacular. You get an actor like that and he just makes it so real and enjoyable and scary, but not repulsive. I don’t know what it is, but he’s pretty magnetic.

Dewey and Danny went to Boyd’s bar to put a gun to Boyd’s head, hoping that Dewey could get money to pay Darryl to leave Kentucky. They found Carl instead. After Dewey couldn’t pull his gun, a fight ensued. Usually on Justified, the action is one punch, one swing of the bat, or one swing of the shovel. This was an extended scene.

We wanted Carl to be a very hard get for them. Even though they’ve got guns, we wanted to establish Carl’s badassery.

Picker arranged for Boyd and Wynn to meet Mr. Yun.

We initially called the character our Mexicasian. We just wanted something that wasn’t the stereotype of Mexican drug people. Part of it is one of our writers, Leonard Chang, is Asian, and so we have tried to put more Asians in the show just to get a smile out of him. And Ingrid stumbled across this thing about Korean laborers in Mexico back a hundred years ago. It just seemed to kind of fit, and it became something that would be a little different. You will see [Yun] again. He works for a cartel. He’s the face of it.

After Wendy headed Rachel and Raylan off before they could get to Danny, they went looking for Mike, the owner of the home where the Crowes were crashing. They found Kendal working at Mike’s hardware store and Darryl there with a saw. That was a fun scene for Michael Rapaport.

Early on, we in the writers room went through various versions of what was gonna happen in the hardware store and when we’d see Hardware Mike. It was just a character we’ve always enjoyed, and we like that hardware store. That’s the same store with the girl with the braces last year. You go back to season 1, it’s the one where Ava was buying stuff and Johnny came in and started talking about, “I need a roll of plastic, I need an axe, I need a shovel,” and it was all to try to intimidate Ava. We had crazy ideas of people having plugged in circular saws and having them race across the ground and stuff like that, and it just became undoable. It became funnier rather than having something with an edge of danger. Having a guy walk in with a battery-operated circular saw seemed like it was kinda scary and weird.

NEXT PAGE: Cell reception in Harlan sucks (finally)


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