'Justified' postmortem: EP Graham Yost dissects 'Starvation' (and teases the season finale)

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The whores Mina and Teena admitted that they got rid of Dewey’s precious turtledog and gave his necklace to another customer. Was there debate about Dewey’s line, “The anus [sic] is on you to take care of it”?
I thought, is that too jokey? Would he even know that? (Laughs) Again, it was like, let’s see what happens and if it doesn’t work, we can cut it out. That comes back to the brilliance of Damon Herriman and his ability to just play Dewey as straight and as earnest… Dewey is the star of his own picture, and we’re just seeing a few scenes of it. He really believes it. Him talking about the turtledog and the neck-lace — he doesn’t say necklace, he says neck-lace — that’s Damon. You really believe that he cares. (Laughs) “And seeing you two so soft…” (Laughs) Poor Dewey.

Dewey followed Boyd, who was now wired, into Audrey’s — and he not only confessed to killing Wade Messer but also shouted that the heroin was his. Such a good payoff.
I would love to take credit for it, and so I will. What happened was, due to actor availability, we had to flip the shooting of episodes 11 and 10. We didn’t have Damon for 11, so we were thinking of 12, and whether Dewey was gonna play a part. At one point, in the first break of 10, Dewey was arrested with the dope. And then that turned into, no, let’s have him on the run — and then that turned into the whole thing of Danny bringing the dope back and the end of Danny. So we knew we had Dewey out in the wind, and we knew that we wanted to have Raylan and Boyd try to set up Darryl to take possession of the drugs and then Raylan could arrest him. We were thinking, how could that go wrong? And this is where I’ll take credit for it — although it probably was not me, but you’re only speaking to me — let’s use Dewey. What if Dewey is our deus ex machina? What if he is the thing that comes in from outside and screws everything up? We went back and forth in terms of where Dewey would be at the end of the season: Would he be still out in the wilderness somewhere? Would he be dead? Or would he be in jail? We didn’t want him dead. We kinda didn’t want him in jail, but on the other hand, he did kill Wade Messer. And there was just this sort of tragic-comic thing of him, in his mind, getting this shot at finally getting his dream. (Laughs) Darryl doesn’t know what’s going on, but Boyd knows, and Boyd has a small affection for Dewey, too, and says, “Turn around and walk back out.” He gives him two chances to leave, and then it’s too late. Dewey full-on confesses everything, and we just thought that was funny.

When Dewey left Audrey’s, he walked right into Raylan, Tim, and Rachel. After arresting him, Raylan gave Dewey the advice to stop referring to himself in the third person. “What? This guy?” Dewey said, looking at the cop about to drive him away. “Man, I don’t understand you.” Are those Dewey Crowe’s last words on Justified?
I wrote that little scene between them, and the reason was is, we don’t know for sure what’s gonna happen with Dewey Crowe. We don’t know if we’d ever see him again. I think it would be strange if we never did — he’s been a big part of the show. But we knew this was gonna be his last scene in this season, and so I wanted an exchange between them that would serve as a final scene if that’s what it came down to. And so what Raylan says to him mirrors something that happened in the pilot: In their first scene together [at Ava’s house], when Dewey says, “I’m goin’ out and comin’ back in,” and he gets the shotgun, and Raylan comes out and says, “I only pull my gun if I shoot to kill,” and he gets the shotgun from Dewey, gets him in the car, and Dewey mouths off, and Raylan slams his head against the steering wheel and says, “If I were you, I’d go back to poaching gators. Give up this Nazi bulls–t, it’s safer” — Dewey, at some point in that scene when Raylan is walking to the car, says, “Man, I don’t understand you.” So Raylan’s speech, “If I were you, I’d stop talking about yourself in the third person, it makes you look like a fool,” is a nod to his line to Dewey in the pilot. And then Dewey saying, “Man, I don’t understand you” — if that’s his last line in the series — takes us back to the pilot, too.

NEXT: Raylan’s biggest (baddest?) moves


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