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'Justified' EP Graham Yost previews season 4: Plenty of snakes, possibly some swingers

Justified returns (FX, 10 p.m. ET) tonight, and unlike in year’s past, when the season-long arc was Marshal Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) chasing one formidable bad guy, season 4 revolves around one formidable mystery. As the premiere opens, we flash back 30 years ago, to a man falling from the sky with a parachute and a bag of cocaine. The story behind that is something Raylan’s incarcerated father, Arlo (Raymond J. Barry), could help unravel. ”Arlo’s confronted with that and does something in the first episode that we hope is shocking,” exec producer Graham Yost says, ”and that’s part of what sets the whole mystery in motion.”

What else can you expect from season 4? Here, Yost offers more teases.

• The season is divided into three parts. Raylan and Boyd (Walton Goggins) will be too busy with their own arcs to see each other until the fifth episode. In the premiere, Raylan begins moonlighting as a bounty hunter. “He’s trying to bank a little cash in anticipation of his child being born. He’s sort of afraid that Winona might not grant him visitation if he’s living above a bar, so maybe he should grow up a little bit and get a real place,” Yost says. “But of course, the only way he can think of to make extra money is to do things that are not allowed by the Marshals service, like tracking down an out-of-state bail jumper. One of the interesting things about Kentucky is there are no bounty hunters allowed. So, into that vacuum Raylan steps in the first episode to get a guy — and without giving it away, there will be a ripple effect from that later on in the season.” That story line also intersects with the introduction of Patton Oswalt’s recurring character, Constable Bob Sweeney, who Raylan has hired to watch Arlo’s house. Oswalt filled us in on him here. READ FULL STORY

'Justified' season 3 Blu-ray: Quarles had Mel Brooks' stamp of approval -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

Justified returns for a fourth season on Jan. 8 (look for scoop in EW’s Winter TV preview issue on newsstands Dec. 31), and if Ken Tucker naming the FX drama one of his Top 10 shows of 2012 isn’t enough ammunition for you to convince friends and family to tune in and make this show as popular as Sons of Anarchy, perhaps the two exclusive clips below from the season 3 Blu-ray and DVD, out Dec. 31, will do the trick. In the first, executive producers Graham Yost and Fred Golan, along with a gleeful, blood-splattered Neal McDonough, talk about season 3’s big bad, Quarles — and the famous fan, Mel Brooks, who agreed the show was due for an out-of-town villain.


'Justified': Watch the new season 4 promo here -- VIDEO

We’re just over a month away from the Jan. 8 return of FX’s Justified, and the minute-long promo below offers a few nice teases. Yes, Raylan, there could be some gunplay involved. READ FULL STORY

Best of 2012: From 'Bachelorette' to Fox News and 'Revenge' -- The fights of the year

Whether TV’s feistiest figures were slapping each other down with words or fists, there was plenty of strife to go around this year. Below, we reminisce fondly over all the boob slapping, bare knuckle boxing, Bachelorette beatdowns, and more. READ FULL STORY

Best of 2012 (Behind the Scenes): Inside the 'Justified' season 3 finale, 'Slaughterhouse'

Throughout season 3 of FX’s Justified, did weekly postmortems with showrunner Graham Yost, who took us inside the writers room and gave us the stories behind the show’s best moments — of which the season finale, “Slaughterhouse,” had many. After Limehouse (Mykelti Williamson) chopped off Quarles’ (Neal McDonough) rail-gun toting arm, Quarles told Raylan (Timothy Olyphant) that it was his father, Arlo (Raymond J. Barry), who’d shot and killed “the man in a hat” who’d been pointing a gun at Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins). For all Arlo knew, he could have been firing at Raylan. Here, in excerpts from interviews originally posted after the season ender and during Emmy season, we find out how those twists and others came about. For more stories behind this year’s top TV and movie moments, click here for’s Best of 2012: Behind the Scenes coverage.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So Arlo didn’t know who he was shooting at.
Graham Yost: He did not know. That “man in a hat” thing was something that came up while we were working on the break, the writing, and the outlining of the last episode. In the credits, I wrote the story and [exec producer Fred Golan] wrote the script. But Fred being Fred, if he was jammed, he would say, “Why don’t you take a run at this scene?” And I just threw in the “man in a hat” thing. That was something that he loved and Tim picked up on, and it just became the anchor for the final beat of the season.

We’ve talked before about how Tim doesn’t want Raylan to use his gun — like you, he prefers more creative violence — so that double gun scene with Limehouse, and the earlier “Harlan Roulette” scene with Wynn Duffy (Jere Burns), are the best of both worlds: We get to see him wield a weapon but not actually shoot anyone. I loved the return of Harlan Roulette from earlier in the season.
That was a late change. We knew there was gonna be a big Raylan-Wynn Duffy scene, and we knew that it was gonna get weird and violent. I can’t remember the various iterations of it, but when we hit on that, I think maybe Fred had asked [co-executive producer] Dave Andron to take a run at the scene and Dave had written [the episode] “Harlan Roulette.” We just thought that would be a cool way to go. It’s that little dance we try to do, which is to set up a certain expectation in the audience’s mind and then hopefully deliver it in a way that’s unexpected. Like we felt that from the beginning of the season, people would expect Raylan to have a showdown with Quarles where Raylan would shoot him. And then we thought, well maybe there’s a different way to go. Can we accomplish the same end, which is neutralizing Quarles, in a way that’s a little more arresting and interesting and…gruesome, frankly. I’ve told you in weeks past, the first time we saw the slaughterhouse set and the knives and cleavers, we just had a feeling that at some point, those tools had to be used in anger. And it was also a feeling that maybe the final big confrontation needed to happen there. It’s such a scary weird place.

I loved how Quarles reached up for his severed arm, and Raylan pulled it away.
When Fred first wrote that, the arm just got chopped off and fell to the floor. Quarles was on the floor, reaches for it, and Raylan just puts his foot on it. Which is also cool. We went back and forth: Is Raylan gonna chop off the arm? Is Limehouse gonna get shot? Various things were working into the mix, and they just figured it out on set. The biggest bone of contention was when Quarles would tell Raylan that it was his father who shot Bergen. We went back and forth on that, too. Some people were pushing for him to say it before the arm chop, as we called it. My feeling was that it’s such important information, it would get so overshadowed by the arm chop that it would undercut it. I felt that the character moment was more important, so it needed to come late. Finally, when Fred was talking to Neal about it, Neal was like, “You know, I’m gonna be bleeding out on the floor,” and Fred said, “It’s like Messala in Ben-Hur when he’s been trampled to death essentially by horse after horse and chariot after chariot, and Ben-Hur has won the big race and Messala has been vanquished and as he’s dying. He screws with Ben-Hur one last time and says, ‘Your mother and sister are still alive. They’re in a leper colony.’” When Neal heard that, he said, “I got it.” He’s just screwing with Raylan one last time.

I assume from the blood pool, Quarles is dead.
Steven Heth, our post-producer, really rode that one right to the end: What’s the pool of blood gonna look like? How dark? Well, he may not be dead. Our feeling was that you could slap a tourniquet on that and probably stop him from bleeding out. But certainly as a presence in the show [he’s gone]. Although, if he were to kill Winona but frame Raylan, and Raylan had to clear his name and he was after a one-armed man… no, wait a second. That’s season 11, when we get desperate.

An equally cool move: How did the idea for Limehouse keeping his money in a pig carcass come about?
Some of it was just practical. We needed the money to be on site. We didn’t want them to go anywhere else. Someone had heard stories about people storing stuff in frozen meat. At one point, it was gonna be frozen. No, that’s too difficult. We could have had it under the floorboards, but it was a cooler scene to have that. And now I know what you’re gonna ask about, and I don’t know. I don’t know whose idea “piggy bank” was. It wasn’t scripted. It was a set line.

That last scene: Raylan tells Winona that his father Arlo just saw a man in a hat and shot him, not knowing who it was, then puts his hat on and walks out. The look on Tim’s face…
That’s just Tim. You could walk through that whole episode, every scene he does something interesting. And it always feels grounded and real in this weird Elmore Leonard world that we have going. I mentioned the scene with Wynn Duffy, the scene with Limehouse when Raylan’s on a vengeance-fueled drive and pulls his gun and all these other guns are on him and he just gives up. Just scene after scene. The little bits with him and Arlo, with him and Boyd [Walton Goggins]. I never want to take it for granted or just expect it, but I gotta say, working on the show, it’s so much fun to see the cuts. It’s so much fun to see the cuts and go, “Well, that’s as good as you could ask for.” There is an actor who fully understands his part and enjoys it. He gets a kick out of playing Raylan Givens, and it shows.

One of my favorite parts of our weekly postmortems was hearing how much the cast, particularly Tim (who’s also a producer on the show), contributes lines and other ideas.
We’re really lucky because everyone’s pulling in the same direction. We’re not all going, “No, the show should be more this or more that.” Everyone gets the drill: It’s Elmore Leonard, and that’s why we’re here — to do that peculiar dark, funny, exciting thing that Elmore does. In our best weeks we come close, I don’t think we ever surpass. But that’s our great gift, that we’re all going the same way. It just wouldn’t work if it was anything other than that.

Give me two examples of that in the finale.
At one point, we thought of wrapping up Quarles at the end of the second to last episode and having it more of a Raylan vs. Arlo finale, but it was Tim who said, “Once we dispatch Quarles, then the air goes out of the balloon.” He was right. We restructured it. Let’s just make going after Arlo the last act of the last episode. And the thing about Raylan returning the gun used to kill Gary to Quarles: That would surface in a script and then go away, surface and go away. There was actually a point where we thought, Well, we’re just not gonna address it. I’m pretty sure again it was Tim who came up with the idea: What if he has Quarles take both guns off him but only ask for one back? As he says, “You can keep that one.” That was just a nice way to wrap it up.

Read more:
More of’s Best of 2012 (Behind the Scenes) coverage

'Justified': Patton Oswalt as Constable Bob Sweeney -- FIRST LOOK

, but is not, which I think most men can relate to,” Oswalt tells EW. The former high school classmates reconnect when Raylan asks Bob to check in on Arlo’s house and make sure it doesn’t get trashed. Oswalt is tight-lipped about the character, who will return later in the season, but offers two teases: “He thinks he has a dark, mysterious, messed-up past, but there’s hints that everybody already knows about it and doesn’t care,” he says. And, “I do get to do stuff that’s a combination of, like, super funny and super violent… I’ll leave it at that.”  READ FULL STORY

'Justified' EP Graham Yost teases Patton Oswalt guest spot, snake-handling church at New York Television Fest

Justified showrunner Graham Yost was the interviewee at Tuesday night’s New York Television Festival creative keynote conversation and offered a few teases for the show’s fourth season, which has been in production for two weeks. The highlights:

• Patton Oswalt, who nabbed a guest spot on the show after revealing he’s a fan, is currently filming his episode: He plays Constable Bob. “There’s this weird thing in Kentucky where each county has one or two constables, and it’s an elected position, but your salary is, like, $2,000 a year. You’ve got to pay for your own car, your own light bar, your own uniform. But what they get to do with that is serve papers,” Yost explained. “And they can charge $60 for serving papers, whereas the State Police has to charge $80. So they undercut the State Police, and that’s how they make money. So we just liked the idea of this sort of cop wannabe, who’s kind of a cop, interacting with Raylan some.”

• Nothing has been penned yet for Emmy winner Jeremy Davies (Dickie Bennett): They have four episodes written and another couple broken. “We don’t know what’s gonna happen with Dickie, nor do we know what’s gonna happen with Dickie’s hair,” Yost said. “In season 3, Jeremy showed up and that was his haircut. He had cut it himself, and we said, ‘Okay, let’s go with that.'” Storywise, Dickie is in prison now. “We may see him,” Yost said. “The feeling with Dickie is you want it to be a big arc, a real chunk, or it could be one episode, but not just a couple.” READ FULL STORY

Emmy Watch: 'Justified' EP Graham Yost talks 'Slaughterhouse' and not repeating yourself


Between now and June 28, the deadline for Emmy voters to return nomination ballots, is running a series called Emmy Watch, featuring highlight clips and interviews with actors, producers, and writers whom EW TV critic Ken Tucker has on his wish list for the nominations announcement on July 19.

Last year, FX’s Justified earned four acting Emmy nominations (including one win for supporting actress Margo Martindale). With writing that had us checking in with showrunner Graham Yost each week during season 3, isn’t it time the show break into the Best Drama category? “It would be delightful and we’d be incredibly happy, but I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, I don’t think the competition in that category has ever been stiffer. I was talking to friends last night, and without breaking a sweat, you can name five shows that should be on that list: Homeland, Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Mad Men, The Good Wife. That’s just to start. Boardwalk Empire, on down the line, including us and Sons of Anarchy and a bunch of other things,” Yost says. “They never announce what show was in the sixth spot. Back when Boomtown didn’t get a nomination, I was told by someone at the Academy, ‘You know, we’re not supposed to talk about this, but suffice it to say you didn’t miss by much.’ So that could happen again. I try to be realistic…. For me, the reason you want success is that you get to keep doing the show. To be considered for something like the Emmy, that’s such wonderful icing.”

In our dreams, both Justified and SOA would get nominations. “We would all do a big dance, and [FX president] John Landgraf would lead us in the dance, a big conga line of gratitude,” Yost says. And if just Justified gets a nod, can we make that a Walton Goggins clog number? “I will guarantee you, we will get Walton to do a celebratory clog if we get a nomination.” Goggins, for the record, has promised the exclusive. But here are more reasons this show deserves its shot at Emmy. READ FULL STORY

Emmy Watch: 'Justified' star Walton Goggins talks playing an outlaw betrayed, in love

Between now and June 28, the deadline for Emmy voters to return nomination ballots, is running a series called Emmy Watch, featuring highlight clips and interviews with actors, producers, and writers whom EW TV critic Ken Tucker has on his wish list for the nominations announcement on July 19.

Walton Goggins has made a name for himself playing the bad guy. When he phoned EW earlier this week to talk about the two scenes we’re hoping nab him his second Emmy nomination for his always interesting performance as Justified‘s eloquent Kentucky outlaw Boyd Crowder, he was at a loss for words to explain the project he’s currently shooting: Quentin Tarantino’s slavery-era revenge western Django Unchained. “I will be really interested to see how people respond to this,” Goggins said, laughing at the understatement. He plays Billy Crash, the “Mandingo trainer extraordinaire” for Leonardo DiCaprio’s Calvin Candie, a deranged plantation owner who forces his toughest slaves to fight to the death. “I have literally spent the last five days of my life doing something that is so far outside my liberal worldview that it’s kinda hard for me to reconcile what has transpired. You’ll know what I mean when you see the movie,” he said. But he’s loving it. “I love simple dramatic stories, and I love when those stories are infused with humor — a dark humor, a very grounded humor.” And that, of course, brings us back to Justified.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: First things first: When I talked to Graham Yost [exec producer of Justified] for an upcoming Emmy Watch item advocating for the show to break into the Best Drama category this year, he said there’d be dancing if that happens. He agreed to get you to clog on-camera for us. Are you in?
WALTON GOGGINS: (Laughs) Alright, alright. If the show gets nominated, I will clog for You have my word. I may have to generate my own video. I may have to be in control of the shot and the lighting, but I promise you will have something you can upload to the site. READ FULL STORY

'Justified' season finale postmortem: EP Graham Yost dissects 'Slaughterhouse'


SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t watched Justified‘s bloody, emotional season 3 finale “Slaughterhouse” (story by showrunner Graham Yost, teleplay by exec producer Fred Golan), stop reading now. As we’ve done each week throughout the season, we asked Yost to take us inside the writers room. Bonus: He also looks ahead to season 4. (Jump straight to that scoop here.) READ FULL STORY

'Justified' EP Graham Yost dissects 'Coalition,' offers five teases for next week's season finale

SPOILER ALERT! This week’s episode of Justified, “Coalition,” written by Taylor Elmore and directed by Bill Johnson, revealed who really had Mags’ money, set Boyd (Walton Goggins) and Quarles (Neal McDonough) on a collision course designed by Limehouse (Mykelti Williamson), and gave Raylan (Timothy Olyphant) another reason to want Quarles dead. As we’ll be doing each week throughout the season, we asked executive producer Graham Yost to take us inside the writers’ room. Bonus: This week he also offers five teases for next week’s season 3 finale. READ FULL STORY

'Justified' EP Graham Yost dissects 'Measures' in weekly postmortem

SPOILER ALERT! In this week’s episode of Justified, “Measures,” written by Benjamin Cavell and directed by John Dahl, Dickie’s search for Mags’ money resumed. Errol (Demetrius Grosse) told Dickie (Jeremy Davies) he’d tell him where Limehouse (Mykelti Williamson) hides the money for a share of it — but said they’ll have to get Boyd (Walton Goggins) involved to fetch it. That’ll be fun!

Meanwhile, the target on the back of Quarles (Neal McDonough) grew. Theo Tonin (Alan Arkin) sent hit men to Kentucky to off him, but Raylan (Timothy Olyphant) and Art (Nick Searcy) stopped them because they assumed Raylan was the mark. Napier (David Andrews) obliged when Quarles asked him to suggest a dealer under Boyd’s protection that he could rob, but Napier also happily suggested that Quarles take those stolen drugs to Audrey’s to exchange them for cash. (Having Boyd threaten to put a letter opener up your nose will make a man cooperative.) Last we saw Quarles, Boyd had tasered him in one of the whores’ trailers. Instead of killing him immediately for the $100,000 price on his head, Boyd plans to keep Quarles kicking so he can collect the $200,000 Theo’s offering if Quarles is delivered alive. Something tells us Boyd should have listened to Duffy (Jere Burns), who wants to step up when Quarles is gone, and gotten right to it: “Don’t say I didn’t warn you.” As we’ll be doing each week throughout the season, we asked executive producer Graham Yost to take us inside the writers’ room. READ FULL STORY

'Suits': Margo Martindale to guest in season 2 -- EXCLUSIVE

Margo Martindale, who won an Emmy for her portrayal of Justified‘s stone-cold Mags Bennett and starred on CBS’ A Gifted Man, will appear in an episode of USA’s legal drama Suits this summer. She will play Nell Sawyer, a nurse who proves unflappable in the face of Harvey’s hardball tactics after her union threatens a strike against the hospital he represents.

“I am a huge fan of Justified. I never miss an episode and I thought Margo’s performance last year as Mags Bennett was utterly riveting,” Suits creator Aaron Korsh tells EW. “As soon as she was suggested, I jumped all over the idea. In spite of the fact that Mags killed that girl’s father. That poor little girl who really had no one else. No one at all. Alone in the world… You know what, forget it, that woman is a horrible, murderous hillbilly and I want nothing to do with her.”

Season 2 of Suits will premiere in June. Martindale will guest in its third episode. USA is now airing repeats of season 1, which earned star Patrick J. Adams a SAG nomination, Fridays at 11 p.m. ET.

Read more:
‘Suits’ season finale: Creator Aaron Korsh talks cliffhangers, chemistry, and of course, that can opener
‘Suits': Gabriel Macht takes us inside the mind and office of Harvey Specter
‘Suits’ star Patrick J. Adams talks love triangle, nails the EW Pop Culture Personality Test


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