'Justified' showrunner talks latest episode

This week's "Justified" saw Boyd and the local preacher inching closer to confrontation while Raylan continued to look further into Arlo's mystery bag. Showrunner Graham Yost spoke with Entertainment Weekly about the latest developments from last night's episode.


It was revealed that Givens' boss Art recently celebrated his 56th birthday, leading some viewers to point out that the mandatory retirement age of U.S. Marshals is 57. However, Yost insists that Art isn't going anywhere anytime soon. "It just gives us another color to play with Nick and the character. We’re trying to stay at least reality adjacent. A chief deputy can retire, and they have to retire at a certain point, but then the Marshals service can always ask them, 'Hey, do you want to come back? Because we’ve got an opening in Tucson and we’d love for you to fill in for a year.' It’s not like they’re suddenly out on the street working in private security," he said. "They often stay related to the Marshals service. But anyway, in our world — I think we’ve discussed this before — we’re now in our fourth season and the whole timeline of the Justified story really has taken place over maybe six months, or at most a year. So, in other words, don’t think that we’re going to be having a retirement party for Art Mullen anytime soon, but at least it’s on the table."

More astute viewers may have noticed the episode's nod to a classic western in the scene in which children from Last Chance Holiness Church sang at Boyd's bar. "The song they’re singing, which is 'Shall We Gather at the River?', is the song that the Temperance Union marchers are singing at the beginning of 'The Wild Bunch', so that is just a small little tiny homage to Peckinpah," noted Yost.

The Marshals' hunt for Waldo Truth, owner of Arlo's mystery bag, led Raylan and company to the odd Truth family. "The Truth family was inspired a little bit by this great documentary, The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia, this sort of crazy ass family. That was our homage to them...," the producer said. "[I] loved all the Truths, in particular Beth Grant [Mother Truth], who I’ve worked with a couple of times in the past. She’s the woman who goes under the bus in 'Speed' [which Yost wrote]. She’s always been great, but this is one of those things where oh my lord, she was wonderful."

What did you think of this week's episode?

- Justified
- Timothy Olyphant
- Walton Goggins
- Joseph Mazzello
- FX

Written by: kyleiam
Jan 16th, 2013, 7:28 am

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