Timothy Olyphant: I Know What Happens to Raylan at the End of Justified

20 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Final season of ‘Justified’ begins.

Timothy Olyphant on the final season of ‘Justified’ and who will survive the Marshals Office’s assault on the drug-ravaged, welfare-gutted hills of Harlan County. Ima give you 10 seconds to put down that Oxy and consider your situation: Them long, hard times to come have finally arrived. “Justified,” the best, funniest, most murderously violent backwoods crime drama-soap opera of all time, begins its sixth and final season on FX on Tuesday night. After saying goodbye to the men of SAMCRO on “Sons of Anarchy,” now it comes time to bid adieu to the colorful crew of “Justified,” as US Marshal Raylan Givens returns for his final season. This season, which will feature guest star Sam Elliott (sans mustache) beginning in the second episode, focuses on the marshals’ efforts to finally stop the criminal enterprises of Boyd Crowder.

You’re plumb out of Mags Bennett’s “apple pie.” But there’s no way to sugarcoat the withdrawal symptoms that await, 13 episodes down the road. Parks & Recreation (8 p.m., NBC) – Leslie’s team works together to strengthen her case that the Newport land should be turned into a national park. His tan Stetson connects him symbolically with a century of movie and television good guys, but, as the color indicates, Raylan can never quite be the unvarnished hero.

Secrets of the Arsenal (9 p.m., AHS) – Four stories highlight great escapes in the first season finale: a monocular that helped save a stranded pilot; the rifle that helped a WWII hero cheat death; the hand-drawn map used to destroy SAM sites; and a Saint’s medal that served as one scout pilot’s lucky charm. His ties to Harlan through blood, marriage, and history constantly draw him into dangerous compromises which blur the lines between lawman and outlaw. Both series, from the DC Comics stable, have done a terrific job of balancing the fantastical with the everyday. “Flash” star Grant Gustin recently told reporters at the Television Critics Association winter press tour, “I’ve been playing a superhero since I was a kid. Supernatural (9 p.m., CW) – After the massacre at the ranch, Sam and Dean double their efforts to find a cure for the Mark of Cain (a topic close to my heart). Face Off (9 p.m., Syfy) – Oscar winner Rick Baker is the guest judge for the season’s first Spotlight Challenge, which has the artists working in teams to create two original alien characters.

Last we saw, he was back in God-forsaken Harlan County and had persuaded his former girlfriend, Ava, to be a confidential informant against her current yet estranged fiance, Boyd, the spiky-haired local crime boss. In this last season, we can be sure that the bourbon will flow and the bullets will fly — the “Justified” body count has been as Shakespearean as the treachery — but not of which bodies and whose bullets. So begins the stretch run of one of the best television shows ever made about the South. “Justified” gets so many things right about the region, in an outsize but offhand way: The generations of rural poverty, the struggles between fathers and sons, the wit, the love of the spoken language, the unwritten racial mores, bourbon, manners, seething class resentment, the underbelly of violence beneath the facade of church and religion, and most poignantly, the desperation Raylan feels to escape all this.

That is the cut-the-meat-off-the-bones issue of the final season: Will Raylan wind up beneath that tombstone with his name on it in the front yard of his daddy’s house? We’re all very much aware that it was his world, and we’re just lucky to be living in it. “I don’t know that Raylan can ever completely leave Harlan County.

His family and friends are buried there, and one way or another, it’s always going to be with him.” Graham [Yost, the creator of Justified] and the writers wore them. He told me that after watching you and Walton Goggins [as Boyd], he reworked the characters, making them the same age and turning them into doppelgangers. Elmore said the Raylan of the last several stories was really based on your interpretation, that you had thought of things about him that he hadn’t. Winona hooked up with Raylan again for a spell, got preggers and moved to Florida with the baby, all but forcing Raylan to have a series of dead-end affairs with hot blondes.

At the end of last season Raylan made a concentrated effort to adjust to circumstances, to pull himself back from the uncharted territory he was moving into. I think with Rachel we’ve got an intriguing element here that we certainly didn’t have when Art was Raylan’s boss—sexual tension, perhaps spiced by the fact that Rachel is a black woman in a position of power in white supremacist Harlan County.

We could do another couple of seasons just with him.” During the first two seasons there was a poster from the movie Tombstone hanging in the marshal’s office. It’s been home to some of the nation’s most vicious union violence, depicted in “Harlan County U.S.A.” Full of hills and hollers and . . . it has virtually never been seen in the show. The dilapidated houses, the little brick churches and such, were filmed around Cumberland, says Jason Edwards, a former reporter at the Harlan Daily Enterprise, who often helps the show with research. I try to pay attention to every aspect of the show, but for the most part I think the others see me as a glorified cheerleader and a big pain in the ass.

A mobster says a hit man has “killed more people than malaria.” Raylan says, “That dog woulda been happy to chew my face off and use it as a Halloween mask.” So, look, knock back that shot of Elmer T. Let’s picture a Twilight Zone kind of set-up where aliens come to earth and kidnap Seth Bullock from Deadwood in the 1870s and Raylan Givens from Harlan County in 2015, then takes both marshals to another planet where they’re pitted against each other.

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