The "Justified" Season 4 finale was quieter than most of of the FX show's bloody denouements, but there was still plenty of upheaval in Harlan County on Tuesday night.
The biggest development of the hour saw Ava (Joelle Carter) dragged off to jail (admittedly for a crime that she did commit) as collateral damage in boyfriend Boyd's (Walton Goggins) rivalry with Lee Paxton (Sam Anderson) and his dirty deputy Nick Moonie (William Gregory Lee).
According to showrunner Graham Yost, we will see Ava in prison in Season 5. "What is life going to be like for Ava behind bars? What are the conflicts going to be? What is she going to do to survive? She strikes me as someone who’d just try and keep her head down and do her time and get out, but chances are she won’t be allowed to do that," Yost told TVLine about her impending sentence.
Naturally, Boyd will want revenge on both Paxton and Mooney, but "if he just went out and killed him, that's not very interesting or surprising," the executive producer pointed out to TVGuide.com. "What can he do with their fear? But they're certainly in trouble given Boyd's track record. I think it's safe to assume Boyd will do whatever he can in Season 5 to get Ava out of jail."
While Ava and Boyd found themselves separated by circumstances beyond their control, it seemed as though Raylan (Timothy Olyphant) and Winona (Natalie Zea) might be heading back towards reconciliation, after Raylan saved his ex -- and their unborn child -- from some heavies sent by the Detroit mob.
While Yost told TV Guide that he "did not anticipate the level of emotion and love that we would find between the two of them" in the finale, he acknowledged that "there was something there. And the long kiss they gave, that wasn't necessarily planned. That's stuff that developed. But I was surprised by the emotion between them, and it really gave me a feeling that we want to see as much of Winona as we can." A lot of that may depend on Zea's commitments to Fox's "The Following," on which she is a regular. Scheduling is a concern for a number of other talented recurring stars, including Jere Burns, who plays the delightfully deranged Wynn Duffy -- who has now been positioned as Boyd's boss by the Detroit mob.
"We need to explore [Boyd and Wynn's dynamic]," Yost told TVLine. "We love Jere and we love Wynn Duffy. It’s just [a matter of] how much can we get him [next season], how many episodes, and then we’re going to take it from there."
Also set to make a reappearance: Scene-stealer Patton Oswalt, who got a few moments to shine as bumbling Constable Bob in Season 4. "It's always our fear with these characters everybody loves: we're just terrified of wearing out the welcome. How much we see of Bob next season, I can't say. But I know that Bob is a big part of the show going forward," Yost promised HitFix.
Season 4 was somewhat of a departure in the format of the show, which introduced a mystery element through the search for the elusive Drew Thompson, who turned out to be hiding in plain sight as the unassuming sheriff, Shelby Parlow (Jim Beaver). EW asked Yost if next season would explore a similar arc: "We probably wouldn’t want to go straight into another mystery season. But that doesn’t mean a mystery couldn’t be a part of a season. Will it be a Big Bad? Maybe. There will be antagonists, I’ll tell you that."
As for his initial plans for Season 5, Yost didn't reveal too much, simply telling TVLine, "The only things we’ve come upon in looking at it is the idea of the baby being born and what will that mean to Raylan and to stories -- especially if the baby is a couple states away ... There’s also the ramifications of Raylan’s, if not promotion then certainly rise in stature, and what effect that will have. And then it’s Boyd, and what is he going to do to get Ava out of jail."
What did you think of the "Justified" finale?