If I learned anything with my recent feature on Natalie Zea and Justified‘s Raylan/Winona romance redux, it’s that many of the show’s fans are firmly on Team Ava, believing that Joelle Carter‘s scrappy and not-at-all-weeping widow is a better match for the man in the hat.
This Wednesday’s episode of the acclaimed drama (FX, 10/9c), though, steers scorned Ava in a new direction, when it’s revealed that bad boy Boyd Crowder is not only darkening his sister-in-law’s doorstep but also living under her roof. Has Boyd really changed his spots, making him choice companion material? Or should Ava mind that old chestnut, “You knew it was a snake when you picked it up”? Here, Carter offers a look at Ava’s “spectacular” Season 2 journey.
TVLINE | We haven’t spent too much time with Ava yet in Season 2, so share some insight: How hurt is she that Raylan took up with Winona, again?
Well, she felt pretty betrayed when she saw Winona come out of the house, and [per Raylan and Ava's last] conversation, it didn’t look like he was in any place to commit to anyone. I think he and Ava haven’t seen each other since the [season finale] shootout. They went their separate ways, and she’s gone back to home, to what she knows. She’s trying to heal a bit.
TVLINE | Do you think she has given up on Raylan? She won’t be pursuing him?
Where it is now, Ava is still affected by Raylan – and kind of probably always will be. They’ve never been cool to each other. I don’t think he did what he did to hurt Ava, and I think he really feels sorry that he hurt her. He just has a relationship with his ex-wife, he’s always loved her, and it just didn’t work out [the first time]. But yeah, we do encounter each other in this next episode, and you see that there’s still a lot of respect and caring.
TVLINE | What does Ava see in Boyd that she’s giving him the benefit of a doubt and now is letting him stay with her?
I think she knows that Boyd had a good heart, and she’s been involved with his family, the Crowders, for so long, that it’s familiar for her. It’s kind of like, “The grass is always greener, but once you get there sometimes it’s dead.” When she left Harlan to go to Lexington, the big town wasn’t really for her. She got a little lost, and the idea that maybe Raylan would show her the way got blown up, so… she’s gone back to what’s familiar, and Boyd is the only kin she really has around. They’ve always cared about each other to an extent. Like she said in the first season, people can change. I think she truly believes that.
TVLINE | Ava tells Boyd she will have a “zero tolerance” policy when it comes to his shady dealings. As they grow closer, do you think she might “waver” on that point?
Ava is an “act on the seat of her pants” kind of gal, and she wears her heart on her sleeve, so she tends to get in trouble. So she might open up to a few “exceptions.” But she will try hard to keep him to his word!
TVLINE | What do you like most about Ava? That she’s never shy to reach for her shotgun?
Yeah, I like that she’s really ballsy. And as for the gun, there’s some pretty dangerous stuff coming up in one of the episodes! She takes care of herself, definitely.
TVLINE | Will we see her away from her front porch, dragging on cigarettes, anytime soon?
The best thing about Ava this season is it’s a slow burn, and it’s leading up to something pretty spectacular that I think the fans are really going to like. They’re going to like Ava’s journey “home,” in a sense of her finding herself and what she’s capable of. She goes back to her true character and embraces it. And I think that I can say that, yes, Ava finds true love.