Champions of Justified‘s spirited Ava Crowder (and by extension her romance with bad boy Boyd) had the rug pulled out from them when, just as the accused murderess was about to get sprung from the clink, pervy guard Albert framed her for assault. Since Boyd used every trick up his sleeve to negotiate his fiancée’s release, should Ava settle in for a long prison stay? Joelle Carter gave TVLine a look at what’s ahead on the FX drama (Tuesdays, 10/9c).
TVLINE | So I’m watching last week’s episode, as Ava’s about to get sprung, thinking, “I love Joelle, but she kinda oversold that whole prison drama when I chatted her up her last month at TCA….”
[Laughs] Would I lie to you, Matt?
TVLINE | What was your reaction when you got to that twist in the script?
Oh, wow, I thought it was so brilliantly [in the style of the late novelist] Elmore Leonard.… It was such a dynamic twist, because [Albert] took any powers he had left and was just like, “I’m going to control your destiny now.” It was so sad.
TVLINE | It was quite a gut punch.
It was a gut punch. And also like, “What is he doing?”
TVLINE | What is Albert’s end game?
I think it’s just to make me pay for making him feel less like a man [by rebuffing his advances]. But the consequences he’s going to have to face are coming down the road at some point, I’m sure.
TVLINE | But what about the female guard who warned him that Ava was protected? Is that addressed or…?
I guess he didn’t listen to her. When a male ego is bruised, sometimes they don’t think right!
TVLINE | What is Ava and Boyd’s first encounter like, after this has happened?
It’s not happy times, for sure.
TVLINE | We saw him thrashing, kicking and screaming, trying to get to see her.
Yeah. Because of the journey he’s on [fixing his drug pipeline in Harlan], time is of the essence, so he doesn’t get to the big prison any time soon, unfortunately.
TVLINE | Is Ava understanding of that, or is she kind of like, “You’re not coming through for me”?
I think she’s hopeful in thinking probably there’s a reason [for his absence]. But by the time he gets there, a lot of damage has been done.
TVLINE | As a whole, what would you say the state of their union is right now? They’ve taken some dings this season.
I think they would’ve been OK if she’d gotten out [as planned]. [Being apart] was tough on them. But now, I think it’s all about self, basically. He’s on this journey to help Ava, but he gets pretty wrapped up in it and becomes more of a kind of internal journey for him and then for her. He’s out there scrambling, and he just keeps getting road-blocked, while she’s imprisoned discovering a whole new world. We will get to see how she handles it and then what that means for them.
TVLINE | Like you said on Twitter, she doesn’t have any frying pans there behind bars. Will she find other means of self-preservation?
Yes. Yes. Yes. She has to really redefine herself, but unfortunately they tear her down before she comes to that conclusion.
TVLINE | Walton Goggins told us how the scene where Boyd nearly killed Paxton “permanently altered” his view of Boyd. What has been the most surprising scene or character choice for you this season?
It’s coming up. I think it’s in the next episode; Ava makes a really defined choice because of the circumstance. She realizes that she’s kind of on her own and now she has to step up, and what does that mean to her? Who is she going to have to become to do that? People are saying, “Oh, the old Boyd’s back,” that it’s kind of a new version of the old Boyd that’s even darker and more dangerous, and I’ve said it before: At the end of the season, neither of them will be the same people. I don’t know what that means as far as their union, if it’s savable or if it’s going to be redefined also.
TVLINE | What superlative would you assign to this season of Justified? It’s been the most what for you?
The most challenging, in a way, because I’m so segregated from the rest of the cast, even from the locations. But it’s also rewarding because I get my own storyline, it’s just with a bunch of new people. And now they’re really going to go into the life of the prison, whereas they kind of avoided the life of the jail….
TVLINE | We’re going to get our little version of Orange Is the New Black.
Right, but I do have to carry around this tragedy Ava is living in, and it’s kind of sad. So I look forward to the lighter side of Ava coming back next season.
TVLINE | Now that we have the final season in sight, what are your hopes for Ava at the end of it all?
My hope is that she gets to walk away into the sunset. And my hope is that she gets to face Raylan again, because that is where she started this kind of whole journey. I want him to see and admit that he’s not so different than her and the people he grew up with. He has that dark side, and just because he carries a badge doesn’t make him any better.