Joelle Carter Talks Justified's 'Dynamic' Twist, MIA Boyd and a Must-Have Ava/Raylan Reunion

Justified Spoilers Ava BoydChampions 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).

RELATED | Justified Sets End Date, Season 6 Will Be Show’s Swan Song

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.
jst_504_Mountain_0860TVLINE | 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.

RELATED | Justified Season 5 Spoilers — Will Raylan See Winona Again?

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.Justified Raylan Ava
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.

Want more scoop on Justified, or for any other show? Email and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. bhammel103 says:

    I kind of like what Joelle has in mind for one of her last interactions with Raylan.

    • Dee says:

      I don’t. Ava’s unfortunate circumstances are self made, it has nothing to do with being from where she is. I think Raylan needs a good hard kick in the teeth this season, but he doesn’t owe anything to Ava.

  2. MGL says:

    As much as I like Justified, and this season does hold your attention, I like Raylan and Winona. I wish they would bring her back. She has not shown up on the Following yet.

    • Bob says:

      The fact that her character DIED on the following last season must explain why she hasn’t been brought back…

    • Alan says:

      winona was holding the show back, her character was a dead end and it was limiting the potential stories that could be told with raylan, the show is better now without her.

      • Marilyn Smith says:

        I agree, too. Winona had too many chances, and she is too superior (in her own mind) for life with Raylan. She can’t accept him. She wants him to change, but that never works. Raylan wouldn’t be Raylan if he was anything else than a Deputy U.S. Marshall.

  3. GildedRose says:

    Ava’s such an interesting character. I’m curious where all of this is going to go. I really liked Ava and Raylan when the show started and the whole Winona/Raylan thing really bugged me. I thought she warped Raylan a lot with the whole stolen evidence money storyline. He became someone I didn’t like at all for quite a stretch there. Since the show is ending I’d really like to see Ava and Raylan come face to face again. I’ve missed their interactions. And really, I wouldn’t be opposed if the show wanted to get them back together, long as they do it right and well.

    • carina says:

      Why would Raylan get back with someone whose committed premeditated murder twice, shacked up with the man he saved her from, ran a brothel, has met him outside of her home with a shotgun, and is now doing a stint in the state penitentiary after trying to play the outlaw? But the whole evidence money fiasco is a deal breaker? Yeah, I’m sure the writers will get right on that. Lol

      • nathkost says:

        Wait a minute. You’re going to criticize Ava for the people she’s murdered, but just let the countless people Boyd’s killed slide? It seems that you want to convict Ava’s actions, while forgiving Boyd’s. You honestly think that Ava killing Delroy and Bowman, were not justifiable, at least in her eyes?

        You say: Ava is in prison “after trying to play the outlaw.” Have you seriously watched this show? They all (the three main characters – Raylan, Boyd, Ava) think they’re outlaws in some shape or form, even if they wouldn’t admit it. Boyd is the actual outlaw, Raylan is the outlaw lawman, and Ava is somewhere in between. For these three characters, the actual Law on the books in Kentucky, is not the “Law” of each of these characters. It’s obvious to see.

        • carina says:

          I never mentioned Boyd bc the person I was replying to commented about Ava. I’ll thank for not putting words into my mouth if you so choose to respond to me in the future.

          As I’ve said before the show Ava was no criminal at least she was not actively a part of it. She even had a no criminal activity rule when she let Boyd live with her. I’m sure if she could, given her current circumstances, she’d go back to quietly cutting hair in Corbin instead of playing outlaw bc she felt scorned by Raylan she would. Needless to say she had a choice, and I don’t feel sorry for the character.

      • If you don’t want to compare Ava’s behavior to Boyd, how about Raylan, since you mentioned him by name? Raylan steps over the line often and has a fairly high body count. He was happy with Ava way back when. I don’t see his stoner girlfriend as a great improvement. Raylan seems to be on a downward spiral this season, that is when the character appears at all. He and Ava just might end up in the same place at the right moment. I don’t think the writers are headed that way, but you never know when Justified will take a wild twist. Raylan and Rachel?

    • JM says:

      That whole money storyline with Winona stunk. I almost stopped watching but stuck around for Boyd and Ava. IMO, they belong together. Not sure Raylan is capable of lasting committment.

  4. Nate Johnson says:

    First off, I think Joelle Carter has been good, for the small time on screen she’s getting.

    I don’t think Ava’a unfortunate circumstances are entirely self-made, and I don’t think Joelle Carter is implying that Ava doesn’t recognize the fact that she has put herself in these difficult spots. But she has also had to deal with the Crowders for most of her life.

    I think what she’s trying to get at is Harlan stays with you, no matter who you are, or how you might try to get away.This show is not about who is right or wrong, lawful or unlawful. I don’t think Elmore Leonard thinks that way either. I feel like it’s about what a character decides is the best for them.These people define their own morals, to fit their current situation. Was it lawful or “right” for Ava to shoot Delroy? Certainly, it’s against the law, but was it really wrong? I sure don’t think so. Was it Ava’s fault Jonathan from Buffy (the guard) tried to rape her? Heck No!

    This show is far more complex than who’s right and wrong. These people are flawed people. They don’t make the best decisions or get the best outcome every time. That is simply not how people are. I think the same goes for Winona, who unlike a lot of people I really enjoy as a character. She’s seen firsthand the effect Harlan has had on Raylan (and Gary for that matter), what kind of person he really is. She doesn’t want that for their child or herself. She’s been in shootouts and been held against her will. She doesn’t want that risk, the risk Raylan seems to desire so much. To say that isn’t at least partially a result of where he comes from would be silly. And she’s given that risk a try herself by stealing the bag of cash.

    Maybe Raylan doesn’t owe anything to Ava. But she doesn’t owe him anything either. Raylan and Ava are such similar characters – quick to shoot, they take things into their own hands, make up the rules. They “justify” things. Does it always work in their favor. No. A guy I know said that Raylan is always the smartest guy in the room. That may be the case, but in my view, it’s beyond that. Raylan understands these people in Harlan and criminals in general because it’s a part of who he is, whether he recognizes that or not. Same with Ava. Is Boyd Crowder the right guy for her? I don’t know. But Ava understands the Crowders. She is one. She kept Bowman’s name.

    Anyway, I think this show is a lot more complex than some of things I wrote above. This is just the surface of the show. When it ends, I think it’s quite likely that Raylan and Ava are the main characters still standing, but I don’t think that means they’re the people they thought they were in the beginning of the series.

    • JM says:

      Well said, and you’re right. This is such a deep, complex show that despite all the things you wrote, you’re only scratching the surface. This is why ‘Justified’ is my favorite show on television.

  5. Too bad it’s only one more season and Loretta is too young, because her coming back and becoming the big bad would be amazing!

  6. Hardtimes says:

    Love this talented actress with the beautiful face. Would selfishly as a viewer like a little more immediate gratification of seeing the bad guys go down. Come on writers, let us see Ava whip her “paid protector.” These characters are so well developed, Raylan, Boyd, Art, all exceptional. Great lines that will be quoted for years.

  7. Wendy says:

    It’s a TV show, people!!!

  8. Rose says:

    Love, love, love the show! But what was with all the commercials last night? There were more commercials than story!

  9. Vicki says:

    I CAN NOT believe this show will be ending in another season???!!! WTHeck?!? Are you kidding me?!? One of the BEST SHOWS on TV!!!!!!! WHY!?!?

  10. Connie says:

    Justified is the best show on TV……I don’t know anyone that doesn’t wait patiently for it to return every year. Please do not take this show off the air. There is so much reality TV on and people do not like it. You keep pushing shows like that down our throat to the point that it’s all that’s on to watch. We want Justified to stay on and shows like it. It is one of the best written and acted shows. The characters are so complicated and the story line is excellent. Please keep this show on, I am really not sure I would continue to watch this station if you remove this show. There is something wrong with a station that removes the most popular show on their station……why..??

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