Natalie Zea Clears Up Her Justified Status, Teases Winona's Season-Ending Return

As if lawman Raylan Givens won’t have enough going in next Tuesday’s Justified finale — what with at least one very bad guy still at large — his baby mama will also resurface. Yet Winona’s presence was no foregone conclusion, if only because Natalie Zea has been in barely half of this season’s episodes.

Zea, though, was almost in none.

“I was actually done contractually after Season 2, and I planned on not continuing,” the actress shared at FX’s upfront event when I inquired about her conspicuously intermittent status with the Southern-fried drama.

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Fortunately, EP Sarah Timberman – whom Zea hails as “a lovely and amazing producer and communicator” – convinced Winona’s portrayer to participate in Season 3.

“I said that I would gladly do it in a truncated capacity, so that I could be available for other things” – an arc on Californication and a role in Kevin Williamson’s Kevin Bacon-fronted serial killer pilot for Fox included – “so it worked out really well for all of us,” Zea said. “I just wanted to make sure that everybody is happy.”

Zea revealed that Winona will “sport a bit of a baby bump – finally!” when she shows up in the Season 3 capper, but wouldn’t reveal where things stand between her and Raylan once the finale’s inevitable, literal dust clears.

“I don’t think [Winona] will ever be ‘checked out’ of the relationship,” she allowed. “After all,” as a mom-to-be, “there’s, like, another person involved now.”

Justified fans, have you missed the Raylan/Winona romance this season?

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