Actor Walton Goggins returns to Justified and the role of Harlan County bad-boy Boyd Crowder when the FX crime drama resumes season four with “Decoy” on Tuesday, March 19.
As fans know, the success of Justified is due in large part to the writing talent of Elmore Leonard and the skillful ability of Timothy Olyphant to embody Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens. However (and this is a big HOWEVER), it goes without saying that Justified would be much less of a show without Walton Goggins in the villainous role of Harlan County criminal kingpin Boyd Crowder.
“I think you’ll see a parallel between Boyd’s story and Raylan’s story,” Goggins told The Deadbolt on a conference call ahead of the “Decoy” episode, “that greed, in whatever form it comes, can fog the glasses.”
After recent roles in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained and Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, Goggins has raised his acting game to even bigger heights beyond television. For Goggins, however, as he revealed on the call, his full-time gig on cable has a similar quality as larger feature films. It’s a quality that makes him grateful to be part of the FX family.
Last week on Justified, Boyd was sold out to the Marshals by his cousin, Johnny Crowder, after everyone learned the real identity of fugitive pilot Drew Thompson who posed as Harlan County Sheriff Shelby Parlow. When the gritty FX series resumes on March 19, Raylan must find a way to get Drew past a desperate Boyd and the Detroit mob henchmen who’ve been sent to stop him.
Since Boyd fully understands his criminal identity and the possible consequences, how does Walton Goggins see the stakes for Boyd now as compared to the end of last season?
“Once you have tunnel vision, you become myopic. You lose the ability to see the forest. That can be good on one level. But if you’re not looking at all of the other things going on around you, it may come back to bite you in the ass.
I think that’s really kind of where Boyd is right now. He’s self-aware but I think in some ways he’s become too one tracked in his focus and he needs to just step back and be the cautious, quiet, observant Boyd that he normally can be when he’s in his power. But he’s not really in his power at this moment.”
In the fourth season of Justified, tension within the Crowder family has been simmering behind Boyd’s back. For Johnny Crowder, who was shot in the stomach by Boyd at the end of the first season, removing his kingpin cousin from the Harlan County crime scene is good for business. To Johnny, the powerful, soft-spoken and street-smart Boyd is nothing but a hypocrite.
Does Walton Goggins feel that Johnny’s anger toward Boyd is justified?
“I do,” Goggins continued. “Absolutely, I think it’s justified. Boyd has caused him great pain.”
“I think that’s the genius of Elmore Leonard – and what’s so hard to do every single week – is to have everyone on the show have righteous motivations. Not only for their actions but for the things that come out of their mouths, and to do it circuitously, go around and not talk about what you’re seeing but to talk about what you’re seeing. Johnny has verbalized a lot of his anger that he has toward Boyd, and I think he’s absolutely justified.
“You look at it from his point of view, why wouldn’t you want to knock Boyd off? I would. But you better wake up early in the morning to do it and [think] before you pull the trigger. So, we’ll see what happens.”
After four successful seasons, there’s no denying that Justified is one of the best shows on television. It’s as much a leader in the new cable revolution as FX counterparts American Horror Story and Sons of Anarchy along with others like The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad and Mad Men.
How do you want things to play out with Boyd for the rest of the season on Justified?