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One TV Moment That Lives Forever

From Episode 3, "An Epic Story Starts with a Simple Idea, with Faraz Abidi"


SAM: Justified. A great show. A favorite show of both of ours. Timothy Olyphant was the star in that show, and we both loved it. But there was the moment — Timothy Olyphant is a guy, even in West Wing — oh, not West Wing, Westw — not Westworld either, what was the western show?

JIM: Deadwood.


SAM: Deadwood — he has that look, that smile on him. He just has a smile. And it makes him easy to hang out with. And we do the whole pilot where, you know, he kills a guy in the first scene, and he comes home, and he’s always got a wisecrack about this, and he’s always got something going on where it’s just a little bit of fun attitude. And then we get to the last scene of the pilot. He’s just killed his best friend, who’s also his —

JIM: His former best friend slash frenemy —

SAM: Right, and — who’s a criminal — and he’s sitting in his house, with his wife or ex-wife —

JIM: Standing on a balcony with his ex-wife, looking out —

SAM: Wow, you remember this moment more than I do. And she says to him, “You’re the angriest man I know.” And all of a sudden my head exploded, because that made no sense as I was going, but as I looked back and thought about it, I realized she’s right.

JIM: It shined light on every moment we had seen with him in that whole pilot.


SAM: Right. That yeah, he had a little bit of a smile, but he was actually driven by something.


JIM: Right. He was a quick draw, he was resisting being sent back to Kentucky, he’d been down to Miami, and he was fighting it the whole way, and why? And you didn’t know, but you could tell he was fighting it.

SAM: And if this had been a different show, like in the eighties or nineties, a more regular show — yeah, okay, maybe he would have had some damage, and we would have seen a few scenes of him drinking and his hand shaking, or something to tell us about that damage, but Graham Yost, who created that show, he came up with something which was so great because it made — everything made sense. It was almost like the — it was the character equivalent of turning over the big card, the big reveal in an episode, but instead of it being about, “Oh my God, that guy is a spy the whole time?!” it was, oh my God, this guy, he’s…he’s completely different than the man I understood —


JIM: He’s really a mess.

SAM: But I now understand him better. And that was a virtuostic — vitch, virtuo — help me out here.


JIM: “Virtuoso” moment.


SAM: Yes, thank you, piece of writing, unlike my last sentence. And it was, it was one of those moments — I know when I watched it, I either yelled, or I yelled in my mind, and I’m sure I called you and said, “Did you see that?!”

JIM: And it undercut in that show, right, the whole premise of the show is that he’s a quick draw, right? His character, Raylan Givens, is a marshal, old-school U.S. marshal, with all that history going back, he wears a Stetson, the whole deal — even though he doesn’t really live in places where Stetsons are expected — but so he’s got this attitude, and you’re like, “Oh, I’m watching a cop show, and he’s kind of a gunslinger, and yeah, I get it, he made the other guy draw or reach for his gun before he shot him, like, okay, this is all — it’s all fine,” and then you get to that last moment and it’s, “Oh…but why.”


SAM: This is different.


JIM: Why has he become this guy? And that’s really the rest of the series.


SAM: That’s the whole series, and in fact that guy that he killed — Walter Goggins — right? He was killed in the pilot, but they brought him back because that relationship was so intense, and it ran the length of the series. I don’t know if their scene ends the series, but it gets pretty close…it’s close to the end, and that was what it was all about, it was about that fury, and that for me was one great moment that for me lives on forever.


#TV #Justified


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