Many folks came up to Graham Yost while Justified was on hiatus and asked, wearily, who the Big Bad was going to be for Season 4.
Margo Martindale and Neal McDonough were favorites with fans and critics alike, but it was that danger of falling into predictability — having to come up with a bigger, better, weirder villain —that prompted the executive producer and his team of writers to modify their approach.
Yes, U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) will still be cleaning up Harlan County, Ky. — Tuesdays beginning Jan. 8 at 10pm — but the main drama this go-round stems from a decades-old mystery. Yost shares some details, including a fallen parachute jumper and a backpack that contains a diplomatic courier bag and a substantial amount of cocaine. Intrigued yet?
The regular Justified roster returns with Boyd (Walton Goggins) having recruited an old Desert Storm buddy (Ron Eldard) into his crew. Natalie Zea will make a few appearances as Winona, Raylan’s ex-wife and the mother of his soon-to-be-born child.
The biggest news regarding guest stars is the arrival of Patton Oswalt. The standup comic will flex his acting chops playing Constable Bob Sweeney, a high-school acquaintance of Raylan who helps him keep watch over his father’s house.
“He’s a wannabe, but there is some danger to him,” Yost says of Oswalt’s character. “I just saw the first episode, and Patton is just fantastic. … It was brought to our attention that he was a huge fan of the show, and I’m a huge fan of his, so when we came up with this part we said, ‘Let’s see if Patton will do it.’ He agreed, and we’re just delighted.”
Photo: Credit: James Minchin/FX