Following his appearance as part of the Justified panel at the Television Critics Association winter press tour, Walton Goggins confirmed for TVLine which scene from the Season 5 premiere “permanently altered” his view of Boyd Crowder (as teased in this October interview).
As the FX drama’s penultimate season opener neared its close, Clover Hiller Lee Paxton offered Boyd a deal: Take the rap for the killing that has landed Ava behind bars, and he’ll make sure she gets sprung. But rather than leap at that chance to make a supreme sacrifice, Boyd says not a word.
“Boyd Crowder is if anything a verbose man, he has an answer to almost anything. And for the first time since I can remember, when Paxton makes him an offer, Boyd has nothing to say to that,” Goggins recalled. “All the power resides with him. If he loves [Ava] that much, then she will be let out of prison. And he can’t come back with an answer because he knows that there is no answer.”
Instead, Goggins says, “Boyd f–king reverts to being an animal” and proceeds to beat Paxton to a bloody pulp. “This man is used to using his words as his sword, and in that instance there was nothing to use but his fists. And I’m like, ‘Wow, really Boyd? That’s it, that’s all you got?’ And that has continued throughout this season, these very, very dark feelings for him.”
And while one might infer/fear that Boyd’s response to Paxton’s proposal perhaps devalues the magnitude of his love for Ava, Goggins insists that is not the case. “No, he was just faced with an impossible situation, for him,” the actor explains. With a nod to the reality-TV program, he said, “If you’re watching Survivor this past season [players] had the opportunity to trade with their spouse a couple of times, and [Boyd] didn’t choose to ‘go to the island,’ and I think he feels really bad about that. And that just changed the way that I saw Boyd.”
Boyd’s ongoing inability to orchestrate Ava’s release from prison will feed a fury within him, up until a point where he explodes like never before — and to an extent that stunned his portrayer.
“There’s a scene coming up in Episode 5 [where] I’ve never felt that kind of guttural anger from a person that I’ve been playing,” he shared, “and the ire is directed towards a person who has very much wronged Boyd and Ava. The way it comes out of his mouth and what he does is epic for me as an actor. And what happens immediately after this action is such an indication about where this guy is. It’s just a release. ‘Now, I can be calm.’”