“I don’t think it could have ended any better. I will always have a little piece of Ava with me, so she’s not gone forever,” says Joelle Carter to Gold Derby in our recent video chat (watch below). Regarding the final season of the FX hit “Justified,” she adds, “They ended her like a true Elmore Leonard woman gets to end. For her own story, she gets away with it all.”
This one-time supporting player was such a strong presence this year that she is going to be submitted for Best Drama Actress. Do you think she will reap her first-ever Emmy nomination? Make your predictions and you could win our $1,000 prize as well as a place of honor on our leaderboard and a starring role in next year’s Top 24 Users (the two dozen folks who do the best predicting this year’s Emmys line-up).
Carter has played Ava Crowder, a Kentucky woman with many sides to her character, for the six-year run of this modern western. While she could be a good person, she also killed at least two people, ran a brothel, attempted to take over the drug underworld, and ultimately stole $10 million. She was in an unusual and complicated triangle with her outlaw boyfriend/fiancee Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins) and U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant).
The final few episodes had her shooting Boyd, hiding in the hills, getting caught, and ultimately driving off after a shootout. The finale jumped forward in time by four years to show that Ava had truly gotten away from the law to California before Raylan showed up. He didn’t arrest her, though, and discovered she had a son that Boyd never knew.
Of that concluding episode, she admits, “I don’t think anybody expected that. There was so much back-and-forth after season five. Who was going to live and who was going to die? I think almost everybody wanted to die except for me. And we knew they weren’t going to kill Raylan pretty much because you kinda can’t kill the hero. But I think Walton was the big question mark and the marshals.”
However, if nominated, she says she might submit the third episode titled “Noblesse Oblige.” The opening shows Ava and Boyd after drinking all night. She then gets summoned by Raylan to a meeting about her confidential informant role but can’t hardly hide the fact she is drunk. She likes that one because a voter would “see a lot of flavors of Ava; the dramatic, the funny, the charismatic, and everything about her.”
And of her final “bittersweet” appearance: “I just tried to digest everything Ava had gone through in the past six years and her actually being able to escape. And knowing that she probably really hadn’t slept that well since the four years before. Also, I feel like she knew someday she would be standing face-to-face with Raylan. So it was a really a layer-packed scene to open that door and him stand there.”
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