‘Justified’ writers say they don’t know how the show ends yet – Live-Blog

The final season of “Justified” starts this week on FX.

Even if I didn't love (or like) the fifth season, it's still a show I've valued a lot over the years and I'll miss it.

For the final “Justified” press tour panel on Sunday (January 18), we're getting Graham Yost, Fred Golan, Tim Olyphant, Walton Goggins, Joelle Carter, Nick Searcy, Erica Tazel, Jacob Pitts, Jere Burns, Mary Steenburgen, Sam Elliott.

Click through and follow along…

Note that critics have seen three “Justified” Season 6 episodes. Any extra-spoiler-y questions won't get live-blogged… Don't worry too much.

3:10 p.m. Pacific. The panel has been delayed so that we can watch the end of the football game on the big ballroom screens. “Jesus Christ,” Timothy Olyphant yells as the Seahawks convert the two.

3:18 p.m. As the game goes into overtime, Olyphant has to go backstage and we're starting the panel. He's displeased. We'll see if he comes back out after this Season 6 clip.

3:21 p.m. Olyphant was rooting for the Packers, in case you couldn't figure out.

3:21 p.m. Olyphant did, indeed, make it out onto the stage. He seems ticked, though, that Walton Goggins got to miss the panel. Goggins is shooting a movie, but everybody suspects he's watching the game. 

3:22 p.m. Why end it now? “Yeah, Graham. What the f***?” Olyphant asks Graham Yost. The answer is that Yost didn't want to outstay their welcome and they could only stretch the Raylan/Boyd story so far.

3:23 p.m. Mary Steenburgen and Sam Elliott are late additions to the cast. “I feel like I'm still playing catch-up with all these guys,” Elliott says in his glorious Sam Elliott voice. “All do know is it's been a joy,” Elliott says adding, “It's been a great gift and a lot of fun.” Steenburgen was excited to hear that Sam would be doing it, but she was a fan of the show. “In my case it was also really nice to actually play someone who is truly evil, very refreshing for me,” she says. She loves the blend of comedy and crime and passion. “It's just such great writing,” she raves.

3:26 p.m. Graham says they weren't able to tell Elmore Leonard about how they were ending the series. “It terms of how it ends, it really depends on how this panel goes today,” he jokes. They've been talking about how to end the show since Season 3, but it has changed every year.

3:27 p.m. “Wasn't that fun?” Olyphant says of our time watching the game. “That was like five minutes. It was a good time. We were all together. There was some life going on,” he jokes.

3:28 p.m. “You're pay to find that out. Or not pay, because it's free,” Yost says of the tone of the end of the series. Where do they see Raylan in 20 years? “On FX,” Olyphant jokes. Yost kids that maybe in 20 years Raylan would be working in Hollywood as a technical advisor. 

3:29 p.m. “I'm in love with you for thinking she's smarter than everyone thinks she's in,” Joelle Carter tells a reporter who praises Ava's intelligence. But I'm being distracted by the end of the football game. “It's exhausting for Ava and it was exhausting for me and very exciting. I have to commend Tim and Walton for giving me so much on both sides to work with,” Joelle says.

3:30 p.m. Olyphant is reflecting on learning that the Seahawks won.

3:31 p.m. Will there be any familiar faces brought back? “If the story presents itself, there are character's we're bringing back,” Yost says. “We didn't want this to be the greatest hits. But that said, there are characters who come in because they're part of that world,” Yost says. He says that Neal McDonaugh has sent him a couple emails suggesting he could still come back, but it doesn't sound like he's going to be back.

3:32 p.m. “Where did you come up with Deadwooded? Is that something you came up with earlier in the week?” Olyphant asks a reporter who asks what it's like being on a show that knows it's ending. “It's been wonderful to just be able to see the finish line and enjoy it,” he says. He notes that he's unemployed in a few weeks. “I'm gonna have to say 'Yes' to some s****y-ass f***ing job,” he jokes.

3:34 p.m. Yost jokes that the promo with Ava burning both Rayan and Boyd down prevented them from doing that plotline. 

3:34 p.m. Did the ending come naturally and organically? Or did it require a lot of work. “We don't have the ending yet,” Yost says. They're shooting 10 now. They have a script for 11. They're breaking and outlining 12. “That doesn't mean we haven't been thinking about the ending,” Yost says. “We've got a certain amount of flexibility,” he says, though it won't be Ava burning down the house.

3:36 p.m. “I'm the same incredibly humble guy that I've always been,” Yost jokes about how his voice has changed channeling Elmore Leonard for this long. Fred Golan says that they still consider what Elmore would do whenever they get stuck, adding that his spirit has been with them. “In my next job, if there is one, I can't write like this. Otherwise it'll feel like I'm doing more Elmore. Writing like Elmore… Trying to at least… Has been an incredible privilege,” Yost says.

3:38 p.m. How will they be able to craft ending for secondary characters? Yost says that for the last season, they wanted to do something different with Art and use more Rachel and Tim. “There's a lot of fun in seeing Rachel and Tim giving Raylan s***,” Yost teases.

3:39 p.m. What's in store for Wynn Duffy? Jere Burns says that Duffy goes where Duffy needs to go for Duffy to stay alive, “like a cockroach.” He says there's the possibility for Duffy to do something compassionate, or at least Duffy-compassionate.

3:40 p.m. “We're thrilled that Sam came to join us,” Michael Dinner says. Dinner says they didn't target an iconic actor for the role, but they just love Elliott's work. “I've been stealing from him for years and now I'm standing next to him and it's obvious…” Olyphant laments. He adds, “He does the authentic thing and then they cut to my coverage and I'm stealing from the authentic thing.” Elliott lets out a grumble. Elliott watched the show “from the get-go,” but has become more passionate. “It's great cinema,” Elliott says. “I've become a huge fan of everybody involved beyond a fan of the show itself,” he says.

3:43 p.m. “Like we actually killed him, the actor?” Olyphant asks a reporter who missed the memo about where Walton Goggins is. Olyphant jokes that Goggins is actually dead for the show and adds, “His publicist has been very cooperative. His family very patient.”

3:44 p.m. Yost is asked what he thinks will happen to Olyphant will do after this. “Finally a good question,” Olyphant says. “My wife is asking the same question, 'Now what the f***, Tim?'” he says. “I think Tim can do whatever he wants. He's a smart dude,” Dinner says. “F***ing A, dude!” Olyphant agrees, high-fiving Dinner. 

Slightly truncated panel… Oh well!