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Boyd and Ava Crowder | ‘Justified’
Justified’s” Kentucky criminal charmers Boyd and Ava Crowder share the same surname, but that’s only because Ava was briefly married to Boyd’s abusive brother — before she killed him off-screen in the show’s 2010 pilot episode.
Murdering a man’s kin might not typically be the quickest way to his heart, but midway through the FX series’ current, richly satisfying run of episodes, Boyd (Walton Goggins) was bending down on one knee, offering Ava (Joelle Carter) a diamond ring and professing his love over a box of cash.
“He’s telling her they’re not like other people, and it’s true,” Goggins says of the complicated couple. “They’re both products of violent backgrounds who have rarely, if ever, been touched in their lives. For them to find each other, someone to nurture them, to listen to them, has given them license to believe that anything is possible.”
Boyd and Ava’s aspirations in “Justified’s” fourth season run counter to their humble Harlan County roots, which further bind them but might also prove to be their tragic undoing, given that their means of achieving the American dream involve drug dealing and running a whorehouse.
But for a few minutes in the season’s ninth episode, while touring a beautiful “storybook” Clover Hill estate with a real estate agent who thinks they might be better served looking at a starter home that’s a “little further down the hill,” Boyd and Ava glimpsed what their lives might look like if their dreams came true.
“Seeing them in that house, for a moment everything was right with the world, and you could grab onto the possibility of happiness,” Carter says. “You could picture them pulling into that long driveway in Boyd’s truck.”
Adds Goggins: “Upward mobility had never crossed Boyd’s mind before he met Ava. Unfortunately, having each other isn’t enough. They want to break through this economic and social glass ceiling. Seeing the consequences [of their unsavory dealings] … well, it broke my heart.”