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Justified's Erica Tazel Never Saw A True Romance Between Rachel And Raylan

Just as U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) can't help his endless pursuit of friend and rival Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins), he also can't help his pursuit of complicated romantic partners. From the onset of "Justified," we learn that his anger not only drove his wife, Winona Hawkins (Natalie Zea), away but also struck fear in the heart of her husband, Gary Hawkins (William Ragsdale). And then there is the Ava Crowder (Joelle Carter) of it all.

Starting as a damsel in distress, Ava goes on to marry Boyd and become one of the best "Justified" villains in her own right. But out of Raylan's mess of complicated relationships, there is one who he never gets the chance to romance. A co-worker and eventual leader of the Marshal's office, Rachel Brooks (Erica Tazel) is one of the only female main characters spared from Raylan's messy love life. And despite the hints that there might be something between the two, Tazel never saw the two being anything other than platonic.

"The writers played with the idea that there would be a line crossed," Tazel told Vanity Fair, "but I think Rachel is pretty smart and pretty practical so I think that even if she wanted to, she wouldn't jeopardize her office relationship for something that probably wouldn't work out." Having a healthy romantic life is not what Raylan does best, so Rachel's instinct is probably for the best. Also, it downright comes in handy in later "Justified" seasons.

Rachel had a bigger role to play than Raylan's girlfriend

While Raylan Givens is running around blowing holes in Boyd Crowder and getting caught up in his women troubles, someone has to mind the store. The headstrong triggerman may be an ace at his job, but there is more to being a Marshal than quick drawing. Above all else, Rachel Brooks is a consummate professional, which leads her to rise through the ranks to become everyone's boss.

After being promoted, Rachel continues not only to be the best Marshal in the unit but be strong where Raylan is weak. His intuition and talent as a Marshal can be a double-edged sword. As Erica Tazel tells Entertainment Weekly, Raylan can't always be objective: "Especially with Ava, because she's between a rock and a hard place, and Raylan isn't a soulless individual; he does care about her. But as we see as the season goes on, that can complicate things a bit, and Rachel doesn't have that to navigate. She can be very honest and transparent with Raylan when she sees it happening to him."

If the two embarked on a relationship, Rachel would be on a list with Raylan's other love interests and be drawn into his personal drama. Instead of being the damsel in distress, she has much more pressing matters. She has just the acumen to get the job done and not take Raylan's nonsense in the process.