Johnny is the cousin of Boyd and Bowman Crowder, the nephew of Bo Crowder, and the cousin-in-law of Ava Crowder. Johnny is a career criminal, who ends up becoming Bo's right hand man after Bo is released from prison after the incarceration of former Harlan County Sheriff Hunter Mosley. However, Johnny attempts to hijack a truck containing a shipment of Ephedrine along with Boyd that Bo is to receive from Gio Reyes, but instead Boyd blows it up with a rocket launcher. Bo, angered that Johnny tipped off Boyd, shoots him in the stomach with a shotgun. The severe injury gives Johnny limited mobility on his feet (He is able to walk a small amount, but for most of the time he is bound to a wheelchair during Season 2 and Season 3). In Season 4 however, Johnny is able to walk around with the help of a cane. By Season 5, Johnny no longer uses a cane, but walks with a limp. Like Bo and Boyd, Johnny is very opportunistic and attempts to seize any amount of power and control that he can get his hands on. At the end of Season 3 and continuing onwards, it is made clear that Johnny has an extreme dislike for Boyd (he has secret links with Wynn Duffy and Ellstin Limehouse for example). Johnny's dislike for Boyd is due to that fact that Boyd was responsible for Johnny's injury, and also because Johnny believes that he was the rightful heir to the Crowder throne, but Boyd (who was a thorn in his father's side) got everything.
Johnny's first appearance is in the episode "The Lord of War and Thunder". Raylan locates him at a bar in an attempt to find out what exactly Stan Perkins is up to. Johnny, however, refuses to give up information about Stan unless he can hit a pitch. Raylan finally manages to nail a wild ground ball on his third swing, after a wild first pitch and a foul ball. Johnny tells him that Stan is moving Oxycontin and doesn't know where he put it. Johnny also warns Raylan that Ava should leave Kentucky because Bo Crowder is going to be out of jail soon and wants revenge on Ava for killing Bowman.
Johnny appears again at the beginning of the episode "Blind Spot", at a hardware store where Ava is shopping. Johnny asks the shopkeeper about rope to tie up a deer, a shovel to dig a hole and a chainsaw (Johnny is really implying that Ava is a dead woman walking.) Helen then appears with a shotgun ordering Johnny to leave the store, which he does and tells him to tell Raylan she says hey.
After Bo's release from prison, Johnny becomes Bo's right hand man (Due to the fact that Boyd has had his "conversion"). Even in the season 1 Finale, "Bulletville" Bo tells Johnny to fight Boyd in retaliation for blowing up the truck of meth Boyd was supposed to hijack. Johnny punches Boyd five times, but Boyd doesn't fight back. After kidnapping Ava, Bo turns on Johnny due to the fact he tipped Boyd off about the shipment, shooting him in the stomach with Ava's short-barreled gun.
Johnny is recruited by Boyd to join his upstart criminal organization. He is reluctant to participate given their history but Boyd convinces him that he can still be useful despite his severe injuries.
He joins Boyd in robbing an illegal poker game and recruiting Devil to their cause. The three meet to discuss their next move and are threatened by Dickie Bennett. They respond by robbing a Bennett marijuana deal but Johnny sits out the gun-play.
Fearing Bennett retaliation Johnny hides in his home. He is ambushed there by Bennett men. Johnny hides in his barn and blows up the house while they are inside.
Johnny appears in "Harlan Roulette". Boyd attempts to go down to the old bar where the Crowders frequently did their business, saying that it rightfully belongs to them. As it turns out, the bar is now being run by a man named Buck Mulligan. Boyd begins to rip down the Christmas lights from the ceiling, prompting Buck to pull out a baseball bat, but Devil is holding a gun at him. Boyd reveals to the man who he is, and that the bar used to belong to Johnny, but Buck claims that he got the bar fair and square. Boyd asks if Buck was shot, and Boyd tells Buck that he was shot, and says that Johnny was shot too, and while Johnny was recovering in the hospital, Buck bought the bar. Boyd gives him two options: A) Surrender the bar to the Crowders and leave unharmed or B) Find out what it's like to be shot. Buck picks "Option C" and two of his men come up, holding guns at Devil and Boyd. However, two men of Johnny's, Rip and Jimmy, are also there and hold the guns at Buck's men. Johnny rolls in the back door, and threatens Buck's men, as well as Buck, to leave the bar.
In "The Devil You Know", Devil attempts to turn Johnny against Boyd, due to the deal he made with Robert Quarles. Devil reminds Johnny that Boyd is the reason that he is in a wheelchair, and tells him that the only thing Boyd has ever done for Johnny was getting the bar back into Crowder custody. Devil says that Boyd is no longer the man that he once looked up to and believed in. Devil tells him he has a deal lined up that will have them in deep pockets if it is successful. Johnny asks him how deep, and Devil tells him that he will tell him anything he wants to hear, as long as Johnny has his back in killing Boyd. Johnny asks him to tell him, but it is soon revealed during the meeting between Devil, Boyd, and Johnny that Johnny was playing Devil the entire time, and relayed all the information back to Boyd.
In "Loose Ends", he shows up at his bar to find out from Ava that she is protecting Ellen May because Delroy wants to kill her. Johnny also opts against protecting Ellen May because Delroy had been offering them protection in the Oxycontin business. Johnny also criticizes Ava for being too bighearted and tells her that if it was Boyd, he would had given up the girl's location. Ava tells her that she will call Delroy and tell him but Johnny tells her he doesn't believe her.
In "Guy Walks Into a Bar", Johnny attempts to help out in the plot to get revenge against Tillman Napier (who is playing dirty in the election after two of his deputies Nick Mooney and Ethan Bishop attempt to plant drugs in Shelby's truck but ended up being caught). Johnny informs Boyd about Hanna, and suggests threatening the woman so that she agrees to help them out. Boyd however, says that he is going to handle this one by himself. Later, Johnny is seen outside of the Sheriff's office with Boyd whenever Boyd and Quarles begin to talk.
In "Coalition", Johnny is present in the bar when Errol comes in and says that he is looking for assistance before signaling Boyd's rival, Dickie into the bar. Boyd stares Dickie down coldly before dragging him to his office, putting a plastic bag over his head and punching him several times. Boyd later receives no answer from Ava's phone after he orders her to take Arlo to their house after he sits Arlo out of the bank robbery, but orders Johnny to watch over Dickie and Errol. Dickie, however, knocks Johnny unconscious after distracting him with a cue ball. Johnny calls Boyd and informs him that Dickie got the drop on him and left with Errol, but he regained consciousness in time to hear that the money was in Lexington and that it was held by Loretta McCready. Later, Johnny is present with a shotgun in tow when Quarles visits the bar intending to kill Boyd as instructed by Ellstin Limehouse. Johnny then witnesses Quarles shoot Tom Bergen, and soon police officers and Raylan come on the scene after witnessing the explosion from Quarles's car. Johnny yells to Raylan that Quarles shot Tom.
In "Slaughterhouse", Johnny, Arlo, Ava, and Boyd learn from current Harlan Sheriff Shelby that a warrant is out on Boyd after it was leaked that he had murdered Devil, and that US Marshals and State Trooper have Ava's home surrounded. Boyd immediately suspects someone in his crew is a traitor since only the 4 of them know about the murder. Johnny subtly says that Boyd can go to Hell because he is the one that recruited Devil for their services in the first place. After Boyd is arrested by the Marshals and State Troopers waiting outside his home, Ava asks for Johnny's assistance in helping to free Boyd. Johnny suggests starting with Ellen May because he knew that Dickie had visited Ellen May and pressured her for information. Ava doesn't believe it since the prostitutes don't know anything, but Johnny says she knows Arlo. Johnny calls Limehouse, furious that he would turn Boyd in to the Police, and that Boyd almost figured out where the information came from. Limehouse reveals that he knows Johnny has wanted Boyd out of the picture since Boyd caused Johnny's limited mobility, and now that he is, things are done. Johnny subtly threatens Limehouse saying that they (he and Limehouse) are not done.
In "Hole in the Wall", Johnny is seen in Boyd's office as he, Ava, and Boyd are figuring out what to do about the Oxy business. Colt walks into the bar looking for Boyd. Both Johnny and Jimmy deny knowing who Boyd is. Colt, whose background as a military officer helped him to read eyes, notices that Jimmy is a bad liar and knows something is up. Johnny asks Colt to leave, but is overpowered by him as Colt makes his way into the back.
In "Where's Waldo?", Johnny is seen arriving in the back during Ava's conversation with Ellen May. Johnny tries to leave, but Ava suggests that he stay since her conversation with Ellen May is almost over. Johnny says that there is a target on their back now that a former drug peddler and a prostitute have both been converted, and suggests visiting the church to talk to Billy St. Cyr. Boyd shoots this idea down.
In "Truth and Consequences", Johnny makes another play to undermine Boyd by offering Wynn Duffy a partnership, saying that if Boyd knew what he was doing, he would kill him. Wynn worries that it was Boyd who sent Johnny, who notes that it was Boyd who put him in a wheelchair. "I want to believe you," Wynn says. Johnny then offers to help Wynn kill Boyd.
In "This Bird Has Flown", Johnny is briefly seen at the bar, telling a remorseful Boyd that their Oxy sales are back up and that he shouldn't be down.
In "Kin", Boyd orders him to keep a sawn-off shotgun by his side behind the bar during his talk with Wynn Duffy. Afterwards, Johnny expresses his concerns about Boyd working with Wynn Duffy to Ava. Johnny is present in Duffy's trailer when he talks to Boyd on his phone and agrees to give him half of the heroin business. Johnny protests, but Duffy reassures him their deal to murder Boyd is still intact.
In "Foot Chase", Johnny is seen at Audrey's, discussing the Drew Thompson situation with Boyd. Johnny tells Boyd that if he was Wynn Duffy, he would take Drew off his hands and then kill Boyd. Johnny finds out that his working girl, Teri, has a black eye and she lies, telling him that a frequent client named Max was responsible. Johnny and Colt visit Max to send him a message, but Colt goes too far and brutally attacks the man. Johnny asks for Colt to check his pulse, but Colt refuses and storms off.
In "Money Trap", Johnny lays in the bed with Teri, and learns that Colt was the one responsible for hitting her and not Max, that Colt came into her room, tweaked out and questioned Ellen May's whereabouts before slapping her around. Johnny believes that Colt has been using drugs because of having a guilty conscience for murdering Ellen May. In the bar, Johnny questions Colt, asking if he sees the faces of innocents in his dreams, and tells him that Ellen May wasn't innocent.
In "Outlaw", Johnny spends most of the time impersonating "Ellen May", requesting $20,000 from Colt in exchange for silence. Later, Johnny visits Duffy in his mobile home and explains to him that the two men were not Drew Thompson, but rather two people on Boyd's enemy list. Duffy delivers good news and bad news to Johnny: The good news is Johnny is going to get his wish as far as Boyd's death is concerned. The bad news is that now Johnny has to deliver Drew Thompson to Theo Tonin. At the bar, he provides backup for Boyd during his meeting with Gerald Johns, Lee Paxton, and Arnold.
In "The Hatchet Tour", Johnny talks to Teri, who had overheard the conversation between Ava and Cassie St. Cyr regarding Ellen May. While Boyd and Ava are talking at the bar, Johnny tells them that Colt is a liar and that he never killed Ellen May. Boyd urges Johnny to provide the missing pieces to the puzzle. Johnny accompanies Boyd to the church where Colt is interrogating Cassie.
In "Get Drew", Johnny calls Duffy to tell him that they have identified Shelby Parlow as Drew Thompson, but they don't know where he is at. Duffy orders Johnny to find Drew, or else the deal to kill Boyd is off. Raylan and Rachel Brooks visit Johnny at Audrey's, where he tips them off about the meeting place where the Tonin family will pick up Shelby.
In "Decoy", Johnny is present at the bar when Nick Augustine and his henchman Yolo, Picker, and Mort come. Johnny, Ava, and Boyd soon realize that Raylan has taken Drew to the old high school where an astronaut landed on the baseball field when they were teenagers. Later, Nick, Ava, and Johnny remain at the bar where Nick outs Johnny's change in allegiance, and his conspiring with Duffy. Johnny stops Ava from setting Nick's face on fire and shooting him. Johnny tells Ava that he loves her as she backs out the door to leave.
In "Peace of Mind", Johnny calls Limehouse to help deliver Ellen May to Augustine's crew. Limehouse refuses to cooperate and hangs up, causing Johnny to believe Limehouse already has a deal set with Boyd. Augustine calls Boyd and offers to give him the $300,000 to buy Ellen May and in return, he will hand Johnny over to Boyd. When Raylan and Rachel Brooks arrive at the bar looking for Boyd, Johnny begs them to help, to no avail.
In "Good Intentions", Johnny's voice is heard briefly at the end of the episode when Boyd calls him from Teri's phone, revealing that he is very much alive and was responsible for the sabotage of Boyd's most recent shipment.
In "Over the Mountain", Johnny is called to the jail by Boyd, where it is apparent he still harbors feelings for Ava, saying that she is the only reason he came there and not for Boyd. Johnny laughs off Boyd's attempt to make peace and work together again, and departs, telling Ava that when she comes to her senses, she can call him. Carl and Boyd track down Johnny, who is seen shaking hands with Rodney Dunham. Boyd decides to wait for the perfect time to take both Johnny and Dunham down.
In "Shot All to Hell", Johnny is seen playing poker with Roscoe and Jay when Dunham comes in. Dunham tells them that he's heard Boyd has another shipment coming in, this time from the Mexicans and suggests they hijack that shipment too. Johnny compliments his boss for wanting to make such a ballsy move and asks Dunham where he got the tip about the Mexican shipment. Dunham reveals that he heard it from Boyd, and Roscoe and Jay turn their guns on Johnny, as Dunham apologizes. However, Roscoe and Jay turn their guns on Dunham, who stands in shock as Johnny reveals that he split the money from the first robbery between the three of them, calling it "people power".
In "Raw Deal", Johnny and his associates arrive in Mexico to meet with Alberto Ruiz and Yoon. At Yoon's mansion, Boyd arrives and learns that Johnny has outbid Boyd for the deal with Yoon, who says that if Johnny can deliver the money, he will work with him. After Johnny delivers the cash, Ruiz releases Boyd into Johnny's custody, but demands that he be killed across the border. In the desert, Carl, Jimmy, Dewey, Daryl and Danny hop out of a van as Johnny realizes that Boyd was one step ahead of him and was planning to use Dunham's money in the deal. Boyd plans to kill Johnny, but not in that desert. Danny, however, executes Dunham's henchmen after pretending that one of them attempted to draw on him. Johnny laughs at Boyd's plans being ruined, but is promptly shot and killed by Boyd.
- Bo Crowder - Uncle, criminal associate, deceased
- Boyd Crowder - Cousin, former criminal assiocate, enemy, killer
- Ava Crowder - Cousin-in-law, former criminal associate
- Bowman Crowder - Cousin, deceased
- Henry Crowder - Relationship ambiguous, deceased
- Arlo Givens - Criminal associate
- Devil - Criminal associate, deceased
- Hestler Jones - Criminal associate, deceased
- Rip Bell - Crimianl associate, deceased
- Jimmy - Former criminal associate
- Wynn Duffy - Former riminal associate
- Roscoe - Criminal associate
- Jay - Criminal associate
- Rodney Dunham - Criminal associate
- Mickey - Meth cook
- Two unnamed Bennett henchmen
Raylan: You got a bat?
Johnny: Course I got a bat. Whatday think? I'm a fag?
"Blah, blah-blah-blah-blah! Shit, I just about forgot how much I hate the sound of your voice." Johnny to Boyd in "Over the Mountain"
"You come to your senses sweetheart, you drop me a line, I come for you." Johnny to Ava Crowder in "Over the Mountain"
|Season one appearances|
|Fire in the Hole||Riverbrook||Fixer||Long in the Tooth||The Lord of War and Thunder|
|The Collection||Blind Spot||Blowback||Hatless||The Hammer|
|Veterans||Fathers and Sons||Bulletville|
|Season two appearances|
|The Moonshine War||The Life Inside||The I of the Storm||For Blood or Money||Cottonmouth|
|Blaze of Glory||Save My Love||The Spoil||Brother's Keeper||Debts and Accounts|
|Full Commitment||Reckoning||Bloody Harlan|
|Season three appearances|
|The Gunfighter||Cut Ties||Harlan Roulette||The Devil You Know||Thick as Mud|
|When the Guns Come Out||The Man Behind The Curtain||Watching the Detectives||Loose Ends||Guy Walks Into a Bar|
|Season four appearances|
|Hole in the Wall||Where's Waldo?||Truth and Consequences||This Bird Has Flown||Kin|
|Foot Chase||Money Trap||Outlaw||The Hatchet Tour||Get Drew|
|Decoy||Peace of Mind||Ghosts|
|Season five appearances|
|A Murder of Crowes||The Kids Aren't All Right||Good Intentions||Over the Mountain||Shot All to Hell|
|Kill the Messenger||Raw Deal||Whistle Past the Graveyard||Wrong Roads||Weight|