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Justified: When the Guns Come Out

"You know you're in trouble when the drums stop."

There are now three conflicting sides full of bad guys fighting for control of the Harlan county oxy biz, and as per the episode title, the guns have come out and people are getting killed.

Quarles, who has previously left me cold, is now starting to get to me. The big, bright blue eyes and gleeful grin and phone calls home, combined with his love for homicide and the poor guy tied up in the bedroom that he is doing something horrible to in his spare time, and was Quarles playing with a cigar cutter? Ick. And now he's decided that Raylan is in Boyd's pocket, which is really funny when you think about it.

(It's also dangerous for Arlo, who incidentally, was talking about Helen as if she were still alive, and couldn't remember Boyd's name. This can't be good. My grandfather lost his mind after my grandmother died and didn't outlive her for long, and he was only 62. I'm getting that vibe from Arlo.)

On the second side of the conflict, Limehouse was even scarier. When he was talking to his idiotic minion who just started the shooting war without clearing it first, I kept expecting him to do something horrible to him with that cleaver. Shudder. The Boyd/Limehouse scene where Limehouse pointed out that it was a survival characteristic for the people in Noble's Holler to know all the white people in the surrounding area was really interesting. It also meant that Limehouse almost certainly did recognize Arlo.

And that takes us to the third side of the conflict. The Raylan/Boyd confrontation was great fun. While Boyd stayed calm and even appeared amused, Raylan was ticked off and short tempered, mad at Boyd for deciding to re-enter his life of crime (and not incidentally, taking Ava and Arlo along for the ride). Raylan was even abrupt with Ava. While Quarles and Limehouse creeped me out, Boyd and Ava used Raylan to solve the shooting at Helen's house and help the unfortunate Ellen May.

And yay for the return of Ellen May, who was a hoot as the stoned hooker in last season's "Reckoning." Now she has a name and a nasty pimp, Delroy (William Mapother from Lost) who grew up in a hippie drug commune, much like his character on... Lost. Is this the last we'll see of Delroy? I doubt it. The way characters are set up and keep coming back is one of the reasons I like Justified so much.

Raylan was short-tempered and upset because Winona left him two terse sentences and no forwarding address. It seemed so unlikely, but for a moment I really did think she had taken the money and absconded to Costa Rica. I was a tiny bit relieved that all she did was leave Raylan and move in with her sister. Bad for Raylan if it's permanent, but good for drama, and who can blame her? Raylan is an exceptionally attractive and charming man and she's admitted that he's the love of her life, but he did just shoot a man in front of her in their motel room, and he was just the latest of three. Has he really shot three people just in the motel room? I bet that doesn't count Arlo. Funny how my review keeps going back to Arlo when he was only in the episode for five minutes.

Anyway, it was a great little twist that Charlie stole the money. That whole thing with Winona last season probably brought it to his attention. And since he's been in law enforcement forever, he might be smart enough not to get caught.

Bits and pieces:

-- Raylan seems to be spending all of his time in Harlan lately, and I was curious how far it was from Lexington. So I checked. It's not short. Nearly a three hour drive.

-- It was nice to see my favorite judge again, although Judge Hammer didn't have much to do but give Raylan unwanted advice on what to do about Winona. Which Art did, as well.

-- Wynn Duffy is still being quiet and competent. I bet Quarles scares him. The writers are definitely using Wynn to make Quarles appear scarier. Smart.

-- A fistfight in a moving oxy clinic. That was new.

-- The second working girl from Audrey's who died was named Trixie. How very Deadwood. Limehouse just lost his spy.

-- Delroy offered Ava a job at Audrey's. Not quite as threatening as when Bo Crowder did it, but definitely uncomfortable.

-- Good casting of Gail, who did indeed resemble Winona.


Raylan: "I need some time off."
Art: "Are you trying to be funny?"

Raylan: "I know you don't give a shit about me or my job, and I've given up expecting you to act right, but you know the position you're putting me in here, Arlo?"
Arlo: "Missionary."

Raylan: (to Boyd) "So this is the new you, huh? Bartending, pushing pills, moved on from swastikas and rocket launchers?"

Raylan: "You want to run your hillbilly heroin fiefdom up here? That's between you and the great state of Kentucky. I got no interest in shitkicker-on-shitkicker crime. But you will not drag me into this."

Raylan: "Saw that Kenny Chesney on your computer, I figured you were capable of anything."
This would probably be funnier if I had any idea who Kenny Chesney is.

This season, like the last, is like a novel instead of a string of independent episodes, and it feels like we're still in the opening chapters. Three out of four oxy drug lords,

Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.


  1. "I'm getting that vibe from Arlo."

    Me, too.

    "A fistfight in a moving oxy clinic. That was new."

    And awesome! It was so out of tune with the rest of this show, because most of the violence is really laconic thanks to the fabulous Mr. Givens.

    "How very Deadwood.

    Me, too.

    "This would probably be funnier if I had any idea who Kenny Chesney is."

    I think he's a rather cheesy current country singer without any real street cred.

  2. At the end of the Limehouse paragraph, you mention Limehouse not remembering Arlo. This is erroneous, because he recognized Arlo on the bridge in the opening scene of episode three. It was Raylan who he did not remember, in episode four.

  3. Loving this season so much. Quarles and Limehouse are both brilliant additions to the show.

    I just started liking Winona and Raylan together, then they split them up. Typical :(

  4. Can I just say, pissed off Raylan is fun to watch. The scenes with Arlo (I'm concerned about him as well) and with Boyd were really well done.

    The guy tied up on the bed is creeping me out. It's actually really well done by the writers -- I'm sure our imagination is much worse than anything they could ever film. Or maybe, I'm still recovering from last night's viewing of Joffrey.

    I'm sorry that Winona is giving up -- especially with a baby on the way. But, she made a great point with the poker game analogy. It's hard to image our hero without his star.

  5. I really am so upset by this development with Winona. And I don't hate her - I really want to like her! And I like Raylan and her together, and Natalie Zea does a fantastic job. But if she was a real person, the way she treats Raylan could only be described as emotionally abusive. I totally understand her objections to the way he lives his life, nobody could argue with that. He is self-destructive, and he is reckless. But it's the way she goes about voicing her concerns that galls me as a viewer. She is written as someone who has no empathy for him, no understanding of why he is the way he is, no understanding of where he comes from. She had never even been to Harlan or met Arlo until Helen's funeral in season 2. She also takes a shocking lack of responsibility for own stupid choices eg, the money, and for the ways she has hurt Raylan - she cheated on him, for Christ's sake! And still takes the moral high ground all the time! And now she's disappeared again - what a cowardly, childish way to leave a relationship. To not even talk to him about it first, let him think that everything was fine, and then whip the carpet out from underneath him all of a sudden. How cruel. If the writer's aim was to redeem her in the eyes of the viewers - they have not. And as somebody who has been abused, this situation just gets to me. She treats him so badly and she refuses to see her own flaws, and he won't call her on them. It's particularly interesting that he won't even get angry at her. Won't even allow himself to feel anger towards her, probably because he would see that as being like wifebeater Arlo and he has a horror of being like that. It's also typical of people who grew up in abusive homes, like Raylan did, to just acccept this sort of behaviour. Abusive patterns are normal to them, so they don't even see it.
    If I could give the writers some advice on how to redeem her, besides "don't do this!", they could have her, a) apologise! and acknowledge her own faults for once! and b)come to understand more of what it was like for him growing up in Harlan in a home like his, and stop judging him so much! Whatever Raylan's flaws, Winona has an abundance of her own.
    And I'm probably overattached here, but I hurt for Raylan. :( I wish Winona would treat him better.
    (getting off soapbox now)

    1. "She is written as someone who has no empathy for him, no understanding of why he is the way he is, no understanding of where he comes from. She had never even been to Harlan or met Arlo until Helen's funeral in season 2."

      You do realize that Raylan and Winona met far away from Kentucky and Raylan did not actually return to Kentucky until 6 years after they divorced? Why would she have met any of Raylan's family? You think he invited Arlo and Helen to his wedding? LOL. It's completely logical that the first time to set foot in his childhood home is for the funeral. They had gotten back together and she was now part of his life again. You're trying to find reasons to claim Winona is emotionally abusive but conveniently skip over how emotionally immature Raylan is. In fact you could classify his behavior as emotionally abusive - just because he doesn't scream or lash out doesn't make him his behavior any less painful.

  6. I just started watching Justified last week and am up to season 3 already - TERRIFIC show!

    I think @EZ has the right of it - Winona really does treat Raylan very badly. Even how she leaves him is cruel - a two-line note?? Really? I never liked her much at all but her behaviour over the money last season and now this stuff has really pushed me into straight-out loathing. One of the things that I found really horrible was her joking with Raylan over leaving him for the realtor who was selling her house! I mean, REALLY? You broke his heart once before by doing that and you think it's ok to make jokes about it? I hate that she's pregnant because he's now in a very painful and very awkward situation with her and will never really be able to move on. Very sad. He doesn't deserve it.

    I liked seeing Ava with the poor beaten up Ella May - she was very kind and sweet to her. And the way Raylan looked at Ava when she was advising her how to deal with her injuries - I think he'd almost forgotten the hell that she lived through, just like his mother did. Ava's so strong and ballsy that it's easy to forget what she endured for so long. He's ignored her for ages now - it was good seeing them working together again.

  7. Wyn Duffy continuing to be silently freaked out by Quarles is still one of the funniest things to me and I'm not sure why. I just still remember my impressions of Wyn Duffy from season 1 and it's just funny to feel concerned for him now. I love dark material in general but I'm glad Justified got a little easier to watch again after Devil's death.

    Ellen May is really cute


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