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Justified: Guy Walks Into a Bar

"This is the nature of Harlan County politics."

Well, Neal McDonough certainly earned his acting salary this week.

Has Quarles fallen over the edge into insanity, or has he been nuts since he was fourteen? I bet crunching those pills like candy isn't helping. I can guess what he's doing to his victims -- reliving his horrible childhood experiences and following it up by reenacting the murder of his father, I suppose? Actually, I don't want to know. But I bet we're going to find out.

Quarles really, really wanted to have a shootout in the bar with Raylan. Great call on Raylan's part, and if Lindsay hadn't been there with her handy-dandy Ava-like shotgun, Quarles would probably be dead already and Marshall Allman wouldn't be chained in Quarles's bathroom. And I'd be relieved. I think Wynn Duffy would be relieved, too. Even Raylan is treating Duffy like the sane one.

As creepy as Quarles is, the totally sane Limehouse is creepier. He hasn't done anything horrible on camera yet, but the menace he exudes is overpowering. (Probably because he's almost always holding something sharp in his hand and punctuating sentences by stabbing things.) I honestly don't care if Limehouse takes out Dickie Bennett, who is a cowardly murderer of women who deserves whatever he gets. But whenever there is a Boyd/Limehouse scene, I keep getting the feeling that Limehouse is going to hurt Boyd, and I don't want that.

Clever, clever Boyd found an underhanded way to win the election. Why on earth did he make a point of approaching Quarles and gloating? Does he want Quarles to try to kill him? I was glad that Boyd got what he wanted without hurting Napier's sister, although I didn't expect him to do so. (Because Boyd doesn't hurt women, and Ava would be pissed at him.)

(Speaking of killing, is Raylan's new romantic interest Lindsay going to be next? Felt like it. Especially with the symbolism of the light through bullet hole while they were on the bed.)

It was endearing that Raylan wasn't able to stand up in the courtroom and talk about Dickie killing Helen in cold blood. Or maybe Raylan just wanted Dickie out where someone might kill him. Limehouse did choose a pig to be killed, and since he and Errol were talking about Dickie directly before, it was hard to miss the implication.

Finally, we had something of a Supernatural reunion with Jim Beaver as Shelby and Richard Speight, Jr. returning as Jed, although they had no scenes together. Shelby got a couple of great ones, including the opener with him outwitting the deputies trying to plant evidence in his truck. (There's been a lot of that going around lately, and I mean planting evidence and outwitting.) I wonder if Shelby is going to be Boyd's willing minion, or if there are lines he won't cross? It would be a boring waste of a good actor if Shelby simply does what Boyd tells him to do. And they don't waste good actors on this show.

Bits and pieces:

-- Ellen May appears to be happy working for Ava. That scene with her on Shelby's lap was a lot of fun. And sort of disgusting.

-- Loved the brief scene with Jed's stroke victim granny and the milkshakes. She asked for two of them so she'd have one to drink after she spilled it on his pants. That's thinking ahead.

-- Donovan was played by Marshall Allman, who was a cast member on True Blood.

-- Dickie could have combed his hair for court. Seriously.

-- Where's Rachel? Where's Winona? Where's Tim?


Judge: "Maybe we could ask the crooked guards and nurses. No, wait, we can't. You killed them."
Raylan: "I just shot the one nurse."

Boyd: "Hello, Hannah. I've just been sitting here admiring your tablescapes."
Tablescapes? I love the way Boyd talks. He did say "tablescapes," right?

Vasquez: "He's not Derek Jeter black. He's Wesley Snipes black. This is a black man."
Art: "Come on. You're mixing your metaphors there, going from athletes to actors."
Raylan: "Yeah. Next time go Derek Jeter to Sammy Sosa."

Art: "What's the matter? You've testified before."
Raylan: "It's never gone well."
Art: "Well, try picturing the judge in his Speedos. That's always worked for me."

Boyd: "I hope you enjoyed your stay and you never forget who packed your bags."

Art: "Did that go the way you rehearsed it?"

Another excellent episode. Three out of four tablescapes,

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


  1. I love how a character has one scene and makes such a lasting impression, two milkshakes :)

  2. “Where's Rachel? Where's Winona? Where's Tim?”

    It is kinda depressing that, after three seasons, we're still asking where Tim and Rachel are. That said, this was another terrific episode.

  3. Dickie actually didn't kill Aunt Helen in cold blood. He was there for Arlo, she drew on him.

  4. Anonymous, if I'm remembering what happened in "Full Commitment" correctly, Dickie and Jed broke in to her house, she confronted them with a shotgun, and Dickie killed her. That's a little ways from "she drew on him."

  5. Still, he didn't come there to kill her, and didn't until she tried to kill him. Wasn't in cold blood. Arlo's fault as much as his.

  6. This season is in a bit of a slump now IMO. Started great, but Quarles has proven to be rather useless and Limehouse is just standing around talking alot. I have no problem with the verbal sparring on this show, but it feels like 3 of the last 4 episodes have been uneventful, whereas this time last season Raylan had just killed Coover and the show was heading for a great finale.

    Hope something big happens this week. Also hoping that Quarles goes away for a bit and comes back to fulfil his early potential next season.

  7. I'm loving this season! I even think this was a 4/4 episode. The confrontation in the bar was perfect.

    And I think Quarles is getting very close to his full potential, because he's got almost nothing to lose. Those are the most dangerous ones.

  8. What this show does so well is the shades of grey. Quarles is scary, even more so now that he's down. But, the story he told about his childhood really, really got to me. It's almost a given that he would turn out the way he has.

    And, what was Donovan thinking?? Throughout the confrontation, I just knew he was going to be next. Run!

  9. That ending scene, still one of my favourite deranged self pep talks. And they used a similar little guitar riff during it as when Raylan used his killer "Next one's coming faster" line. I fucking love that sound.

    I feel bad for Quarles. I've never been the victim of serious trauma (at least... not from what I can remember >_>) but I feel like I'd be the type to just keep replaying it over and over again and never move on. Not sure I'm any better prepared as an adult but I'm sure glad I'll never have to experience any such thing in childhood. It's sad and scary.
    There's no joy to be had from seeing Quarles beaten since he's already been losing slowly for the past few episodes. Anyway I liked all his material here. I really liked this episode in whole because despite the scenes with the grieving rentboy fren I found it enjoyable and light. Dickie's trial. "Next time you tell me you're not good at something I'm gonna believe you"


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