Justified: Season 3
“When the Guns Come Out”
Aired: February 21, 2012
Writers: Nichelle D. Tramble & Dave Andron
“It’s always been our business to know you.”
– Ellstin Limehouse
Since Mags’ death at the end of last season, there has been a power vacuum in Harlan County. Robert Quarles, Boyd Crowder and Ellstin Limehouse have been looking to grab a piece of Mags’ empire and establish themselves as the new top dog. After a lot of posturing and sizing up of the competition, this week the first shots were fired.
After Boyd recruited Quarles’ corrupt doctor to sell Oxy for him, two of Quarles men take out Boyd’s clinic (which is being run out of the Givens’ household). But it wasn’t the carpet bagger who gave the orders, it was one of Limehouse’s men, looking to pit the competition against one another so that Limehouse could step up and take over in the aftermath.
Of course, the plan doesn’t work out for a number of reason. First and foremost, the men from Quarles’ clinic leave a witness behind – Ellen May – who is able to point the good Marshal Givens in the direction of Tanner and the other members of Quarels’ clinic. Secondly, the plan underestimates Boyd, who isn’t convinced that Quarels is behind the attack, since it doesn’t fit with his MO. And finally, there’s the fact that Limehouse figures out what his underling is up to and is in no way pleased with his actions.
Continuing what has become a trend this season, Raylan once again wants nothing to do with the goings-on in Harlan. First it’s Art who sends him to investigate since the original shooting happened at Aunt Helen’s house. Then, it’s Boyd who sends Raylan to Ava and Ellen May, which tips him off about Quarles’ clinic. Still, Raylan is much more concerned about the whereabouts of Winona, who walked out on him at the end of the last episode, than anything happening in his hometown.
After doing some snooping on Winona’s work computer, Raylan begins to suspect that his ex went back and stole the cash from the property room again. When Raylan discovers the cash in locker 247 is missing once again, the real thief, Charlie, hightails it to Mexico, knowing Raylan would eventually connect the dots back to him. Charlie presumably knew what Raylan and Winona were up to last season and figured it would be safe to snatch the money himself once it was put back in place. I wonder how long he’d been holding onto it?
But while Charlie is now on the lam and Winona is staying with her sister, things in Harlan are looking to heat up. Even though Boyd and Quarles didn’t go for the bait offered up by Limehouse’s man, it’s still only a matter of time before those two go at each other’s throats. Plus, there’s always the chance either side will retaliate against Limehouse and his men.
And then there’s Quarles escalating conflict with Raylan. Raylan has begun looking into the man from the north, getting the FBI files on him. And Quarles has begun looking into Raylan too and has begun to suspect that the marshal is on the take, working alongside his father and Boyd.
Things are bound to get interesting from here on out.
And another thing …
- How did Limehouse’s man get Tanner and his associate to hit Boyd’s clinic? And why didn’t they check with Quarles first? I’m a little hazy on the exact nature of this plan.
- Is Arlo going senile? Was his boxer-clad argument with Helen simply him venting frustrations over something she did before her death or is it a sign he’s starting to lose it? (His comment to Raylan that he’ll run and cry to Helen could be another sign he’s losing it or just a cold jab about Raylan’s childhood.)
- Sure, I’m wondering about the tied up man in Quarles’ bedroom, but I’m much more curious as to why he has an eye chart on his fridge.
- I’m sad to see Ethan’s time on Lost with those hippie Others didn’t mellow him out at all. Clearly his time on the island has driven him to a life of pimping and pills.
- If you knew men were about to burst into your office with shotguns to take out your Oxy clinic, why would you hide behind the desk in plain sight? Why not hide off to the side so they at least have to come in the room before taking you out with a well-placed shotgun blast?
- This is the third appearance of Ellen May the prostitute, played by Abby Miller. She was last seen in last season’s penultimate episode “Reckoning,” where Raylan joked about giving her the “best two pumps of her life.”
Written by Joel Murphy. If you enjoy his recaps, he also writes a weekly pop culture column called Murphy’s Law, which you can find here. You can contact Joel at email@example.com.