Justified – “Measures”: 46 and change

Justified: Season 3

Episode 11 – “Measures”

Aired: March 27, 2012

Writer: Benjamin Cavell

“That bear poked me.”

– Robert Quarles

Last week, we saw Robert Quarles come unhinged. After Boyd Crowder outmaneuvered him in the sheriff election, Quarles started popping pills and ended up threatening to kill the good Marshal Givens.

This week, everyone is working to get Quarles out of the picture. But with everyone tracking the same man, it ends up being a much messier pursuit than it should be. Raylan, teaming up with Art, ends up pursuing the two Detroit hitmen sent by Theo Tonin to take care of Quarles. We also get some strange bedfellows in Boyd Crowder, Wynn Duffy and Sheriff Napier, who end up working together to take down Quarles. Napier sends him to Audrey’s, where Boyd is waiting with an ambush and Wynn, looking to earn favor with Detroit, offers to go in on the bounty with Boyd.

Team Crowder ends up with a naked, chained Quarles by the end of the episode. However, I can’t help but think they’ve failed to properly secure him. Too much was made – first by Tonin, then by Duffy – about killing Quarles and settling for the $100,000. They both commented on how dangerous he is alive. And I can’t help but think the two call girls from Audrey’s are ill suited to keep Quarles locked down, even if he is naked and chained at the moment. Boyd is usually a master strategist, but this seems like a huge miscalculation on his part.

Before “Bobby” walked into Boyd’s trap, we got a reminder of just how dangerous and unpredictable he is. Quarles puts on quite a performance for Parker and Longball, the two drug dealers Napier tells him to rob. While they are somewhat suspicious of the Northerner in the suit, Quarles pretends to be scared, rambling quite a bit in order to put them at ease. Then, with a classic “Hey, look over there,” he manages to get the upperhand and send them both to an early grave.

And perhaps things would have ended well for him if Limehouse accepted drugs as payment. But this week we learn that he deals only in cash, which makes since considering his MO is to do whatever he has to to protect the holler while attracting as little attention to his people as possible.

Of course, Limehouse finds himself on Dickie Bennet’s radar once again. Dickie continues his quest for the lost Bennet fortune, trying to recruit Rodney from Memphis, Ellen May and eventually Limehouse’s man Errol. We end the episode with Errol suggesting that they’ll need Boyd Crowder to get the three million, which can’t be good for Dickie. Even if Boyd is willing to work with the man who shot Ava, you have to imagine he won’t want to let him walk out alive once the fortune has been secured.

While a lot of this episode was setting up the pieces for our final two episodes, I thought overall it was another strong week. I like that Tim and Rachel were given something significant to do. And I always enjoy Art out in the field. Teaming him up with Raylan made it even better.

I’m interested to see how long a Dickie/Boyd alliance can last and how long the ladies of Audrey’s can keep Robert Quarles under lock and key. With only two episodes left, we certainly have the stage set for a volatile season finale.

And another thing …

  • Theo Tonin speaks pretty freely on the phone, doesn’t he? Consider he doesn’t really know Wynn Duffy, I’m surprised how open he was about his plan to kill Quarles and his other various criminal endeavors. He has no way of knowing if the feds (who have surveillance on his son) are listening in or if Duffy (who is informing him about his men getting arrested) has been compromised. Pretty sloppy. Then again, this is apparently a guy who carries around a human ear to intimidate people.
  • That’s quite a hairstyle Dickie was rocking this week.
  • The writers continue to have fun with Neal McDonough’s unique look. We have one of Tonin’s thugs saying that it “looks like he even shits blonde” and we have the next-door neighbor describing him as “Husky looking” with blue eyes she could see from across the street.

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 murphyslaw@hobotrashcan.com.

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