Justified Season 3 Episode 10 – “Guy Walks Into a Bar”
Have you ever watched someone slowly lose their mind and go completely insane? I feel like that’s what we’re watching this season in Robert Quarles, our friend from Detroit. He started out the season looking very controlled and together, but with each episode, as he loses out on more of his carefully laid plans, he seems like he’s coming more and more unravelled. There’s no question that, in this episode, he’s having a very bad day. He already lost out on his plot to get Raylan arrested and his friends from Detroit cut him off. He also couldn’t keep Boyd in jail or keep Raylan from shutting down his oxy clinic. Things just seem to be going from bad to worse, but the sheriff’s election is one he has invested heavily in. He has to win and he expects to win. He ‘s rigged it fair and square after all.
Speaking of that, we start with Shelby surprising two sheriff’s deputies planting drug evidence in his truck. He convinces them to back off by telling them he has nothing to lose and thus will be only too happy to blow their brains out because he has terminal liver cancer. It’s a pretty ice-water cool bluff to come up with on the spot. Or is it? Maybe Shelby told them the truth. Either way, he tells Boyd it was a lie.
Boyd wants to hit back at Sheriff Napier for going after Shelby, and he needs help. He gets Limehouse to track down Napier’s sister and help him get in touch with the county clerk. Limehouse is actually helping Boyd. Is he playing both sides? Or has he switched to Boyd because Quarles has shown himself to be on the losing side?
Raylan is meeting with our favorite judge, Michael Reardon, about Dickie Bennett, who is slated to be released because of the plot by the crooked guard and nurse at the prison. Raylan wants the judge to keep Dickie locked up, but the judge is resigned to the situation:
Sometimes you can flush all you want but there’s just that one floater that won’t go down.
Boyd is at Hannah’s house. She’s Sheriff Napier’s sister, and she’s scared that Boyd is going to hurt her. Boyd has a whole different plan though: He wants to offer her a job.
Raylan is working on AUSA Vasquez about Dickie Bennett, but it’s a no go. Looks like Dickie is really going to get a pardon in exchange for not filing a lawsuit.
Boyd and Ava are in full-on campaign mode at Boyd’s bar. Ava has the hillbilly hookers giving free tricks and treats to those who are helping out with the campaign. Shelby’s not sure he wants to hear this, but Boyd assures him that this is standard operating procedure in Harlan County. I wonder if Ellie Mae’s trick with the pineapple juice actually works? Wouldn’t almost any juice work for that?
Raylan is now plying Dickie’s friend Jed with pizza to try to get him to testify against Dickie, but Jed is under orders from his grandmother to keep quiet. Raylan goes to see the grandmother. She is in a home and has had a stroke, but she tells Raylan she wants two milkshakes. She dumps one in Raylan’s lap and drinks the other. Something about that scene reminds me of Tio Salamanca in Breaking Bad.
Raylan now is getting desperate and wants AUSA Vasquez to pick up the wrong Dickie Bennett at the prison. That plan isn’t going anywhere but Vasquez tells Raylan he can testify about what Dickie did and maybe the judge would keep Dickie in prison. Raylan isn’t loving that idea. He apparently isn’t great in court.
Back at the bar, Boyd gets the news that Sheriff Napier won. Quarles is already planning on moving into the sheriff’s office, but the county clerk comes in and informs Quarles and Napier that the Sheriff is ineligible for public office because his sister has been on the payroll of the county clerk’s office. Shelby gets to take over as sheriff under the law. Quarles leaves and is bid a fond adieu by Boyd:
You know what you are? You’re a conquistador, only we are not your savages. And now you get to leave with your life. I’m hard pressed to remember another outsider in your line of work who could say that. I hope you enjoyed your stay, and I hope you never forget who packed your bags.
That’s a pretty slick trick that Boyd pulled. Apparently that has actually happened in Kentucky politics, so the writers incorporated it into the story.
Quarles tells Duffy, though, that he’s got nowhere else to go. He’s popping oxy and considering what’s next, just before a kid pulls a gun on him and offers to kill him in revenge for Quarles killing Brady Hughes. Brady was the street hustler who Quarles was keeping chained up and beating on. This triggers a speech by Quarles where we learn things about his childhood that we’d rather not know. Somehow, through this speech, Quarles convinces the kid, Donovon, to lower his gun. I don’t know if I’m more freaked out by Quarles now or not, but at least there is now some explanation for him. Anyone feel sorry for this guy now? Or do you still just feel creeped out?
Raylan is talking to the barmaid, Lindsay, who is actually the bar owner. Raylan is frustrated by the requirement of making a statement about Dickie Bennett in court. Lindsay tells him a story about making toasts at her friends’ weddings. She says they used to give her migraines until she learned not to bullshit. Probably doesn’t have many friends left. Raylan offers to let her make his statement for him and says he will deputize her. Then Quarles walks in with Duffy and the strangest scene yet ensues. Quarles is drunk or high and upset about the move that Boyd pulled in the election. Raylan doesn’t care until Quarles starts talking about Arlo and about Raylan snooping around about Brady Hughes. He threatens to kill Raylan, just maybe not right away. Raylan pulls his gun and shoots a hole in the ceiling and orders everyone else out of the bar. Then he says, “why wait?”
Quarles: How do we do this?
Raylan: You draw, I put you down.
Lindsay pulls a scattergun and orders Quarles and Duffy out. “Now what?” asks Lindsay, and the answer is apparently high energy sex upstairs in Raylan’s room. It’s the details, more than anything, that seem to set this show apart from other shows, and we see an example of that when the camera shows us the hole in Raylan’s floor that was created when he shot through the ceiling earlier.
Later, Lindsay is getting dressed and they’re getting to know each other:
Raylan: You know, you’re welcome to stay if you want.
Lindsay: That’s sweet of you to offer, but you got a lot going on: you got that statement to write, and a baby on the way…
Raylan: [gives her a questioning look]
Lindsay: You got a sonogram picture taped to the bathroom mirror.
R: I’m sorry. I’m not married if that’s what you’re wondering.
L: She kicked you out?
R: Why would you say that?
L: You just moved in above a college bar, you got men trying to kill you…
R: It’s complicated–I mean, no it’s not–Yes, she left me.
L: Does that happen often?
R: Women leaving me?
L: No, men coming in bars trying to kill you.
R: One of the hazrds of being a marshal I guess.
L: Sure it’s not just one of the hazards of being you?
R: Is this all part of the pep talk again?
Funny stuff, and there’s a lot to like about Lindsay, but every time Raylan gets involved with a woman you can almost hear the clock start ticking down to when she either gets shot or leaves or both. It also seems a bit soon after Winona, and after he just kissed Ava too. Raylan’s a little out of control, I think.
Raylan is in court the next day and wants so badly to say the words that will keep Dickie in prison, but he just can’t force himself to do it. About halfway through it he decides that it’s maybe just as well to have Dickie on the outside because he will screw up again and either get killed or put back in prison, so it’s probably not worth the aggravation it’s costing to try to keep him in. It seems he decided to follow Lindsay’s advice: no bullshit.
As he sits back down in court, Art asks Raylan if the speech went the way he rehearsed it. Then says, “Next time you tell me you’re not good at something, I’m going to believe you.” You’ve got to love Art.
Limehouse is talking to Errol about Dickie and he’s upset that Dickie is being released to be “a thorn in my side.” He tells Errol not to kill Dickie, but if he shows up, “bring him to me.”
Quarles has now reached the point of talking to himself while he gets naked. It’s a pep talk of sorts, but it’s too crazy to repeat, and we see he’s now got that kid Donovon chained up in the bathroom. Someone’s got to thow a net on this guy.