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He Said, She Said Review Site

Justified: Season 3

What She said:


Season 6, the final season of Justified, will begin on January 20, 2015. The He and I are eager to watch the show conclude in real time. Problem is, we’re still all the way back on Season 3. So, we’ve been devoting a lot of time lately to viewing as many episodes of this show as possible. We just finished up the riveting and darkly funny third season of the series, and will be diving into the fourth very soon.

Season 3 introduces us to our main villain, Robert Quarles. He’s stationed up in Detroit, but has been exiled to Kentucky. He quickly aligns himself with Wynn Duffy and his local gang of thugs. Quarles’s brand of crazy is terrifying, even to Wynn, and so as he begins to flex his muscles he meets little resistance. As such, Quarles quickly finds himself kind of in charge of the Harlan-area criminal and drug enterprise.

Justified: Season 3

The mafia people are fine with this, but, as you can imagine, many of Harlan’s more deeply rooted criminal families are not so happy—namely Boyd Crowder.  He is trying to expand his sphere of influence over Harlan, and Quarles is getting in the way. The clashes between Quarles and Boyd, and Raylan Givens’s investigation of all this are the central plot of Season 3. However, there’s other good stuff happening at the same time.

Dickie Bennett, the lone survivor of the Bennett family from Season 2, is out of prison and looking to collect his family inheritance. He starts nagging Ellstin Limehouse, who is in charge of the Noble’s Holler crew, and serves as a sort of bank depository for criminal enterprises. Limehouse gives Dickie the runaround, as he’s focused on honoring Mags’s wishes. Before too long, there are all sorts of people showing up on Limehouse’s doorstep, and there’s only so much that he can handle. Not shockingly, you don’t want to make him mad. He is a butcher by trade, and so the man knows how to work with knives….large knives.

Justified: Season 3

As for Raylan, he’s just trying to live his life and do his job. He’s charged with unraveling the complexities of the Detroit mafia’s involvement in Harlan, and this puts him in constant peril. He’s also on a quest to get both Dickie and Boyd back into prison. It’s somewhat infuriating for him that both these guys are able to walk the streets, owing their good fortune to loopholes in the system. As Raylan juggles his many work obligations, he’s also dealing with a rough personal life. Ex-wife and former girlfriend Winona Hawkins is pregnant with his baby, and she wants nothing to do with him. He’s now stooped to the new low of living over a college bar.

There are a few more subplots and details that I’m glossing over, but the most important thing to know that Robert Quarles may be one of my favorite villains ever. The guy is CRAZY, and in many, many sick and horrible ways. Better yet are his interactions with Wynn Duffy. Wynn is somewhat unhinged in his own right. He’s also pretty wickedly funny at times. The two of them together are classic. Even more so when Raylan enters the picture. It’s a recipe for excellent dark humor akin to the very best of Dexter.

Justified: Season 3

As usual, the production value on this show is top notch. It feels like a movie rather than a television program, and it also feels authentic to the peoples and culture of rural and mountainous Kentucky. Harlan actually is a real place, and I’m convinced that it’s identical to how it’s portrayed in Justified, whether that’s a good or bad thing. I’ll admit to there being a couple of really bad special effects, but fortunately those are few and far between. The cinematography and production otherwise make you feel like you’re peering through a window into the real world of Harlan.

Once again, we also have wonderful acting. Neal McDonough is memorable as Robert Quarles. He’s got the look and the skill to pull off the role in grand fashion. Also notable is Jere Burns as Wynn Duffy, Jeremy Davies as Dickie Bennett, and Damon Herriman as the naïve and idiotic Dewey Crowe. They are all fantastic in their roles. Of course, I would be remiss if I did not send my kudos out to our majors—Timothy Olyphant as Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens, Nick Searcy as Chief Deputy Art Mullen, and Walton Goggins as Boyd Crowder.  There really isn’t anyone in this show who is lacking, but Season 3 really shines through its oddball supporting cast.

I’m looking forward to seeing what Season 4 has to offer. I hope that this show can continue on its positive trajectory.

Thumbs up.

Justified: Season 3

What He said:


Robert Quarles is a member of Tonin Crime Family in Detroit. He (Neal McDonough) was sent to Kentucky to collect a debt from a man named Emmit Arnett; who is a member of the Dixie Mafia. There’s some problems and Quarles kills Arnett (Steven Flynn) .

Justified: Season 3

Quarles also takes over Arnett’s territory and as a result, Wynn Duffy, everybody’s favorite Dixie Mafia flunky, now reluctantly reports to Quarles. I say reluctantly, because Quarles is bat-shit crazy, and if Wynn Duffy is scared by you, that says something.

Quarles plans on selling OxyContin at various “clinics” throughout Harlan County. This is Boyd Crowder territory. This leads to issues between Boyd (Walton Goggins) and Quarles. The two try to partner up at first, but it fails when Quarles tries to poach some of Boyd’s men and create havoc inside Boyd’s organization.  

Oh, and there’s the fact that Quarles is fucking nuts. As you will find out throughout the season, there’s a lot going on in that abyss he calls a brain. He’s a very sick man. He’s also extremely violent, a pill popper, and simply a weird guy. They do these little things with his character to make him weird. Not just a mentally disturbed man, but weird too. He’s so strange. He’ll just blurt the strangest things out.

Justified: Season 3

This is where Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) comes in. If you are a viewer of this show, you know Raylan and Boy already have a history. Boyd is a career criminal and Raylan is a veteran marshal, who has not only spent a long career busting bad guys, but Boyd specifically. He also has experience dealing with Wynn Duffy, so when Quarles takes over as Duffy’s boss, Raylan becomes very familiar with him too.

There’s actually about 4 co-leads in the villain department this season. Boyd is involved every season. Quarles is technically the big bad of this season, but Dickie Bennett (Jeremy Davies) and newcomer Ellstin Limehouse also play key roles this season.

I won’t say why or how, but Dickie Bennett does get out of jail at a certain point, despite his actions last season and once again becomes a thorn in Raylan’s side. You see, Dickie is the last surviving member of the Bennet Family – a local crime family in Harlan. Harlan seems to have a lot of those, eh? Anyway, what does this mean? It means he is the heir to the Bennet fortune. This is completely illegal money, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t owed to him.

This is where Limehouse comes in. Limehouse is played by Bubba Gump himself, Mykelti Williamson. For lack of a better word, Limehouse is the banker for anyone who doesn’t want to use a bank in Harlan and the surrounding counties. It does without saying, but there’s a reason these people don’t want to put their money in banks(they’re criminals). Limehouse owes Dickie Mags’ (his deceased mother) money. Limehouse also has something up his sleeve.

So does Boyd. Limehouse, despite being a man who holds money for some of the worst of the worst, considers himself a legit businessman. He has a business to run after fall and if he simply took people’s money and never paid them back, nobody would ever trust him with their money. But Boyd points out that if Dickie “wasn’t around” to collect his mother’s fortune, there would be no benefactor to Mags’ drug money. See where this is going?

Justified: Season 3

Limehouse is also a broker of information. If you are one of his customers, he’ll tell you things, even about other customers. He’s loyal to no one except those in Nobles County. See, it’s a primarily African American community and he views it as using outsiders to take care of his own.

So Raylan has to deal with the Quarles/Boyd problem, but Dickie is running around, and Limehouse is, in some way, shape, or form, connected to all of them. They don’t all openly work with one another and some of them are rarely seen together, but these four criminals are connected. This is the main storyline(s) of the season.

There’s also a ton of other stuff going on. Raylan’s father Arlo, an associate of Boyd, seems to be developing some form of dementia or even schizophrenia. He (Raymond J. Barry) wanders around incoherently and gets himself into trouble because of it. Raylan is also dealing with his relationship with his ex-wife Winona (Natalie Zea). They seem to be headed back to reconciling, but things between Raylan and Winona are never easy. Raylan is a different kind of guy. He lives for the job. He isn’t home very often, comes home late at night, and is generally something of a throwback. Raylan is very much am modern day cowboy. Winona just wants a normal life, so whenever somebody takes a shot at Raylan, or her, it creates doubt. There are also some of the week-to-week bad guys, who aren’t involved in the major storyline of the season, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t entertaining. One of which is Desmond Harrington of Dexter fame. I loved that little arc involving him.

When I grow up, I want to be Raylan Givens. The guy is just too cool. He busts the bad guys, gets his fair share of ladies, and at the end of the day drinks away his sorrows in a too cool for school fashion that only takes place in the movies. Raylan doesn’t seem to workout, can be hung over on any given morning, but still manages to get the job done. He’s definitely a romanticized version of a police officer, but he gets his ass kicked a lot, so it makes all of it more believable. He’s also pretty sympathetic too, because his father is a total degenerate. You can see why he is so driven to bust bad guys. He grew up around that crap and has no tolerance for it. He also can’t seem to catch a break. He loves his ex-wife, but they might not be meant for each other despite that love.

As much as I love Raylan, this show has a ridiculous amount of bad guys, and the quality of the performances is high. I don’t want to short change Walton Goggins, but he’s been at this for several years, and it’s so obvious how good he is, I don’t have a lot to say about him considering the colorful group this year. Bubba Gump was very entertaining as Limehouse. He’s an odd, but fascinating one. He operates by a certain code. He’s a criminal, but has a certain code he abides be. I look forward to see if he pops up again in future seasons. It was also great to see Dickie Bennett and Dewey Crow (Damon Herriman) not only return, but together! These two idiots were made for one another. I love watching them and especially when they team up. But, one man stood above them all and that was Neal McDonough. Quarles was a totally depraived individual. I mean, everything that be wrong with a person is wrong with this guy. He’s also ridiculously funny. The stuff that comes out of his mouth and his interactions with Wynn Duffy (another great performance by Jere Burns) is comedic gold. Dark humor is rampant this season. It also helps that he has a legitimate bad guy face. The She and I actually started calling him “dickface” pretty early on. The guy even smiles like an ass hole. You look at him and think, “Man, that guy right there is a dick.” Great stuff!

Rating: Thumbs up.

This movie review was written for your reading pleasure on December 14, 2014.