March 6, 2012

Episode Review: JUSTIFIED, "Watching the Detectives"

And the plot thickens. After last week's episode put Robert Quarles front and center, Justified showed everyone what he's capable of during "Watching the Detectives" which might go down as one of the best installments ever.

When Quarles and Duffy visited Gary down in Tulsa, it was a pretty ominous scene, and sure enough they were only using him to get back at Raylan. Their master plan was to kill Gary and pin the murder on Givens. They succeeded with the first step, but taking Raylan down proved to be a tougher challenge. As if trying to beat a murder rap wasn't hard enough, Raylan also had to prove to the FBI that he was not a dirty cop after Sam Tonin let it "slip" that he believed that Givens was in Boyd Crowder's back pocket. Of course, this was just the information Special Agent Barkley (Stephen Tobolowsky) was waiting to hear. So, not only did Raylan have to prove that he did not kill Gary, but he also had to convince the Feebs that he's clean, while helping Winona get rid of the murder weapon Quarles left in her old house. Drama, right? As it turned out, Raylan's like Teflon because the police and the feds couldn't prove that he was a murderer or dirty ... for now.

In a somewhat minor B-plot, Boyd had to deal with the fallout that came along with backing Sheriff Napier's opponent. Now, that he has some competition, Napier had to guarantee a victory, so he had Tanner Dodd blow up his car in order to make people think that someone tried to kill him. Conveniently, he picked Boyd to be that someone, so he arrested him and took him in with cameras rolling to hurt Shelby's chances of winning.

Boy, was that a tense hour of television or what? The way that Raylan was hit with wave after wave of accusations, and how he was able to side-step everyone of them was mesmerizing to watch. For a second there I thought he was done for sure, but it wouldn't be Justified if Raylan wasn't able to survive to fight another day. What made things even better were all of the character beats and relationship moments that were built into the A-plot. We got to see Art stand up for his deputy, and even Tim put his issues with Raylan aside in order to help protect him. Great stuff all around.

The Boyd B-plot didn't get a lot of screen time, but it was just as crucial when it comes to the big picture. We now understand why Napier would jump into bed with Quarles and what he's willing to do to keep his power in Harlan. Having Limehouse continue to watch things unfold from the sidelines, but then make it known that he's willing to align himself with Quarles (for now?) was a nice little twist to add to the end. I still that when it's all said and done, Limehouse is going to be the Mags Bennett of Season 3.

Other Odds and Ends:
  • Art's such a badass. I want a boss like him when I grow up.
  • It'll be crazy if Quarles is taken down by the room that needed to be painted.
  • So, Winona's gone again and she insisted that Raylan not look for her. Now, we know why Natalie Zea singed up to shoot a pilot.
  • The idea of Quarles not being on the Detroit mob's leash is a scary one.
  • For the longest time I thought that Wynn Duffy was nothing more than a sniveling weasel, but that scene between him and Raylan was intense.
  • "Detective, just between you and me, Raylan Givens is a very angry man."
  • Raylan: "You know Art, it's bullshit and you know it."
    Art: "Is it?"
    Raylan: "Is that a real question?"
    Art: "Well, it had a question mark."
  • "I'm not playing. I'm an idiot; you can ask anybody."
  • "This time, seriously don't come and find me."
  • "And my Uncle Sam gave me this, and this is my knock."
Quarles may not have been able to dirty up Raylan like he had wanted, but his actions were a bold first move against the Marshal, and I hope that this arc will take us to the end of the season because its Justified at its finest. All of the twists, turns and tension made for a phenomenal episode, and I can't wait to see more.


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