THIS WEEK ON Justified: The Man Behind the Curtain

Arlo is going batshit insane.   At least I think that’s the clinical term.   In case you’re wondering where his crazy behavior is coming from, rewatch the first episode.   Helen makes mention to how Arlo is sick and bi-polar.   Well, with Helen no longer around to ensure he takes his meds, Arlo is just going to get crazier and crazier.

Tanner is a marked man.   He can’t go to Quarles because Quarles might kill him.   He can’t run because the Dixie mafia and the law will find him.   So he has to take refuge with Limehouse.   Just as Errol is about to drown Tanner, Limehouse intervenes.   Limehouse figures this is a good time to get eyes on Quarles.   He allows Tanner to rest up and eventually return to Quarles to beg forgiveness.

Raylan doesn’t seem to have the best living conditions.   He’s taken refuge in what appears to be the closest thing Kentucky can get to a yuppie bar.   Quarles pops in for a drink and a proposal.   Quarles is under the impression that Raylan is on the payroll of Boyd and Raylan takes umbrage.   We’re also given a little more info on who Quarles is as a person.   Raylan wonders if Quarles, like himself, is exiled to this forsaken place because of pissing off the bosses.   Its an interesting parallel between the two.

There’s a brief scene in the marshal’s office that normally I would gloss over, except that it has a very interesting subtext.   Tim is giving Raylan all sorts of guff over Raylan asking a favor.   I can’t help but think the relationship of these two characters is changing based on Raylan no longer being Art’s clear number 1 guy.   I also like when Tim makes fun of Raylan.   Its like a when a little kid dances in front of the tiger cages at the zoo … if the kid was a battle trained sniper … with years of military service and fought in a war … ok, so its nothing like a kid shaking his ass in front of a tiger, but they are both still fun to watch.

Quarles returns to his humble abode and informs Duffy that Raylan didn’t take the bait.   Quarles of course has a plan B that we’ll call plan B.   There is however a little hitch in Quarles’ operation.   Seems like Quarles and his bosses’ son don’t get along very well … and the bosses son is on his way down for a crazy weekend.   I know, I know, it sounds like the plot of an 80’s John Cusack movie.   Well Say Anything you want about it, Quarles thinks his bosses son would be Better Off Dead.   Quarles wants Duffy to Stand By Me while he sets off to find The Sure Thing … ok, I get it, these forced John Cusack movie titles aren’t working for you.   Grosse Point Blank.   There, I’m done.

For someone that lives in a bar, you’d think going to another bar would be the last place Raylan would want to be.   Raylan stops by because he doesn’t like people thinking Raylan is on Boyd’s payroll.   He does this ever so gentlemen like by sucker punching Boyd, and beating up a cripple.   Raylan wants clarification into the relationship between Boyd and Quarles.   Boyd offers the point of view that while they might not have common goals; they do have a common enemy.

Quarles takes the money he was going to offer Raylan and heads to the Harlan County Sheriff’s office.   Quarles starts to lay in the sweet talk to Sheriff Tillman Napier.   Quarles’ pitch is simple.   Let Quarles move in, flood the market in Harlan county.   This forces other sellers in the area to head to other markets where the drug prices will be higher.   The other part of Quarles’ plan involves the Sheriff’s office taking a very close look at the Crowder enterprise.   God damn that Quarles has got game.

Tim gives Raylan the skinny on the Tonin family.   Sammy Tonin, the aforementioned bosses son, is in town to check up on the enterprise and approve funds.

The best part of this episode is the conversation between Raylan and Tim outside the conference room.   Tim uses Raylan as a verb, Raylan insists he has mad ninja skills; oh and when asked if he knew karate, Raylan proclaimed that he did along with two other Japanese words.   Tim is reluctant to help Raylan find Sammy Tonin because Sam is under FBI surveillance.   Apparently Raylan has a bit of a reputation as a trouble maker.

Arlo has turned into a 5 year old.   After he is told to take his meds and head off to bed, Sheriff Napier crashes the party.   Obviously Napier took Quarles up on his offer.   Napier throws down a few minor violations and closes the Crowder bar.   Looks like the war is escalating.

Before Raylan can display his mad ninja skills, the FBI intercepts him.   Raylan throws down the name of a fugitive he’s chasing and is met with bureaucratic bullshit.   After getting the “this is as close to my blessing as you’re going to get” blessing from Art, Raylan goes back on the hunt for Sammy Tonin.   Tim then quickly washes his hands of the situation.

Boyd heads over to Limehouse for business.   Boyd wants to make sure that the nature of their relationship remains open.   Boyd requests that anytime Limehouse knows about a situation such as the Napier-Quarles alliance, that he be kept in the loop

The FBI agents assigned to watch/protect Sam Tonin are on the lookout for Raylan.   Raylan however finally gets to show off his mad ninja skills.   He manages some face time with Sammy Tonin.   Sammy is under the impression that Raylan is there to kill him at the behest of Quarles.   Raylan though that Sammy was bankrolling Quarles and wonders why Sammy would suspect him to hire a hit man.   Turns out these two might be able to help each other out.

Raylan shows up at Quarles’ house and informs him that since there is a licensed piano teacher in the neighborhood, Raylan was able to get a judge to seize Quarles’ property on suspicion of drug activity.   Quarles and Duffy have 24 hours to clear out … and that includes the “guest” bedroom.   As if that isn’t enough bad news, Quarles is told by Duffy that the money Sammy promised them is gone.   This is not his best day ever.

Quarles catches up with Sammy and asks him what the situation is.   Sammy informs him that since Quarles did not deal with Raylan, he can’t commit funds to what might be a failing project.   Quarles informs Sammy that he has a new plan to deal with Raylan.   He tells Sammy to tip off the FBI to a relationship between Boyd and Raylan.   Quarles himself is off to Tulsa to meet a friend of Raylan’s.

Boyd meets with Shelby, and old mining buddy whose life was saved by Boyd.   Boyd needs a sheriff who is going to be less friendly to outsiders like Quarles so he proposes that Shelby run against Napier in the upcoming election.

As it turns out the “friend” in Tulsa is none other than Gary Hawkins.   Gary has been living under the name Walter Parks.   Now that name itself is hilarious if you envision him owning a series of properties like Water Country and Canobie Lake (get it … they are water parks).   Quarles starts buttering up Gary at the bar when Duffy comes up behind him and makes Gary shit a brick.   My guess is Gary isn’t going to make it to season 4.

This was another set up episode, but Justified has earned the right to set shit up (Fuck you walking dead). The narrative is still focused on Raylan, and looks to be that way for next week.    The Raylan-Quarles-Boyd triple threat match is heating up.   Next Tuesday can’t get here soon enough.