This season has really wasted no time in setting up the big bads, with this week’s “Harlan Roulette” featuring Robert Quarles giving Wynn Duffy a breakdown of his plan for Harlan. He wants to set up clinics in Harlan and have addicts get prescribed oxy, the addicts take half and the rest go up north to Detroit where they’ll be able to charge a helluva lot more on the street. But while that shit’s still in the planning stages, Quarles has some knowledge to drop on Duffy in regards to how he runs his affairs, knowledge that pays off perfectly for them both. (Well, Wynn still gets punched out by Raylan but otherwise, yeah, it goes fairly well for them both.)
Quarles’ advice has to do with the disposable plot of the week regarding Raylan’s search for Wade, the guy who helped give Raylan to Dickie the last season for the pinata party. Wade has been doing work for an oxy-dealing pawnbroker with a sadistic streak that includes making addicts play russian roulette for drugs. (Lots of gun games this season so far, huh?) Raylan’s search for Wade brings him into the pawnbroker’s shop and the pawnbroker calls Duffy, asks what he should do. At this points Quarles tells him to go after Raylan. If Raylan’s as tough as he says, then the sloppy pawnbroker will get his. If the pawnbroker gets lucky, good for them, Raylan’s outta the way. It’s this kind of cold math that Quarles brings to the proceedings that makes him so much fun to watch so far.
Because he’s right, after all. Raylan goes after them and gets Wade while everyone else dies, the pawnbroker and his right hand man (the slimy dude who played Billy Campbell’s campaign advisor in that piece of shit that I’ll probably end up watching again on AMC called The Killing) killing one another while trying to work out an on-the-spot immunity deal with Raylan. (Fucking hilarious scene!) Before the pawnbroker croaks he gives up some stuff about “Frankfort boys,” leading Raylan to beat up Wynn and be introduced to Quarles, who is oiling and explaining his Taxi Driver-inspired slide pistol when Raylan arrives. So Raylan at least knows that Wynn and Quarles are working together now, though he doesn’t know how big their plans are, he does snap a phone pic, though.
What Raylan doesn’t know is just what Boyd’s up to these days, which is apparently quite a bit. He’s got the band back together, getting Johnny Crpwder’s bar back (yay!) and gaining a few more dudes to his crew besides Devil and Arlo. He’s also got designs on the entirety of Harlan county, though just how he plans to do that is thus far unclear. He wants the Bennett money that Limehouse has but that looks like it’ll be pretty tricky as Limehouse is formidable and well-aware of Boyd’s white supremacist past. But hey, at least Limehouse took the moldy weed off Boyd’s hands, weed that he’d thought was burned by now but a couple grand is a couple grand. We also get a chance to check up on Boyd’s mental state when he discusses who he is with Devil in Johnny’s bar in a very nice scene.
One of the more unexpected developments is the guard who was listening in to Boyd and Dickie’s confrontation last week trying to shake down Dickie for the Bennett money. With Dickie in jail, just how does the guard expect to get him to get his money from Limehouse? Well, apparently he won’t be in jail much longer, if next week’s tease is to be believed. So will next week be the end of Dickie or will he manage to stay outta jail for a while? Think we’ll see the money change hands at all or will Limehouse be able to hold onto it? Also, what kind of house should Raylan and Winona get? (Man, they really paid lip-service to that storyline this week!)