Justified – “The Man Behind the Curtain” – review

February 29, 2012
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Alright so now we’re getting into straight-up serialization on the show, Justifans – we’re at a point with episode seven that if you haven’t been following the show this season, you can pretty much eat shit far as the writers are concerned.  Right now it’s all about the conflict between Boyd’s crew versus Quarles’ crew in their fight for control of Harlan.  Where Limehouse shakes out in this mess is anybody’s guess, but it sure seems like Raylan is coming closer and closer to recognizing that it’s best to stick with the devil he knows in Boyd and the gang than the devil from up north.

The episode starts out with Quarles trying to bribe Raylan after mistakenly assuming that Raylan was working for Boyd.  When Raylan shoots Quarles down, Quarles goes after the local Sheriff (who replaced Doyle Bennett following his death last season) and succeeds in getting him on the payroll.  After Sheriff Napier harasses Johnny Crowder’s bar, Boyd banks with Limehouse finally to get info on Sheriff Napier fucking with him, finds out that yes, Quarles has hired the man.  This leads to Boyd enlisting  Shelby (the great Jim Beaver, who gave Walter White his .38 snubnose in Breaking Bad, played Ellsworth in Deadwood and Vietnam Joe in John From Cincinnati) from his mining days to run against Napier in the upcoming election.

But while Quarles can fuck with Boyd until (possibly) the election, he’s certainly getting his ass beat by Raylan something fierce in “The Man Behind the Curtain.”  Raylan uses Gutterson’s contact in the FBI to find out more about Quarles’ Detroit connections, finds out that Quarles is essentially in exile down in Kentucky due to his love of beating the living shit out of rent boys.  He’s also miffed about being passed up by the boss for the boss’ weakling son (Max Perlich from Homicide: Life on the Street at his shifty best), who comes down to Lexington to see how things are going.

Raylan shuts down Quarles’ main oxy house and fucks with the boss’ son whole he’s at the horse track, forcing the Detroit boys to cut off some of Quarles’ money.  To get back at Raylan, (without outright shooting him, that is) Quarles heads down to Tulsa to pick up Wynn Duffy’s old friend Gary Hawkins and, if the teaser I watched at the end of the episode is any indication, presumably shoot him and make it look like Raylan’s the perp.

So a little slower paced of an episode this week, for sure, but they’re ramping up towards some cool shit.  We saw a lot of stuff with Limehouse stashing one of the guys from the oxy shooting last week at the beginning of the episode, making me wonder how that stuff’s gonna pay off.  Then there’s the whole “Arlo’s off his meds” thing that Raylan seems none too concerned about but will obviously have some major significance down the line.  No sign of Loretta (is she coming back?) or Winona this week, but we did get an appearance from Stephen Tobolowsky as an FBI guy with a stick up his ass, making me wonder if the Feds’ll show up again or if that whole subplot was just to give Gutterson something to do.  Also, was that the first time we’ve seen Raylan sitting in his cubicle?

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Nerd of Noir

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2 Responses to Justified – “The Man Behind the Curtain” – review

  1. Nathan Pettigrew on February 29, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    Good review. It was great to see both Raylan and Quarles discover a weakness in each other. Love how Boyd’s forced to play a card in politics, too. That may serve an immediate purpose, but I can see that setting Boyd up on an even more dangerous level than I previously thought, meaning politicians and corrupt police in his pocket. A true crimelord. I do suspect this whole mess in season 3 is really doing him a lot of good, however inconvienced he is temporarily. That’s exciting to watch unfold, and actually so was Quarles this time out. We’re getting to know him a little better and his whole storyline is making Season 3 fun to watch.

  2. Paul D Brazill on March 4, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    Yeah, I really enjoyed this episode, although I suspect that Limehouse is the real man behind the curtain.