Justified – “Slaughterhouse” – review

April 11, 2012
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We got an extremely satisfying finale to a very strong season of Justified, one with a hell of a lot of folks ending up dead or in jail.  First was presumably Wynn Duffy, who Raylan might not want to press charges against due to his roulette game, but all the same the man did admit to attempted murder.  Raylan gets further confirmation from Duffy that all signs point to Limehouse and goes to confront the man.  Limehouse says he doesn’t know where Quarles is hiding but he can help out with Boyd, saying that he knows where Devil’s buried.  At first we’re convinced that the increasingly erratic Arlo must have blabbed something to someone that got back to Limehouse, but later we know the real story, that Johnny Crowder has been feeding Limehouse some shit.  This bummed me out, because though Johnny’s been kind of a pain in the ass this year, harping on Ava and Boyd’s approach to business, he’s usually right in his approach. (It’s certainly not right to turn a hooker over to the pimp that’s gonna kill her, but it’s what the man’s paying you protection for.)  That and he seemed like a pretty cool guy in season one.

So Boyd gets picked up for Devil’s murder and the whole state goes after Quarles, figuring he’s the one, based on Johnny’s word, that killed Trooper Tom.  Left with no friends, Quarles ends up hijacking the car of a family just trying to enjoy some Christian rock and taking them hostage.  While in their backseat he talks to big boss Theo and learns that he can come back to Detroit for half a million dollars.  So he drops off the mom (Vic Mackey’s wife from The Shield!), which is stupid because now she can give the make of the car and tell the cops about the phone call, but good for suspense because now we’ve got Quarles with not one but two of his favorite things to beat and rape in the same car.

But the cops and the audience don’t get long to use the newfound information or worry about boy-rape for long because Quarles ends up taking Raylan hostage to help in his negotiations with Limehouse.  In that scene all the meat-cutting shit Limehouse has been doing all season finally pays off with Limehouse apparently having been stashing the money in pig carcasses.  (Or as Quarles points out, a no-shit “piggybank.”) Then Errol shows up and shoots Quarles before getting shot himself and then, another character trait pay-off, Limehouse chops off Quarles’ arm.  Before he dies Quarles says it was Raylan’s old man who killed Trooper Tom, not him.

So Arlo is arrested and then, since they have him dead-to-rights on Trooper Tom, apparently, he confesses to killing Devil, freeing Boyd.  It’s a cool twist, but I don’t know how well they set that up.  Last week’s episode established that Boyd was grateful Arlo felt proud of him, and then in the minutes before Arlo’s confession, Boyd tells Raylan that Arlo is like a father to him.  Sure, Boyd and Ava have been nice to Arlo and forgiving of his dementia, but we haven’t really seen enough of that father-son bond to really feel this development is fully earned.  But anyway, it gets Boyd outta jail and leads to the closing sentiment, which is some pretty cold shit, that Arlo was just out to shoot a man in a hat.

So for next year we’ve got Boyd free but with a traitor as his right-hand man and a big part of his crew in jail or dead.  He’ll still have the Sheriff, though Shelby claimed they were square once he gave Boyd a heads up about the warrant – I’m guessing that shit won’t fly.  Limehouse kicks out Errol, saying with Quarles and Boyd locked up he’s done doing the shady stuff, but Errol gets killed before he has a chance to leave and Boyd is back out, so chances are he’s still gonna be a major part of things, especially with Johnny serving as his ear into Boyd’s operation.

I would guess that Duffy is in jail but I can’t be sure after the way Raylan handled the interrogation.  With the screen time Adam Arkin’s been getting lately as the Detroit boss I would imagine that Detroit will be down there in some capacity soon, with or without Duffy serving as a liaison.  (Personally I hope it’s “with”, as Duffy is reliably hilarious and smarmy.)  We got a quick scene of Raylan trying to keep the peace with Winona, and I’m guessing fatherhood stuff, strongly hinted at with the Arlo shit in this episode, is going to be a major part of next season.  You guys have any predictions?  How’d this season stack up for you?  Lemme know and I’ll see you next year, Justifans!

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Nerd of Noir

I love crime/noir fiction, comics and movies. I think my opinions are web-worthy. Then again, what asshole doesn't think that their opinions deserve a blog?

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7 Responses to Justified – “Slaughterhouse” – review

  1. TIP on April 12, 2012 at 1:12 am

    As a pal of mine noted, at least Quarles is all right…heh.

  2. James R. Tuck on April 12, 2012 at 8:03 am

    I think Boyd and Ava have been feeding Arlo’s dementia to convince him that he did kill Devil. Raylan is gonna be bothered by it and question him until he trips over something he should know but doesn’t.

    Dickie is still around.

    Wynn will still be there, making moves.

    Ava will keep movin’ on up as a pimp and you’ll see the vicious side of her that has only been hinted at.

  3. Nathan Pettigrew on April 12, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    A satisfying conclusion is right. This turned out to be a great season and the writing continues to impress. I’m still undecided on whether or not it topped Season 2, but damn did Season 3 do a great job in the attempt. It did almost everything right in my eyes, and I had some doubts as things progressed. I shouldn’t have doubted them. Lots of wise decisions that paid off nicely.

    Best thing for me was watching Boyd over the season, slowly but surely, rise to control. Felt organic. And he’s a little light on manpower still, but I’m sure that will change quickly as he’s now free to rule the crime. Quarles was a lot of fun, and a nice fresh take on a main villain. Great season.

  4. Paul D Brazill on April 13, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    A few glitches and semi- glitches but a satisfying pay off. Cracking series. Duffy, is still free, I suspect, and doesn’t he remind you of The Funky Phantom?

  5. Elizabeth on April 13, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    I know he was up to his eyes on drugs, but Quarles’s behavior just didn’t make sense, even for him. On what planet, even planet oxy, would he think Limehouse gives a flying fuck about Raylan or some random kid and that using them for leverage would get him anywhere? Also getting REALLY sick of Ava, and the Johnny swerve felt very wrong. As did the whole tacked on Arlo/Boyd thing. And I don’t but that Limehouse felt the need to kick Errol out. Why? If he’s a liability Limehouse would just kill him, and if he’s not why would he kick him out? Doesn’t make sense.

    I don’t know… the whole thing just left me feeling “meh” except for Raylan/Olyphant.

  6. Nerd of Noir on April 13, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    I think Justified has, since episode one, been written from the gut instead of the head. Why does Quarles implausibly take Raylan hostage? So he can be a part of the big showdown at the end where Limehouse’s butchering skills finally pay off. Why does Quarles botch his carjacking so badly by letting the mom go? So we can dread him raping and killing some young boys. (While knowing the show would never go that dark, though.) The show is constantly using logic that feels right more than, you know, makes sense, and I’m more than okay with that, usually.

    As I said in the review, I don’t think they set up the Arlo/Boyd relationship enough to make Arlo taking credit be the big sacrifice at the end, but I still like that it happened. (And especially liked the “he just shot at the guy in the hat” tag that they ended the show on.) Limehouse’s reasons for kicking out Errol are mysterious, and as Errol supposedly dies in the end, the scene could have been cut out. The scene does, however, play that Limehouse is thinking he’s covered all his bases and will be able to sit back now that Quarles and Boyd are out of the picture, but then what promises did he make to Johnny? Control of the town while he lives comfortably in the Noble’s Holler? I’m sure that will be explored next season.

    Another aspect of the show that bears out in the final episode is my sneaking suspicion that Limehouse is more bark than bite. We watch him hack pork all day long, but never see him fuck anybody up. He seems like a pretty decent guy in the end, and has had numerous reasons to kill Errol but still keeps him alive. His need for a right-hand man and his begrudging paternal love for the man kept Errol alive all season, but once they were out of the clear, he had to let him go.

    I thought they set up Johnny being a traitor decently because he’s been frustrated with Boyd’s lack of balls and Ava’s rise through the ranks – and I don’t mind Ava getting more involved at all.

    All in all, I think it was a strong season with a good finale, but it’s gonna take a lot to top the Mags Bennett season. I think they realized that going into season three and loaded it up with a whole lot of baddies and very little Raylan, which, because I liked all the bad guys, was okay with me. It was definitely a case of quantity rather than quality of stakes and opponents, but I think they measured up pretty good when shoulder-to-shoulder.

  7. Nathan Pettigrew on April 13, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    Well said. I couldn’t have said it better. Definitely agree about Limehouse being more bark than bite. They had set him up earlier on as something different than he turned out to be, but the Errol situation made perfect sense to me. There was an episode halfway through, when Limehouse was about to kick Errol out for sticking his nose in things outside of the holler, but then he said something to the effect of, “no you don’t get off that easy. first we’re gonna clean up your mess.” So he stayed true to his word, fixing things but then kicking Errol out as he’d wanted to, for not being trustworthy and for potentially drawing too much attention to Noble’s. And after he did there were tears in his eyes, so you know that’s why he didn’t just kill him. He actually cared for him or he wouldn’t have wasted half the season even cleaning things up. Also, it’s right on that Quarles taking Raylan and the boy back there made no sense, but then that was Quarles. Completely out of his mind and Desperate by the end. And Limehouse basically told him so, too, when he stood his ground and let Quarles know that he didn’t give a shit about the boy and Raylan. But then Raylan in so many words let Limehouse know that no blood had to be spilt except maybe that of Quarles. Banking on Limehouse using some logic, which paid off. Arlo and Boyd, yeah, there were some missed opportunities. I mean the scenes they did have -like that whole scene with them burying Devil together, and then the scene when he told Boyd he was proud of him. Those were good, but yeah not enough we needed a couple more. Nevertheless. It was a lot of fun this year. Great show. I think one area that did improve this year had to be the stand alone episodes, or the case of the week episodes. Those were a lot better than season one and two, and plus they fit in nicely with the overall picture, too.