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‘Justified’ Review: “Guy Walks Into a Bar”

‘Justified’ season 3 serves up its tenth episode of the year, as Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) struggles to keep Dickie Bennett from being pardoned, while Quarles unravels further and the election for Harlan County Sheriff comes to a head.

Justified - Guy Walks Into a Bar
FX

Last week’s ‘Justified’ “Loose Ends” saw Raylan Givens following a lead toward Tanner Dodd, a man who might lead him to Quarles, while Ava protected young prostitute Ella Mae, so what will the latest episode bring?

Read on for your in-depth recap of everything you need to know about ‘Justified’ “Guy Walks Into a Bar!”

Sheriff Napier’s men attempt to plant some drugs in Shelby (Jim Beaver)’s car in order to discredit him, but Shelby himself is quick to scare them off with his shotgun, claiming that his cancer means he doesn’t mind living or dying.  He then relays the situation to Boyd Crowder, including that he made up the cancer, while Johnny and Boyd reason it’s time to strike back at Napier through his estranged sister.  Ellstin Limehouse begrudgingly provides her whereabouts, but when he grows impatient with Boyd, Boyd reminds him of the power he’ll hold through Shelby, and asks for the help of County Clerk Harvey.  Isn’t that guy so useful?

Meanwhile, Raylan does everything in his power to prevent the imminent release of Dickie Bennett (Jeremy Davies), though both U.S. Attorney Vasquez and Judge Reardon remind him that the case is a hot-button issue, and most witnesses are either dead by Raylan’s hand or refuse to testify.  Across town, Boyd pays a visit to Sheriff Napier’s sister Hannah, offering her a job rather than threaten her.

Raylan next tries bringing pizza to Jed Berwind (Richard Speight Jr.)  in exchange for following through on his earlier testimony, though Jed  claims his family has an old truce with the Bennett’s, and he’d only flip if his Granny agreed to it.  Of course, Raylan discovers that Jed’s Granny had a stroke and needs a letter board to even speak, and when she requests two milkshakes as coaxing, she dumps one on Raylan and wryly sips the other.  Seemingly out of options to stall Dickie’s release, Art and Vasquez inform Raylan that his own testimony might just do the trick, though Raylan thinks it a bad idea.  Timothy Olyphant can emote, but Raylan?  Not so much.

Celebrating with shots and hookers at Boyd’s bar, Boyd gets a somber call that in spite all of their best (legal and otherwise) efforts, Napier has in fact won the election.  As Quarles toasts Napier to his victory and implies that he wishes to set up shop with a desk and a job, County Clerk Harvey enters with Shelby and lays out a harsh truth: because of Harvey’s “error,’ Napier’s sister remained on the payroll, and nepotism laws mean that Napier can’t win the election, effectively making Shelby the new Sheriff until the next election.  See?  Go Harvey!

Angrily defeated, Quarles exits, only to find Boyd Crowder outside taunting him as a “Conquistador,” who has enjoyed sampling Harlan’s food, drink and women, but now must leave having been shamefully bested.  Quarles takes his seething anger back to his trailer and munches on Oxycontin with Wynn Duffy, when a young boy enters brandishing a gun to Quarles.  The boy knows that Quarles killed his friend Brady Hughes, but Quarles menacingly insists that he only “set him free,” having seen a kinship with Brady in that Quarles’ own heroin-addict father used to prostitute him out as a boy, until Theo Tonin intervened and offered him the chance to kill his father.  Quarles then tearfully embraces the boy over the loss of Brady, as Wynn Duffy watches in confused horror.  Yeesh.

While Raylan flirts with his bartender and struggles to find anything meaningful to say in his testimony against Dickie Bennett, a visibly unbound Quarles and nervous Wynn Duffy enters the bar.  Raylan insists they both leave, until Quarles’ taunts about Arlo and shooting Raylan in the back of the head get the better of the US Marshall, and he fires his gun into the ceiling, empties the bar, and offers Quarles a chance, asking “why wait?”  Quarles seems to take the bait, until the bartender pulls a shotgun, and Quarles decides to stifle his rage for the moment.  With nothing better to do after Quarles leaves, Raylan and the bartender head upstairs to his room, with its bed and fresh bullet hole.

Afterward, Raylan still struggles with his statement while the bartender pieces together his history with Winona, and insists he should speak from the heart at the hearing.  The next day, Art and Vasquez convey their good feeling about Raylan’s testimony having an effect, though once he takes the stand, Raylan avoids getting emotional about anything Dickie’s done, and ultimately urges Judge Reardon to pardon him, as he’ll only end up back in jail anyway.  Or dead.  Whatever, really.

Meanwhile, Limehouse and his crony discuss Dickie’s upcoming release, and what they plan to do about it, while Quarles unravels even further in his hotel room, snorting powders, undressing, and ominously sermonizing himself with a disturbing preacher-style pep talk.  He takes off the last of his clothes, and enters his bathroom, with the boy from earlier tied up and frightened.  I say again…yeesh.

Wow.  Just when you think Quarles is the man who has it all together, he proves himself the crazy equivalent to Mags Bennett’s calculated villainy!  But is Raylan’s inability to speak up for his own aunt’s demise at the hands of Dickie any better?  The board is set, and the pieces are moving, and we’ve only a few more weeks to find out how Quarles will unravel further, or at least how he gets that hair so blonde!  And how will the duplicitous Mr. Limehouse figure into all of this?  Where the heck are Tim or Rachel, either?

Give us your thoughts on the latest ‘Justified’ or just what you think is next after “Guy Walks Into a Bar” in the comments section below, and keep checking back for the latest gun-slinging action of ‘Justified’!

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