‘Justified’ Season Finale Review: “Slaughterhouse”
‘Justified’ season 3 chops up its thirteenth and final episode of the year, as Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) acts like a man on fire in his pursuit of Quarles (Neal McDonough), while Boyd finds himself a new ally, and all sides struggle desperately to make their own ends meet
Last week’s ‘Justified’ “Coalition” saw Robert Quarles continually headed off the rails, as Boyd allied with Errol and Dickie Bennett to find Mags Bennett’s lost fortune, so what will the final episode bring?
Read on for your in-depth recap of everything you need to know about ‘Justified’ “Slaughterhouse!”
At the scene, a visibly angry Raylan retrieves Officer Tom’s hat from the ground, before another officer reveals that poor Tom didn’t survive the transit to the hospital, nor could he confirm Quarles as the shooter before his death. Raylan takes his questions straight to Boyd (having evidently NOT disappeared with Quarles), though Boyd can only point him in the direction of Wynn Duffy, who blew up the car. Arlo then arrives, and Boyd forces him to take one of those pills, lest Arlo continue pointing guns at people on “Helen’”s insistence.
Raylan catches up to Wynn and his mob associate at their pulled-over trailer, dragging Wynn Duffy inside for an uncharacteristically vicious game of “Harlan Roulette,” where Raylan keeps pulling the trigger on a chamber round until Duffy talks. Desperate not to be shot, Wynn Duffy admits to blowing up the car, and that Limehouse set everyone up, but has no idea of Quarles’ location.
Late at night, Boyd and the remains of his crew meet up with Limehouse’s gang on the bridge, where Limehouse respectfully returns Boyd’s deposit money, though neither comply to fully trust one another from that point out. And though Limehouse opts not to act just yet, Errol offers to make a mysterious phone call. Limehouse then finds Raylan waiting for him back at Nobel’s Holler, angry that either side seems to have screwed up in getting what they wanted from the bank job of “Coalition.” Raylan winds up with guns trained to both Limehouse and Errol, though he’s quickly outgunned. Limehouse concedes that he can’t get Raylan Quarles, but offers up Boyd Crowder instead.
While the police run around like chickens without heads trying to find Quarles, the tow-headed baddie commandeers a camping family, taking them hostage as he makes calls to Detroit mobster Theo Tonin looking to “come home,” unfortunately, given the trouble Quarles has caused for his adoptive mob family, he won’t be allowed to return to Detroit unharmed for less than $500 grand.
Boyd himself lands in hot water as well, as Sheriff Shelby (Jim Beaver) calls to warn him that warrant popped up for the murder of Devil back in “The Devil You Know,” that someone gave up the location of the burial. Shelby believes he and Boyd to be largely square after this warning, and Boyd eventually fingers Arlo for having given up Devil’s location, likely having mentioned it in senile ramblings to Helen. As much as Ava protests the idea of Boyd going back to jail, he assures here that these are simply the rules they all play by. After the cops take Boyd away, Ava and Johnny vow to make someone pay, possibly Ellen Mae for running her mouth about Boyd’s crimes.
With the family mother having been abandoned and flagging down the cops, Raylan and the police get a bead on Quarles’ activity, though the man himself calls Raylan to demand that he alone come volunteer himself as a hostage, which he complies with. Limehouse however has to let go of his own connections, banishing Errol from Nobel’s Holler entirely for the trouble he’s caused, when Johnny calls to reveal that he in fact was the one to give information on Devil’s body to Limehouse, wanting Boyd out of the picture. Dun dun dun…
After Ava lays the smack-down on Ellen Mae for what she believes to be crimes against Boyd, Raylan, Quarles, and their young hostages arrive in Nobel’s Holler, Raylan telling Limehouse that it’d be in his best interest to simply pay off Quarles with the money he needs to return home. Limehouse begrudgingly agrees and slices open his real-life piggy bank (ha!), spilling cash onto the ground. As the young boy gathers the money however, Errol reappears and shoots Quarles, and Raylan attempts to overpower the blonde man and avoid his derringer before Limehouse makes one clean stroke with his meat cleaver, and chops off Quarles’ forearm entirely! Laughing giddily from blood loss and his own insanity, Quarles then reveals that he never pulled the trigger on Officer Tom Bergen, but that the real culprit was Raylan’s own father Arlo.
Quarles defeated, Raylan drags Arlo down to the station, where Boyd explains to Raylan that he considers Arlo more family than a member of his crew. And just when it seems like Devil’s murder would be enough to put away Boyd for some time, Arlo opts to take the wrap for it as well as Officer Tom, protecting Boyd as a surrogate son.
Raylan relays this story to Winona, still staying with her sister, but Winona gets hung up on the detail of why Raylan’s boss Art would think that Arlo confessing to Tom’s murder would be bothersome. Raylan explains that while Arlo’s criminal ways don’t exactly surprise him, in Arlo’s vision, he wasn’t killing a state trooper. All Arlo knew was that he was shooting a man in a hat with a gun pointed to Boyd, which very easily could have been his own son, Raylan himself.
Pour a bourbon out for ‘Justified’ Season 3, y’all. The season may have lacked a bit of the emotional punch that last year had, and a particularly strong villain like Mags Bennett, but each season seems to bring ‘Justified’ closer and tighter as far as being a well-oiled machine. And did we mention they chopped off Quarles’ derringer arm with a frickin’ meat cleaver?! An epic climax, and a bittersweet ending make ‘Justified’ Season 4 feel far too long away.
Give us your thoughts on the last ‘Justified’ of the season “Slaughterhouse,” or just what you think is next after Season 3 in the comments section below, and check back for all the latest developments on ‘Justified’ before the next season!