Shhhhhh”¦ Do you hear what I hear? It’s the sound of pieces being moved into place on the big chessboard that is Season 3 of Justified. Now would be a good time to remember that in chess, pawns are disposable.
Arlo is not having a good night. His mind stuck somewhere in the past, he walks up the road to Noble’s Holler bitching about a woman not knowing her place, being too independent and not listening to the man of the house and starts bellowing for Limehouse. Instead, he’s met by several of the men whose job it is to guard the road.
Limehouse, you see, is otherwise occupied. Tanner has come crawling into the Holler hoping Errol will protect him from Quarles. Instead, Errol is [this close] to giving him a cattle prod and lye bath when Limehouse steps into the room and stops all the fun. He explains that last week’s clusterfuck involving the murders at the mobile Oxy lab was all on Errol, that he (Limehouse) hadn’t been consulted and definitely had not given his permission for that attack. Now, though, Limehouse has no choice but to step in and fix things. He gives Tanner a choice: death by Errol or to limp back to Quarles and take responsibility for having hit the lab, as payback against Boyd Crowder. Tanner chooses the latter (smart man) and Limehouse adds one more little condition: Tanner will also now be reporting back to Limehouse on Quarles’ operations.
About that time one of his men comes to tell him that Arlo is down the road yelling for him. When Limehouse gets there, Arlo informs him that he’s not leaving without his wife – his dead wife, the one he beat until she sought refuge in Noble’s Holler. Arlo draws a gun and gets clocked by one of Limehouse’s men.
Raylan, meanwhile, has moved his bedroll since Winona did a bunk (and, yay! the cowboy hat is back!), renting a room/apartment/studio (unclear in the glare of the neon light) above a bar. Woken up by the noise, he puts on his cowboy hat (yay!) and heads down for a drink. He meets a couple of girls who prove the old saying that youth is wasted on the young (really? You have Raylan’s attention and the only question you have for him is if he was born before or after disco? Pshaw.), and then who should slip onto the next stool but Quarles – wearing a black leather blazer and looking sharp, I might add. Not enough men wear leather blazers anymore. Pity. Quarles gets started on the wrong foot by assuming Raylan has been bought and paid for by Boyd Crowder. Raylan, in turn, is happy to share all the dirt he’s found out about Quarles – like the little tidbit that Quarles likes to beat up male prostitutes and that he put one of them in a coma for three weeks, hence his exile to the Bluegrass State. (Quarles has a thing for rent boys? I knew he was Republican!) The next day Raylan corners Tim Gutterson and asks nicely (for Raylan) that Tim use his FBI contact and dredge up more information on Quarles, something that will hopefully provide Raylan with some jurisdiction to pursue the Detroit carpetbagger.
Duffy meets with Quarles and is unsurprised to find out Raylan turned down Quarles’ bribe. He thinks the unused bribe money could be useful in the general fund but Quarles has another use for it. Duffy has other unwelcome news: the boss’ son, Sammy Tonin, is coming down for a visit. Hearing that, Quarles lets his bitterness show. Mob-boss Tonin had raised Quarles after the death of his parents when he was a young teen. It had been Quarles who was groomed to take over the family business, until the incident with the male prostitute. Now he has to bow and scrape to the son who, as Quarles describes him, is far from worthy of the family crown.
Raylan decides he needs to have a chat with Boyd so he takes a side trip to Johnny’s Bar and because he thinks this little chat with Boyd should be private he (i) gut checks Boyd, (ii) while Boyd is gasping for breath drags him into the back office where (iii) Johnny gets kicked when he goes for a gun in a desk drawer, leading him to (iv) reach for a baseball bat which (v) causes Raylan to punch Johnny in the face and then (vi) kick him and his wheelchair out of the office which (vii) dumps Johnny out of the wheelchair onto the floor, holding his bleeding nose. Really, you’d think Raylan could have just asked for a moment alone. Anyway, he’s all up in Boyd’s shit because he thinks Quarles got the idea that Raylan was in Boyd’s pocket from Boyd. The frenemy quickly disabuses him of that notion with a lecture on carpetbaggers after the war (in the South, there’s only one War). Boyd might be willing to lie, cheat and steal from his fellow Kentuckians but he’s not going to do it at the behest of some Yankee.
Quarles takes the briefcase of money originally meant for Raylan and goes to visit the local sheriff, who besides wearing a really bad toupee is up for reelection, even if he is running unopposed. Quarles donates the cash to the sheriff’s campaign and in return, asks him to lean on Boyd Crowder.
We finally get to meet Sammy Tonin, the heir to the crime throne, and he really is a little weasel doing his best to throw daddy’s weight around and act tougher than he is. Quarles tells him the Oxy racket will bring in $1 million per month and asks for another $50,000 in seed money. Sammy hesitates only a little before giving in, after warning Quarles about the trouble he caused with the rent boy.
Raylan, however, hasn’t been able to locate Sammy Tonin so he pulls Tim Gutterson out of another meeting for more help. As it turns out, Sammy is already under FBI surveillance and they know Raylan is pulling his information. Tim is afraid Raylan might go all “Raylan” and chase him into a crowded restaurant, grab his nutsack and drag him out which would get Tim’s contact/friend at the FBI in trouble. Raylan promises not to grab Sammy’s nutsack and swears that he will use his mad karate ninja skills – and the other two Japanese words he knows – and will be the soul of discretion. That should work out, right?
Sheriff Napier pays a visit to Johnny’s Bar – and Boyd, in what is obviously step one in earning the money Quarles left him. He and his deputies trump up some charges of illegal video poker machines and a locked fire door and shut the bar down.
Raylan shows up at a swanky Lexington restaurant where Sammy is dining and heads to the bar to wait, where he is instead greeted by men in black suits. They drag him back to the U.S. Marshal’s office where he and Tim are called to the carpet by the ranking FBI agent. Raylan and Tim have a story prepared about hunting a fugitive loosely connected to Sammy but neither the agent nor Art are all that impressed.
After the visit from the local sheriff, Boyd goes to see Limehouse. He passes over a package of cash, expecting information from Limehouse in return about who might be backing Napier. Limehouse confirms Boyd’s suspicions that Quarles is the money man and then says that Boyd has neither the money nor the manpower to take on that organization. Boyd is not happy that Limehouse isn’t being as forthcoming as he should be and basically threatens the butcher. Judging by the look Limehouse gave him as Boyd left the BBQ joint, that may not have been a smart move.
Raylan sneaks around a horse track trying to evade the FBI lookouts but still wanting a private word with Sammy Tonin, who is there looking at horses. With the aid of a helpful groom, Raylan gets Sammy alone in a show barn. Sammy thinks Raylan is working for Quarles and is there to kill him, which pisses Raylan off because that’s twice he’s been accused of being a dirty cop. Instead, he walks Sammy outside to let him know what a bad idea it would be for his family to continue to bankroll Quarles.
After his visit to Sammy, Raylan pays a visit to a helpful judge and then to the house Quarles is renting for his pseudo-clinic-Oxy-scam. It turns out that a woman is renting an upstairs apartment less than 200 yards from Quarles’ property and she teaches piano lessons, which sortakinda qualifies as a school. Quarles’ arrest record on various drug charges make him unfit to reside within 200 yards of a school so Raylan drops by to tape a big eviction notice to the front door. Quarles pulls up as Raylan is taking care of this little errand and is none too happy with Raylan. It’s one thing to turn down his bribe but now he’s messing with Quarles’ bidness! He calls Duffy and orders him to have all of the equipment cleared out and is informed by Duffy that the wire transfer of $50,000 that Sammy promised has been canceled. Quarles meets with Duffy briefly on his way to talk to Sammy personally. He mentions a “friend in Tulsa” and more ominously, instructs Duffy to “paint the room,” an obvious reference to the room where the man on the bed has been kept tied up. Quarles finds Sammy at the track and tells him that Raylan will be taken care of. He also tells Sammy to mention that Raylan is working with Boyd Crowder the next time he knows the FBI is listening to his conversation.
Boyd has a few plans of his own, one of which brings back Shelby, who was fired from the mine after Boyd robbed the safe there last season. Boyd talks Shelby into running against Napier in the sheriff’s race.
Quarles heads off to Tulsa on his personal errand which happens to involve Gary Hawkins, who’s working under the name of Walter Parks holding get-rich-on-real-estate seminars. Poor Gary – maybe he should have listened when Raylan told him to leave the country.
Your weekly Raylan: