Justified Review: Robert Quarrels

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"The Man Behind The Curtain" marked the midway point of Justified's third season, and what a first half it has been.

This week's installment might not have matched the bar set by some of the episodes that came before it, but it succeeded in moving many pieces around before we head down the back stretch of the season.

Quarles and... Gary

There may not have been an exciting episodic story, but the eponymous Robert Quarles made up for that with sheer intrigue. We learned so much new information about him, both in actual history, as well as in what he is like after watching put his hand in all of those different honey jars.

Quarles is investigating Raylan, he is trying to figure out Boyd's deal, he's bribing the sheriff, he's handling his pseudo brother Sammy, and by the end of the hour, he is paying a visit to Gary Hawkins in Tulsa.

The point is that Quarles is driven, but he may be spreading himself a bit too thin. He has too many ideas, and too many things going on, that one of them is bound to blow up in his face.

Maybe that's what he wants. If his reaction to Raylan shutting down his operation is any hint, Robert Quarles might want an epic battle like we've never seen. When he realized that Raylan was basically evicting him from the house he had his entire operation working out of, Quarles didn't seem mad, or angry, or even upset. He seemed disappointed.

This is how you're gonna do it? As if he wanted it to come to blows, or he wanted a shoot out in the desert. With the way he has been treated by Big Boss Tonin, Quarles may just want some attention. Going out in a blaze of glory might be right up his alley. He seems to be on his way.

We also found out some actual background information on Quarles. He was taken in by the head of the Detroit mob, and basically groomed to be his successor. Now, though, the don's real son is the one with all the money and the power, and Quarles is relegated to Kentucky. He's bitter, and it will probably end up getting the best of him.

Watching Quarles make all of his moves was exciting, but it wasn't as fun as seeing Raylan take out Boyd and Johnny with one hand tied behind his back, or slapping Sammy Tonin upside the head for hiding behind his daddy's title. Well, maybe his hand was tied up, but it did seem extremely simple for him. He's a stud.

Quarles' move on the sheriff, and the sheriff’s subsequent move on Boyd's bar, forced Mr. Crowder's hand. Boyd called up Jim Beaver's Shelby, and asked him to think about running for sheriff. That could get interesting.

So there were a lot of moving pieces during "The Man Behind the Curtain," and there was certainly a healthy amount of new information on Robert Quarles, but was this one of your favorite episodes of the season? It wasn't mine, but maybe I'm just as crazy as Arlo Givens when he's off of his meds.


Editor Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (82 Votes)

Dan Forcella is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.


Story line awesome. Hell of a show. All the twists and turns. I wish it would last forever.
Boyd = handsome and great character. Raylan= handsome and awesome character.
Both together are great.
Don't try to take Boyd away. He partly makes the show. And the accent and teeth, wow. Love his hair too. Raylan those long legs and smooth demeaner too cool.


I'm thinking Raylan is going to have to save Gary's sorry ass one more time. That said, Quarles truly is the creepiest character to come around in a long time. (I'm looking forward to watching Raylan [& Boyd?] take him out.) And I think Wynn is having second thoughts about his dangerous & unholy alliance with Quakers to.


I love this show so much, I cannot be truly objective at all...Yes it was slow...we are used to the fast pace, the grizzly shootem ups and crazy mischief that all of the characters seem to get themselves into...It is always 5*****'s to me....I don't see how it could be anything but with the writers and actors they have on this show...The intermittent humor is smart and crisp...Interjected at just the most opportune moments...I hope this show runs for a long long while....


Definitely one of my favorites because of the crackling dialog. Never a let-up, always sharp, funny and surprising. And my favorite part of the whole Justify series is the complete amorality of everyone in Harlan County. No good guys or bad guys, just guys trying to figure the angles and working the system. No moralizing by anyone to slow the pace. I'm happy to learn we are only half way through the season.


"but was this one of your favorite episodes of the season? It wasn't mine, but maybe I'm just as crazy as Arlo Givens when he's off of his meds." Only a 3.5 star rating, Dan? Perhaps you are going Arlo without meds. ;-) Even if this is not my favorite episode of the season, this episode still rates FIVE (5) STARS (*****).


JUSTIFIED - My divine, guilty pleasure - Raylan Givens, played to perfection by Timothy Olyphant, has to be one of the
best characters ever to hit the air waves - Also, the chemistry between him & Boyd is something I can't get enough of -
I love watching it back to back - Always catch something new the second time around -


Man that Quarles gets scarier every week, like heebeejeebee scary! Love more banter with Tim, thats always entertaining, not as much as with Boyd but good none the less. It was nice to see the hat back this week~


Art: "First the A$$H0_e, then the girfriend."


Was sort of confusing on who was bad guy and good guy but show is getting better. Love the southern style drama.


All the dialogue is great (kudos to the writers!)but Boyd and Raylan are just amazing in their scenes together. I actually find myself holding my breath I'm concentrating so hard to get every nuance of their interaction. And then I rewind and watch it again for the sheer pleasure!

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Justified Season 3 Episode 7 Quotes

Bartender: What can I get ya?
Raylan: Some sleep.
Bartender: Can't get ya that. You could drink 'til you pass out.

I'm just gonna put a smile on my face, and eat a nice plate of steaming shit...unsalted.