Each season of Justified has been so outstanding because the writers find different ways to make each episode interesting in its own way.
Whether it's a thrill-a-minute shootout, a game of chess filled with impressive speeches, or in the case of "Watching the Detectives," a simultaneous look into the problems of Raylan's past and certain problems of his future, Justified always entertains.
It was fun watching the onslaught of issues Raylan Givens had to endure during the hour, but it was even more impressive knowing that Robert Quarles was almost entirely responsible for it all.
First, he had Tonin make that phone call - which they knew was being overheard by the FBI - saying that Raylan is dirty, and in bed with Boyd Crowder. Then he straight up murdered Gary on his own front lawn, making the smart decision to use the bullet Raylan had tossed at Duffy earlier in the season. It was a pretty great plan to get Deputy Givens out of the way.
The local detectives were the first on the case. Raylan's case, that is. Because the bullet used to kill Gary was the one Raylan tossed at Duffy, it had his fingerprints all over it and Raylan became their first suspect. His past issues with Gary didn't help the cause.
Thankfully, this allowed us to reminisce about how cool that moment with the bullet was, and for Raylan to explain the whole thing to the his interrogators. Detective Garrity's response - "that might just be the coolest thing I've ever laid ears on" - was hilarious because that was exactly the response we all had while watching it.
I'm not sure, however, if I like it more or less now knowing he stole the idea from a story on Johnny Carson.
I do know, though, that things got even more interesting when Stephen Tobolowski showed up as the FBI agent claiming Raylan was in bed with Boyd. As if the dude didn't have enough going on, the Feds came in and added a whole new level of headache to Raylan's day. His smirk, when the Feds first mentioned this was all about his relationship with Boyd, was amazing. The fact that he tried to solve the entire issue by reminding them he shot Boyd in the chest might have been better.
Fortunately for Raylan, he was able to escape all of these issues by the end of the episode. The weapon used to murder Gary, after being retrieved by Winona, was taken care of by Raylan. Thanks to Art, the Feds also backed off since they didn't want to divulge the fact that they got their information from Sammy Tonin.
Raylan's past issues with Boyd, Gary and Duffy got him into some trouble, but it was also the certain problems in the near future that "Watching the Detectives" brought to our attention.
Since Quarles's Raylan plan didn't work out, the Detroit family had to put the kibosh on all of his Kentucky doings. After Tonin told him that he's on his own, Quarles came oh so close to murdering him right then and there.
Why didn't he? Was this the first soft spot we've seen in Robert Quarles? Or is he indeed scared of what Tonin's dad would have done?
Without the Northern mobsters in his corner, we may now be in store for a partnership nobody in Kentucky wants to see. Limehouse came to Quarles early in the episode, stating that he wanted to back to the winning side of the Sherriff’s race. By the end of the hour, it looked like Quarles was taking him up on that offer. Quimehouse is a duo with whom I would NOT want to mess.
This possible future puts our friend Boyd Crowder in a difficult spot. Can he compete with the duo of Quarles and Limehouse? Is he safe now that the Sherriff is out to get him? I knew immediately that Boyd wasn't the one who put the bomb in the Sheriff’s car, but I wasn't expecting it to have been the man himself that bombed his own squad car.
There was a lot going on in "Watching the Detectives," but it seems there will only be more to come in the final five episodes of the season. Will Raylan and Boyd team up once again to take down Quarles and Limehouse?
How will the race for Sherriff affect Boyd the rest of the season? And, most importantly, when Winona left Raylan for Gary, do you think she dreamed in a million years that her new man would get murdered before her ex?
Dan Forcella is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.