Justified Review: Somebody's Poisoned the Waterhole

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"Guy Walks into a Bar," tells a U.S. Marshal he is going to kill him, prepares for a duel, and then says "night, night" with his hand as if he had drawn a face on it.

That entire scene in the bar, combined with the rest of what was going on with Robert Quarles, was absolutely fascinating.

The character has lost his mind, and Neal McDonough continued to do a fantastic job portraying this mad man in this week's Justified. It all started to turn in the wrong direction for Quarles two weeks ago when his plan to take Raylan down fell apart.

Watering Hole Square Off

The downward spiral continued when Napier was disqualified from running for office. Quarles had already stolen the sheriff's office, and was ready to run the shit out of Harlan County, but Boyd outmaneuvered him, and the Detroit man silently walked away from the situation.

It was as if he knew it was all over. Watching him slowly chew on pill after pill in almost a curled up ball in his trailer was sad. Hearing the story of his childhood, however, was much worse. When that kid pulled on him, I knew a Robert Quarles speech was coming, but I never expected what actually came out of his mouth.

His father a heroin addict, little Robbie Quarles was whored out to men a a young child. Then the mob took the kid in, and brought his father to him on his knees, and handed Quarles a gun.

That was this sociopath's first murder. At the ripe age of 14, he murdered his father in cold blood. Wow. It is no wonder the man is as creepy and cold-hearted as he is.

Then there was the eponymous moment when Quarles paid a visit to Raylan at his new digs. In true Justified fashion, the scene was filled with creepy chills, hilarious digs, and tension you could have cut with a knife.

First, there were a couple of big laugh moments that need to be mentioned, namely when Quarles first walked in and Lindsay hilariously referred to him as an "albino deer." I then proceeded to crack up when Raylan responded to Quarles' election loss with "I'm just gonna file that under who gives a sh!t?"

Things got super serious when Quarles flat out told Raylan that he was going to kill him. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but it will happen. Raylan, starting to get a little crazy himself, sent everyone out of the bar with a gunshot to the ceiling. Famous smirk on his face, he asked the mobster, "Why wait?"

I thought it was going to go down right then and there. With the two men staring each other down in the bar, I wanted to see how Raylan would best him, or if Quarles would try to lull Raylan to sleep before pulling out his hidden gun. But alas, Lindsay ruined everything with her fully loaded shotgun.

On his way out, as I mentioned in my opening paragraph, Quarles said goodbye by mouthing "night night" with his hand. That might have been the single creepiest moment I've seen on Justified. How weird was that?

Finally, "Guy Walks Into A Bar" ended with maybe the most disturbing scene ever on the show. Quarles, now possibly completely out of his mind, was in his trailer, snorting lines and talking to himself.

He then stripped completely naked and entered his bathroom to do God knows what with an extremely afraid boy tied up to the toilet.

Robert Quarles has certainly been one of most interesting and compelling characters on television this season. Did the events of this week make that even clearer, or was it all a bit too much?

Dickie in Court

While I was wrapped up in the performance by Neal McDonough, I didn't forget that Boyd and Raylan were also kicking around Kentucky. Boyd easily cemented his place atop Harlan County politics by helping Shelby land the new spot as Sheriff. I especially enjoyed the Crowder campaign tactics, which include free HJs for any vote for Shelby.

Raylan, when he wasn't being threatened by Quarles, had to deal with the fact that Dickie Bennett was getting out of prison. Although my man crush on the Deputy Marshal has been well noted in our Justified Round Tables, I am not afraid to admit when he is inept at something.

He really had no idea how to go about that testimony. He pretty much wrote two sentences before he was asking his new bartending lady friend to do it for him. And as if his preparation weren't bad enough, Raylan's execution in court might have been worse.

It was nice to see him struggle. I'm not sure whether it was just plain nerves in the courtroom, or in his heart he wanted Dickie out of prison (either to catch him again, or have him lead the Marshals to the Bennett money), but it was fun watching him completely butcher that testimony. It was also hilarious to see the joy Art got out of the event as well.

Any negatives I had to say about the third season after last week's episode were pretty much wiped clean following "Guy Walks Into A Bar." I loved this hour, and the season seems to be coming to an exciting end with the downfall of Robert Quarles.

With three episodes remaining, how do you think it will all end? Is the final climax going to be about the Bennett money? Is that what Raylan and Boyd will team up for?

What did y'all think about this week's Justified? Check out all the best lines from the series in our Justified quotes section, and then sound off in the comments!


Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (95 Votes)

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


Salut e0 tous, La se9rie a toujours e9te9 un peu lente et brdvaae par pe9riode. Mais bon on est pas dans un e9pisode de Derrick quand meame. L'humour est bien caracte9ristique de la se9rie et Dewey Crowe rafle la palme du Perceval le gaulois du Kentucky: la sce8ne ou il est enferme9 dans le sac mortuaire m'a bien fait rire. Un humour noir certes , mais peu commun . La distribution d'acteur est aussi le point fort de beaucoup de se9ries US, et Justfied n'e9chappe pas e0 la re8gle . Les bad guys sont quand meame tous bien joue9s . Il n'y a pas de tre8s grandes figure dans Justified, comme Sean Bean dans GoT, mais il y a une ple9thore de second rf4le que l'on oublie pas gre2ce a leur jeu d'acteur ou leur personnage . Desmond Harrington dans le premier e9pisode de la nouvelle saison en est l'exemple typique : La petite tremblote et lechapeau mou en opposition e0 Timothy Oliphant .Justified est le POLAR qui me re9concilie avec ce style trop souvent lie9 au se9ries en stand alone ou trop lent .


best hour of television so far in 2012 period. especially loved the raylan-quarles bar scene what a fantastic episode


Love the show but thought last nights episode's were uncoordinated, didn't flow, and just too many dang commercials. Justified, I hope, has not had its better days because I do love it, but the strings of plots have lost continuity, to me


My goodness! Quarles-creepy and weird.. what is going on with him, didn't we see a picture of his wife and kids? Now he is holding hostages and torturing them and abusing them? TOO Much! Loved the vulnerable Raylan who just let Dickie out, I laugh so loudly! I think Art knew the whole time. Boyd seems to lose it then gain it all back, then he loses again and some how gets back in control. So now Dickie is out....so excited for what comes next. I have Dexter in the summer and Justified in the Fall-Winter, some spring. Great show.


Quarles back story and his perversion shouldn't really come as a surprise as they did show that guy tied to the bed at the end of a previous episode. If the kid survives I hope he at least gets to take a part in Quarles demise.
This season the writers have shown more of Raylan's vunerable side. That's great writing when every character is well rounded with strengths and weaknesses too. I used to think no show could beat Dexter, then along came Breaking Bad and now Justified. Such fantastic programming coming out of the independent networks while the major ones puddle on mired in mediocrity.


Great thought Bob. I thought of that too. Quarles represents a great threat to Duffey. Quarles is liable to take Duffey down in the "blaze of glory" that he (Quarles) seems to be heading/angling for. So, Duffey could and should quietly put him down. But I don't think he will because the mob boss might retaliate. Also I don't think it will happen because the writers know it we want to see it go down between Quarles and Raylan.


I can safely say this is my favorite show on TV, owing to the vision of Graham Yost, who also did Boomtown, with two of the guest stars this year, Neal and Williamson as Boomtown regulars. I wouldn't take my eye off of Limehouse...if Justified is like Boomtown, (which it is at least as far as the superb writing...the talking to the mirror, by Quarles, is eerily reminescent of what Neal did in the episode 'Blackout', playing David McNorris, probably the best Boomtown episode), then there will likely be something unexpectedly horrible done by Limehouse in the last 3 episodes. (Keep in mind, this has been inferred from Day 1, with his name and using Lyme, and slaughtering pigs) So the audience will then have a difficult time choosing between who's worse...Quarles (who is nuts,probably sociopathic and oddly sympathetic based on his personal history) or Limehouse (who exceptionally methodical, and therefore possibly sociopathic, when justified in his opinion)... Just a guess, but the characters that in the show, are focused on at different times in the season, when it's time to fully tell their story...I think Limehouse will be a focus real soon.


This is the best show on tv. You never quite know what is going to happen from minute to minute. The minute you think you have it figured out, your wrong and it twists and turns again. Love Tim Oliphant, but the show would not be so great without, Walt Goggins. He compliments it well. He's smooth talks well and is just great.
What a show! Look forward to it every week. Great writers
and the right personalities are put together to make this great.


What do you want to bet that Wynn Duffy is the guy who takes out Quarles?


I love everything about Justified. (It's the only show my husband and I watch together all week.) One actor who deserves special mention is Walton Goggins as Boyd Crowder. He has created a unique character and elevates the story every time he appears in a scene.

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Justified Season 3 Episode 10 Quotes

I hope you enjoyed your stay, and you never forget who packed your bags.

Boyd (to Quarles)

He's not Derek Jeter black. He's Wesley Snipes black.