Justified Review: I Love It When A Plan Almost Comes Together

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It may have seemed like Ellstin Limehouse was too busy cutting up pigs to know what was going on in Kentucky recently, and it definitely seemed like his right hand man Errol had decided to rise up against the boss last week, but "Coalition" proved that it was all part of the good butcher's master plan.

Given how many temporary alliances came together and fell apart over the course of the hour, this episode of Justified should have been titled the plural, "Coalitions."

Boyd with a Gun

Dickie and Errol were seemingly teamed up, who then joined with Boyd to rob the bank. Boyd, meanwhile, was also aligned with Wynn Duffy to take out Quarles. Duffy was already siding with Quarles and Theo Tonin, and Quarles also made a deal with Limehouse.

Everyone was scrapping to get their share of Mags's and/or Tonin's money, and nearly everyone failed. The most intriguing coalition of them all, though, had to be Raylan Givens and Ellstin Limehouse teaming up to get rid of Dickie and keep Mags' money in a safe place.

Did anyone predict that Loretta not only had the money, but would end up keeping the $3.2 million all to herself? I'm not sure exactly why Limehouse wanted the money to stay with Loretta, maybe it is because he wants everyone to just leave him and his people alone, but it was a great plan nonetheless.

He wanted the Marshals out of his hair, which Raylan said would never happen if he continued to hide the money. The fact that Loretta - who Raylan looks at like a daughter in some ways - has the money means that the Marshals will stop snooping around for the most part.

Limehouse's other side of the plan almost worked out as well. Sending Errol undercover to work with both Dickie and Boyd was genius. It was risky for the number two, but it was smart. He knew that if he got everyone together that they would take each other out, or at least all go to prison.

What he didn't count on, though, was Trooper Tom showing up to the party and screwing it all up. If he hadn't shown up, you have to figure one of Boyd or Quarles would now be dead. Instead, Quarles proved that he still has a quick trigger in gunning down Tom, and escaped before anyone could catch him.

The most interesting thing about the end of "Coalition" was how everyone wanted everyone else dead, but nobody wanted to actually do the deed. Limehouse sent Quarles to go kill Boyd, Wynn wanted to kill Quarles but instead waited for Boyd and Quarles to fight it out.

Quarles might have completely lost it, but at least he went to Boyd's bar attempting to do something about his situation. And when I say lost it, I mean this guy is a completely different individual then the man we met at the beginning of the season. He is pulling together mini-cons here and there, getting high as a kite every five seconds, and has absolutely no idea what to do next.

It was a long cry from the cool, confident killer we saw in the season premiere. His quick cons are still extremely fun to watch, though. Getting stoned with the prostitutes, allowing them to drop their guard, then chaining them all together in the motor home was just masterful.

Quarles isn't the only one losing it, as the behavior Arlo Givens continues to fall deeper and deeper into Crazy Town. First he called Boyd "Raylan" and then he starts having full on hallucinations and conversations with the deceased Helen.

I would guess that this is going to play a role later on, or else why bring it up. A minor player going nuts doesn't have much point unless it's going to wind up intertwining with the plots of our main characters.

What and who else will play a major role in next week's season finale? Now that Mags' money is out of the picture, I have to imagine this will all come down to a bunch of battles to the death in the aptly titled "Slaughterhouse."

What did you think of the penultimate Justified of the season? Were you surprised at how the money story played out? How does Robert Quarles keeping escaping death? And who in this world doesn't know Boyd's plan to rob a bank?

Also, let us know who you think is most likely to die in next Tuesday's finale:


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (83 Votes)

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


Well, if you read the credits, Olyphant was BEHIND the cameras a lot on this episode. Anyway, I thought the episode was terribly convoluted, although I suspect that was exactly the idea - a real spiral. Personally, I think Raylan has pissed off so many bad guys, it's time HE gets seriously hurt, not poor Tom (I sure hope he's only wounded, not gone). I suspected all along that Mags was taking care of Loretta(she had disowned Dickie,the only Bennett left), and that's where Limehouse's "ethics" take over. He will honor his commitments, good or bad. I do love the fact that Raylan is letting her keep the money. Anyway, I hate to see the season end, and will be looking forward to the next one. Can't wait to see who survives THIS season. And please, Neal McDonough so deserves an Emmy for his portrayal of Quarles. I wish his character could stick around. The creepiest bad guy yet. Thanks for the fun!


Outstanding episode. It was unpredictable. I never saw most of it coming. I loved all the machinations and shifting alliances. I was surprised when Boyd called out Errol who I had believed really was double crossing Limehouse. I was also surprised that Loretta had the money although I should not have been. Mags owed her and she paid that debt. Duffy made the same mistake that Boyd did not killing Quarles right away. Both Boyd and Duffy over played their hands with Quarles. Arlo calling Boyd, "Raylan" and then hallucinating about Helen was very sad. He is not the nicest man, but to see him slowly unwind is difficult. I can see him shooting everyone in the season finale. Ed, ITA. The writers figured out earlier than most that the show needed strong characters other than Raylan to make it work. Walton Goggins is a fine actor. He makes Boyd a compelling character to set against Raylan and the other villains. It works because despite Raylan "dislike" of Boyd, he is obviously still his best friend.


@CKC Your way off base when it comes to this show. Walton Goggins i.e. Crowder, more than picks up the slack when Raylan isn't on camera. Did you watch the 1st season when the show floundered badly for the 1st 6 or 7 eps till they decided to bring Walton in full time?? Those two have some great on-screen chemstry. They remind me a bit of Mackey and Vandrell. Goggins is an outstanding actor and brings out the best in the people he works with.


This was probably my favorite episode of the season up to this point. I loved it, to be honest. Seeing Arlo drop in senility is sad, but so beautifully told, and when he called Boyd "Raylan" I felt it was one of the best scenes in the series, and you could see the change in Boyd's demeanor when it happened. He saw how far gone Arlo really was at that point. Second, I really love Limehouse's character. Throughout the season you think that he has this big plan for his enterprise and Mags' money, but the truth is he wants to be left alone, and he wants things to go back to the way it was, and Raylan is all too happy to let him do it. Loretta having the money was a nice touch and made a lot of sense, Limehouse was simply fulfilling a promise made to Mags with Loretta having the money. Over the past two seasons I've noticed that out of every group of "antagonists" one becomes a part of the major cast member, originally with Boyd, and then with Dickie. I'm interested in seeing if this happens again this season with Limehouse or maybe Errol. Quarles is on his way out, that much is certain. I'm wondering if Limehouse will also be on his way out. I kind of wish Raylan would adopt Loretta. With a kid on the way I think she would be help, and it would maybe allay some of his anger. He seems to have looked at her as a daughter in a way since season 2, and it'd be pretty cool to see.


Great episode....but to answer you're question why Loretta's back, Mags probably instructed Limehouse to keep the money safe for Loretta...much wiser than leaving it to Dickie Bennett.


Ok this was the worst Justified episode to date. I have to wonder if the writers remember the focus of the show. Anyone notice what this episode was missing. RAYLAN maybe. I estimate he was on screen maybe 10 minutes and that might be generous. They should change the name to Hillbilly Outlaws. I don't know about anyone else but I fell in love with Timothy Olyphant's cool laid back portrayal of Raylan Givens. His wit. His charm. The seething current of anger right underneath the surface. Where has that guy gone? The story used to follow Raylan as he navigated his way through the latest bad guy ploy. Now we follow the bad guys. And there are so many bad guys we can't keep them straight and the plot doesnt' seem to be able to either. It seems the new goal for Justified is how can we top the last bad guy. That doesn't bode well for the future. This show just flounders when Olyphant isn't on the screen. It has no focal point. And if you just tuned in you wouldn't have a clue that Raylan is a marshal. The waste of the talent in the marshal's office is criminal. We harldy see these people. But we get to see Ava turn into a gun toting, murderous madam. Totally out of character and unbelievable not to mention disgusting. I loved the first season and I love Timothy Olyphant but if this season is an example of how it is going to go I can not longer say I love Justified. I implore the writers to go back to the heart and soul of this show - Raylan Givens.

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Justified Season 3 Episode 12 Quotes

Any noise out of that filthy whore mouth of yours, and I will rip your head off with this chain. Do you understand?


The shit follows me home like a three-legged dog.