Justified: No Southern Hospitality for the Carpetbagger

Justified S03E07: "The Man Behind the Curtain"

Not all episodes of Justified can be guns-a-blazin' bonanzas of kidney-stealin and shootin'-people-through-people. But all episodes, mark my word, will be a hoot to watch as the show's characters alternate between digging themselves out of holes and loosening the ground beneath their foes. "The Man Behind the Curtain" was the first episode in a while that didn't pull a trigger, but it proved there's more than one way to put a man under.

It was Quarles' turn to dig upward this week as we witnessed more weakness in the slick-talking man from Detroit. Up until tonight, he had walked the walk and three-piece-suited the three-piece suit, but "The Man Behind the Curtain" showed us that Quarles' big-shot facade is as fearsome as Dewey's mullet. Harlan County's worst had pegged Quarles as a "Carpetbagger," a man who comes down to the South from the North to take advantage of gap-toothed hicks, and they were right.

We were led to believe that Quarles was in Kentucky of his own volition to do bidness, but it was suggested that he's been exiled to Bourbon Country to keep him out of the hair of the boss while also giving him a second chance to right a previous wrong. I'm not sure he jumped at the chance, but he certainly thinks pulling one over on these backwoods hillbillies ain't no thing. Wrong.

When the locals fought back and things weren't moving as easily as they should, Quarles did what all businessmen do. He made it rain! The money shower on Raylan didn't work (it's laughable that Quarles thought Raylan was on the take), so he did the next best thing he could think of, which was to buy off Sheriff Napier. First order of business: Piss off Boyd, his rival and obstacle in taking over the Oxycontin trade. Quarles isn't playing smart; he's playing too hard and his stock as a competent bad guy is falling fast.

Meanwhile, the unseen Detroit boss had sent his son, Sammy Tonin, down to check up on Quarles, and it was obvious the two business associates didn't like each other one bit. After Raylan got some very funny and reluctant help from Marshal Tim, he stalked Sammy for info on Quarles. Thinking Quarles sent a man to kill him, Sammy let slip to Raylan that he and Quarles aren't buddies, and that's when Raylan figured out he had a brand-new asset in his war against Quarles.

So the hole Quarles was stuck in had gotten a lot deeper. He had Raylan sniffing around and confiscating his goods. Boyd was ready to put some new holes in him (is that any way for Southern gentlemen to show hospitality?). And to make matters worse, the cash flow coming from the North was yanked at the last minute, taking away Quarles' greatest advantage. But Quarles wasn't done yet, and sometimes a desperate man is the most dangerous kind of man. He commanded Sammy, who was under watch by the "feebs," as Art calls them, to make sure that the FBI heard him say that Raylan's dirty. Quarles then went to Tulsa to see Gary, Raylan's not-so-good friend and Winona's ex, who would be a good person to help set up a smear campaign against Raylan. Or worse. I would not want to be Gary right now. I'm not sure what Quarles has in mind for Gary, but you can bet Gary won't have much say in it.

Quarles' actions forced Raylan and Boyd to take some steps of their own. Raylan countered by working with Sammy, and Boyd responded by having his old friend Shelby (Jim Beaver, back for a new arc) run for sheriff against Napier. A lot of pieces got shuffled around this episode, and we'll see how the game plays out in the coming weeks.

"The Man Behind the Curtain" definitely stepped to the side and slowed down the pace of Justified's third season—the episode could rightfully be called lacking when placed against ones that preceded it. But it was fascinating to see allegiances slowly dissolve and reform elsewhere. We're all itching to see Boyd and Raylan share the same motivation, and in Quarles they have a common enemy.


Postcards from Harlan County

– My favorite scene of the episode had to be Raylan and Tim getting chewed out by the FBI like they were two first-graders who'd been sent to the principal's office. The Raylan-Tim dynamic is one of the most underrated relationships on the show, and Timothy Olyphant and Jacob Pitts work spectacularly together.

– Now we have a name for Limehouse's henchman: Errol.

– Is Arlo showing signs of dementia all of a sudden? I don't remember seeing anything about him having senior moments before, but you have to be pretty out of it to go to Noble's Holler at night screaming about how Limehouse took your woman. Did they just drop that on us now?

– Quarles wins for "best line of the episode," for his delivery as much as his choice of words: "I'm just going to smile and eat a nice plate of steaming shit... unsalted."


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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I think this episode was the nice break and deep breath we needed. It helped set up where things will go from here, showed our villain Quarles as not the man at the top, and had AWESOME scene with Raylan and Tim. Their banter is fantastic, and the dialogue in this episode was the best yet this season!
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big Justified fan! liking how the plot has been set up to brew a while before concusion. top quality all round this season!
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This thing between Raylan and Boyd, it's like a dance! I can't get enough of their scenes, Olyphant and Goggins are fantastic together. I basically hold my breath when I watch them. Both actors are amazing and this episode was no different.



I have no idea where that "Arlo is losing it" plot came from. Is this the beginning of the end for him? Also, Quarles is creeping me out and I love this. :D Great episode and I too didn't think it was lacking anything.
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I disagree, This episode was anything but 'lacking'. I was riveted from beginning to end. And I found Quarles with his back to the wall scary to watch. He is a totally amoral character bothering on psychopath. The whole carpetbagger thing is also quite intriguing. I confess I would never have believed in a million years I could be interested in anything happening in a hick red-neck town BUT each week I tune in (no DVR I cant bear the suspense) and marvel. It just gets awesomer each episode. so Tim this episode was if anything more interesting lack of gunfire not withstanding, the menace, backstabbing, and potential for mayhem implied in the episode more than makes up.
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Arlo apparently been on meds during his run on the show, it just hasnt' been mentioned until now, and just about everyone, including Ava, seems to be aware of this. So I'm guessing he's been taking his medication for dementia? Or perhaps Alzheimers. I'm sure we'll find out soon enough. Good stuff though.



God, i just want to shoot Quarles in the foot! Who does that carpet-munching-bagger think he is, shutting down Boy's business bar, and trying to buy off Rayland? The guy's up to his feet in his own @sshole!



Also, more Tim! He's probably the only character who could verbally go toe -to- toe with Raylan, has some BRILLIANT one liners..



Stand out quotes of the night:

"I wanna bury the big toothed albino-looking son of a b!tch." (LOL. So true about Neal McDough)

"Hell is empty and all the devils are here."

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"the episode could rightfully be called lacking when placed against ones that preceded it"

Ah, but that is the beauty of a well-produced arch. There was no painful snail-trail going on here. The pace was well-kept, with excellent performances and gave needed detail to keep my interest. I enjoyed this one as well as any this season.
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For us it is laughable that Raylan could be on the take, but for men like Quarles, who likely believes that everyone can be bought, it would be more surprising that Raylan refuses to play ball.



And yes, much more Tim Gutterson, please. And Raylan's hat is back!
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I really liked this episode, characters got to be PEOPLE instead of cliches, they got to have nuance and play their games as good or bad as their personalities would allow. I'd say the only thing that felt forced was Boyd's participation getting extra screentime. But everybody had a card to play, we got to learn about Quarles and see him without everything going his way. I could live with more of this sort of thing on this show, less of the previous moronic episode.
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FYI - Frequent Justified director Adam Arkin (Sons of Anarchy) will step in front of the camera for two episodes of the FX drama later this season. He'll play Theo Tonin, head of the Detroit Mafia and the boss of Neal McDonough's Quarles.
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This was a great episode. I really can't complain much about this show. Because it is just so well done. However, the paltry interaction between Tim and Raylan was frustrating. In that i leaves me wanting more Tim and Raylan. I agree that relationship is a damn good aspect of the show and I really wish that they would spend more time with the rest of the Marshalls this year. Not an episode by themselves mind you. But TIm tagging along for the day would have just been that much more fun. I can just imagine his sardonic quips as Raylan goes about the day. If there is anything lacking in this season that is it. I don't mind the Raylan Givens show. Because Tim Olyphant just embodies that character so well. But they have a plethora of good actors and good characters to work with and, well why not use them. I like to compare this show to Southland, because to be honest they are the best shows on TV right now. And Southland uses all of their actors well. I know it is more of an ensemble, but come on, why have these great characters if you aren't going to use them.



Quarles however, though I love the character, the past couple of episodes leave me to start to think that he isn't going to be the big bad of the season like we previously thought he was. The whole episode he at least to me seemed more of a guy that is barely keeping his rage in check rather than a big bad sitting behind the scenes pulling all of the strings. The going of getting Gary and from the previews what he does seems sloppy and he has Raylan all wrong which further leads me to think he isn't the guy we think he is.



OVer the past couple of episodes. The person that has struck me more and more as the big bad of the season is Limehouse. He is behind the scenes, he is pulling strings and he is making moves. He is in the position like Mags was to make bigger moves, because he is organized and he thinks ahead. And what is worse for everyone, he is being under estimated thus far by most of the people.



Just my two cents.



And Arlo from what I recall is Bi Polar and has PTSD. However, screaming for his dead wife. Not Helen, but Frances. Frances was Raylan's mother. That is more of a sign of Alzheimer's, because he has moments of lucidity as he had in the bar. And moments of confusion as he had in the house when Raylan came to the house and at Limehouses. It is hard to tell because both Dementia and Alzheimer's are extremely subjective and present differently in the individual.
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Another excellent episode of Justified. I'm sure there are a lot of people who prefer the action packed episodes, but I always love these "slower" episodes. It was great to Tim play a bigger part in the episode his scenes with Raylan are always great. I also loved the bar scene with Raylan, Boyd, and Johnny, the Boyd-Limehouse scene, and Quarles' scenes were great as usual.



As others have mentioned Arlo having PTSD and Bipolar Disorder was revealed in season 1. It'll be interesting to see if he's just off his meds or if he is getting worse. I'm looking forward to next week and seeing what happens with Gary as well as the struggle for power between Boyd, Quarles, and Limehouse.
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I hope the FBI don't fall for Quarles set up of Raylan. Thats a story line I don't want to see pan out.



I know it was an episode to set up the second half of the season but it wasn't the best.
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Oh, and in regards to:

"Is Arlo showing signs of dementia all of a sudden? I don't remember seeing anything about him having senior moments before, but you have to be pretty out of it to go to Noble's Holler at night screaming about how Limehouse took your woman. Did they just drop that on us now?"



I do believe they mentioned his PTSD and bi-polar disorder briefly throughout season 1 and 2, but also, in episode 6 of this season, they showed Arlo talking (to himself) as if his wife was in the room. I believe that was the first visual sign of him going off his meds.
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Great episode. Its a great set up for the next few episodes. Now, regarding : " how Limehouse took your woman (harlo's). Did they just drop that on us now? " NO, it was explained in a previous episode that white women who were being battered by their kin could seek shelter in the Holler - and that Arlo's wife had done so at one time - no relationship other than protection was mentioned or asssociated to Limehouse.





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Considering I love the action and gun-fights that Justified sometimes features, I found it surprising that this may have been my favorite episode of the season.



The main reason is probably the secondary characters. More Tim Gutterson -- him and Raylan together is so fun to watch; the return of Jim Beaver as Shelby; and Stephen Tobolowsky as a feeb (hopefully around for a recurring role). Pitts, Beaver, and Tobolowsky are all favorites in my book.



I love watching Raylan, Boyd, Quarles, and Limehouse all trying to one-up each other and out-smart the others. It's really fun to watch.
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We're all itching to see Boyd and Raylan share the same motivation, and in Quarles they have a common enemy...................so true
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Love this show, just gets better and better. Whoever is reponsible for the casting is to be commended, so far they have picked the right person for each character.
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Helen told Raylan in Season 1 that she had to make sure Arlo took his meds for PTSD and BiPolar disease. Helen's not around any more, and Arlo is obviously not taking his meds. Devil and Boyd have made references to his decline this season.



This would also explain why Arlo would not let Raylan know what was going on ... in a round about, Arlo way. (Arlo's such a loose cannon, he can't be quiet.) If Arlo was in his more sane, medicated mind, he wouldn't be too happy about his station in Boyd's organization and would no doubt be doing more than picking Devil's corpse pockets to 'get his' or 'keep his.'
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I didn't find this episode lacking at all. I was on the edge of my seat and loved every second of it!



Also, in regards to Arlo, it goes all the way back to Season 1, Episode 5 - this is from an interview with Exec. Prod. Graham Yost:



It sounded like Arlo was talking about Helen as if she was still alive. That's dementia setting in?

Yes. It will play an important part in the rest of the season, at several points. If you remember way back in the first season way back when when Helen comes to Raylan and says, "You've gotta bail your father out of jail" and Raylan does, Helen explains that Arlo was diagnosed at the VA as PTSD-bipolar and he's supposed to be on medication and it's hard keeping him on the medication. This is following through on that.
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I agree, I thought this episode was very interesting and just flew by - I like it much better that last week's.
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