‘Justified’ Season 3, Episode 5: ‘Thick as Mud’ Recap

Published 3 years ago by

Timothy Olyphant and Erica Tazel Justified Thick as Mud Justified Season 3, Episode 5: Thick as Mud Recap

At first it was a little bewildering to think that Justified was venturing into the well-trodden territory of organ harvesting – that being normally reserved for urban legends and the like. But ‘Thick as Mud’ manages to craft an incredibly well-rounded and entertaining episode from a notion that not only skewers lesser storytelling efforts on the macabre subject, but also finds time to scatter an idea or two on the topic of Quarles vs. Boyd Crowder.

It’s so great when the end of one episode of Justified bleeds seamlessly into the next, as we have from last week’s ‘The Devil you Know.’ After the attempt to extract Mags Bennett’s $3 million from her son Dickie (Jeremy Davies) was spoiled, prison nurse Lance (Clayne Crawford) proves he just isn’t one to let an opportunity for a little extra cash pass him by.

Enter Dewey Crowe (Damon Herriman), whose slow-wittedness and utter gullibility is so painfully obvious that Lance makes him for an easy mark – even though Dewey hasn’t shared Lance’s company for very long. And so, after waking up in a bloody bathtub with two freshly sutured incisions on either side of his abdomen, the unfortunate Dewey Crowe is sent out into the world to scrounge up enough cash to buy back his precious organs.

What transpires next is a rapid-fire succession of Dewey’s unsuccessful attempts at raising the $20k demanded by Lance – which involves robbing an appliance store where the customers pay mostly by credit card; a strip club where he takes the time to evaluate one of the dancers as a “six;” and a convenience store that sees Dewey’s casual blasphemy punished with some buckshot to the leg.

Fortunately, Raylan caught up to Dewey by this point, and through a quick biology lesson the escaped convict comes to realize all of his parts are where they belong.

For an episode revolving about such unpleasant business as stripping a human body for spare parts, ‘Thick as Mud’ has a surprisingly robust sense of humor about it, with one of the funnier exchanges taking place between Raylan and former prison guard Ash Murphy (Todd Stashwick) wherein Raylan asks what he knows about kidneys and Murphy replies: “They’re the Cadillac of beans.”

Of course, where would we be without the key moments of tension Justified has proven itself so capable of delivering?

After sniffing around a bit, Raylan comes to suspect the cute nurse he chatted up in Murphy’s room knows more than she’s letting on, so he decides to drop by her house unannounced. Lance gets the drop on him and pumps Raylan full of sedative, choosing to harvest his parts since he’s got to kill the Marshal anyway.

Damon Herriman as Dewey Crowe Justified Thick as Mud Justified Season 3, Episode 5: Thick as Mud Recap

Raylan, doped up as he is, manages to calm the situation by putting a bullet into the nurse – through the body of the recently shot Lance, mind you.

Still, the badass moment of the night may have to go to Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins), who finally has a meeting with his would-be adversary Quarles (Neal McDonough). After mentioning to Ava (Joelle Carter) that Quarles’ power could prove too much for his burgeoning criminal enterprise, Boyd still chooses to take a hard stance again the Detroit gangster – warning him with a history lesson about how “carpetbaggers” such as Quarles are often met with a lethal disdain by the South.

‘Thick as Mud’ ends with Raylan reading what appears to be a rather unpleasant note from Winona (Natalie Zea). Though we’re not told exactly what the note states, perhaps Raylan can bring it to Wynn Duffy for analysis, since Jere Burns has so much past experience with Dear John letters.


Justified continues next week with ‘When the Guns Come Out,’ which airs Tuesday @10pm on FX.

TAGS: Justified
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  1. “You mean I have four kidneys?” Dewey is just great to have around. I was worried they would kill him off, but I’m glad he survived.

    • You beat me to it. That line was hilarious.

  2. Who was it that said ” if you introduce a gun in act one you have to use it in act 3.”?
    I’m talking about the gun Quarels literally has up his sleeve. At no point did I think he was going to shoot Boyd during their meeting in this episode (because it’s not act 3 yet) but just knowing it was there provided some great tension for the scene.
    I don’t know how I feel about Winonna leaving Raylan though. I guess we’ll find out what the note said next week but I doubt it says anything else.

    • I agree, knowing that he had the gun under his sleeve kept me on the edge of my seat. I hope Winonna is not leaving Rayland I like them together she brings out his soft side.

  3. I had just read Elmore Leonard’s short in Playboy a couple weeks ago. This version was cut down and changed to fit the series, but it was still pretty good. In the original the nurse was in an open bath rob and only wearing panties……. The exchange of, “I can’t believe you shot me”. followed by Raylan’s “I can’t believe I shot you either” was much funnier in context.

  4. It was a great episode but it was sad to see Raylan reading that letter because i think we all know what that was. I hope Winona isnt leaving the show. Raylan and Winona have such great chemistry i would hate to see it end.

    • I agree Pamela. I don’t think she is leaving the show.
      Only because of the pregnancy so I suspect this
      is a disappearance later to appear child in tow.

      This is my favorite show for a lot of reasons with Timothy’s
      acting being the primary one but if the show has one weakness
      it is the on again off again nature of Winona’s commitment to Raylan
      to the point where the story does the impossible making her unattractive.

  5. This was a hell of an episode I really thought Dewey was going to die and that would’ve been disappointing I did however find it hilarious when the shop owner shot him for blaspheming I wonder who’s going to have altercations with Quarles first, Raylan or Boyd. I can’t wait for next week’s episode.

  6. Dewey, Devil and Dickie, sounds like a bad law firm. In any case they are down to two, with Dickie probably going next since he is going to push his luck with either Boyd or Limehouse. I think they keep Dewy alive for comic relief just because he is too stupid to still be alive at this point and has been shot and stabbed more then Wile E Coyote.

  7. Maybe she was kidnapped

  8. Well, I hope I dont lose my man card for this, but I think what Winona says to Raylan in the beginning of the episode should mean she hasn’t disappeared on her own? I don’t know if Elmore wrote this scene, but I think it illustrates the classic struggle for this relationship. Goes something like, “I’m tired of tryin to change you and I’m tired of pretendin that I’m ever gonna feel about someone else the way I feel about you”. I’ve read most of Elmore’s stuff and think his dialogue is as real as life, so if someone else wrote this, they’re channeling his experiences. In either case; Well Done!