‘Justified’ Season 3, Episode 8: ‘Watching The Detectives’ Recap

Published 3 years ago by

Timothy Olyphant and Natalie Zea Justified Watching the Detectives Justified Season 3, Episode 8: Watching The Detectives Recap

Considering all the things Justified has seen Raylan do since the onset of the series, it’s a wonder that his association with undesirables like Arlo Givens (Raymond J. Barry) and Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins) hasn’t caused more friction for the lawman.

So one has to hand it to the slick, Detroit gangster Robert Quarles (Neal McDonough), when he utilizes, to near perfection, Raylan’s past misdeeds and local connections in an attempt to discredit and destroy the one man standing in his way of criminal dominance in Harlan.

Quarles’ plan begins with the murder of Gary Hawkins (William Ragsdale), who had the misfortune of running into Quarles and his associate Wynn Duffy (Jere Burns) at the end of ‘The Man Behind the Curtain.’ Of course Quarles knows that, in this case, the police will look to the disgruntled ex (Raylan), and given his penchant for violence, come to the easy conclusion that this was a crime of passion. To grease the wheels a bit, Quarles manages to plant the murder weapon in Winona’s house, and use the bullet Raylan threw at Duffy back in ‘Harlan Roulette‘ to kill Gary and provide tangible evidence of Raylan’s involvement.

The reference to the bullet is a nice throwback to one of the coolest moments earlier in the season, which writer Graham Yost acknowledges by having the Lexington detective say as much when questioning Raylan about Gary’s murder, but it also proves that too much badass behavior can put Raylan under some pretty intense scrutiny.

Things quickly go from bad to worse as agent Jeremy Barkley (Stephen Tobolowsky), operating from a tip he got off of the surveillance of Sammy Tonin (Max Perlich), shows up once more to ask Assistant U.S. Attorney David Vasquez (Rick Gomez) if he can peruse the extensive file Vasquez has on Raylan. Considering Raylan’s history of insolence with both men, you can guess how quickly they both jump at the chance to tighten the proverbial rope around Raylan’s neck.

Caught between the Lexington P.D. and the FBI, Raylan’s chance for survival hinges on him recovering the weapon used to kill Gary before the police can. Although it seemed like all the favors he could possibly request had been used up, Art Mullen (Nick Searcy) and Tim Gutterson (Jacob Pitts) still have Raylan’s back – playing dumb long enough to allow their fellow marshal some much-needed breathing room to reclaim the gun from an emotionally drained Winona (Natalie Zea).

Although she claims to be gone for good this time, something about Quarles’ plan seems to suggest we may very well be seeing Winona once more before the season is out.

Neal McDonough as Robert Quarles Justified Watching the Detectives Justified Season 3, Episode 8: Watching The Detectives Recap

Without the gun, and due to agent Barkely’s reluctance to reveal the source of his information that Raylan is in Boyd’s pocket, both cases remain open, but unable to move forward with an indictment on Givens.

As for Quarles: even though his plan to bury Raylan fails and ultimately leaves him in the wind with the Detroit mob, it seems he’s made a new friend in Limehouse (Mykelti Williamson), who stopped by at the beginning of the episode to dish about Boyd’s intent to unseat Sheriff Napier (David Andrews) with his own candidate.

Boyd’s only appearance in the episode sees him arrested by Napier and accused of bombing the sheriff’s car, which we later learn was orchestrated by Napier and Tanner (Brendan McCarthy), at the request of Quarles.

In the end we learn that Wynn Duffy watches Mythbusters, Barkley is likely corrupt and that Quarles has not only Boyd’s tactical prowess, but also Raylan’s steely resolve and propensity for gunplay – proving him every bit the frightening villain the series intends him to be (although we are again nudged toward the inevitability that the weapon Quarles keeps literally up his sleeve may come up short when he needs it the most).

Like Raylan recently learned: sometimes being too badass can come back to haunt you.


 Justified returns next Tuesday with ‘Loose Ends’ @10pm on FX.

TAGS: Justified
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  1. This episode was kind of wasted potential if you ask me. However, whoever edited the dialogue in the screenplay deserves like a high five. Classic lines such as:
    Winona:’I found the gun.’
    Raylan:’Did you touch it?’
    Winona:’What am i? an a*****e?’

    Barkley:’Don’t play dumb with me’
    Gutterton:’No i assure you, i’m an idiot. Ask anyone.’

    Other than the sweet back and forth scenes this episode was like “AHH…awwww…” Oh well, they can’t all be winners. So far this is the only episode I really didn’t like out of all 3 seasons. I really just wanna know what happened to the guy that Quarels had in the room and why.

  2. Gary “You’re taking me home?”
    Duffy ” In a way Gary.”
    Oh Gary, clueless to the end. Who knows how long he was in that trunk? But he still couldn’t piece together the fact that he was a goner.
    This was the 2nd episode in a row that focused mainly on setting up the confrontation that will carry through the rest of the season. Let’s get it going.

  3. Can anyone comment and explain the “pill-popping, family just called me on the cellphone” dilemma that we see facing Quarles at the very end of the episode?

    OMFG do I ever love this show!!! This episode kept me at the edge of my seat. I did think the resolution at the end came in a bit too quickly after such a long setup. Granted the case was never officially dropped and most likely be brought up again, but for some reason part of me wanted to see the tables turn on Raylan and perhaps see Quarles succeed on his plan to frame Raylan for a bit longer. I thought that was a very interesting premise to see the lawman face the law. But still…. amazzzzzing!!!

  4. Poor Gary so desperate for friendship and so naive

  5. This was a terrible episode. The FBI would NOT Threaten arrest of a US Marshall based on some thug’s mentioning that he might be dirty. The FBI wouldn’t actually investigate a marshall of corruption period – they’d have another agency do it. A sheriff couldn’t just arrest a guy who he THINKS put a bomb in his car without evidence. Both Duffey and Quarles have records, so you really think seasoned detectives are going to buy their crappy story? There were reports filed over duffey’s actions in the first season. What the hell is going on here? Who wrote this steaming pile of an episode, and can we get back to any sort of realistic procedures that might be buyable by an adult audience?.