‘Justified’ Season 3, Episode 9: ‘Loose Ends’ Recap

Published 3 years ago by

Walton Goggins as Boyd Crowder Justified Loose Ends Justified Season 3, Episode 9: Loose Ends Recap

As Raylan states in the closing moments of ‘Loose Ends,’ war is once more in Harlan’s future, and it seems all the parties involved are looking to batten down the hatches and survive as best they can when another potentially bloody end makes its way to the third Justified storyline.

Although as much as this episode is about tying up the titular loose ends, many of the decisions made by certain characters like Ava Crowder (Joelle Carter) and to a certain degree, Limehouse (Mykelti Williamson) – by way of his well-meaning associate Errol (Demetrius Grosse) – could mean larger problems for each of them down the line.

For one thing, Ava has made it pretty clear she sees herself rising to a position greater than that of Boyd’s lady-friend and business partner by suggesting the running of prostitutes fall under her guidance now that resident pimp and scoundrel Delroy (William Mapother) is no longer capable of performing such duties.

The episode begins showing how Delroy has put Ellen May (Abby Miller) back in harms way – despite the pistol-whipping Raylan gave him to suggest he do otherwise in ‘When the Guns Come Out‘ – and after she’s involved in a botched robbery that sees one girl shot during the attempt, and another killed by Delroy while disposing of the body, poor Ellen May is once again asking Ava to help her out.

Ava, having killed her abusive husband, understandably takes the girl in and proposes cousin Johnny (David Meunier) could find some use for her around his house. Sadly, cousin Johnny doesn’t see eye-to-eye with Ava on the topic of Ellen May and proposes that Delroy be informed of the situation – since he is paying the Crowders for protection after all.

Meanwhile, Raylan (Timothy Olyphant) is on to Sheriff Napier (David Andrews), after a jailed Boyd (Walton Goggins) sheds some light on the dealings the crooked lawman has had with federal fugitive and all-around screwed individual Tanner Dodd (Brendan McCarthy). Despite his best efforts to remain a living and worthwhile associate to both Sheriff Napier and Limehouse, it seems Tanner has come to the end of his usefulness.

While trying to recover some money from a bomb maker, Tanner manages to plant a foot on a booby-trapped stool and is left for dead by Errol – though Raylan and an ATF agent do their best to save him, Tanner goes the way of the Dodo before Raylan can get any useful information on Quarles (Neal McDonough) and his involvement in the death of Gary Hawkins (William Ragsdale), or any other act of malfeasance the Detroit gangster is suspected of perpetrating while running his Oxy business in Harlan.

For his part in the proceedings, Quarles has a meeting with Limehouse to discuss the campaign to reelect Napier, which falls into his overall plan to start a new criminal empire. As he tells Limehouse, “I’m from Detroit, elected officials are always part of the business plan.” Too bad for Quarles, he’s never run a business plan against Boyd Crowder.

Timoty Olyphant as Raylan Givens Justified Loose Ends Justified Season 3, Episode 9: Loose Ends Recap

Released from jail, Crowder shows up at the public debate between Napier and Shelby (Jim Beaver) to do what he does best: act as a rabble-rouser and deliver a stirring speech to which Napier has no rebuttal.

Back at cousin Johnny’s bar, Boyd is jubilant, but stops short of claiming victory for Shelby, as he is all too aware of the corruption involved in a Harlan election. Before he gets too far into his revelry, Boyd is pulled aside by Ava who confesses to murdering Delroy and disposing of the body. None of this is of particular concern to Boyd, until Ava suggests she take up running the prostitutes in Harlan.

The episode ends with Raylan heading out to Nobel’s Holler for information on Quarles, to which Limehouse acts ignorant. The situation gets a little tense after Limehouse first tries to get under Raylan’s skin by regaling the marshal with the story of how he beat Arlo to a pulp. Seeing what little affect that has, Limehouse offers up a tale of Raylan’s mother, which elicits a small reaction from the normally cool lawman and hints at the knowledge Limehouse must have on all the major players in Harlan. Whether or not that will see him survive into season 4 is another matter.

The scene suggests that all the pieces are now in place, and those involved with Quarles will have to answer one way or another in the coming weeks.


Justified returns next Tuesday with ‘Guy Walks Into a Bar’ @10pm on FX.

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  1. I’m glad that Raylan’s investigation has finally pointed him in the right direction. Ie Limehouse and sheriff Napier

  2. For a show that is often full of quotable dialog Raylan’s line about the fake ATF (E? haha) agent might be my favorite yet.
    “Social awkwardness is often the curse of genius.”
    Man that was great! Kudos to the writer that either came up with it or heard it somewhere else.
    Boyd at the debate was fantastic. There’s something cool about the way that he always keeps a hand in his coat pockets.
    But I worry for Ava. She was great in the episode but it seemed like she evolved more in this episode than the entire past 3 seasons combined. And in TV that often means they don’t have much time left if you get what I’m saying? I hope I’m wrong though. I like the dynamic of the Raylan-Ava-Boyd combo.

  3. Surely you’re wrong about Ava because with Winona gone there would be no females onboard except crack heads and prostitutes , that is, and I’m pretty sure they’re not going to play a strong female lead :D

    • There is the black female marshal, but they never use her. She was good though and it’s unfortunate her character is under utilized. What can you do? She’s the T-Dog of the show sadly.

      • In all honesty I forgot she was an actual character. I mean it’s like the writers of the show went ninja style on her character and erased it

  4. I really like the character Raylan but the shows writing is just weak. The story seems to meander, and the bad guys just aren’t used effectively. Does anyone else see this?

    • Well the “Bad Guys” have basically fallen into three catagories from the beginning, and have been more pronounced as the series progresses. Either they are so dumb that you expect them to be constantly shooting themselves in the foot or, they are just plain cold blooded mean, Or they are just the nicest person you’d like to meet. Someone who is really warm and friendly…So much so that when they turned on you in a flash and killed you….Your last thoughts might be “I wonder what I did to make him or her that mad” and die before realizing they were vicious killers behind all that calming sweetness. Boyd in particular, but also his father, Megs, and now this new guy. I mean look at Boyd…By all accounts he should be considered one hell of a nasty person, but how can anyone ever stay mad at such a pleasant person as Boyd? Apparently if you go down to TN & KY people are so full of southern hospitallity that even their worse are great ambassadors of hospitallity….I’ve been to TN & KY many times…I guess I must not be hitting the right areas because I really haven’t found all that sweetness..

      • tundrabeast, I’m from Tennessee and I have to tell you it definitely depends on what area you go to. The more rural the area the more hospitable they’re more likely to be

  5. is Robert Quarles gay or what? Thats twice they’ve shown him walk in a room with man tied to something. the second time Quarles was nakned a young guy was tied to a toilet