Justified recap – 3×11: ‘Measures’

Courtesy of FX via imdb.com

With only a few episodes left, Justified moves back into “chess” mode as our various players are moved around the board in anticipation of the upcoming season finale. Interestingly, however, new alliances have begun to emerge that will make or break some of these characters.

Let’s bitch it out…Alan Sepinwall does a good job of reinforcing the observation that many people made last week:

“Given the number of pieces on the board, we’re unsurprisingly spending the back half of this season alternating between episodes that move the pieces into new positions and ones that then go to battle and kick much ass from those positions”

So what’s everyone up to?

  • Quarles (Neal McDonough) remains an island as he makes a desperate play to grab some cash. Using Sheriff Napier’s (David Andrews) connections, he playacts his way into a drug dealer’s home and takes out two men under Boyd’s (Walton Groggins) protection. Bonus points for bloody death by kitana!
  • Unfortunately for Quarles, not only are Leo Tonin (Justified director Alan Arkin, in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-him cameo) and his Detroit hitmen after the blued eyed villain, but so is Boyd. After discovering his dealers have been killed, Boyd tortures Napier (ugh – the letter opener up the nose is shiver inducing and reminds me of Chinatown). Napier agrees under duress to lead Quarles into a trap at Audrey’s, the whoregrounds that Ava (Joelle Carter) now runs. He and Wynn Duffy – easily one of my favourite characters on TV right now – then cut a deal: Quarles has a bounty on his head and Duffy and Boyd mean to share it if the “blonde” comes to Harlan to collect his former co-worker. Of course, that means taking Boyd and Leo Tonin at their word…
  • Dickie Bennett (Jeremy Davies) first tries to work a deal with Rodney (Mickey Jones) – last seen in the season opener refusing to buy Boyd’s stash of Bennett pot – to recover the missing $3 million Limehouse (Mykelti Williamson) stole from him. When that doesn’t work, Dickie enlists Limehouse’s disgruntled henchman, Errol (Demtrius Grosse). After Rachel (Erica) and Tim (Jacob Pitts) swoop in and grab the dregs of the money, Errol and Dickie hatch a plan to overthrow Limehouse, but Errol suggests they’ll need an unlikely ally in Boyd. (That ought to be interesting)

Courtesy of FX via imdb.com

And that just leaves Raylan, who is left to deal with the Detroit hitmen. The Jersey Shore guido one, Partlow (Chris Tardio) ends up shot in the leg after discovering Donovan (Marshall Allman) in Quarles’ bathroom and trying to barter his way past Raylan using the hustler as a hostage. The other, Sarno, is immediately more interesting because he is portrayed by Michael freaking Ironside, B-movie god and all around awesomeness (see: Starship Troopers). Too bad he got fat. His brief scene staking out Art (Nick Searcy) on the street as Raylan gets the drop on him is one of my favourite moments in ‘Measures’ as the three joke about the nature of getting old as Sarno is handcuffed.

So all of our players are on the move in pursuit of the Bennett fortune. I can honestly say that I did not anticipate the $3 million to be anything other than a plot point in the previous Dickie episode, so the raucous that it’s causing now is very interesting. At this point all of our villains remain in the game (just because Quarles is half naked and tied up at Audrey’s does not mean he’s down and out), but with only two episodes, it’s time to begin betting who comes out of this season alive. I have a bad feeling about Errol and (obviously) Quarles’ chances, though there could be other casualties, as well. We’ll just have to wait and see next week when sheot hits the fan as Boyd attempts a bank robbery.

What do you think, Justified fans? Would you be interested in watching Duffy take over Quarles? Are you intrigued by Leo Tonin? Do you expect Limehouse to go easy, or are Dickie and Errol underestimating the meat man? Let me know below!

Justified airs Tuesdays at 10pm EST on FX.

About cinephilactic

cinephilactic is a university contract instructor in Film Studies. He is an avid TV watcher, particularly science-fiction, fantasy and drama series. His favourite shows currently airing on TV include The Good Wife, Breaking Bad, Justified, Hannibal, Game Of Thrones and a smattering of shows on The CW. He has a tendency to "hate-watch" particular shows and likes to think that his sarcastic voice comes through in his reviews, though sometimes he's just being bitchy