With only three episodes left, this week’s Justified, “A Guy Walks Into a Bar” set into motion a series of events that is sure to lead to an explosive finale. I say that metaphorically, but knowing this show, it could be a literally explosive finale too. This week we met a new character (who probably wishes he just stayed home), Harlan County elected their sheriff and a man was set free. Raylan, as always, just seemed annoyed it was happening.

justified a guy walks into a bar

Justified “A Guy Walks into a Bar” Review

A New Sheriff in Town

When two deputies attempted to frame Shelby (Jim Beaver, who I still want to call Bobby), he showed he is as conniving as Boyd (Walton Goggins). He told the deputies that he had cancer and didn’t care if they killed him as long as he took them down too – he doesn’t have cancer. Boyd was so proud. But he also was pissed that Napier was playing this game, so he took things a step further. He went to see Napier’s sister, Hannah. Not to threaten her, which would be useless since she is estranged from her brother, but to offer her a job.

I’ll admit, I couldn’t really figure out what this had to do with anything. Or why Boyd felt the need to involve Limehouse (Mykelti Williamson) and the county clerk, Harvey. But it soon became clear. As Shelby, Boyd, Johnny, Ava, Ellen May and the rest of Ava’s girl were having an election night party Boyd got two calls. One was about Dickie Bennett getting out of jail and one was about who won the election. It was Napier. But here is where Boyd’s plan came into action. If Shelby lost, he had a backup plan. Hannah was working in the county clerk’s office, where ballots are counted. And if a family member of the winner is working in the office, they forfeit the election and the runner-up takes office! Congratulations Sheriff Shelby! You earned your place! Sort of. Whatever. Napier was mad, but not as upset as Quarles (Neal McDonough) who upon leaving the Sheriff’s office where he had been celebrating, was greeted by Boyd who basically said a Boyd version of “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.”  From there, things got a little more than crazy with Quarles.

The Boy Who Should Have Stayed Home

When Qualres realized his plan to own the sheriff so he could use Harlan County as one big Oxy Clinic didn’t work out, he headed back to the trailer with Wynn (Jere Burns) and started munching on some pills. I love Wynn at this point in the season. He realizes his new boss is completely bonkers, but he also knows enough not to mess with him and just seems to be along for the ride. And quite a ride begins when there is a knock at the door. Wynn opens it and in walks a young guy with a gun aiming at Quarles. He is a friend of Brody (the missing male escort that has been mentioned throughout the season, and I assume was the man in the room). Donovan (Marshall Allman) introduces himself and demands Quarles admits to killing him.

Instead, Quarles tells his incredibly unfortunate backstory of how his father was a heroine addict and basically sold him out to drug dealers/junkies as a sex toy. And then one day a man took him in, felt sorry for Quarles and led him to a warehouse where his father was tied up and at 14 he shot his first man – his father. Quarles said he did the same thing for Brody – he saved him. Then he hugged Donovan and they cried. It was one of the most disturbing things on this show, and there have been a lot of disturbing things. But we’ll get back to poor Donovan in a bit.

The Last Remaining Bennett

Raylan starts the episode by visiting Judge Reardon (Stephen Root) to try to keep him from letting Dickie Bennett (Jeremy Davies) out of jail. Seems they may be ready to release him, and there is really nothing stopping the judge from letting it happen. When Raylan goes to AUSA Vasquez (Rick Gomez, one of my favorites!) to plea his case, Vasquez says the only hope of keeping Dickie behind bars is if Raylan testifies, something Raylan really doesn’t want to do.

But Raylan wants to keep Dickie behind bars, if only to allow for one less inconvience, so he heads to the bar to flirt with the bartender, Lindsay (Jenn Lyon) and to try to write his statement. It doesn’t go well. I should say the writing doesn’t go well, the flirting goes tremendously. But all of that is put on hold when Quarles and Wynn walk into the bar. I love how Wynn agrees with Raylan that this was a bad idea and he tried to make it known before they showed up. Quarles and Raylan have some words. And by that I mean Quarles tells Raylan that one day he is going to shoot him in the head. Then Raylan has everyone in the bar leave and fires his gun. The two have a bit of a showdown at the O.K. Corral sort of moment, until Lindsay pulls out her shotgun and gets Quarles to leave. I’m very nervous for Lindsay’s life span at this point. Then Raylan and Lindsay go upstairs and have sex. Twice. Because, well… what else were you going to do at that point? There are no other answers. Raylan was there. Adrenaline was pumping. He had his hat on. (I should stop this now before I go too far.)

But all that special time with Lindsay meant that Raylan wasn’t exactly prepared for Dickie’s hearing in the morning. Dickie went first and gave the general “I’m a changed man” speech that convicts tend to give at these things. When it was Raylan’s turn he sort of rambled a bit and eventually talked himself, and the judge, out of keeping Dickie in prison. He talked about how Dickie is a bad man who will just do bad things again, and as a Federal Marshall his job will be to catch him. Which he will. So what the hell, just let him out. The look on everyone’s faces – Judge Reardon, Art, AUSA Vasquez and especially Dickie – was classic. No one was quite sure what happened. But honestly, I was just distracted by what has become of Dickie’s hair. It has morphed into some sort of mohawk/mullet combination. Mulhawk? I don’t know, but it was fascinating.

Dickie getting out of jail isn’t going to be good for anyone. It will be a distraction for Boyd. Dickie is going to go to Limehouse looking for his money. Raylan will have to catch him. It’s just bad all around. But none of them were who we focused on at the end of the episode. What we saw was some scary scary stuff. It was Quarles quietly talking to himself, getting undressed in a meticulous manner. And then when he was completely nude, entering the bathroom where Donovan was tied up and gagged. Poor poor boy. I told you that you should have stayed home.

All I was left thinking about when I finished this episode was how they will ever find someone scarier that Quarles for Raylan to deal with next season. Because he is one exceptionally frightening man.

Photo: FX

What did you think? How do you see the season wrapping up?
Written by Melissa Miller. Find her on Twitter @serrae