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TV Diary | Justified – “Measures”

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TV Diary | Justified – Episode 3.11 – “Measures” – Original Airdate: 3/27/12

Episode Grade: B+

After last week’s blowout episode and with the season finale just a scant two episodes away, “Measures'” main aim was to reset the board in preparation for what I expect to be one helluva finish to Justified‘s third season. As Scott Tobias mentioned in his review over at The AV Club, it’s a credit to Justified’s storytelling ability – well-developed over three seasons – that its table-setting episodes can be as strong and entertaining as “Measures” was. We saw new alliances formed and betrayals set in motion, all of which are going to lead to one epic [1] finale in just a week [2]. Let’s assess where we currently stand: Quarles is a marked man, not only by Raylan, but by his boss Theo Tonin (Adam Arkin, Sons Of Anarchy) back in Detroit who’s sent a couple of goons to eliminate the host of problems that Quarles has created for his operation; Dickie Bennett has enlisted the help of Limehouse’s right hand, Errol, in sussing out the money he believes Limehouse has stolen from him; Wynn may be about to turn on Quarles after being offered a pretty sweet deal by Theo Tonin; and Boyd is, himself, in possession of Quarles after setting a trap to lure Quarles to him via Sheriff Napier. I think… that about does it. The storytelling this season has become so labyrinthine and intricate – in a good way – that it can be difficult to untangle. What’s starting to become clearer is that the mystery of this season isn’t going to be whether Quarles gets killed. Rather, it’s going to be WHO kills Quarles. We already know that Raylan has a hate hard-on for him. Tonin wants him dead, thinking that he’s become more trouble than he’s worth to his criminal enterprise. Wynn is only out for himself and when Tonin offers a bounty on Quarles [3], he contemplates making a play against Quarles himself. Napier was screwed over by Quarles, though he may be just looking for a way out. Limehouse is still owed money by Quarles and he’s proven to be ruthless when the situation dictates. And then there’s Boyd, whose blood feud with Quarles has become almost as strong as Raylan’s. In the end, it’s clear that Robert Quarles isn’t long for this world. It’s now just a matter of who it’s going to be that’s going to take him out of it.

[1] And I apologize for using that word. It’s become way too prevalent in today’s society to describe things as “epic” but in a story that’s being as grandly developed as this one, I feel it fits. Much as I hate having to use it. And I do hate it.
[2] I’m a little behind. Life happens.
[3] $100,000 to deliver Quarles dead; $200,000 to deliver him alive, although Tonin warns Wynn that the smarter play may be delivering him dead since Quarles has proven himself to be very resourceful.

Miscellany:
*Quarles to Sheriff Napier: “I guess if I were to offer to back yet another one of your campaigns, I’d say that as long as I’m putting up the money I’d put you anywhere I Goddamned please.”
*Have I mentioned recently how much I love Robert Quarles?
*On the other hand, Theo Tonin seems like a pretty menacing badass, but Ironside’s mention that Tonin carries around a human ear in his pocket and speaks into it as a way of getting people’s attention seems more than a little cartoonish in its villainy.
*Perfect characterization of Wynn when he admits that he sent Tonin’s hitmen in to meet Raylan hoping that either they or Raylan would end up dead. Always the pragmatist, that Wynn Duffy.
*It must be said that Dickie Bennett’s hair is an amazing wonder of nature.
*Justified seems to have a hard time in figuring out why Tim and Rachel are even around so, hey… put ‘em together on a case. That works.
*It’s not considered heresy to say that this season is turning out to be very Wire-esque in the intricacy of the web it’s weaving, is it?
*”And what if Givens comes by wanting to finish the game?” “You may tell him he’s welcome to wait.”
*”You want a shot in that?” “I usually like to wait until the sun’s all the way up.”
*”This friend of ours… I’m betting you wouldn’t forget him. He looks like he even shits blonde.”
*”Oh, good… see. There’s gonna be another time.”
*”I thought it was a top priority that I go bring in Quarles for the capital offense of hurtin’ my feelings.”
*”I’m gonna kill Dickie Bennett, and when I do I’m gonna take my time.”
*”Art, I’ve already got a daddy.” “I’ve met your daddy.” “Fair enough. Continue.”
*”Whatever your failings are going to be as a father, I’m pretty sure your child is going to be better off if you manage to stay above ground long enough to make his acquaintance.”
*”Why didn’t you guys just walk away and let nature take its course?” “Why don’t you just shut the hell up?”
*”Pretty smart holding all of your meetings here. The smell of blood in the air… plus it gives you an excuse to hold a knife in your hand.”
*”Oh, he’s alive. Do you want him to stay that way?”
*”And I guarantee you’re not gonna like it. His initials are ‘Boyd Crowder.'”

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