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"Justified" — "Guy Walks Into A Bar": "Did That Go the Way You Rehearsed It?"

By Joanna Robinson | TV | March 22, 2012 |

By Joanna Robinson | TV | March 22, 2012 |

Things We Learned:

  • Soon-to-be-Sheriff-elect-based-on-a-technicality Shelby may not have liver cancer, but he wins my vote for Most Evocative Death Euphemism with “wrong side of the grass.”

  • I don’t understand how the Shelby Campaign Slogan (“Cheap hooch in every Dixie cup, and a hooker in every lap!”) didn’t win outright.

  • Corby “Dickie” Bennett from Seattle isn’t Derek Jeter black, he’s Wesley Snipes black.

  • Someday, somehow, Raylan will learn not to underestimate the older ladies of Harlan county. Way to get him where he hurts, grandma. Right in the tailored jeans.

  • Boyd Crowder has been spending his downtime studying up on the Nepotism Laws of The Good State Of Kentucky. He has proved over and over that he is the smartest man in the room. It’s also clear that if Limehouse wasn’t playing Quarles for a fool, he was, at least, playing both sides against the middle. Also, Boyd cannily changes his assessment of Quarles from Carpetbagger to Conquistador. The distinction? A greater propensity for violence, rape and destruction. Sounds about right. Though, when Boyd accuses Quarles of looking “at our women,” he rather has the wrong end of the stick.

  • The only thing better than Neal McDonough’s tearful and bat sh*t monologue detailing The Makings Of An American Psycopath, was Jere Burns’ reaction face. Priceless.

  • Say you’re Lindsay, small business owner/bartender/bad ass. If an encounter with a terrifyingly unhinged Quarles landed you a naked US Marshal…would you call that a win? A wash?

  • Young Donovan is screwed. In every sense.


  • Any doubts that Robert Quarles is not a worthy replacement for Mags Bennet. (Cause of Death: Neal McDonough’s demented and brilliant performance.

    Favorite Line (also, Best Hair):

  • “I’ve dedicated my life to making sure this kind of Abu Ghraib-ey bullsh*t don’t happen again up inside here.”


    The Gist: Oh, “Justified,” I’m sorry I ever doubted you. That goes double for you, Neal McDonough. The evolution (dissolution) of Robert Quarles has been a thing of beauty. He’s gone from an cold-blooded, methodical, buttoned-up sicko to a bare-assed oxy-snortin’, bible-quotin’, hand-talkin’ wild card in a way that is both over-the-top and absolutely believable. I think the believability is entirely thanks to McDonough’s acting because even as I found myself cringing at the cliched nature of Quarles’ Psych 101 background, my heart was pounding at the gleam of pure, free-flowing crazy in McDonough’s icy blue eyes. What a fantastic hour of television. From the levity (milkshakes in the lap!) to the nudity (both McDonough and Olyphant? Yost be praised) to the insanity (three brilliant, tour-de-force scenes), this episode had it all. Just as I was this time last year, I’m practically chomping at the bit to see what happens next week. I’m sure someone’s going to die, I’m delighted Dickie Bennett is back in the mix, I can’t wait to see which brand of crazy Quarles peddles next and I suspect Boyd Crowder, the Ace in the Holler, has a few more tricks up his sleeve.


    Joanna Robinson apologizes for the late post.

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