Friday, March 2, 2012

What I’m Watching: Justified

Justified: Season 3, Episode 7 “The Man Behind the Curtain” (B+)

Things are heating up in a rare episode that doesn’t feature onscreen deaths but instead propels the plot forward in a major way. Raylan’s reaction to these reputed charges of corruption is quite entertaining, and it certainly helps to have stupid criminals like Sammy who can’t get it through their heads that he’s not going to shoot them. Quarles does not like being sidelined, and he seems even more determined than ever to figure out a way to ensure his operation is properly executed, starting with the bribery of the sheriff and progressing with tracking down Gary, who is sure to be used against his will for some malicious purpose designed to bring down Raylan. Finding out more about Quarles’ past, his predilections, and his role in the greater organization just makes him seem like even more of a loose cannon, so calculated and determined to succeed that he won’t allow any obstacle to get in his way. Arlo’s fading memory isn’t doing him any favors because his younger, more mentally sound self didn’t make much of a good impression. Disgracing him is probably worse than any other punishment someone could carry out. I was pleased to see Stephen Tobolowksy, though I didn’t expect him to be playing a rather unconventional role, the part of the FBI agent none too pleased with Raylan and his inability to directly answer questions. Raylan just isn’t that good at making friends, and he tends to be closer with the guys on the wrong side of the law than his own.

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