S3E4: Framing a more extensive and complicated storyline about Dickie Bennett’s eventful escape from prison on this week’s episode of Justified is an interesting chronicle of the rise and fall of a secondary character whom we know as Devil. Now, Devil has been of little consequence thus far. He is a friend of Boyd’s and a member of his entourage. Devil’s only noteworthy act to date is challenging the authority of Ava—but she quickly got the upper hand in that situation. More than anything else, the dimwitted bigot has served as an extra gun for Boyd’s side. But this week, he gets his moment to shine—thought it is particularly fleeting.
“You ain’t the first to come along making promises.” – Devil
“Yes, but I’m the first who can actually deliver.” – Quarles
Devil is summoned by the mighty Mr. Quarles to consider a potential candidacy for his elite squad of criminality. Quarles suggests to Devil that he seeks out individuals unappreciated for their great value, and that Devil fits this bill. Clearly, it is all a manipulation tactic to get Devil to do whatever Quarles wants him to do. But Devil takes it to heart and follows suit. His plan: mutiny on Boyd’s operation.
Devil plants the seed in Johnny’s mind that Boyd is a leech on their success. The two of them should be running the show, with Boyd out of the picture. In last week’s episode, we saw a glimpse of resentment toward his cousin from Johnny, so we’d figure that Devil’s like thinking would amplify this. However, we are left with a twist: after Johnny is apparently signed on to help Devil overpower Boyd, the cousins pull the ol’ switcheroo on the demonically named thug, and Boyd takes his life menacingly. We are now rid of Devil…but be honest, would you even notice if we hadn’t seen this play out?
“It just gives me pause to see how far the mighty have fallen.” – Dickie
Dickie is the real center of attention this week, though. He and his corrupt warden devise a plan to sneak Dickie out of jail so that he might gather his family fortune and split the riches. The plan is simple, but gets distorted when Dewey Crowe involves himself. The lowly Mr. Crowe works his way into the plot of Dickie, the warden, and the prison physician. After the prisoners are exodized—and a false police report is filed—the team splits up. Dickie phones Limehouse to set up the exchange of the money.
But Limehouse’s tail is in hot pursuit. Thanks to a tipoff from young Loretta (good to see her again…even if she isn’t looking so happy), Raylan and Rachel pay a visit to Limehouse to investigate any connection to the escape of Dickie Bennett and, to a lesser extent, Dewey Crowe. Raylan recounts his only prior meeting with Limehouse: a flash from his childhood wherein Limehouse beat the hell out of his father while the latter was out seeking Raylan’s runaway mother shortly after beating her. Limehouse appears to have no memory of this. Raylan suspects that he has beaten up “so many white boys,” he can’t keep track of them all.
“Technically you rolled over me and then I backed into you, but you were brandishing a pistol both times.” – Raylan
The warden and the physician have Dickie and Dewey holed up as hostages until the eventual callback from Limehouse that would indicate the appropriate time to pickup the money from the allotted spot: the old shop, after dark. Raylan lays his wrath unto the warden in a good old-fashioned car-versus-gun showdown, but the doctor’s plans to retrieve that money are underway. A reluctant Dickie follows orders to retrieve the money despite Limehouse’s having not yet made the final call. But I suppose the man with the closest gun is the one to fear most.
Or so you’d think. The clever Dickie has arranged an ambush of the two thugs under the employ of the prison employees; the pair escorts Dickie into the shop, guns in hand, to find the hidden money. After a few minutes of toying with the boys, Dickie finalizes the plan: they are both shot dead by an unseen Limehouse, who has been in cahoots with Dickie all along. Unfortunately for Dickie, he does not receive the full package of his family’s money as per expected. Limehouse gives him a small fraction of the original cash, claiming that is all there is left. An ungrateful Dickie demands that Limehouse pay him back in entirety, and refuses to settle their arrangement until this takes place.The most interesting parts of the episode come in the form of the interactions within these various communities of the lowlifes who make them up. The dissention brewing in the Crowder ring is not something that was inspired entirely by Quarles. Devil has harbored unfulfilled resentment for some time—all he needed was a little validation. And Johnny, although just as resentful, is a bit smarter than his cohort. He knows how to achieve success, even if said path is the unpleasant one.
Raylan’s relationship with Rachel is always interesting, but we never see enough of it. The few bits we get in this episode are fun—especially when the differences in Raylan’s and Rachel’s race, background and upbringing are called into question with some friendly contention.
What did you think of this week’s episode? What is in store for Boyd’s rising empire? Where will Dickie’s delusion quest take him? What about Raylan’s personal relationship with Limehouse—will we get anything more from that? Let us know in the comments section, or on Twitter (@MichaelArbeiter).