With the third season wrapping up last night, let’s look back at the incredible characters who made it so damn good. The over/under on the number of times I say “awesome” is set at 45. The over/under on “badass” is 51.
Raylan Givens – Raylan is obviously awesomely badass, but Justified creates such wonderful scenery around him that he becomes almost secondary. From the backdrop of Harlan County to the various sets that the various Justified villains call home and/or conduct their criminal business to the characters, both major and minor, every detail of the show is great. The scene on the bridge between Boyd and Limehouse… I mean holy fuck! Short, sweet and so badass. What they do is cinematic. It isn’t fair. Aside from Peter Dinklage’s Tyrionn Lannister, Game of Thrones doesn’t have any characters as good as
Robert Quarles – Standing fucking ovation for Neal McDonough. Quarles was creepy, intense, insane, unhinged, unglued and yet somehow put on a fairly put-together facade for the first half of the season. Entire seasons of Intervention don’t feature the drug use that Robert Quarles is capable of while being locked in a trailer with two country hookers. As the season moved along, Quarles just got crazier and crazier. Even his death (Did he die? I bet Quarles would have a rocket replace his missing arm if they didn’t let him die.) was one of the most memorable things I’ve ever seen. We all expected that sleeve pistol to jam at some point and we never expected Limehouse to ever actually use that cleaver for anything besides cutting meat. When what happened happened, I let out a squeal of delight and joy and amusement. Back to McDonough – incredible run and absolutely award-worthy.
Limehouse – A new part of the Harlan scenery. His cleaver turned out to be as dangerous as it was terrifying. His pigs turned out to be piggy banks.
Wynn Duffy – Jere Burns doesn’t get nearly enough credit, assuming he gets any credit at all. He kind of looks like The Devil in a cheap suit and his interactions and reactions throughout his scenes are always unbelievably funny.
Art – Nick Searcy gets an episode every season where he gets to do some real badass Marshal shit. This year he got to interrogate a guy by beating tying him to a chair and beating the snot out of him. Last year he chased a man breathing with a tank of air.
Arlo Givens – Arlo’s sudden slip into dimentia this season has been sad, if you don’t think about who Arlo is. I don’t want to step out of line, but it reminds me of the tremendous work Nancy Marchand did as Livia Soprano. That was painful to watch. With Arlo, it’s sad. At least it seemed sad. I assume we’ll see next season just how far gone Arlo is. Arlo on his pills is still a dangerous criminal, but Arlo off his meds is just another old man trying to shoot someone wearing a hat similar to his son’s.
With the exception of Quarles, everybody should be back next season. I can not wait.