‘Justified’ begins gathering ‘Loose Ends’

If we learned nothing else from “Justified” tonight, it was: Kentucky women are badass.

“Loose Ends,” tonight’s episode of the third season of “Justified” on FX, was in some ways another “moving pieces into place” episode. U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens and Detroit-mobster-comes-to-Harlan-County Quarles look to be headed for a major conflict. The preview for next week had the two of them facing off.

But tonight Quarles was off stage to a great extent and Raylan was doing what he does best: Dealing with Kentucky lowlifes.

Tonight that meant Tanner, the hood who previously ran an illegal medical clinic, trying to shake down a bomb maker. Tanner isn’t — wasn’t — very smart, but how smart do you have to be to know you shouldn’t threaten a bomb maker?

The meat of the episode was left for Boyd Crowder and his moll, Ava, who acted to protect their own interests tonight.

Boyd gave a bravura VFW hall campaign speech for his preferred candidate for Harlan County sheriff in an effort to unseat Quarles’ bought-and-paid-for lawman.

And Ava let her shotgun do the talking once again as she blew away a lowlife (another one) who formerly pimped out some local girls, set them up as bank robbers and then began killing them to eliminate witnesses.

It was one of the highlights of this very strong season so far when Ava (Joelle Carter) suggested to Boyd that she take over as madam. Watching Walton Goggins’ Boyd try to cover his smile was priceless.

 

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