More than a few episodes of this third season of “Justified” have felt like slow-burning set-ups for what’s to come. And as I’ve said before, I have no problem with enjoying the build-up considering how enjoyable series creator Graham Yost’s tale of Kentucky cops and criminals is.
Really, I could watch an hour of offbeat Marshal Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant), charismatic lawbreaker Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins) and their supporting players just hanging out.
Last night’s episode, “Measures,” again felt like the series was building to its season finale in two weeks.
This season overall seems to have fewer stand-alone episodes, especially compared to the first season.
Anyway, here’s some highlights:
Art and Raylan. As Raylan’s seen-it-all boss in the Lexington U.S. Marshals office, Nick Searcy makes Art a highlight of every episode. Last night he went out into the field with Raylan because of Detroit mobster Quarles’ threats. Art and Raylan are both smart asses, but Art has a career full of experiences to back up his remarks.
Michael Ironside! The veteran tough-guy actor, whose resume ranged from the cult classic horror film “Scanners” to “Top Gun” to providing the voice of Superman villain Darkseid, turned up as a soldier for a Detroit mob boss. I wish Ironside was a regular.
Neal McDonough as Quarles. Set up to be the smooth, violent mobster who comes in from Detroit to take over the local drug trade, Quarles started the season as a dapper killer with a gun hidden up his sleeve. But as his efforts to set up shop in Kentucky unraveled — thanks in large part to homegrown criminal Boyd Crowder — Quarles has become a lurid oddity, an Oxy-popping, homicidal maniac who, last night, robbed and killed a couple of drug dealers. With a sword.
Boyd Crowder. Nuff said.