'Justified' finale: Raylan's just a man in a hat

quarles-justified-finale-fx-timothy-olyphant.jpg "Justified" drew its third season to a close Tuesday night (April 10) with "Slaughterhouse," which saw the Quarles and Limehouse storylines brought to a close.

After Deputy Bergan doesn't make it, Raylan goes on a tear to get Quarles. Neither Wynn Duffy nor Limehouse are a huge help, but Limehouse does say he can get Boyd for Raylan. He does so by putting the marshals on the trail of Devil's body, for which Boyd is subsequently arrested.

Meanwhile, Quarles, having narrowly escaped the car bombing meant to kill him, just wants to go home. Theo Tonin says sure, you can come home - for $500,000. So Quarles kidnaps a mom and her two sons for some wheels and collateral, using them to force Raylan into helping him.

Raylan takes Quarles to Limehouse, figuring Limehouse just might pony up the money in exchange for Quarles (and Raylan) being out of his hair. But things go awry when Errol shows up and Quarles ends up ... disarmed.

It was an solid ending to the season-long story arc. It didn't pack the punch of last year's finale in "Bloody Harlan," and it was a shame Adam Arkin as Theo was only used on the phone - we were really hoping he'd show up in person for the finale. But it was a decent wrap-up.

The much bigger storyline is that Quarles didn't shoot Deputy Bergan - Arlo did. And in a rather heartbreaking turn of events, Arlo did it because he saw a cop in a hat threatening Boyd. Arlo also takes the fall for Devil's death and is off to prison in Boyd's place, leaving Boyd on the outside to continue on with his lady love, Ava.

The repercussions of that act should reverberate nicely into Season 4 and despite what Raylan says about not needing those drinks, Arlo's choice obviously affected him deeply. Timothy Olyphant had some really nice moments within that plot, as did Natalie Zea in the final frames.

Thoughts & Tidbits

  • "Slaughterhouse" was one of the funnier episodes the show has done, just lots of little things - Raylan's confrontation with Wynn Duffy was hysterical, the part where Quarles spoke to Raylan through the kid had some great throwaway jokes, the "that one you can keep" line and the Hawkins murder weapon wrap-up, and the piggy bank line made us laugh so hard we had to rewind because we missed what came next. Plus, the "disarmed" line.

  • Alternately, the ending might be the saddest thing we've seen on "Justified" in three seasons. Raylan is all alone, in a more profound way than he ever has been before.

  • We're looking forward to Season 4, not only in regards to Raylan's headspace now, but also - will Johnny's being the snitch to Limehouse come back? There's no word as to whether Mykelti Williamson is anything more than a Season 3 recurring character, but we wouldn't complain seeing him return.

  • And what of Winona? Natalie Zea has signed on with the new Kevin Williamson pilot, and her role might depend quite heavily on how that takes off for FOX. We've got our fingers crossed it is very successful.

  • Boyd and Ava's relationship continues to be a bizarrely sweet bright spot on the show. Walton Goggins recently told Zap2it that in Season 4, he'd like to see Boyd's "motivations for the things that he does going forward to be in the service of love." We can't wait to see more of our hillbilly Bonnie and Clyde.

  • And finally, not that "Justified" doesn't have enough going on, but we would like to put in a request for more plots for marshals Rachel and Tim. They don't get nearly enough play.

What did you think of the Season 3 finale, "Justified" fans?

Photo/Video credit: FX