10. Boyd suffocates and beats Up Dickie Bennett (“Coalition”)
Dickie walking into Johnny’s bar was like walking into a bear’s den at dinnertime. We had waited to see Boyd (Walton Goggins) get revenge for shooting Ava and it was one of his few “wild man” moments in Season 3. Throwing a plastic bag over Dickie’s head and punching him bloody set the tone for the entire episode. Unfortunately for Boyd, he never got the satisfaction of ending Dickie’s life as Ava stopped him in hopes of getting the location of Mags’ hidden fortune.
9. Ava hits Devil with a frying pan (“Gunfighter”)
Doubted by Boyd’s crew, Ava felt the need establish some respect so that Boyd’s wishes could be carried out. It was like some beautiful recreation of a Looney Tunes cartoon, but it worked because she was rarely questioned again. Devil (Kevin Rankin) made the mistake of insulting a woman while she was cooking him a meal, but that was just the first of a long line of missteps this season that led to his eventual death. Never threaten Ava while she’s cooking. Never.
8. Ava blasts a hole in Delroy (“Loose Ends”)
Ava again saw an opportunity to right a wrong with a worse act by devising a plan to end Delroy’s (William Mapother) life. She proposed to Boyd that they could take over and use the money from Audrey’s to launder other plans. This was a major change from when Ava pleaded Boyd not to go into the prostitution ring like his father Bo. Boyd decided to step around the scenario by sucking Delroy dry of protection money. Ava’s new plan showed how far she’s come and what she’s willing to compromise her morals for Boyd’s plans. Delroy would have preferred the frying pan. I’m just saying.
7. Muffled noises come from the forbidden room (“When The Guns Come Out”)
When Quarles set up shop in Harlan and gave Duffy a tour of the place, no one can convince me that they didn’t react strongly when they saw a half-naked man bound and gagged to a bed. It was the one time I could commiserate with Duffy and shared Jere Burns’ trademark snide faces that said, “W-T-F.” But Quarles went over the line when we started hearing muffled noises through a door. What in god’s name was going on in that room? And what did he do exactly that Duffy had to paint over the walls. On second thought, maybe it’s better not knowing.
6. Glen Fogel introduces viewers to Harlan Roulette (“Harlan Roulette)
We loved him in Deadwood, and we recently saw him sacrificed in The Walking Dead as Otis, Pruitt Taylor Vince is an actor who can do so much with little screen time. His Emmy for Guest Actor in a Drama Series in Murder One (1997) is proof. But as the conniving pawnshop owner, Glen Fogel, he introduced viewers to a deadly game played with oxy addicts who were eventually going to end up dead anyway; Fogel just wanted to toy with them first. He gave the tweakers no room to wiggle, asking them questions until the bullet left the gun. The result was like watching some twisted scene out of Return of the Jedi as Fogel’s henchman Wally (Eric Laden) kept interjecting like Salacious Crumb on Jabba’s shoulder. The fun ended when the addict’s luck ran out in one of the bloodiest deaths of Season 3.
5. Raylan plays Harlan Roulette with Wynn Duffy (“Slaughterhouse”)
One of the things I’ve enjoyed throughout the series is seeing Wynn Duffy get his ass handed to him by Raylan time and time again. But Duffy always managed to slither his way out of a jam with lies, double speak, and revealing the truth when it saved his hide. Maybe it was the insulting and outright lie of suggesting that he and Mike were on their way to midnight mass that prompted Raylan to unhinge enough to play Harlan Roulette with Duffy, but it was perhaps the first time Duffy actually feared for his life. “JESUS CHRIST!” Everyone finds religion at some point. Did anyone else want to know how many more shots needed to be fired before the bullet left its chamber?
4. A naked, chained-up Quarles has a party at Audrey’s (“Coalition”)
I found myself wincing as the prostitute stuck her face at the open end of the shotgun to smoke OxyContin, thinking, “Don’t be loaded–Please don’t be loaded,” but I won’t even try to describe the face I made when Quarles donned that kimono.
3. Dewey Crowe thinks he has 4 Kidneys (“Thick As Mud”)
Racing against the clock, our old friend dummy, err- Dewey was sent on a wild goose chase to come up with money before dying from having his kidneys removed. Locked in the back office of a convenience store, Raylan tells Dewey to take a piss, which would confirm he still has his kidneys. Once urine came raining down, Dewey still didn’t quite connect the dots and that’s why we love him so.
2. Limehouse disarms Quarles and Raylan lets him bleed out. (“Slaughterhouse”)
After patiently waiting and not wanting to be directly involved with any of the shady activity, Limehouse (Mykelti Williamson) finally got involved when Raylan and Quarles were in a tussle in his slaughterhouse. With one swing of his cleaver he made a sushi roll out of Quarles’ arm. Notice when things got personal–once Quarles fired back at Errol–did Limehouse step into action, proving that once his people get involved, it becomes his problem. Quarles’ reaction of, “Hey, I want my arm back,” was classic, only topped by Raylan declining the request and pulling his arm away.
1. Raylan confides in Winona that Arlo cares more about Boyd. (“Slaughterhouse”)
Raylan usually has a tough skin and been very absolute about Arlo (Raymond J. Barry) and their lack of relationship, but to discover that Arlo killed Trooper Tom Bergen (Peter Murnik) thinking it was actually Raylan holding Boyd at gunpoint, said plenty about what little Arlo felt for Raylan. It also showed how high he elevated Boyd. That would crush any man, especially one who’s tried to give his father several chances to give up his life of crime. It took the meaning out of Arlo’s apology, and left Raylan without a father. Arlo taking the heat for Boyd was more of a fatherly gesture than Raylan ever experienced in his entire life. It hurt him to bring Arlo in for killing his good friend. That had to cut deep, but so did Boyd knowing that, and walking out like a “preacher on Sunday,” showing how little he valued Arlo’s sacrifice. This coming right after Boyd told Raylan that Arlo is a member of his family, not just one of his crew.
So that’s our Top 20 Moments of Season 3, did you think of any we missed? Share with us your favorite moments and what you want to see more of in Season 4. Also please check out our Archive of Justified articles while you wait for news about Season 4.