Even the best Justified villain has to fall. And with only five episodes left in the show's third season, this is the beginning of what should be a fantastic end.
We start at the end of another long day for Raylan (does he even have short days?), as he contemplates what to do with the gun that killed his ex-wife's second husband. He stashes it in his apartment and then decides to inspect the ceiling.
The next morning, he's summoned into Art's office. Art wants to know what Raylan has on Quarles "right now that you can prove." After the resulting silence, he tells Raylan that until Quarles runs afoul of federal law enforcement, Raylan needs to take a step back. I don't think that line has ever worked on Raylan Givens once.
Meanwhile, a trio of drug-addicted, gun-toting prostitutes attempts to commit a robbery that ends with one of them dead. This is why you don't attempt to pretend you're tough when you're clearly not. You will end up with a bullet in the stomach, getting disposed of by your colleague. Then your pimp will kill another one of you. The third one - Ella Mae, who just cannot catch a break this season - barely escapes with her life.
Raylan, possibly already drunk in the middle of the day, kisses Ava when she shows up to ask for another favor. They have a discussion about her relationship with Boyd. "You do know what Boyd is, right?" he says. He needs to shut his mouth, considering that he had a chance with Ava and blew it by taking up with his ex-wife. I love Raylan as much as anyone, but he's no catch in the dating department, either.
Ava tells Raylan that Boyd can help him get to Quarles, which immediately perks Raylan up. He visits Boyd in jail, where Boyd catches him up to speed and asks him to find the man who committed the crime for which Boyd currently stands accused: Tanner Dodd. Raylan sells this information to Art with a smile and gets back on course.
Meanwhile, Limehouse and Quarles meet to further their new partnership, and Ella Mae turns up at the bar begging for Ava's help.