Justified: “The Devil You Know”

Devil, played by Kevin Rankin
The Devil we know, Kevin Rankin
There are many, many things that I love about Justified and this week’s episode highlighted three of them: the judicious use of backstory that creates the impression that these characters exist independently of the forty-five minutes we see them every week; the wonderful dialogue; and the memorable secondary characters, three of whom (Devil, Dewey Crowe and Dickie Bennett) were highlighted this week.

In the main story, the crooked screw Ash Murphy and his paramedic co-conspirator Lance set up an escape for Dewey Crowe. Murphy arranges for Dickey to be beaten up by a bunch of other prisoners so that he’ll be pulled out for medical treatment, but Dewey Crowe, whose loyalty to Dickie is matched only by his stupidity, jumps into the fight and thus into the escape. The “imbecile and the undernourished cripple” (as Raylan later describes them) are smuggled out of the prison in a hearse so Dickie can lead Ash to the money Mags left with Limehouse. Along the way, Murphy shoots the hearse driver and we are treated to what may be the comedic highlight of this show to date: Dewey Crowe flopping around in a body bag. I feel that I’m not alone in rewinding that scene to watch it multiple times.

Thanks to a visit with Loretta (who is as sarcastic and awesome as ever), Raylan learns that Mags’s money is with Limehouse. He and Rachel go visit the enigmatic barbeque king, with Rachel coming along to smoothe Raylan’s passage with the inhabitants of Noble’s Hollow, the African-American enclave in the middle of Harlan County whose most prominent resident appears to be Limehouse.

Remember how it seemed that Ava

Raylan and Rachel
They’re not buying what Limehouse is selling.
knew Limehouse from her days with Bowman? Apparently, Noble’s Holler has a history of providing refuge for white women fleeing domestic violence to a place where their abusive men were afraid to venture. We find out later in the episode, Raylan’s own mother fled there when he was ten, though Arlo was crazy and mean enough to follow and received a tremendous beating at the hands of Limehouse. Nevertheless, when Raylan and Rachel turn up at Noble’s Holler, Limehouse professes not to remember Raylan or the name of Givens at all.

Limehouse’s lack of cooperation means that Raylan has the Kentucky State troopers station a couple of cars at the entrance to the holler, just before Ash and Dickie arrive to reclaim Mags’s money. Alas, the best laid plans of petty criminals and corrupt prison officials oft go astray.

If Dickie can’t come to the holler, the holler must come to Dickie. Ash, Lance, Dewey, Dickie and some nameless criminal cannon fodder (who are apparently people disadvantaged by Mags’s deal with Black Pike) all set up shop in a run-down motel, from where Dickie calls Limehouse and asks him to deliver the funds while Ash goes out on a food run (Dewey wants chicken), only to encounter Raylan who has found the motel based on a tip from Boyd.

Ash draws his weapon, and Raylan smartly uses his car as a weapon. Ash gets up and wildly fires his gun, which warns his co-conspirators to leave the motel, and Raylan backs over him, as Ash complains that Raylan ran him over. “Technically, you rolled over me and then I backed over you,” Raylan points out, but Ash isn’t in a mood to appreciate those subtleties.

Out of the prison pan, into the Limehouse.
En route to Mags’s store, Dewey makes an unsuccesful bid for freedom (which in his case is returning to prison) and the other guys take Dickie to the ruins of Mags Bennett’s store. It’s a little sad to see how far things have fallen, and even sadder for me to realize that I’m actually hoping that Dickie doesn’t get killed here. Better the devil I know, I guess, than some random guys after Mags’s money. Limehouse saves Dickie from being shot in the face, and then Dickie opens the contents of the “safe deposit box” (a cooler of money) only to realize that there’s only $46,000 in there, rather than the $3 million that Mags had supposedly deposited with the Limehouse Barbeque and Bank for the Proceeds of Criminal Activities (giving new meaning to the term “piggy bank.”)

Limehouse reminds Dickie that Mags used the money to buy land for the Black Pike mine deal. Dickie, reluctant to embark on the life of a fugitive with a mere five-figure bankroll, settles down to wait for Raylan and return to prison. Meanwhile, poor Dewey is at the mercy of Lance, who sedates Dewey (a needle in the neck for the second time in as many days) and reveals his portable stash of surgical instruments.

Meanwhile, in this week’s B-story, the Devil we know seeks out the devil we don’t know: Quarles, the new man in town, who tries to play on Devil’s resentment of Boyd about the debacle surrounding Mags Bennett’s pot farm by getting him to sell out Boyd Crowder. Quarles evidently plans for the much less clever (and scary) Devil to be his point man in Harlan County (or else he simply wants to get rid of Boyd Crowder and Devil’s the man for the job).

Boyd Crowder
Alas, poor Devil, I knew him, Boyd.
Devil, in turn, tries to suborn Johnny Crowder, but unfortunately discovers that Johnny’s loyalty to his family is paramount, and the “come to Jesus” meeting that Devil calls with Boyd ends up with Devil meeting his maker instead. 

Boyd is almost mournful after he shoots Devil at point blank range. “All I ever asked for was your loyalty,” he tells his erstwhile henchman, before asking him if wants some help with the pain. Devil, perhaps hoping for some Advil, says yes, and then Boyd puts his gun to Devil’s forehead and pulls the trigger. Arrivederci, Devil!

Regina Thorne is an avid reader of just about everything, an aspiring writer, a lover of old movies and current tv shows, and a hopeless romantic.


  1. Carmen Pinzon

    For me, the comic relief came with the car vs. gun scene. That one struck my funny bone so much that I missed some of what came next because I was laughing so hard. Raylan’s facial expresions were priceless.

  2. Regina Thorne

    @bungluna – Yes, that was hilarious too. I love how Raylan insisted that technically he hadn’t run over Ash twice, only once! (I must say that despite the fact that I think Mags was the Best Villain Ever, they are definitely bringing a high level of comedic excellence to the proceedings this year.)

    But I have loved poor dumb Dewey Crowe ever since he couldn’t get the quote about the sheep and the shepherd right back in season 1. “You might strike out the shepherd, but us sheep, we will never get struck out.” Priceless!! (I hope Raylan saves him from that surgical operation whatever it may be!)

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