Ellstin Limehouse is a recurring character in the FX series Justified. Limehouse was first introduced in the third season episode "Cut Ties", where he served as one of the main antagonists in the season. Limehouse is a butcher and the omnipresent protecter of Noble's Holler. He is an associate of the Bennett family whom Mags entrusts with all of her stashed money. He holds onto her money, even after her death, only allowing Dickie to have it. Limehouse is portrayed by guest star Mykelti Williamson.
Limehouse is a butcher and runs a diner in Noble's Holler, where the residents frequently eat. Limehouse also owed Mags Bennett some kind of debt and Mags entrusted Limehouse with all of her stashed money prior to her death. Limehouse refuses to give the money to anyone else but Dickie Bennett, as he is the only Bennett family member still living. Despite Dickie being Mags' only remaining heir, Limehouse secretly gives the money to Loretta on Mags' instructions, saying that Mags spent most of the $3,000,000 buying the Black Pike properties. Abused women frequently have taken refuge from their husbands at his hollow (two of which include Ava Crowder, and Raylan's mother, Frances Givens). Because Limehouse rarely ever steps foot out of his hollow, the people that invest their money with him are the ones that provide Limehouse information on things happening in Harlan County, Kentucky.
Limehouse is first shown at the end of the episode "Cut Ties". He is butchering a pig carcass in his shed and reprimanding Bernard for sleeping on look-out duty. Limehouse tells Bernard that in the army, they would hang men who fell asleep on look-out duty. Limehouse relates a story about arguing with Bernard's father about training dogs. He recalls telling him that some dogs can learn obedience without being punished but that others take lenience as weakness and will thereafter disobey you. Dogs in the latter group will never behave again if they are shown lenience and have to be killed. Limehouse suggests that if Bernard can remember and learn from this warning he will never make another mistake but if not then he will have to kill him. Limehouse finishes by offering Bernard a choice, saying that either he can be punished by having his hand dipped in lye or promise that he will never fail him again; Bernard picks the second option.
In "Harlan Roulette", Ava Crowder visits Limehouse at the holler. He cooks barbeque and pontificates on its virtues. He says that despite its quality he knows that Ava has come for something else. She admits that he is right, he respectfully removes his hat and says that it is nice to see her, whatever the reason. She responds in kind and he says that she is looking well. She admits that she is better than when they last saw one another; she had taken refuge at the holler to avoid her abusive husband Bowman Crowder. Limehouse notes that she is favoring her left shoulder. She counters that it was not Bowman and he says that he knows that she shot and killed Bowman at the dinner table. Ava jokes that it was a shame to waste the ham she had cooked. Limehouse says he thought the shame was that he would not see her at the hollow any more. He asks if she has a new boyfriend and she says that is why she came.
Limehouse drives Ava back out to the bridge into the holler, accompanied by Errol and Avant, both armed. He is met by Boyd Crowder, Arlo Givens and Devil on the bridge, similarly equipped. Limehouse and Boyd meet in the middle of the bridge and Ava says that she will leave them to talk. Limehouse tells Boyd that there is always an armed guard on the bridge, since the time of his ancestors. He says the guard is necessary to protect the holler, particularly against white supremacists. He asks if Boyd subscribes to those beliefs and Boyd says that he did not come to discuss ideology. Boyd says that he knows that Limehouse is holding Mags Bennett’s fortune on behalf of her son Dickie. Limehouse refuses to confirm this. Boyd proposes that he kill Dickie and they split the fortune. Limehouse says he is disappointed in Boyd and that he thought he had come on different business. He asks Boyd to give his regards to Arlo and goes to leave. Boyd stops him, asking what business they might have. Limehouse says that he has heard of Boyd’s problems with the remaining Bennett weed. Boyd glares back at his men before returning to his car. Later Limehouse has his men pick up the weed from Arlo's house and pays Boyd $5000 for it.
In "The Devil You Know", Raylan Givens and Rachel Brooks visit him at his holler, where he is cooking ribs at a get together. They reveal they are looking for Dickie, who they believe escaped from prison and is looking for the money. Limehouse refuses to give up any information, but does invite the Marshals to eat if they are hungry. Ash orders Dickie to call Limehouse and they make a deal for Limehouse to bring the money to Mags's old store. Lance, Combs, Junior, Dickie, and Dewey Crowe leave to go to the store. Dickie soon finds the cooler full of money within the wall of the general store and as he goes to open it, he says "holy shit". Junior asks him "what" before being shot and killed by Limehouse, who took an "underground railroad" passage to the general store due to the police checkpoint at the bridge. Errol shoots Combs as he goes to make a run for it. Dickie refuses to accept the money due to the fact it is only $46,313 (Dickie knew there was over $3,000,000). Limehouse explains that Mags spent most of it to buy surrounding property, but Dickie doesn't believe him and refuses to accept the money. Dickie asks for a shotgun, and Limehouse orders Errol to surrender his shotgun to him. Limehouse asks if Dickie is good with this, but Dickie simply laughs in disbelief.
In "Thick as Mud", it turns out that Limehouse had lied to Dickie about the amount of money that remained. Errol begins to question his boss's motives, asking him what Dickie will do when he finds out Limehouse lied to him. Errol suggests having Dickie killed in prison when he returns to Trumbull, but Limehouse says that isn't the agreement he made with Mags. Limehouse grows suspicious, believing that his henchman wants the money for himself, and tells him that dream will get him killed quicker than a bullet. Later, Trixie vists Limehouse, providing him information about Boyd's meeting with Tanner in the bar. Limehouse pays Trixie for her services and tells her to keep her ear to the ground.
In "When the Guns Come Out", Boyd and Ava visit him at his hollow. Boyd tells him about the night they met on the bridge, that Limehouse knew things about his business that Boyd never knew, but asks why he knows so little about Limehouse. Limehouse asks Boyd if he knows a few people, and then asks a patron at the diner named Jennings who Boyd is. Jennings recites Boyd's entire family lineage, and says how he is surprised Boyd is still living after the things he has done. Limehouse says that it's always been his people's duty to know Boyd. Boyd then asks if he knows about the Oxy clinic shootout, to which Limehouse says he does, but he says only the people he banks for are the ones that know. Boyd offers to bank his money with Limehouse in exchange for the information. Boyd suspects Robert Quarles to be behind it, and Limehouse tells him three people were killed, two of which were associates of Boyd's. Limehouse asks Errol if his day was good, productive, or memorable. Limehouse knows that his henchman was behind the Oxy clinic shootouts, and knows his motive was to clear the playing field so that Limehouse could pick up the pieces and run things. Limehouse, however, is angered at his henchman for being foolish. Limehouse tells him that they as black people have survived on their own in the holler for 15 decades by standing among themselves and not provoking the underlying hostility against them deep below the surface but still very much there. Limehouse asks him what they will do if the war comes to their doorstep, but his henchman assures him that they have guns as well. Limehouse says that Harlan will take it personal if they start killing white people and that his henchman had "exposed" them and that if blood spills, then it will be on his hands. Limehouse reprimands him by telling him to make things right with Trixie's family, and to make sure that the hired person that was used to hit the clinic is dead or silent, and then he will witness Limehouse finish what his henchman has created.
In "The Man Behind The Curtain", Limehouse takes care of a badly beaten up Tanner Dodd. Limehouse tells Dodd to go back and tell his boss that he organized the hit on the Oxy clinic to order to get revenge against Boyd and that he didn't need to inform Quarles because he thought Quarles would have approved, as well as to become his new informant. Limehouse is then informed by Cornelius that Arlo is at the hollow demanding to speak to Limehouse. Arlo is looking for his late wife Frances Givens, but Limehouse reassures the man that Frances is not in the hollow. Arlo attempts to pull out a gun and shoot at him, but Errol knocks him out. Later, Boyd visits the man with a wad of cash demanding to look into a certain Sheriff who has taken a bribe from Quarles. Boyd warns that whatever Limehouse knows, he should know or else he will close out his account.
In "Watching the Detectives", Limehouse shows up at the home office of Quarles and informs him that Boyd is now backing Shelby for Sheriff. Quarles, however, asks why Limehouse is telling him this, and Limehouse replies that he likes to back the winning team. Quarles later visits Limehouse at his Hollow, and says to Limehouse "You said you like to back the winning side", hinting around at a possible alliance between the two.
In "Loose Ends", Limehouse sets Quarles up with a corrupt County Clerk named Harvey Jones in order to increase Tillman Napier's chances of re-election since Limehouse does not see any election being won without "insurance". Errol soon informs him that Imogene Dodd, Tanner's mom, has called Tanner and told him the Marshals are looking for him. Limehouse orders Errol to tag along with him and make sure all loose ends are tied so that nothing can be traced back to them. However, Raylan spots Errol leaving Imogene's house after bringing her the stolen money from Lemuel Becket and heads up to his hollow to get answers. Limehouse however doesn't cough up any information about Quarles, but does come clean to Raylan that he knew Arlo and remembered the night he fought, and that Raylan looked on with big eyes as his dad was being beat up. Raylan tells him that the story isn't going to affect him, but saddens when Limehouse mentions his mother. Raylan, getting frustrated with Limehouse's quietness, simply says "So be it" and leaves. Limehouse repeats the saying back to himself.
In "Guy Walks Into a Bar", Boyd visits him so that he can help track down Napier's sister Hanna. Limehouse is able to do so, but Boyd also is requesting some insurance in the upcoming election. Limehouse then enlists the help of County Clerk Harvey Jones. It's because of this that Napier, who wins re-election, is forced to relinquish his title as Sheriff to Shelby because Hanna is on Harvey's office payroll, and election rules state that a family member cannot serve on the payroll of a County Clerk. Limehouse later finds out that Dickie Bennett has been pardoned, much to his displeasure, calling him a "thorn in his side". "Dickie sniffs around long enough, he's going to figure out where his mama's money is," Errol warns. Limehouse tells him that if Dickie comes around his hollow, to bring Dickie to him.
In "Measures", Quarles visits him with the drugs he had stolen from Parker and Longbaugh, two drug dealers he murdered that were on Boyd's protection payroll. Quarles offers the drugs to Limehouse in exchange for a place to lay low for a while. Limehouse refuses the offer saying that he isn't a drug dealer, and shows an angry Quarles the door.
In "Coalition", Quarles visits Limehouse, who isn't terribly happy to see the gangster arrive empty handed again. Instead, Quarles offers his services. "Tonight Boyd Crowder is going to rob a bank," Limehouse explains. In fact, Limehouse also knows that Boyd will do it in his normal way: blowing up something across town as a diversion. Limehouse instructs Quarles to take Boyd out as he exits the bank and retrieve the money. Raylan soon pays a visit to Limehouse. He tells of a rumor that Mags' money is stashed in a nearby bank saying, "I hear that Boyd Crowder is going to rob that bank this very day". Limehouse mentions that he heard exactly the same thing. In fact, Limehouse explains that he also heard Quarles will be waiting for Boyd to rob the money from the robber. Givens smiles as Limehouse makes it clear that he has arranged things so that law enforcement can take out both Boyd and Quarles, leaving Limehouse with no competitors. Givens likes the plan, but warns that he isn't about to leave Limehouse alone. Federal agents will swarm the Noble's Hollow until the $3 million is recovered. Limehouse soon calls Givens and explains where he can find the location of the money. Limehouse is present on the side patio of Loretta's home when Raylan shoots Dickie, who was attempting to rob the place of the money. Raylan promptly thanks Limehouse for the call before leaving. Limehouse soon calls Quarles, saying that Boyd won't be robbing a bank, after all, but still must pay for his "intent" to separate Limehouse from his money. Quarles agrees to go to Johnny's bar and kill Boyd.
In "Slaughterhouse", Boyd meets Limehouse up on the bridge connecting to Noble's Hollow. "I am returning your deposit," Limehouse says. "There's even a little interest in there." It is meant to conclude the business between the two criminals. Boyd doesn't like it, but accepts it for the time being as Limehouse, spotting Jimmy with a rifle trained on him, notes that he doesn't have Devil backing him up this time. Errol asks Limehouse about making a call, and Limehouse tells him not yet. Limehouse returns home to find Raylan waiting. The Marshal threatens to take Limehouse downtown for accessory to murder. Limehouse baits Raylan by saying that that the Marshal is ultimately responsible for Tom's death. Raylan takes a swing at Limehouse, there is a momentary scuffle. Raylan draws on Limehouse and realizes he has a dozen guns trained on him. Limehouse, trying to avoid killing a lawman if he can, says that he can deliver Boyd. Limehouse soon banishes Errol from Noble's Holler due to his various betrayals, and shortly thereafter he receives a call from Johnny Crowder. Johnny had been in cahoots with Limehouse all along which is how Limehouse knew about Devil's murder, and Johnny is furious that Limehouse called the law on the murder. Limehouse says that he knows Johnny has wanted Boyd out of the way ever since Boyd caused his limited mobility, and now that Boyd is, things are done. Johnny subtly threatens Limehouse saying that they (he and Limehouse) are not done. Robert Quarles (along with Mitch Jenson and Raylan, who are hostages) arrive at Limehouse's Holler where Quarles demands $500,000 so he can go back home to Detroit. "He needs some money... You've been saying you just want to be left alone. Well, I figure this gets it done." Raylan says. So Limehouse reluctantly reaches for a knife and cuts open a huge hog. Wrapped wads of money fall out. "It's a piggy bank!" squeals a delighted Quarles. Limehouse mentions that he can't believe Givens is going to let Quarles get away with the money after killing a State Trooper. "Wait, you think I killed the Trooper?" After Raylan asks who did, Errol pops out from behind a pig carcass and shoots Quarles, but is also shot in the process. Raylan and Quarles tussle, but Raylan grabs his left arm after he produces his nifty sleeve gun. Limehouse takes advantage of the distraction by severing Quarles's left arm from the elbow down with a meat cleaver.
In "Get Drew", Ellen May and Shelby Parlow visit him to look for a place to hide out from the Tonins and the Marshals. Shelby, however, wants Limehouse to keep Ellen May safe and help her get out of town in two weeks in exchange for $15,000. Limehouse agrees, but holds Shelby hostage realizing how much value he is worth because he is really Drew Thompson. Ava visits him and he tells her that if she gives him $300,000 ($150,000 each), he will let her have Ellen May and Shelby. However, when Boyd and Ava visit him, Limehouse changes the deal and allows them to only choose one to buy, and they buy Shelby because of his worth. Limehouse says that he will give them Ellen May back if they give him another $300,000.
In "Peace of Mind", Limehouse gets a call from Johnny to help deliver Ellen May to Augustine's crew. Limehouse refuses to cooperate and hangs up, causing Johnny to believe Limehouse already has a deal set with Boyd. Raylan and Rachel visit the hollow, looking for Ellen May. Limehouse proclaims that she is not there, but dares the Marshals they are free to search. Ava (who was hiding in the back of the diner) offers Limehouse the $300,000 in exchange for Ellen May. Limehouse tells her that Ellen May is not there as he has let her go.
In "Sounding", Ava visits him at his hollow, hoping to negotiate a deal for a car that will get her out of town and that she knows how to get her hands on money that Boyd stole from a bank robbery. Limehouse requests for Errol to accompany her to get the money, but warns Ava that she better not be playing him.
In "Alive Day", he calls Boyd at the end of the episode and offers him free information about Ava, asking Boyd if Ava told him anything about what she was up to the day before.
In "Trust", he meets with Boyd who wants a clean slate and new identities for him and Ava, offering to give Limehouse $50,000. Limehouse is well aware of the reward money Boyd received from capturing Ty Walker and wants that also, upping the total to $150,000. Limehouse accepts the deal to help Boyd, but only under the condition that Boyd is never to step foot back in Harlan County once he leaves.
In "The Promise", he appears in a fantasy standing by a car as Ava drives up and is revealed to be one of the three people on a list that Raylan and the Marshals went down as the possible accomplice who helped her flee from Kentucky. However, he had left Noble's the day before.
- Mags Bennett: Associate (Also the holder of Mags's stashed money) deceased
- Dickie Bennett: Associate
- Loretta McCready Associate (Only person allowed to have Mag's stashed money)
- Boyd Crowder: Business associate
- Harvey Jones: Business associate
- Bernard: Criminal associate
- Errol Butler: Criminal associate
- Cornelius: Criminal associate
- Avant: Criminal associate
- Trixie: Prostitute at Audrey's, deceased
- Tanner Dodd: Recruiter for the Dixie Mafia, deceased
- Johnny Crowder: Boyd's cousin and right-hand man, deceased
- Shelby Parlow: Harlan County Sheriff who is also wanted fugitive Drew Thompson
- Ellen May: A prostitute at Audrey's, who is being hunted for by the Crowders
- "Next time you screw up, I'll have to take that as a sign that you don't respect me anymore." (Limehouse to Bernard in "Cut Ties")
- "So, you lay your head down at night, and you dream about all the living you could do with that money? Boy, that dream will get you killed quicker than a bullet." - (Limehouse to Errol about Mag's stashed money in "Thick as Mud.)
- "I likes to back the winning side." - (Limehouse to Robert Quarles in "Watching the Detectives")
- "So be it." - (Limehouse repeating Raylan in "Loose Ends")
- "Well if you like, I can tell you what I remember about your mama." - (Limehouse to Raylan in "Loose Ends")
- "Now, you think that little 'ol star on your chest and that gun in your holster allows you to say whatever the hell you want up in my hollow, but you a damn fool, Shelby." - (Limehouse to Shelby Parlow in "Get Drew")
- "I don't want you here, I don't want none of y'all here. Your presence gives me the fidgets." - (Limehouse to Raylan, Rachel, and Tim in "Peace of Mind")
|Season three appearances|
|The Gunfighter||Cut Ties||Harlan Roulette||The Devil You Know||Thick as Mud|
|When the Guns Come Out||The Man Behind The Curtain||Watching the Detectives||Loose Ends||Guy Walks Into a Bar|
|Season four appearances|
|Hole in the Wall||Where's Waldo?||Truth and Consequences||This Bird Has Flown||Kin|
|Foot Chase||Money Trap||Outlaw||The Hatchet Tour||Get Drew|
|Decoy||Peace of Mind||Ghosts|
|Season six appearances|
|Fate's Right Hand||Cash Game||Noblesse Oblige||The Trash and the Snake||Sounding|
|Alive Day||The Hunt||Dark as a Dungeon||Burned||Trust|
|Fugitive Number One||Collateral||The Promise|