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"Watching the Detectives"
Season 3, Episode 8
Watching the Detectives.jpg
Air date March 6, 2012
Written by Graham Yost
Directed by Peter Werner
U.S. Viewers 2.16 million
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"Watching the Detectives" is the eight episode of the third season, and the 34th episode in the series overall. It was written by series creator Graham Yost and directed by Peter Werner. It first aired on March 6, 2012.



A shocking murder forces Raylan to confront his past mistakes. Boyd grapples with Harlan's corrupt sheriff.


Gangster Sammy Tonin eats steak at a nice restaurant when he gets a call on his cell. Taking Quarles' instructions, Sammy turns the conversation to Raylan, telling the voice on the line that Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens is playing both sides of the law. "Turns out he's dirty," says Sammy, knowing that the FBI is listening and explaining that Raylan is in Boyd Crowder's pocket all the while. All is going according to Quarles' plan to get Raylan into hot water with the feds.

Quarles is being driven back from Tulsa by Mike with Wynn in the passenger seat. Tanner, who is secretly spying for Limehouse, calls Quarles. "He wants to meet up to explain," Quarles tells Wynn after hanging up. "Brave man," Wynn says quietly.

Eventually, Quarles, Wynn and Mike stop the car in front of the house that is owned by Gary and Winona. Quarles unceremoniously shoots poor and confused Gary, who falls dead on the front lawn. It is a message to Raylan. A brutal one.

Later, Quarles returns to his own suburban home to find Limehouse waiting. Limehouse, accompanied by a pair of men, introduces himself to Quarles and then explains that Boyd Crowder is backing former police officer Shelby for Sheriff. Why tell Quarles? Because Limehouse likes to back winners.

The next morning, Raylan goes downstairs from his room above the bar. Day bartender Kent Chilobeck informs the Deputy Marshal that he saw someone messing with the trunk of Raylan's car. Sure enough, Raylan finds scratches on the trunk lock, but nothing unusual in the trunk. Hmmm. Raylan then gets a call summoning him to Gary's home, where Gary lies dead on the lawn.

Raylan is shocked and saddened to see Gary's body. Detective Dempsey (Stoney Westmoreland) on the scene attempts to question the Marshal, who doesn't feel like talking — especially after it is suggested that Winona might somehow be involved. Back at the office, Tim explains that Gary had been living in Tulsa for months under an assumed name. Meanwhile, FBI agent Barkley corals Assistant U.S. Attorney David Vasquez after court, and asks to look at Vasquez's file on Raylan.

Quarles then meets Tanner in public. Tanner apologizes profusely for attracting attention from the law — and then promises to do whatever he can to make it up to Quarles.

Back at the Marshal's office, Art calls Raylan into his office to warn the Marshal that homicide will "burn you down" if it establishes another connection between Gary and Raylan. Two hit men coming after Raylan and Winona and then Gary disappearing for months makes the Marshal hot enough. Raylan is well aware. Winona then enters the office. She doesn't yet know of Gary's death and Raylan has to break to the bad news. "Police found him on your lawn this morning,” Raylan says. "He was shot." Winona is distraught and wants answers Raylan has far too few to offer.

Raylan exits Art's office to find local homicide and FBI agents waiting. The prints found on a bullet casing at the crime scene match those of Raylan. Later, Raylan is questioned and explains that some months earlier he thrown a cartridge from his service sidearm on Wynn's chest as a warning to "get the hell out of Kentucky and never come back." It's possible — likely even — that the cartridge case was used to frame Raylan. The detectives are skeptical and ask for the Marshal's gun to check ballistics.

Later, Sheriff Tillman Napier exits his home and heads toward his squad car. He climbs in, starts the engine, remembers something and then exits the car to head back inside. The squad car explodes in a ball of fire and debris. A singed and very lucky Sheriff Napier is thrown to the ground by the blast.

Homicide Detective Gerrity, meanwhile, has brought Quarles and Wynn in for questioning. Neither criminal confirms Raylan's "thrown bullet" scenario. Wynn explains that Raylan recently came looking for Gary and, when Wynn couldn't locate the real estate agent, the Marshal savagely beat him. "Between you and me, Raylan Givens is a very angry man," Wynn tells the detective.

Sheriff Napier barges into Johnny's bar looking for Boyd, whom he arrests on a charge of planting the bomb in the lawman's car. Boyd, who denies any involvement, is handcuffed by Deputy Sheriff Nick Mooney and dragged out of the bar.

Back at the office, Winona is brought in for Raylan. The detectives reveal that Gary was involved in the attempted hit on her and Raylan. Winona then confronts Raylan. "Why didn't you tell me, Raylan?" she asks. Raylan didn't want to put Winona in any extra danger or hurt her with the news. Angry and grieving, Winona storms out.

It keeps getting worse for our favorite Marshal as AUSA Vasquez and FBI SAC Barkley enter the office. "We're here about Raylan Givens being a dirty cop," a smug Barkley is only too happy to announce. Barkley then explains that he suspects Raylan of working for and being paid by the convicted criminal Boyd Crowder. Raylan can only shake his head and sigh.

Speak of the devil, Sheriff Napier perp-walks Boyd into the jailhouse in front of the local media, explaining that Boyd has been arrested for putting dynamite under the lawman's car. While the sheriff grandstands, Boyd says nothing and stares straight ahead.

Raylan then storms out of the FBI interrogation — much to Barkley's chagrin — and with Tim heads downstairs in the elevator to continue his interrogation with the Lexington police. Halfway through the ride, however, Raylan presses the emergency stop button. He explains to Tim that he has to search his vehicle. "I think Quarles put a murder weapon in my car," says Raylan, remembering the incident with his trunk and the scratches around the lock. Tim decides to let his colleague "escape." Outside, Raylan notices that he might be too late. The cops are already searching his vehicle, including the trunk. Just then, Winona calls. She has found a planted gun inside her home where Gary's body was found.

Soon, the local police, finding nothing in Raylan's fleet vehicle, give up on their search there and head off to see if the house will give a better result. Raylan jumps into his vehicle and speeds away. He meets up with Winona at a park where she hands off the weapon. "You going to throw it off a bridge?" she asks without much humor. She then tells Raylan not to come find her this time and drives away.

Sheriff Napier enters his office to find Tanner waiting. Tanner explains that he is there to collect payment. Napier refuses, telling Tanner that he wasn't supposed to set off the car bomb until the Sheriff was safely inside his house. So it was all a ruse to frame Boyd.

Raylan returns to the office to find FBI SAC Barkley fuming. Art explains that Barkley refuses to divulge his source for launching this investigation into Raylan's affairs. And without that source, AUSA Vasquez won't prosecute, so Raylan is off the hook for now. "It doesn't mean you're not dirty," Barkley barks.

Number One gangster son Sammy gets a call from his father, who explains that the plot to frame Raylan didn't work. Sammy shares the news with Quarles. And then he shares worse news: Quarles is too much of a liability. He is on his own. "You're out," Sammy tells Quarles. Furious, Quarles pulls his gun on Sammy — and then thinks better of it. He holsters his gun, shaking in rage.

Raylan lets himself into Quarles' home to find Wynn belatedly painting the room in which Quarles had previously killed a rent boy. Raylan warns Wynn that the "SS Quarles is going under" and it might be time to jump ship. He also says to pass along the message that he has Gary's murder weapon and they may not like where it turns up next. Wynn goes face-to-face with the Deputy Marshal, clearly not as intimidated by Raylan as he is by Quarles. "Now that is the Wynn Duffy I remember," Raylan says.

Quarles drives home in the darkness listening to a preacher on the radio. He ignores a call from his family and then pulls out one of the Oxy tabs that he specializes in peddling and takes one. The vial is almost empty, so he is not just a wholesaler, but a user as well.

Quarles soon arrives at Limehouse's comound in the middle of the night. "What can I do for you, Mr. Quarles?" Limehouse asks. Says Quarles: "You said you like to back the winning side."


First Appearances[]

  1. Gary Dempsey - Homicide Detective and partner of Detective Gerrity assigned to look into the Gary Hawkins murder case.
  2. Detective Gerrity - Homicide Detective and partner of Gary Dempsey assigned to look into the Hawkins murder case.


  1. Gary Hawkins - Shot by Robert Quarles.



Starring cast

Guest stars



Screenshot Gallery[]