This Quarry review contains spoilers.
Quarry Season 1, Episode 6
One lesson that seems to come out of this week’s Quarry episode is that Team Broker is made up of criminals with hearts of gold, and Mac’s not the only one. Whether looking at Buddy and his desire to leave the hitman life behind, Moses and his artistic struggle as a bassist without a band, or the Broker himself and his apparent ordering of the hit against Eugene Linwood, clearly assassins are people just like everyone else only slightly more righteous.
All kidding aside, Mac is the obvious choice for heroic killer, having already taken on Arthur’s debt, but viewers get even more chances to see his self-sacrificing nature this week. Having earned plenty of sympathy with his naked PTSD episode with the shotgun, the audience wants him to regain his life and get better, just as Joni does. Her attempt to sell the house out from under them to pay off his debt was an understandable gesture born of fear, but at least she knows now that he did indeed attempt to borrow money from his father.
But just as Joni previously babysat for Marcus and his sister, Mac gets points for taking the boy to school and making a connection by talking about having lost his mother at Marcus’ age. No one can accuse the Conways of not taking care of their friends, even though Mac may have overdone it with remarking on Moses’ tips by way of protecting Ruth, but it’s difficult to remember if he knows Moses is the Broker’s man.
Regardless, Moses doesn’t deserve Mac’s scorn since he obviously has formed an attachment to Ruth, especially after witnessing and assisting with her domestic duties during the curfew. Viewers saw Moses trying to extract himself from the Broker’s assignment of watching Ruth and looking for Arthur’s hidden stash, and the fact that he’s a bass player having trouble getting a solid gig makes him even more sympathetic.
Buddy garners a similar amount of sympathy, but his story is strangely repetitive in parts this week. Was it necessary to see him go after the ex-boyfriend again? Assuming that was just a reminder of his emotional state, the only forward motion in his story comes from an epiphany that’s difficult to interpret. What is to be made of the gun collage he is making as part of his supposed exit strategy? Viewers are likely as puzzled about that as his bingo-playing mama.
A similar amount of incremental progress is made with Detective Olsen’s investigation of Cliff’s death as a homicide. Although he perhaps made more headway with Cliff’s sister, which is in itself surprising given her earlier rebuffs, than he did with the case, his sexual conquest does provide him with his next clue: songs written by Cliff about Joni. As his partner Ratliffe pointed out when they heard about Suggs’ death, Olsen is never satisfied with the easy solution, and this new evidence will stoke his fires even more.
But it’s the Broker that wins the day this week with his surprising personal involvement in the assassination of Eugene Linwood. After Karl was seen last week following “Fat Pants,” whose name it turns out is Credence, his careful dissection of phone conversations leads to advance knowledge of Linwood’s release, ostensibly due to lack of evidence, and when a shaving kit is put together on the man who beat the kid on Marcus’ bus, viewers are left wondering who ordered the hit.
Admittedly it was fun to watch Mac joyfully take the assignment and carry it out with zealous efficiency. He could have just shot Eugene but instead beat him and blew him up with his own bomb — classic. But the Broker telling Mac the client was right there with him when he called to confirm the kill, although surprising in its implications, makes sense given the conversation at the Tom Lee memorial that gave the episode its name.
So how could the finale possibly go given what has transpired? The story in Quarry has never unfolded in predictable ways, and the appropriately Southern-slow pace of the narrative lulls viewers into accepting whatever comes, whenever it comes. Perhaps instead of an explosive season ender, viewers will get a poignant transition to a new season. Regardless, It’s certain that surprises are in store, and anticipation for the finale is definitely at an understandable peak.