This Quarry review contains spoilers.
Quarry Season 1, Episode 4
The nuances of the characters in Quarry as well as the authenticity of their emotions and reactions are really where this show shines, even when compared to the beautiful cinematography and skillfully presented historical context. Whether looking at Joni’s feelings of abandonment, Mac’s overwhelming regret, or Suggs’ tenacious self-preservation, every detail only enriches the tapestry. But with the shocking ending, viewers are left wondering — in a good way — “Now what?”
As safehouses go, a hotel in Arkansas should have been foolproof, as Mac’s reassurances to Joni professed. If not for Joni calling in sick, they would have been safe… but for how long? In the end it was good to have the bait to draw Suggs in for the kill as close a call as it was. More interesting, though, was the use of the hotel as a backdrop for the airing of grievances between Joni and Mac, which unfolded in a particularly realistic, hot-and-cold fashion.
Only a couple with the level of intimacy these two share could go from changing bandages and eating potato skins and corn niblets to shouting cruel insults in explosive arguments. It fits perfectly with their situation given that they were thrown together by Joni’s abduction and subsequent rescue, but they are still worlds apart because of Joni’s affair and Mac’s massive secret.
It’s good to have it all out in the open, frankly. Mac’s anger sprung from an obvious source: Joni’s infidelity. But while he appears to be telling the truth about not having indulged in the services of a prostitute while in Vietnam, his argument that he needed to return to war for another tour because his men needed him isn’t entirely convincing. Joni may appear selfish to some, but her justifiable desire to have a life with Mac cannot be dismissed. The scare of her driving off for a short time illustrated quite nicely, both for Mac and for the audience, the fear she must have felt for years.
The historical parallel presented by the Israeli massacre during the Munich Olympics was also a nice touch. In essence, Mac and Joni are being held hostage in their hotel room by the threat posed by Suggs, and the killing of the Israeli athletes portends the real possibility of death for the couple. Faith in the Broker’s abilities was restored with the discovery that there was a watchful eye on them the whole time: one which saved their lives.
Honestly, though, who could have predicted Suggs would swim his way through leech-infested waters with only one good leg? And his ensuing investigation was masterful! Following a clue in the Conway home to Joni’s place of employment, then sweet-talking the receptionist while lifting the phone number to track Joni’s call was impressive. Add to the lessons learned from Quarry: never negotiate the price of criminal services. Both the unscrupulous phone company employee and the gun-runner two weeks ago learned their lesson!
But the surprise of the episode had to be Mac’s complete confession to Joni, appropriately offered once they returned home. For viewers, it was nice to be reminded of the complete tale so far and how Mac was forced down the path to where he now finds himself. For Joni, putting the pieces together to relate the death of Arthur to the pursuit by Suggs must have been a confirmation of her worst fears. How shocking, then, that she accepted it all, including the murder of Cliff!
Their clasping of hands spoke volumes; Quarry has always done so much with so little. This latest episode feels like a turning point, though, and it’s exciting to think of Mac going on the offensive perhaps with the support of Joni. Or will he attempt to extract himself from or dive even deeper into a life of crime? The possibilities are intriguing, and the coming weeks should prove quite entertaining. Of that there is no doubt.