Writers’ Notes: Episode 2, Pink Lady

Quarry — Episode 2, “Figure Four”

Following each episode of Quarry, writers and creators Graham Gordy and Michael D. Fuller detail their experience creating one of the show’s significant moments.

One of the many fascinating aspects for us regarding running a clandestine murder-for-hire business is depicting the practical, nuts-and-bolts demands of said business. “How and where do they get the guns for the jobs?” was a fundamental part of that depiction. One of the most important roles Buddy serves for The Broker is as a go-between with the various gunrunners Buddy does business with, allowing The Broker another level of insulation from possible exposure. Joe Don doesn’t know the guns he’s providing are being used for contract killing (he thinks it’s for bank robberies).

In writing Joe Don, we had originally envisioned a more slippery, Southern-John Cazale type; someone who was constantly wheeling and dealing in his attempts to get the best deal possible and was impossible to pin down. Casting is such a wonderful process and, if you’re going about it correctly, you’re seeing many different “types” that could be different interpretations of the role. Owen Harn (who plays Joe Don) read for the role and provided such a vivid and unique take. The size difference between the two men provided a great visual contrast as Buddy stands his ground on his terms for the deal, which in turn further endears the audience to Buddy by dramatizing his fortitude. It was also a chance to demonstrate Buddy’s volatile personality: he goes from affable negotiator to deadly cobra ready to strike in an instant. Joe Don’s gift to Buddy of the “Pink Lady” pistol was a gesture to this end: he seems to infer that Buddy is a gay man and is attempting to demonstrate his acceptance via this lethal little olive branch. Buddy, who prides himself on always being in control of a situation, and when and how he deploys his sexuality, is caught slightly off guard. Joe Don hopes that the gesture will lead Buddy to lower his defenses and be less suspecting of the subsequent double cross later in the episode. In true Dixie Mafia spirit, allegiances are typically tepid and getting screwed over by or screwing over your fellow criminals comes with the territory. Unfortunately for Joe Don and his crew, Buddy and Mac are very, very resourceful.

Finally, specificity and detail are two crucial elements to our writing process. We discovered that the “Pink Lady” pistols didn’t really rise to prominence until later, so our wonderful props team of Beau Harrison and Luci Leary actually took a white pearl-gripped revolver and were able to dye it pink for the specificity of the prop that’s central to this scene.

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