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Justified: The Hatchet Tour

"Are you trying to tell us this is all about honor for you?"

I never knew that the phrase "hashing it out" had anything to do with hatchets. Why do people say you never learn anything from television?

(See how I kept the spoilers off the front page there? If you haven't seen the episode yet and you plan to, bail out now!)

After eight weeks of build-up, we finally know who Drew Thompson is. And the fact that it turned out to be Jim Beaver's Shelby, a character who has been hanging around the series for so long, was pretty darned cool. Even if it wasn't that much of a surprise. (They did hint strongly last week.)

Shelby/Drew has interesting depths. He had nerve, putting out a hit on Arlo, and the craftiness and intelligence to stay hidden and elude Theo Tonin for thirty freaking years. Shelby/Drew took the fall for Hunter years ago, and didn't kill his friend when it would have been easy and convenient. I sort of want Drew to get away with it, don't you?

Is it me, or did Raylan seem even more homespun and reckless than usual? It took nerve to take Hunter to Wynn Duffy. (I think Raylan and Wynn sort of like each other. Although that won't stop either of them from killing the other.) Is Hunter off the hook now that Drew Thompson has been revealed, or will Tonin take out Hunter in super max, anyway?

The best part of the episode was Raylan, Hunter, and (eventually) Shelby in the car, and how the conversation kept going back to Arlo. My favorite bit was the discussion about Arlo's actions during the famous MacLaren/Givens dog shit feud. Raylan hated Arlo, and for very good reason -- and yet, Raylan was itching to attack Hunter, a very Arlo thing to do. Hunter's parting shot at Raylan as they were taking him away was that Raylan was his father's son. I think he's right, although Raylan is more like the Arlo who got into trouble with the law for defending his wife's honor.

Art lost it when he heard that Raylan had taken Hunter. It seemed to be all anger, but I wonder if some of it was worry about Raylan? I suspect Art cares about Raylan, even though he acts like he's resigned to the fact that Raylan will eventually find a way to ruin his own career and/or get killed.

The Crowder B plot started out fun, with Boyd and Ava discovering that Ava's mother used to clean the Clover Hills house they were looking at, and snobby realtor's face when she saw the suitcase full of cash that she wasn't going to get. I was wondering if we were going to see Cassie the snake preacher's sister again, and voila -- Boyd learned the truth about Colton in time to save Cassie from a nasty death. Why did Cassie go to Audrey's in the first place? Did Ellen May really try to contact her? Would Shelby let Ellen May do that?

Cousin Johnny continued to confuse me by telling Boyd the truth about Colt (although, okay, it was about to come out anyway and Johnny was covering his own ass). And I sort of expected Boyd to take Colt out; that thing with the gun felt like a test that Colt appeared to pass. It's interesting that Boyd absolutely believed Colt was loyal and telling the truth, and that it took Johnny to wise him up. Maybe this thing with Colt will make Boyd think twice about trusting cousin Johnny.

Let's see. What else? It's amazing that Tim's friend Mark survived long enough to text him. If Boyd doesn't kill Colt, Tim probably will. And did you all get an interesting vibe between Tim and Cassie? Or was Tim just being a gentleman and a good marshal?

Bits and pieces:

-- During the ridiculous gun battle between Constable Bob and the two not Drews, all I could think of was the current political debate about gun control. I thought it would be curtains for Constable Bob, but thankfully, no. He came prepared. Never underestimate Constable Bob.

-- The snobby realtor had a Beethoven ring tone on her cell phone. Nice little detail.

-- Raylan, Hunter and Shelby. Super Deadwood reunion.

-- I'm still worried about Ava. Female characters don't do so well on this show.

-- This episode was written by Taylor Elmore and Leonard Chang. Leonard Chang wrote episodes of Awake, and was good enough to post a couple of comments on our site awhile back. Best of luck to you, Leonard Chang. Good show to write for.


Art: "Yes, call him, and articulate to him my extreme displeasure. And let him know that if anything happens to Sheriff Hunter while in his custody, he will no longer be a marshal, and neither will I. And that is where his nightmare will begin!"
Tim: "Do you want me to write that down or paraphrase?"

Tim: "You gotta know better than thinking you can hurt this guy."
Raylan: "I could hurt him a little, can't I?"

Raylan: "All that dog did was bark and shit, like one thing had to do with the other."

Ava: "Thank you very much, but we don't need your shit. Have a nice day."

Cassie: "Don't you want to be free of the devil's grip?"
And at that moment, Colt gripped her throat.

I wanted the episode to keep going when it got to the end, so I'm very much hoping Drew gets away clean in Constable Bob's Gremlin. Four out of four dog shit feuds,

Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.


  1. Yeah, it was quite a no brainer after last week´s episode who Drew Thompson is. But it was wonderful how Shelby/Drew sneaked his way into Raylan`s car to see what´s going on. I would have never seen Shelby as so mean as to put the hit on Arlo, but he killed Waldo Truth, so maybe there is a lot of darkness going on behind the nice face.

    The whole visit at Wynn Duffy`s trailer was hilarious. The way Raylan tipped Hunter over and Duffy`s dog oneliner was really funny. And Raylan`s explanation to Shelby who these guys are was nice too.

    I wondered if there was some kind of pride on Raylan`s face when Huter told him about his resemblance to Arlo although it was clear how hurt he is by Arlo`s real last words.

    Art was great. It´s obvious he cares for Raylan although he finds him so annoying. I am so glad Tim gets more to do this season but I still want to see more of him.

    Could it be that Cousin Johnny contacted Cassie to shake things up?

  2. I want to see more of Tim, too!

    Although I saw the Shelby reveal coming, I still loved this episode. In fact, I can't think of an episode of Justified that I don't love. It's consistently excellent.

  3. The only vibe I got from Tim and Cassie was a one sided one. She did seem to be flirting with him, but she's a con artist so I'm going to assume she's trying to run a game on him. Tim was pretty inscrutable. I get the impression he's gone into Afghan sniper mode at this point, gathering info on his target etc. I still think Tim might be batting for the other team..

  4. Excellent episode. I loved the reveal, but I really liked the way that Hunter didn't run. He knows that his time is limited, but maybe he's just tired. Keeping such a huge secret for so long must be exhausting.

    The exchange between Hunter and Raylan was lovely. I, too, worry that Raylan may have too many of Arlo's genes. Unlike his dad, however, he seems to have a fair number of people who will have his back. Both Art and Tim were concerned about Raylan and would, I like to believe, be Hunter to his Drew if it came down to it.

  5. >>"-- I'm still worried about Ava. Female characters don't do so well on this show."
    True but that second sentence is why I think Ava is perfectly safe. And with Winona out of the show I just don't think they'll do anything to Ava.

    @Anonymous: "I would have never seen Shelby as so mean as to put the hit on Arlo"
    What the FUCK do you mean by mean?! This is (was, heh) Arlo we're talking about. That piece of shit just had to get got.

    RaylanxWynn I like it (almost) more than RaylanxBoyd now. That and the Ava-Boyd house hunting stuff had me convinced that the writers didn't necessarily blow their load with the previous important episode. Excellent stuff... and I liked how I rankled at Hunter's parting words to Raylan, much like I did when Winona called him the angriest man she ever met. I still feel like they do Raylan wrong... it's not so simple, and the Frances side of him isn't entirely compartmentalized.

    Very very cool to see Cassie again, I really was convinced that she was dropped entirely (but I was also convinced Shelby was another red herring because of how obvious the hints seemed even to a moron like me).


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