JUSTIFIED Episode Recap: “The Hatchet Tour”

     March 5, 2013

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More than his refined quick-draw and ability to pull off the hat, what makes Raylan such a grade-A marshal is that his roots run deep in Kentucky.  He was raised around these tumultuous folks – the Crowders, the Mosleys, the Bennetts, and his own flesh and blood, the Givens.  Whether he wants to admit it, Raylan is part of this world.  Like Hunter says to him, “we are who we are.”  This idea of carrying the sins of the father runs throughout “The Hatchet Tour,” one of the best episodes of an already great season.  Oh, and they revealed who Drew Thompson is.  More on this week’s Justified after the jump.

jim beaver justified outlawSince we first met Mr. Shelby Parlow, he has gone from chief of security for the Black Pike Mining Company to the Sheriff of Harlan County.  We’re introduced to him during the failed heist at the mine, in which Boyd saved his life.  At the time he seemed like a slightly inept man who begrudgingly took the role as Boyd’s puppet sheriff in order to salvage his tarnished law enforcement career.  In season 4 he’s shown he has balls by harboring Ellen May, who’s got enough on the Crowder camp to possibly sink them for good.

And now he’s the most wanted man in Kentucky.  It seemed like a red herring to me, but “The Hatchet Tour” confirms that Shelby is Drew Thompson.  Not only is he Drew, but Hunter is scared shitless of him.  Scared enough to jump from Raylan’s moving car and throw himself in front of a truck after their visit to Wynn Duffy.  Raylan prevents his attempt at vehicular suicide and proceeds to, in the words of Arlo Givens, “knock some goddamn sense” into him.

After taking his beating from Raylan, Hunter’s able to compose himself nicely when Shelby pulls them over and tags along to Lee Paxton’s house.  During the ride, Shelby elaborates on Arlo’s beef with Johnson McClaren.  Seems he was defending Frances’ honor, not just fuming over some dog shitting on his lawn, when he assaulted McClaren.  It came as a shock to Raylan – to hear these two old timers speak about his old man in a positive light – when hours before he used his dying breath to tell his son to kiss his ass.

Hunter goes on to illustrate why he continues his feud with the Crowders and, in turn, why he won’t spill the goods about Shelby.  The whole “I chose a path and am sticking to it” and “who we are” speech was really for one purpose: to try to convince Shelby not to kill him.  Shelby may have been planning on letting him go before the speech, but either way he spares Hunter and flees in Constable Bob’s ride.

Earlier in the episode, Boyd seemed to figure out for himself who Drew is.  It doesn’t fully click until he arrives at Shelby’s later on, but first he questions that sexual deviant, Judge-Executive Arnold, about a member of security that Arnold may have hired “up on the hill” in the ’80s.  He’s referring (I assume) about Shelby.  But before he can dig up any information, he’s called away due to the whole Ellen May debacle.

justified outlaw abby millerCassie, sister of Preacher Billy, shows up at Ava’s looking for Ellen May, who she explains left her a message just a few days ago.  Colt, of course, maintains his lie so he’s sent to retrieve Cassie for Boyd so they can clear all of this up.  Colt steels himself up with a needle of heroin beforehand and when he arrives at Cassie’s church tent, he looks like an absolute monster.  He hulks up to her, looking like a cave troll, then literally goes right for her throat.

Colt was a user before, but the whole Ellen May blunder has turned him into a reckless battering ram of drugs.  After the grim scene between him and Boyd, he’s sent away.  It’s certainly not the last of Colt.  The short amount of time he’s been on the show, Ron Eldard has created a pleasantly dark and believable character and I really want to see more of him.

As Raylan’s handing Hunter back over to the police, the two share a nice, sort of bittersweet moment that reflects the “we are who we are” theme of the episode.  Raylan jokingly fibs about the words of endearment he possibly wishes Arlo said to him before passing and then Hunter throws down the truth: Raylan should be listening to his departed mother, who knew how to bury the hatchet. But it’s Arlos voice that guides him. Not an easy pill to swallow just as the real manhunt begins.


  • BEST ONE-LINER: “Go play asshole in the mirror.” – Constable Bob
  • MOST BADASS MOMENT: I got a good laugh when Raylan gently tipped over Hunter’s chair in the trailer.
  • In last week’s review I mistakenly wrote Walton Goggins‘ name as Walter.  Hey, it happens.  But I sincerely apologize to Mr. Goggins and all of the commenters who pointed out this grand blunder.
  • Also, I called Mark Tim’s brother, when he’s just a fellow veteran.  Total goof on my part.
  • Speaking of Tim, he had Colt dead to rights, but he lets him go off with Boyd.  Tim empathizes with veterans struggling with substance abuse and he recognized that Colt was high in the tent.  “When I take him down his eyes will be clear,” he tells Cassie.  What a noble guy.
  • I’m glad there was that fan-pleasing moment with Bob’s go-bag.  What’s that metaphor about Chekhov’s go-bag?