March 5, 2013

Episode Review: JUSTIFIED, "The Hatchet Tour"

The plot definitely thickened this week as the writers pulled out even more tricks to connect all of the free-flowing dots while also unmasking the real Drew Thompson.

Raylan hijacked Hunter Mosley's prison transfer with hopes that he'd be able to shed some light on Drew Thompson. Givens even took Mosley to Wynn Duffy thinking that the Dixie Mafia had hired Hunter to kill Arlo due to his connections to Thompson. When that move led to a dead end, Givens and Mosley headed on until they were stopped by Shelby. Since Raylan wasn't supposed to transfer Hunter, and Art was afraid he'd do something rash, the boss put out a search for our favorite marshal. Raylan's next move was to take Mosley up to the Clover Hill boys, and Shelby decided to come along, but they drove up to a firefight involving the rich snobs and Bob Sweeney (who was there on Raylan's behalf). While Givens was trying to smooth everything over, Bob said something that made him realize that Shelby was in fact Thompson, and that hunch was confirmed when Shelby chatted with Hunter and thanked him for keeping his secret. He even gave Mosley a set of handcuff keys before disappearing.

Raylan and a group of law enforcement staked out Shelby's place when Boyd showed up looking for Ellen May, and then the truth dawned on Crowder. The reason Boyd was sniffing around Shelby's with hopes of finding Ellen May was Colton had to come clean about losing her after Cassie (the preacher's sister) showed up at the brothel looking for her because she got a message. On top of all that, Colt also had to deal with Tim, who was on his trail after he learned that his buddy was killed at the drug dealer's house.

Like I mentioned in last week's recap, I wasn't fully on board with the "Shelby as Drew Thompson" theory until now because it was the worst kept secret for these two hours. Thankfully, Yost and Company didn't shy away from the reveal and turned completely into the skid by solidifying what everyone knew, and I have to respect that move because it's one that most showrunners would've put off until the last handful of episodes. The big question now is, what's the rest of the season's going to look like? With Shelby and Ellen May and the run, it's easy to see a manhunt in the very near future, but it could get muddled up by the fact that Boyd's also looking for them, and this could all turn into a war with Raylan, Tim and Drew on one side and the Crowders on the other. Now, that'd be a twist I'd love to see.

While I've been really enjoying most of this season's story arc, "The Hatchet Tour" was another example of the show's biggest weakness this time around, which's too much plot. Now, I understand and respect the fact that everything's connected now that the mystery of Drew Thompson's been solved, but elements like the return of Cassie, Colton's mistake, and Tim's involvement all seems excessive. Again, it all makes sense now, and I'm sure it's hard to fill thirteen episodes with just one story, but it would've been nice if some of the fat was trimmed.

Other Odds and Ends:
  • As much as I love Smart Ass Art, Pissed Off Art is equally as entertaining.
  • Wynn Duffy has been Justified's secret weapon for some time now, but I didn't truly appreciate Jere Burns' take on the character until this episode. The corgi line gets me every time.
  • We didn't get a lot of Raylan coming to terms with Arlo's death, but I did like the scene where Shelby gave him some insight into the man his father used to be.
  • Are U.S. Marshals not allowed to make arrests? I figured Tim would've had enough to put Colt in cuffs at the very least.
  • While I haven't loved everything involving Tim's part in the whole thing, the idea of him and Raylan as some sort of dynamic duo has a lot of promise.
  • "You're calling 'cause Art's pissed?"
  • "I can hurt him a little, can't I?"
So, there you have it. Drew Thompson's identity was finally revealed and now Justified has a whole new set of balls to juggle, and even though it's been fun to watch the writers keep everything in the air, I'd feel a whole lot better if they put down one or two of them.


Anonymous said...

I love this show, and I called early on that Shelby would end up being Drew, but it was more of a lucky guess than anything else. I wasn’t sure until last night when the show confirmed it, I work at DISH and got several of my friends from the office to watch “The Hatchet Tour”, too. I’ve recorded every episode of the season so far, and plan to keep the entire thing on my DVR until it comes out on DVD. I have the DISH Hopper and have two thousand hours of storage space to save the season, and still record all my other favorite shows.

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