Justified Episode 4.09: “The Hatchet Tour”

What'cha looking at, Raylan?
What’cha looking at, Raylan?
This week’s episode of Justified was all about resurrection (Ellen May) and betrayal (Colt), plus the real Drew Thompson finally stood up!

We open with Marshal Tim pensively surveying the bodies at Dealer Dave’s place. Tim’s friend Mark survived his gunshot wound long enough to text the word “Bagram” to Tim. Tim plays dumb for the cop who’s questioning him, just saying that Bagram was the airbase at which he and Mark were stationed in Afghanistan but we know from the previouslies that Colt told Tim he was at the VA for “Bagram lung.”

Meanwhile, ex-Sheriff Hunter is being transferred to SuperMax for the murder of Arlo Givens; that is, until his accompanying U.S. Marshal Dunlop transfers him to the custody Raylan Givens instead. Art and I both wonder how Raylan talked his hapless colleague into that enormous error in judgment. Art orders Tim to let Raylan know that if Hunter doesn’t show up at the Leoville SuperMax in one piece both Art and Raylan will be ex-U.S. Marshals.

Tim calls Raylan, but instead of delivering Art’s hilarious diatribe, Tim offers his assistance, specifically in poking around the Crowder place. Raylan refuses, but I think we all know that won’t stop Marshal Tim.

Raylan drives Hunter around Harlan County, first stopping at the “Wynnebago” of my favorite Dixie Mafia member. Wynn listens to Hunter and Raylan talking about a long-ago feud between Arlo Givens and a neighbor whose dog pooped on the Givens’s lawn, and we learn that Wynn had a Yorkie as a kid. (For some reason, I find this nugget absolutely delightful.)

Raylan introduces Hunter to Wynn as the only person who knows the true identity of Drew Thompson as well as the murderer of Arlo Givens. Wynn is genuinely surprised to learn of Arlo’s death, so Raylan believes that he didn’t order the hit. Then Wynn offers to kill Hunter for Raylan.

Ava and Boyd tour a beautiful house in Clover Hill that Ava’s mother once cleaned. The real estate agent is snooty about Ava setting off the security alarm accidentally, and then questions the Crowders’ ability to get a bank loan, to which Boyd responds by showing her his giant briefcase of cash. I’m sure that will set her mind at ease about them! Apparently the Clover Hill house hunt was all a somewhat mystifying ploy to learn more about Drew Thompson.

Back in Raylan’s car, Hunter asks why Raylan made Duffy back off. Raylan tells Hunter that he’ll die soon enough in Leoville at the hands of the Dixie Mafia, but he also says the deal he tried to make with Hunter still stands. Hunter takes this as his cue to jump out of the backseat of the car onto the road and into the path of an oncoming semi. (Don’t they have childproof backdoor locks on Marshals’ cars?) Raylan saves Hunter’s life, and then kicks and punches him, saying that, in the words of Arlo Givens, he’s trying to “beat some sense” into Hunter. I think we just got another horrifying glimpse of Raylan’s childhood. Hunter begs Raylan to shoot him instead of taking him to Leoville.

At Audrey’s, Ava brings a blindfolded Arnold the Furry-Lover into one of the trailers, promising him a surprise. I don’t think Arnold is expecting the surprise to be Boyd, though.

Meanwhile, in the main area of Audrey’s, Cassie the preacher’s sister comes in looking for Ellen May. She tells Ava that just the day before, Ellen May left word with a former parishioner about how she was “all tore up about something.” Ava interrupts Boyd’s interrogation of Arnold about potential Drew Thompsons in Arnold’s security firm to tell him the bad news.

Raylan’s attempts to get information from Hunter aren’t going well; Shelby pulls Raylan over, telling him that there’s a BOLO out on him, and that he’s supposed to turn in Raylan to the Marshal’s service. Instead, Shelby joins the Harlan County tour that Raylan’s giving Hunter.

At Boyd’s bar, Ava and Boyd tell Colt about Cassie’s visit. Ava is already suspicious of Colton, but Boyd is convinced that Cassie is trying another scam on him. He orders Colt to find Cassie.

Tim has been staking out Boyd’s bar and follows Colton, who drives away after getting a fix of the heroin he stole from Dealer Dave. Meanwhile, Johnny’s girlfriend fills him on Cassie’s visit earlier in the day and Johnny realizes that it’s time to put his suspicions of Colt to Boyd.

Let's go for a ride, Shelby...
Let’s go for a ride, Shelby…
Raylan and Shelby drive around, Raylan spouting theories on who hired Hunter to kill Arlo. Hunter scoffs at the idea that he’d do anything for the Crowders after one of them raped and murdered his niece. Apparently, Hunter has a long and vengeful memory of who’s been naughty and who’s been nice to him and his family. Shelby and Hunter discuss Raylan’s family, including a different view of the dogshit story Raylan told earlier. Apparently, the neighbor insulted Raylan’s mom’s virtue and Arlo made him eat a pound of dogshit believing he was defending his wife’s honor. Ah, yes, Arlo the prince! Hunter takes up the theme of honor, emphasizing how important it is to him, despite his past as a drug-dealing, crooked cop.

At the bar, Johnny finally tells Boyd and Ava about Colt’s failure to kill Ellen May as ordered. Boyd and Johnny follow Colt to the revival tent, Johnny trying to justify why he never mentioned his suspicions earlier. Johnny says he wanted hard evidence and points out to Boyd that he’s always been there for him. Except now when he’s plotting with Wynn Duffy to oust Boyd, of course, although this scene just solidified my feeling that Johnny turned to Wynn because he was jealous of Colt’s elevation to Boyd’s right-hand man.

At the revival tent, Cassie asks Colt if he’s looking for salvation before he starts choking her. I’m guessing that’s a no. (Also, if you’re trying to get information from someone, choking them so they can’t speak seems like a bad plan.) Tim intervenes and he and Colt are just about to get into a Raylan-style shootout when Boyd arrives. For some reason, Tim hands Colt over to Boyd, who tells Johnny to drive Colt’s truck back. Uh oh! I think Colt’s about to find out why you don’t cross Boyd Crowder!

Raylan has commissioned Constable Bob to go the house of two of the Rich Bastards, Paxton and Gerald, so Raylan can have Hunter identify which one is Drew Thompson. The Rich Bastards get really insulting about Constable Bob (among other things, calling him a midget); Constable Bob is mad as hell and he isn’t going to take it anymore! Bob, Paxton, and Gerald are engaged a gun battle when Raylan pulls up. When Raylan orders everyone to put their guns down, Bob complains that “they kept pressing my buttons.” Raylan tells him “just take a moment” and does a bit of deep breathing to show Bob how. When Raylan Givens tells you to relax, you are definitely wound up too tight.

You show 'em, Bob!
You show ’em, Bob!
As Raylan tries to sort out the situation, Shelby pops into the back seat of Raylan’s car with Hunter. And, as I predicted last week, Shelby is indeed Drew Thompson. Shelby/Drew hands Hunter the keys to his handcuffs, telling him that he’s grateful for all Hunter’s done for him.

Up at Paxton’s house, Bob keeps yammering on about Shelby and how he took the fall for Hunter, and the light dawns on Raylan just a couple minutes too late. He walks out to find that Hunter’s handcuffs, Shelby/Drew and Constable Bob’s patrol cruiser are all gone.

At Boyd’s bar, Boyd makes Colt go over the supposed murder of Ellen May again, expressing his surprise that Colt didn’t dump the murder weapon. He even asks Colt to demonstrate how he shot Ellen May in the back of the head, and asks “why not in the front” as he points his own weapon at Colt’s forehead.

Johnny enters and Colt finally tells Boyd the whole story about how Ellen May disappeared; Boyd pulls the trigger on his gun, but there’s no bullet in the chamber. Phew! When Colt mentions that he even went to Sheriff Shelby for help, Boyd realizes how far Shelby has gotten out of his control. He orders Johnny to get Colt out of his sight. I’m not clear on whether that means permanently or whether Johnny will interpret Boyd’s words that way.

Cassie and Tim talk, and Cassie approvingly says that Tim had empathy for Colt and let him go. Tim’s motives aren’t quite as pure as Cassie thinks, though; he tells Cassie that when he takes Colt down, Colt’s eyes will be clear of heroin.

At the bar, Boyd hustles Ava into hiding, even though Ava wants to stay by his side. “I should have killed her myself,” says Lady MacBoyd. “It may come to that,” Boyd tells her.

At Shelby’s house, Boyd finds Raylan and a bunch of cops waiting for him, and in that instant realizes that Shelby is Drew Thompson. So close and yet so far, Boyd! And now Boyd’s indebted to Theo Tonin, so that probably won’t go well.

Raylan transfers Hunter to the prison transport and Hunter apologizes for killing Arlo. Raylan has a deadpan monologue, simultaneously funny and deeply sad, about how he and his daddy had a nice chat before Arlo passed, with Arlo promising to look down on Raylan from heaven. “He never let me down,” Raylan concludes. When you expect nothing but a mouthful of dogshit from your father, it’s hard to be let down.

Hunter tells Raylan that if he listens to what his mama taught him, he may turn out okay, but “I think we both know whose voice makes you do what you do.” Arlo may be dead, but his poisonous influence lives on.

Check out our other coverage of Justified on Criminal Element!

Regina Thorne is an avid reader of just about everything, an aspiring writer, a lover of old movies and current TV shows, and a hopeless romantic.

Read all posts by Regina Thorne for Criminal Element.


  1. Linnea

    Excellent recap as always!

  2. Nicholas Winter

    There’s something oddly restful about this season as of everything sort of just falls into place one storyline by one storyline. Even Raylin seems oddly at peace with himself and his place in the world.

  3. Mary Saputo

    What she said. Not to be redundant, but I LOVE this show.

    One thing, though. And this isn’t just with Justified but something I’m noticing more and more with A LOT of shows. Does it seem to you (et al) that the music in the background is getting TOO LOUD???? I know I’m getting older and my hearing is going but geez! Are we watching for the music or the dialogue? Turn the DAMN MUSIC DOWN. I want to hear what they’re saying without blasting my poor little dog into the next room to protect her own ears.

  4. Tatiana deCarillion

    Will Tim find love with Cassie? It kinda looked like there was a bit of chemistry between them. Colt is doomed now–I hope Tim gets his payback.

    I was ok with Raylan not having a lovelife for the last episode or three. Women always seem to be trouble for him, and he’s got enough going on the front burners already…

  5. Regina Thorne

    [b]@linnea[/b] – Thank you so much!!

    [b]@Nicholas Winter[/b] – I’m not sure I’d say this season is restful, but Raylan’s opposition hasn’t been completely and terrifyingly insane this year, as Quarles was last year. I think I’m in the minority (at least from comments I’ve seen on these posts) but I like this season better than last season.

    [b]@bitsy08[/b] – I love this show too!! I haven’t noticed that the music is louder, but it does seem like there’s a lot of low voices/muttered dialogue on “Justified.” Sometimes I have to watch with closed-captioning because I can’t figure out what someone said! So that might be playing a role too? I do really think less is more with background music, though – The Wire rarely used it at all, and I didn’t miss it!

    [b]@decarillion [/b]- I wonder if Cassie was just trying to use Tim for her revenge against Boyd and Boyd’s agents. I really don’t think she’s forgiven Boyd for what she considers the murder of her brother!! And I want Tim to find some peace and go back to teasing Raylan.

    Yes, Raylan’s lovelife always seems to reveal him as sort of bungling and incompetent; I enjoy watching him be good at his job!

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