‘Justified’ Review: “Outlaw”
‘Justified’ season 4 drops a few bodies with its eighth episode of the year “Outlaw,” as Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) finds a grievous attempt on Arlo’s life putting pressure on the search for Drew Thompson, while Boyd maneuvers to unshackle himself from the Harlan elite and Colton tries desperately to keep Ellen May’s disappearance under wraps.
Last week’s ‘Justified’ episode “Money Trap” saw Raylan once again tasked with tracking down fugitive Jody Adair (Chris Chalk), while Ava and Boyd attended Napier’s swingers’ party in search of leads to find the ever-elusive Drew Thompson, so what will the latest episode of ‘Justified’ bring? Will Raylan be the one to find Drew Thompson or will Boyd Crowder beat him to it?
Read on for your in-depth recap of everything you need to know about ‘Justified’ season 4 episode 8 “Outlaw!”
Immediately after seeing his father, Raylan meets with incarcerated sheriff Hunter Mosely (‘The Killing’s Brent Sexton), who questions Raylan’s motivation in screwing over a similar deal for his father. Raylan counters that he wants to better his own standing, but Mosely still denies the offer. Elsewhere, Gerald Johns (Ned Bellamy) instructs Boyd on the best time and location to kill Frank Browning, derogatorily comparing him to his new trash man.
Back at the prison, a catatonic Arlo is brought in for an unscheduled shave, at which time Hunter Mosely promptly subdues the barber, and straightens his story with the guard for how he will have managed to kill Arlo. The guard leaves the two alone, but when Mosley turns his back, Arlo springs to life and attacks Hunter, attacking the guard as well when he returns. For a moment Arlo seems to have the upper hand, but Mosely sneaks up on him with a pair of sheers and stabs Arlo in the chest, bringing him to his knees.
Over at the station, Eve Munro (Julia Campbell) picks out mugshots for possible IDs on Drew Thompson, but the case seems to be going nowhere. Art calls Raylan over for a word, dropping the news of Arlo’s stabbing, and Raylan returns to his desk to shrug it off. Without identifying the man as his father, Raylan tells Eve a man who could ID Drew likely won’t last the night, but there’s no need to see him right away.
Boyd pays a visit to Frank Browning, promptly shrugging off the pleasantries and offering the man to bid a higher price for his life than the others paid Boyd to kill him, but Browning has a man from his security team chase Boyd out. Later at the bar, Boyd attempts to recruit Colton for help in killing the man, but Colton finds himself distracted by mysterious texts to his phone that demand $20,000 to keep quiet about Ellen May. Just outside, Wynn Duffy arrives at the bar impatiently looking for progress on Boyd’s search for Drew Thompson, noting that Theo Tonin will send a trained assassin to kill them if they don’t find the man. Boyd replies that the situation has become more complicated, but they might cut their losses by killing two possible Thompson candidates.
Back at Frank Browning’s house, a man dressed as Harlan police knocks on the door, killing Frank’s man in moments. He asks Frank to remain still, snapping a photo on his phone and calling a number, which replies that Frank in fact isn’t the target. Frank sighs in relief, but the man guns him down anyway. Elsewhere, Sheriff Shelby chats with Ellen May about the possibility of her one day finding true redemption, but her near-confession about Ava’s murder of Delroy is interrupted by a phone call begging the sheriff’s attention.
Colton knocks on the door of the drug dealer we last saw Tim and his friend Mark with, demanding a loan of $20,000. The man balks at first, but Colton quickly disarms him and guns him down, finding a stash of money hidden in the dealer’s guitar case. As he prepares to leave, Colton hears a noise from the other room, and finds Tim’s friend Mark stripped down, and begging for his life. Colton offers Mark a cigarette and packs up to leave, assuring Mark it will be like Colton was never there, before coldly shooting him dead anyway.
Raylan sits over the body of his resting father, goading him to at least talk rather than pretend to be asleep. When Arlo still refuses to respond, Raylan pleads with his father to ID Drew Thompson for the sake of his grandchildren, but to no avail. As Raylan goes to leave, Arlo finally rouses and asks his son to come closer, before weakly whispering in his ear to “kiss my ass.”
Across town, Sam Keenan gets intimate with a mistress, before being disturbed by a knock at the door. The same police officer from earlier asks Sam to hold still and takes a photo, once again confirming that the man isn’t the target, and gunning him down. Some time later, Ralayn shows up to find Shelby on the scene, and reluctantly explains that the two men gunned down in the same fashion today were from Eve Munro’s list of possible Drew Thompsons. In at least Frank Browning’s case, Boyd Crowder reportedly showed up only hours before.
Johnny Crowder meets with Wynn Duffy in his trailer once more, the Drew Thompson matter seemingly laid to rest, but Johnny corrects Wynn that the two men gunned down were in fact enemies of Boyd, neither of which fit the mold of Drew Thompson. Unnerved, Duffy explains to Johnny that they’ll kill Boyd for the treachery, but that will make Johnny next in line to find Drew.
Raylan arrives at Boyd’s bar to see the police officer from earlier preparing to take Boyd away, confusing Raylan. Somewhat distracted by Ava’s engagement ring, Raylan scoffs when the police officer mangles his own story, and orders Raylan to stand down. The office whips out his gun to shoot, but Raylan beats him to it, and drops the man before he gets a chance. Elsewhere, Colton drops the $20,000 off at a shed near a little league game, as we see that Johnny Crowder was the one sending the texts.
With Raylan gone, Boyd places a call to an irate Nick Augustine (‘Glee‘s Mike O’Malley), explaining that Wynn’s failure to realize Boyd was playing him signals that he isn’t the man to run business in Kentucky. Boyd suggests that as a native, he should be the one to handle matters in the state and cut Wynn out altogether, and asks a favor of the Detroit mob outfit. Nick agrees, but only so long as Boyd understands it as a debt, not a favor.
Back at the Marshals’ station, Raylan is proven innocent as Shelby reasons the hitman swiped the uniform from a dry cleaners. Adding to Eve Munro’s 27 possible suspects, Shelby suggest they look into Boyd’s new friends Lee Paxton and Gerald Johns, but when Art suggests Arlo might still prove useful, Raylan reveals that he received a call an hour prior notifying him of Arlo’s death. Art demands he take a week off, but an angered Raylan manages to negotiate him down to two days, reluctantly allowing Tim and Rachel to carry the ball for a time. Defeated, Raylan departs the station, shedding what looks to be a single tear by the bank of elevators on his way out.
Meanwhile at Boyd’s bar, Lee Paxton, Gerald Johns and Judge Executive Arnold demand to know why they’ve been summoned. Boy reveals that not only has their target Frank been killed, but Sam Keenan as well, prompting Gerald to place a call to his contacts in revenge against Boyd. Finding all his pocketed state troopers and judges unable to pick up, Boyd explains that he had Theo Tonin put the word out that no one was to do business with the three men. Identifying himself as an outlaw rather than a mere criminal like them, Boyd demands $100,000 in restitution from each man, and a Dairy Queen franchise to boot, as all three eye him with a glare.
Content in his victory, Boyd and Ava embrace that their children might live to become respectable after all, as they break through the glass ceiling. Elsewhere, Raylan visits the prison morgue and stands mournfully over the body of dear departed Arlo.
Last week’s episode “Money Trap” felt a bit too detoured in its narrative, allowing “Outlaw” to raise the bar significantly for the season to date. The Drew Thompson mystery may not have gained any real steam, but the triumph of Boyd Crowder over the Harlan elite, as well as the fairly monumental death of Arlo significantly elevate the stories going forward. It will be interesting to see what ‘Justified’ does with Raylan on his brief leave to recover from Arlo’s death, but “Outlaw” still proves just the shot in the arm that ‘Justified’ season 4 needed going forward. Dairy Queen manager Boyd for the win!
What say you? What did you think about ‘Justified’s latest effort “Outlaw?” Did you shed a tear for Arlo Givens? Join us next week for another all-new ‘Justified’ episode recap of “The Hatchet Tour” on FX!