‘Justified’ Review: “The Hatchet Tour”
‘Justified’ season 4 lifts the curtain with its ninth episode of the year “The Hatchet Tour,” as Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) kidnaps Hunter Mosely ('The Killing)'s Brent Sexton in an effort to learn the true identity of Drew Thompson, while Boyd learns the truth about Ellen May when Cassie St. Cyr (Lindsey Pulpisher) returns looking for her.
Last week’s ‘Justified’ episode “Outlaw” saw a grievous attempt on Arlo’s life putting pressure on the search for Drew Thompson, while Boyd maneuvered to unshackle himself from the Harlan elite and Colton tried desperately to keep Ellen May’s disappearance under wraps, so what will the latest episode of ‘Justified’ bring? Has Drew Thompson's true identity been revealed at last?
Read on for your in-depth recap of everything you need to know about ‘Justified’ season 4 episode 9 “The Hatchet Tour!”
Tim oversees the crime scene of the drug dealer and his friend Mark, but declines to elaborate to the detective in charge why Mark’s last text would have been to him. Meanwhile across town at Trumbull, Deputy Dunlop leads Hunter Mosely to his transfer to Supermax, but rather than put him on the bus, Dunlop delivers Mosely right into a very-not-on-leave Raylan’s waiting car!
After the dupe has been revealed, Art fumes at the department and places bolos out for Raylan, urging Tim to get in touch with him. Raylan does pick up when Tim calls, Hunter still safely in the backseat, but declines Tim’s offer to help keep the Marshals off his back. Raylan reasons that none of the easy suspects would have had a good reason to hire Hunter to kill Arlo, and decides to sort it out by taking Hunter to see Wynn Duffy himself.
In the man’s trailer, Wynn jumps at the notion that Hunter might know the identity of Drew Thompson, but denies having anything to do with Arlo’s apparent murder. Raylan relays a story of how his father once started an escalating feud with neighboring clans, which would have ended in bloodshed if not for his mother Frances’ intervention for the families to “hash it out,” an expression that came from taking a “hatchet” to cut through all the bull. Hoping Hunter’s proximity to Wynn would shake something loose, Raylan unfortunately finds nothing of value.
Elsewhere, Boyd and Ava shop for a nice home that Ava realizes her mother once cleaned, though the snooty realtor doubts their ability to afford it. Boyd pulls out his suitcase full of cash, but the pair decide to dump their realtor instead, even if Boyd still has eyes on the house. Meanwhile out on the road, Hunter attempts to dive from Raylan’s car and throw himself in front of a passing truck, frustrating Raylan why Hunter wouldn’t take an easy deal to give up Drew.
Back at Audrey’s, Boyd attempts to extort info on Drew from Judge Art, while Ava finds the Preacher Billy’s wayward sister Cassie looking for Ellen May. Cassie reveals that Ellen May had attempted to get in touch with her not one day prior, confusing Ava, who takes her concerns immediately to Boyd. When Colton finally shows up to the bar, Boyd and Ava asks how Ellen May could be alive, but Colton covers and leads them to believe that Cassie is merely sniffing around for a payday. Boyd sends Colton to the church to find Cassie, but the man panics in his car and shoots up before leaving, followed by a watchful Tim on his tail.
Sheriff Shelby pulls Raylan over, having heard of the bolo on him and Hunter, and offers to ride with Raylan as they head to their next destination at Lee Paxton’s place. Along the way, Raylan brings Shelby up to speed on the case, as Hunter and Shelby explain to Raylan that he had the story about Arlo wrong. Arlo didn’t start a feud back in the day, but rather defended Frances’ honor from a number of insults, though Raylan only insults Hunter for protecting Drew Thompson’s “honor.”
Back at the bar, after Teri reveals to Johnny Crowder that she overheard Ava and a woman talking about Ellen May’s mysterious disappearance, Johnny suggests to Boyd that he might not be able to trust Colton, and that Colton may not have killed Ellen May as promised, either. Boyd fumes, but Johnny protests he didn’t have enough evidence of Colton’s betrayal, and had been hurt by Boyd’s preferential treatment of his old army buddy.
Somewhat hazy from his drug use, Colton shows up to find Cassie in the tented church, and strangles the girl in accusation of hiding Ellen May. Tim quickly appears on the scene to threaten Colton at gunpoint and accuse him of Mark’s murder, but when Colton slowly draws his own gun, Boyd appears to try to calm them all down. Urging Tim to keep the peace, Boyd convinces Tim to drop the weapon, and takes the still-hazy Colton back to his car.
Having been tasked by Raylan to keep an eye on Lee Paxton and Gerald Johns, Constable Bob Sweeney (Patton Oswalt) knocks on their door to find a drunk, and gun-waving Paxton. Both men ignore the Constable and play on his insecurities, leading Bob to draw his own gun in retaliation. By the time Raylan arrives, a full-blown firefight has begun, Bob attacking the men with an AK-47 from his car. Raylan calms them all down and admonishes Bob, taking him inside to ask the men what they might know about Drew Thompson.
Little do they know that outside, Sheriff Shelby has gotten in the backseat with Hunter Mosely, handed him the keys to the cuffs, and thanked him for protecting his true identity…none other than Drew Thompson! Inside the house, Bob lets slip that Shelby took the fall for Hunter in his early days, before being fired from the force, leading Raylan to realize the truth. Raylan rushes outside and finds Shelby/Drew gone, and Hunter un-cuffed and waiting in the backseat for him
In Boyd’s back room, Colton continues to insist that he killed Ellen May, finally breaking when Boyd holds a gun to his head and accuses him of lying. Colton apologizes profusely, letting slip that Shelby knew Ellen May was missing, which causes Boyd alarm. Boyd sends Colton out of his sight, telling Ava to lay low for a bit while he goes to pay Shelby a visit himself. Elsewhere, Tim shares dinner with Cassie in his car, before getting a call from work.
Late that night, Boyd enters Shelby’s house to find it completely empty, pausing at the sight of a sniper’s laser on his chest. Raylan quickly reveals himself along with an entire police force, as it dawns on Boyd that Shelby must have been Drew Thompson after all.
Outside, Raylan assures Hunter that he won’t get any of the deal for a better jail, and accepts the man’s genuine apology for killing his father. Hunter assures Raylan he’ll be alright if he learned from his mother more than Arlo, but suspects that Raylan has too much of Arlo in him to be saved.
Granted 'Justified's fourth season really kicked into high gear with Arlo's murder last week, the cat has finally come out of the bag and revealed Drew's true identity as Sheriff Shelby Parlow! A number of internet readers figured it out a week prior given Shelby's conversation with Ellen May about pretending, but the mystery was still fun while it lasted. Even without the big reveal, "The Hatchet Tour" makes for another outstanding installment of the season as both Boyd and Raylan are sent somewhat off the rails in their respective quests, finding ample story for Tim as well. We're not quite sure what to expect from the final four episodes of the season, but 'Justified' gets us more and more on the hook each week. Who needs big bads?
What say you? What did you think about ‘Justified’s latest effort “The Hatchet Tour?” Did you guess Drew Thompson's identity? Join us next week for another all-new ‘Justified’ episode recap of “Get Drew” on FX!