Justified Review: Franchise Player

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There was a lot to love about "Outlaw."  The trials and tribulations that Raylan was put through, the schemes that Boyd put together, and their chemistry together in that one epic scene washed the bad taste from "Money Trap" right out of my mouth.

Even better than all of that was the fact that I have come to a conclusion on who I think Drew Thompson is.  I don't know who else has already said it, or even how many people have been championing the idea for weeks, but at some point during this episode, I decided that Shelby is Drew Thompson.

Raylan in Prison

His interest in the Drew discussion, and particularly the attractiveness of the psychic widow, seemed to be their way of dropping the hint.  He seems about the right age, and I for one would love Drew Thompson to end up being someone we know.  The fact that he's been in town concealing his identity all of this time would make it much less interesting if he was just some random guy we've never met before.

Anyway, no matter who ends up being Drew Thompson, the wait to find him has only peaked my interest more.  For how long the search has been going on, it really doesn't feel like they have dragged it out at all.  They continue to find new and interesting ways to make the search feel fresh.

It will be a complete relief if and when Raylan finds Drew Thompson.  The dude has gone through the ringer lately, and now his old man is dead.  I know Raylan seriously hated Arlo, but he was still his dad.  That death leaves him pretty much all alone. He has no family until that baby comes along.* That is a tough life to live.

* A baby that he so wittily mentioned will only know its granddaddy as a son of a bitch.

On top of all that, it was Raylan who was essentially responsible for Arlo's death.  He went to Hunter Mosley to give him Arlo's deal, which led to that inmate going after Arlo in the prison barber shop.  That scene was fantastic by the way.  They really had me thinking that Arlo was going to yet again get out of trouble when he jumped out of the chair and started attacking, so when he was eventually stabbed in the heart I was definitely taken back.

No scene could compare to that involving Raylan's second shootout in as many episodes though.  I LOVE the fact that Justified waited so long to have Raylan gun somebody down before last week, and then they came right back with another gun fight.  There doesn't have to be a rhythm to it, people.  It happens how it happens.

Between the fake cop giving Raylan lip, the cowboy interrupting the tension by asking Ava about her giant diamond, and Boyd assuring Raylan that he was still invited to the wedding, it was a strange, funny, and wild few moments.  The speed at which Raylan took out Wynn's henchman was glorious to watch, and his comment "I hope I got that right" was a good as they come.

Before Boyd made his way to that moment, he was busy laying down the ground work to screw over everybody who thought they had his number.  This was classic Boyd.

At the time, I thought I had a decent idea of what was going on with the fake cop.  Tonin had sent him to town to check out the guys that might have been Drew Thompson.  Obviously I was wrong, but when I found out that it was actually Wynn using Boyd's list, and that said list was just Boyd's enemies he wanted Wynn to kill for him, I was yet again reminded of how unbelievably awesome Boyd Crowder is.

After Boyd made a deal with Tonin's Nick Augistine, he brought the shot callers to the bar for a little meeting.  And after their phone calls to those they think have the power end up give them a "no service" message, it becomes obvious who is in charge of Harlan County.  The fact that he asked for loads of money came as no surprise, but asking for a Dairy Queen franchise certainly did!  A pleasant surprise, but definitely a surprise.

I loved that it meant Boyd was inching towards getting out, but it hurt to realize that fact that if he's now in bed with Theo Tonin, it's going to be a heck of a lot more difficult to get out.

All the while, Colt was murdering the guy from Blossom and Tim Murphy, while Cousin Johnny screwed with his head by texting him as Ellen May.  Again, there was a lot to love about "Outlaw," and Justified is back on track as we head down the final stretch of season four.

What did you all think?  What were you favorite moments in "Outlaw?" What were your least favorite moments?  And what do you think about Shelby as Drew Thompson?


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (99 Votes)

Dan Forcella is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.


So many people died tonight ! I think the most in all of Justified episode. The body count must be at least 10. I was really surprised the writers finally decided to write off Arlo now. I thought he would be around a long time. I too get the vibe that Shelby is Drew especially when he gets so interested in the case. The final show down between Johnny and Boyd would be something to look forward to. It should be coming soon.


Dorothy Gale is right. The comments are very good. I enjoy reading other people's thoughts and ideas, just for something else to chew on.
What if Aaron is correct about clues pointing to Shelby to throw us off? Has anyone else considered that other weasel, the former Sheriff Napier?
I also believe that Colt won't be around for too many more episodes. Drug-addled people usually don't last. Then there's the Ellen May angle. Why bother with her? She's useless to the plot unless she turns out to be the reason for Ava's incarceration, or the daughter of one of the regulars. The bigger question for me is why so many people are willing to keep the true identity of Drew a secret at the risk of dying.


One other parting thought: I'd like to see Rachel more in the story and a return of Dewey Crow. I don't want them to be the center of any episodes. I just like their characters, especially Dewey.


So much in this one episode! They definitely gave us plenty of clues that Shelby is Drew: his conversation with Ellen May, his interest in the widow, his interest in the case. I do wonder if there bringing it together for the audience as a red herring though, so they can surprise us with the real Drew. @Links good thought on Ava's death. I've been worrying too that they have foreshadowed Art's with his talk of retiring and traveling with his wife. Not only is it great to see Raylan in a shoot out, with one of the best lines ever following it, "I hope I got that right", but it was great that he did it in front of Boyd and Ava. Proof to them that he is a more than formidable adversary and that he saved Boyd's life. Looks like we've got a couple more showdowns coming: Tim vs Colton and Boyd vs Duffy. I'm picking Tim & Boyd as the winners, but it makes me sad that Duffy will die. That man is a good actor. Still great episode. Bring on the next!


"I think if you pretend to be something for a long time, you're not pretending anymore." Shelby to Ellen May.


I am not going to comment on this episode which was just brilliant. I am going to comment on all the comments being made by other people. Kudoes to all of you. Not only are you articulate but so very clever.


I've been thinking it might be Shelby since he shared his stories from the past with Raylan. Specifically the line about "not always being a lawman" (not sure of the exact phrasing). But this week, the discussion with Ellen May that laid down a "must of been 25 years ago" that synced up with the 30 years the ex mentioned when looking at mug shots. Ellen May does also have a resemblance to the ex, I think, which Shelby mentioned she did to his ex. I have to echo a couple of dana's thoughts...One, this seems handed to us way to easy from such a slick writing team. Yes, the points have been subtle and broken apart enough that not everyone puts it all together, masked with the Ellen May subplot to throw us off on what might be Shelby's real interest in hanging out with Raylan and taking down Boyd, the two men looking for him. But also that, and this is out there, I had the same brief thought that it just might be the psychic ex herself. What better than a little gender bending to hide? Though this twist would concern me considering the hill people mentioned seeing "him" rubbing elbows with the Harlan elite a few years back (about the time Shelby was running for sheriff?). Huge fan of this show!


I said to my hubby a couple weeks ago..."Drew Thompson is going to be someone we know" after some thinking (and guessing) we each came up with who we thought it might/could be and Shelby was an agreed upon guess....BUT this week made me think...would they hand us that info so easily?? maybe(stay with me here) its the widow??? I know, I know sounds crazy but "she knows more than she is letting on" as Raylan says so she is either Drew or pulling the strings on the operation and Shelby knows or is in ca-hoots with her...maybe? lol
and Boyd, classic bad a$$ Boyd now who dosent love that!!!
I was shocked that Arlo was killed off but again another reason I love this show, ya just never see certain things coming...


I think you guys are right about Shelby being Drew Thompson. Raylan Givens and Boyd Crowder are two of the best characters on television right now, which was especially proven by tonight's episode. Timothy Olyphant was excellent at showing off Raylan's mixed emotions regarding Arlo's passing. He might have been an evil a-hole who tried to kill him, but he was his only remaining family member. As of late, I feel as though the writers have been foreshadowing Ava's death. When a tv criminal like Boyd starts discussing a brighter and less corrupt future with the woman he loves, it makes me wonder if something tragic is about to happen.


that last word would be "sleeves."

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Justified Season 4 Episode 8 Quotes

You want me to pay you not to kill me?


Kiss. My. Ass.