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.


Wow. Arlo’s dead. I traveled back through some episodes to determine once again when it was that I finally realized what a worthless putz Arlo was, and "Reckoning" was it. That's when he blamed Raylan for Helen's death, instead of "manning up" to his own culpability for her death. With that failure, he sealed his place as the Mayor of Putzville. Other than to advance his own avarice, he never brought much to the table, unless we can count the "slime" factor. It’s a real shame that he couldn’t find the decency to allow his son to feel anything but contempt. As for the season's villain, it’s clearly the Drew mystery since so many people are dying. I suppose Shelby could be Drew, I guess we’ll find out if he tries to see the widow, or goes to visit Hunter. Then there’s Boyd, well, hopefully he and Ava are not celebrating their good fortune too soon. That celebration was both my favorite and least favorite moments, since the three rich dudes might still have a play up their sleeves.


I share your thoughts that Shelby is Drew. Can't really explain why, it just hit me, first in his scene with Ella May and then definitely during the part in the office when he referenced the widow. As you said, the age is right and I think it's only natural that Drew is in fact someone we have been watching all along. Two favorite moments immediately come to mind, Arlo getting it from Hunter and when Raylan gunned down the button man. As soon as he walked into that scene with the phony cop you just knew that Raylan would be putting down his second gunman in as many weeks. I found it interesting, though, that when he blew away the bad guy last episode you could just tell from Raylan's expression how personal it was, while tonight's killing was strictly business. Least favorite moment: as always, when the episode ended. I cannot get enough of this show, and from what I've been hearing through the grapevine, there's a lot more than the Drew Thompson mystery heading our way.

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Justified Season 4 Episode 8 Quotes

You want me to pay you not to kill me?


Kiss. My. Ass.