The hunt to find Drew Thompson (Jim Beaver) aka Sheriff Shelby enters its second stage as Justified powers towards its fourth season finale. The big difference is that now Drew and Ellen May (Abby Miller) are both in the mix. And an old favourite is back on the scene to add to the chaos.
Let’s bitch it out…
If last week’s episode could have been subtitlted “Who’s Drew?”, then ‘Get Drew’ is the perfect title for this week. All directions point to Noble’s Holla as the Marshals block off Drew and Ellen May’s Plan A and Plan B escape plans, prompting an ill-advised detour to bad-situation profiteer, Limehouse (Mykelti Williams). It’s been a long time since we’ve seen the cutthroat, pig-slaying villain and it seems that his adventures as 50% of S3’s Big Bad have hurt his wallet. Before you can say “Told ya so” Limehouse has already sold out the pair to Boyd (Walton Goggins) and his crew, including Ava (Joelle Carter) who worries more about what will come tumbling out of poor Ellen May’s mouth than she does about the aging jailbird.
But fortune’s are being made and broken on Drew Thompson, and ultimately Ava prioritizes her future and the future of baby Crowders in the white picket house in the burbs. Sure it earns spit on her face (who knew Ellen May was a spitter?), but at the end of the day the former Sheriff is worth $500 grand to Theo Tonin and his goon squad and so he gets priority over the floozy ho.
Let’s get real: it’s not like Ava and Boyd are the only ones with dollar signs in their eyes. With three episodes left in S4, Drew is suddenly the most important character and everyone has hitched their ride to his fortunes (or lack thereof, as the case may be). If Raylan (Timothy Olyphant) can capture him, it more-or-less guarantees him carte-blanche (and possibly a promotion to boss around Erica Tazel’s Rachel). Johnny (David Meunier), meanwhile, needs to deliver Drew to the Tonin’s before Boyd in order to leap-frog over his resourceful cousin. Hell, even Colt (Ron Eldard) needs to safely deliver Drew to Nicky Augustine (Mike O’Malley) in order to redeem himself for the whole Ellen May debacle.
In short: Drew is the man. And in many ways my disappointment at the reveal that Drew and Shelby are one and the same is offset by the fact that he’s really more of a MacGuffin. No offense to Jim Beaver, but at this point it’s really more about what Drew is doing to people that’s driving this story forward.
The end of ‘Get Drew’ is hardly a surprise. There’s never any doubt that Raylan and Art (Nick Searcy) will save Drew before Nicky Augustine can whisk him away to Detroit for a slow, torturous death (there are 3 episodes left, after all!). The promo for next week suggests that the show is mining new genre territory as Raylan and the Marshals re-enact Attack on Precinct 13 in an attempt to get Drew safely out of Harlan County. Should be gripping!
- What’s more shocking: the fact that despite an assassination attempt, Ellen May still hugs Ava, or the Madame’s shocked expression when she does?
- The roadblock scene when Rachel tries to get Raylan to wait with her in the car? Comedic gold. Rachel should threaten to sing showtunes every week! Justified is a seriously witty show, but this may have been one of the most laugh-out-loud episodes to date
- We knew that Drew and Ellen May wouldn’t make it far, but with her driving and him in the backseat, can we at least agree that these two are cute together? Part of me really wished the two could make a daring escape and get their happy ending in Mexico. Alas Justified isn’t that kind of show, is it?
- With Drew in custody, the bad guys are scrambling: Wynn Duffy (Jere Burns) is preparing to run to either Canada or Mexico with his henchman (boyfriend?) and Boyd and Ava are in serious financial trouble. We know Boyd’s desperation will have him attack Raylan’s caravan next week, but what will become of Wynn?
- How outrageous is Johnny’s confessional rant to Raylan? It’s hard to believe that these two have never met! All I could think of as Johnny goes on and on about how terribly he’s been treated by Boyd is that this conflict will come to a head – explosively – in short order. My money is now on Johnny as the first big S4 casualty
- Finally, how did everyone feel about Boyd and Ava handling the news of Arlo’s death? In many ways this feels very understated, though I did like that Boyd and Ava didn’t know until Drew outright tells them. It feels appropriate that Raylan isn’t the one to do it and that Boyd and Ava wouldn’t know because they’ve been busy, but the non-reactions are bizarre, are they not?
- Boyd (insinuating Raylan should have become a criminal): “You’d still be able to shoot people and be an asshole. Your two favourite activities”
- Rachel (on Ellen May’s “whore’s panties”): “By the way I have those same panties.”
- Raylan (elaborating on his feelings towards brothels): “As much as I don’t consider myself the type, I have become a frequenter of this particular whorehouse.”
- Drew (to Boyd): “I think maybe you didn’t know your daddy.” Understatement!
What did you think of Drew and Ellen May’s escape attempt? Were you happy to see Limehouse again? Do you really think Wynn will run? And what will desperation do to these various already-on-edge characters? Spin your theories in the comments below
Justified airs Tuesdays at 10pm EST on FX