Justified Season 4 Review “The Hatchet Tour”

Finally we know the identity of Drew Thompson! As I theorized last week, the elusive Thompson has turned out to be good ole Sheriff Shelby. I’m not sure if I’m more self-satisfied to have figured it out (yeah, I know a whole week ahead of time is not that impressive) or more disappointed that I was right. We’ve been on Thompson’s trail all season, but lost the thread of why everyone is so concerned about finding him. It’s become way more about the chase at this point. To bring us back to the bigger story arch, we’ll hopefully get more exposition next week about the Sheriff’s shady past.

Thompson wasn’t the only denouement of the episode. Boyd finally learned that Colt lied about killing Ellen May. Colt’s lie unraveled after Cassie St. Cyr paid a visit to the bar and told Ava she’d been contacted by Ellen May. Deputy Marshal Gutterson also figured out that Colt was behind the murder of his friend, Mark. Gutterson tracked Colt to the church tent and caught him strangling Cassie. For some unknown reason, Gutterson let Colt go at Boyd’s urging. He just caught the guy strangling a woman and brandishing a firearm at a federal Marshal. Those all seem like valid grounds for an arrest. If he’d arrested him, they could’ve run ballistics on the gun and had proof that he killed Mark and the drug dealer. Maybe Gutterson thought he wouldn’t be able to arrest him and would end up in a gun battle. It was just a little disappointing that he rolled over so easily.

It was good that Cassie reemerged since that was a storyline that fizzled instead of exploded at the beginning of the season. But, it’s unclear if her role is pretty much finished. She played up her image of the sweet, devout Christian, but we know from her prior behavior that this is a veneer. But, is she going to take revenge against Boyd or not? Perhaps she ends up causing death or injury to Ava. That would certainly be fair payback for Boyd’s role in her brother’s death. The more Ava and Boyd play house, the slimmer I think Ava’s chances are of making it through the season.

Some of the best moments of the episode came courtesy of Art and Constable Bob. Art was livid when he found out that Mosley, Arlo’s murderer, was released into Raylan’s custody. His ranting through the office was quintessential Art – concerned and aggravated by Raylan. I don’t see retirement for him anytime in the near future. Who else could deal with Raylan? Constable Bob’s shootout was another high moment. It’s just amazing that all three men were such terrible shots. That had to have been a dream scene for Patton Oswalt.

As we near the end of the season, I’m starting to think about where I want the show to go next season. There definitely has not been enough Raylan/Boyd interaction. The banter between those two is so much fun and it’s been rare this season. We haven’t seen a lot of Deputy Marshal Brooks this season, and I’d like to see more of our federal Marshals working together. This season was a good break to shake up the format and take individual character stories in different directions. Next season, though, should be a good opportunity to bring them back together.
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