SPOILER WARNING: This post will appear following a new episode of Justified. It is intended to be read after seeing the show’s latest installment as a source of recap and analysis. As such, all aspects of the series up to and including the episode discussed are fair game.
“Get Drew” is one of those episodes with a very literal title. When it begins, the word is out on Drew Thompson’s identity, and everyone’s scrambling to find him. It ends with Drew in the Marshals’ custody. Generally, that’d put an end to the chase. Generally putting the cuffs on the bad guy means the game is over, the Marshals won. But not this time, not with Drew Thompson. That’s why when the Marshals start to celebrate, Raylan remarks that, “we’re standing in a field, we haven’t done shit.” Next week’s episode will likely be very similar to this one, only now the criminal element will be scrambling to “get Drew” via the Marshals, who will be doing their damndest to “get out of Harlan alive.” Art’s speech on how “awesome” Drew is reinforces why his being in the law’s custody isn’t near enough to make Theo Tonin give up the chase:
First thing we’re gonna do is acknowledge that this guy is awesome. I mean he shoots Theo Tonin, fakes his own death in a spectacular fashion, pushes a guy out of an airplane while he’s flying it, parachutes into Harlan County with enough coke and cash to jumpstart the economy of a small country, and then he has the balls to get a job in law enforcement not once but two times, he spends a couple days riding around with you while you’re looking for him, and now he’s run off with a hooker that’s half his age. That’s some badass shit.
The thing is, the Marshals may not be the only ones trying to get to safety. When Wynn Duffy hears that the Marshals have Drew, he immediately prepares to run to Canada, which his extraordinarily uninformed henchman calls, “running like a little bitch.” The Crowders have been placed in a similar position. Theo may see them as having failed him and want them taken out both as a consolation prize and a small distraction until he can get to Drew. The Crowders and the Marshals now have a common enemy scarier than both of them put together. I foresee a temporary alliance so they can all escape with their lives. But that’s next week.
The major focal point of last week’s episode, “The Hatchet Tour,” as well as my discussion of it was the way Harlan’s past influences its present. We can see the way each and every Harlanite allows their fate to be determined by the actions of their parents and grandparents. That theme continued in “Get Drew.”
Early on, Boyd tells Raylan that he chose to work on the wrong side of the law. Ironically enough, he’s in cuffs when he says, “You know what your problem is, Raylan? You should’ve been an outlaw. This job has too much paperwork for a man like you. Too many rules and regulations. You should’ve been on the other side, with me and your daddy. Oh, you’d still be able to shoot people, and be an asshole, your two favorite activities. Except you’d be a rich asshole.” Raylan’s response is that he’d more likely be dead or in jail, although Boyd says he’s “doing just fine.” Rather than point out that Boyd’s wearing fucking handcuffs, Raylan instead asks, “How ’bout Arlo?” Boyd doesn’t hear about Arlo’s passing until later, so he thinks Raylan is talking about incarceration.
It’s interesting to note, however, that Raylan’s rationale for becoming a lawman rather than a criminal does not come from any moral standing or desire to do good. Rather, it’s an almost instinctual reaction: He hated Arlo, despite having a lot more in common with him than a last name, so he decided to do the opposite of what his daddy did. Even though Raylan became a Marshal in an effort to not turn into Arlo, the man still had a huge influence on perhaps the biggest decision of his life to date.
Boyd had a similarly contentious relationship with his own father. Though he became an outlaw, he commanded his own gang and worked against Bo’s interests. Although they grew to be enemies, Boyd’s current motivation is identical to his father’s: the proliferation and improvement of the lives of the Crowder clan. Recall that Boyd and Ava’s goal is to make enough money (and get set up with enough Dairy Queen franchises) to allow their family to be legitimately and independently wealthy in three generations.
Just before Boyd turns Shelby over to Colton and Johnny, who in turn will hand him over to top Tonin henchman Nick Augustine, the former Sheriff makes one last plea to Boyd’s sense of continuing family tradition. He says, “That cocaine I brought to Harlan, that made your people, Boyd. Pulled ‘em out of trailers, put’em in houses. Put food on your table, presents under your tree. That’s why your daddy protected me all those years no matter what befell him. But I wonder, after all he went through, what he’d think of you handing me over to be tortured and killed.” Boyd retorts that under the circumstances, Bo would understand just fine, to which Shelby responds, “I think maybe you didn’t know your daddy.” But Boyd puts an end to it there, because in his mind, he’s simply continuing the family tradition of using Shelby for their own benefit: “Now if it’s any solace during this difficult moment, know that your sacrifice will be providing for the next generation of the Crowder family.”
Meanwhile, Ellen May remains in the hands of Limehouse, who changed the terms of the deal he made with Boyd. Way back when I discussed ”Truth and Consequences,” the season’s third episode, I remarked that all of Justified’s major players had gotten into the Drew Thompson game, with one exception: Limehouse. Here we are, seven weeks later, and the “banker” from Noble’s Holler has finally returned. That’s where we leave things heading towards next week’s installment, “Decoy.” Tonin and Augstine are sure to be on the warpath, ready to blow through anyone, be they Crowders or Marshals, to get to the man who was Drew Thompson. But don’t count out anyone in Harlan who still has a pulse, be it Wynn Duffy, Eve Munro, or Ellen May and Limehouse. The Marshals may have figured out who Drew Thompson is, they may have him in custody, but there’s still plenty of time on the clock.
Tags: Arlo Givens, Art Mullen, Ava Crowder, Boyd Crowder, Brent Sexton, Colton Rose, Ellen May, Elmore Leonard, Erica Tazel, Hunter Mosley, Jere Burns, Joelle Carter, Johnny Crowder, Justified, Justified Blog, Limehouse, Nate Kreichman, Rachel Brooks, Raylan Givens, Raymond J. Barry, Ron Eldard, Sheriff Shelby, Timothy Olyphant, Walton Goggins