I don’t know what kind of crossover there is between these recaps and the American Horror Story recaps, but back during the last season — which dealt with, among other things, a killer of women named Bloody Face — there was a big reveal of who this serial killer was, and I ended up being really surprised, mostly because I had forgotten that I was supposed to be guessing the real identity of the killer all along. It turned out that all the readers had figured it out weeks before. Cut to last week, in the Justified comments, when everybody had all come to the decision that Shelby was obviously Drew Thompson, and I once again realized that this was a parlor game that I should’ve been playing all season. This episode ends that particular game and gets us good and set up for the end run of the season.
Shelby’s reveal comes while Raylan is dealing with a whole lot of tiresome Clover Hill nonsense, and I’m starting to wonder if the characterization of the Clover Hill Swells is as consistent, week-to-week, as it could get. They’re hedonistic swingers. They’re all-powerful influence-brokers. They’re somehow up on all the developments down in the holler despite having been invisible for three seasons. They seem a little convenient, is all. This week, I get it, their backs are against the wall, they think they’re being hunted, so they’re obviously going to be a bit trigger happy when Constable Bob (another fairly convenient character) comes by to herald Raylan’s imminent arrival.
Raylan’s late, because Hunter has basically been an Adventures in Babysitting subplot come to life. Raylan finessed his way into taking Hunter for transport to Leoville prison, and when Art finds out what’s happened, he is pissed. And not just the usual Art being grumpy because Raylan’s playing by his own rules pissed. Art is APOPLECTIC about the situation, mostly because he really doesn’t trust that Raylan’s not going to murder the man who murdered his father. But Despite a flash or two of anger, Raylan really means Hunter no harm. All he wants is for the man to take the deal he’s STILL offering, to give up Drew Thompson’s identity in exchange for cushier prison accommodations. But Hunter won’t do it. Hunter would rather throw himself in front of a tanker truck than talk to Raylan. That is … extreme. Raylan tries everything, including taking Hunter to Wynn Duffy and hoping that’ll scare him. It doesn’t, and neither does the near-certainty that the Dixie Mafia will send someone into Leoville to kill him sooner or later.
Of course, then Shelby joins them and the vibe gets very different. Raylan had previously brought up a dispute between his father and next-door neighbors he had as a child, and how his late mother proposed a sit-down solution. Both Shelby and Hunter remember the old days enough to set Raylan straight: that it was Arlo sticking up for his mom. This is mostly just character-mapping stuff, but that talk — as well as an aside from Hunter that once again brings up his blood feud with the Crowder family — is a reminder about how far back ties in Harlan go. Which then goes a long way toward explaining things when Raylan heads up to deal with the Swells, and Shelby (revealing himself to those of us at home as Drew Thompson) hands Hunter the keys to his cuffs and thanks him for keeping his secret. Shelby took the fall for Hunter way back when, and Hunter’s loyalty was total.
Meantime, Boyd’s interrogations into the whereabouts of ol’ Drew are interrupted by Colton Rhodes officially unspooling. When Cassie makes her return, conspicuously mentioning to Ava that Ellen May came calling on her but two days ago, the newly affianced Crowders start to freak out. That Johnny is eventually the one to tell them that Colt’s been hunting for a very-much-not-dead Ellen May is an embarrassing moment for Boyd. This is a guy who’s used to running his own ship and knowing everything that’s going on. To find out that Colt fucked up, and that Johnny knew but he didn’t, is a blow. Colt now thinks that Cassie’s the one who’s been cyberbullying him, so he goes to threaten HER. Only our boyfriend Tim makes the save (he’s been tailing Colt ever since learning about Mark’s death), and then when those two end up in a standoff, it’s Boyd who brokers a bloodless peace. Colt finally comes clean to Boyd, though only when he absolutely has no other option. Boyd’s horrified not only that Ellen May’s been alive all this time, but that Colt was stupid enough to go to Shelby about it. His incredibly motivated enemy, Shelby. Boyd goes to apply his own preferred solution to the Shelby problem, but when he arrives at Shelby’s place, it’s crawling with federal officers. Boyd realizes they’re all there because Shelby is Drew Thompson. So the secret is well out. Now the hunt is on.
The Life and Times of Tim
Big week for Tim fans, as he got to stare down Colt, save Cassie, and then get a little flirty with our favorite opportunistic revivalist. I don’t trust Cassie one bit — she was absolutely up to something more when she went to see Ava about Ellen May — but why shouldn’t Tim have an ill-advised romantic subplot like everybody else?
This Week in Physical Intimidation
While it’s true that Raylan beats on Hunter pretty good after the attempted suicide-by-tanker, the most effective — and entertaining — bit of abuse came at Wynn Duffy’s trailer, when Raylan had Hunter tied to a chair and, when displeased, gave him the slightest little kick to the shoulder, sending him toppling backward. So casual. Such a dick move. Praying someone out there GIFs it.
House Hunters Intranational
Loved Boyd and Ava looking at fancy Clover Hill houses. The revelation that Ava’s mom used to clean the very house they were touring was a nice detail, as were Boyd’s plans to decorate the space with a wide-screen TV and his daddy’s fourteen-point buck. And it is always satisfying when a snooty realtor tries to play the “maybe there are better houses for you downmarket” card, only to get told where she can stick it.
Delayed Line of the Week
Constable Bob was not in his best form this week, but you have to give him points for thinking of “You go play ASSHOLE in the mirror, Lee.” Even if he was too late to deploy it effectively.
Cool Guy of the Week
That award would have to go to Raylan, who ends up being real nice to Hunter, you know, considering everything. He basically tells him not to sweat killing Arlo, hurtling into a sarcastic — if sad and pretty telling — monologue about how his last meeting with his dad didn’t go: “We had a nice visit before he passed. Told me that he loved me and that I was a good boy. Said he was sorry for all the times he was a dick, that he would miss seeing me grow up, but that he’d be watching over me every day.”