As far as titles go, ‘Get Drew’ is as strangely uncomplicated a title as Justified has come up with. It’s better than, say, ‘Just Drew It,’ ‘Win, Lose or Drew,’ or something along those lines. And, if anything, it points to how pleasantly straightforward season 4 has been in regard to the presentation of the central Drew Thompson mystery (that story’s own intricacies aside).

Meanwhile, to the series’ great credit, the bigger story has been the increasingly compelling notion of Justified‘s central characters’ legacies, and the winding narratives of their various personal and familial histories within the larger context of Harlan that they must deal with on a day-to-day basis.

This, of course, is saying nothing of the even more gripping and well-written aspects of class and the fluctuating socioeconomic standings of those in Harlan County, and how being at one end of the spectrum or another hints at how people like Raylan and Arlo ( or, more specifically, Boyd and Ava) are perceived by others around them.

This is especially true in the beginning of the episode, as Boyd asks Raylan why he chose to ally himself with the badge-wearing folks, instead of choosing a life of crime like he and Arlo did. “You should’ve been an outlaw,” he says, mentioning the absence of paperwork and the lack of “rules and regulations.” But mostly, Boyd believes he has Raylan pegged by telling him he’d “still be able to shoot people and be an a**hole” (Raylan’s “two favorite activities”). The only distinction, according to Boyd, is that Raylan would be a “rich a**hole.”

The idea of perception also informs the viewer of how those around him see a particular character, and whether or not the individual in question agrees with that assessment. For instance, given all the times Raylan has been referred to as being “easy on the eyes” this season, there hasn’t been too much argument in return. But anytime someone figures they see Arlo in him, that’s when we get a reaction – verbal or otherwise – and such things say a lot about what Raylan might like to have more control over.

Similarly, perception is not only what has allowed Shelby/Drew to hide in plain sight for all these years, but it’s also what leads to Art’s hilarious acknowledgement of Shelby’s decades-long trek into awesomeness that ends with he and Raylan agreeing that Drew Thompson is, in fact, pretty “badass.”

But at it’s heart, ‘Get Drew’ is still a manhunt episode, which makes it a bit more exciting than last week’s information drop and it gives us a closer look at the things that make Shelby/Drew tick. Shelby has a considerable head start on the marshals and the state police, but Jim Beaver utters what sounds like his Supernatural catchphrase and soon, Shelby’s undone by his weak spot for the eternally downtrodden, yet bizarrely optimistic Ellen May. A development that alters his schedule means that the only option is to turn to Ellstin Limehouse for help.

At this point, it appears everything is coming up Crowder, as Limehouse finds himself in possession of Drew Thompson and Ellen May. And although Boyd’s dreams of owning a house in Clover Hill go up in smoke, as his briefcase of cash is exchanged for one of the individuals in question, he stands to make it all back, and then some, as soon as Nick Augustine picks Drew up in what looks like to be the magic, detection-proof helicopter from Homeland.

It’s all for naught, however, as Boyd’s plan is undone by Cousin Johnny after he unleashes a petty tirade to Raylan and Rachel about Boyd’s perpetual disinterest in following through with plans that matter to him. Johnny’s betrayal is enough that the marshals arrive with just seconds to spare and Drew’s brush with death leaves him itching to testify.

But the victory is short-lived, however, as the marshals must now conceive of a plan to get out of Harlan alive, while everyone else (i.e., Boyd, Ava and Wynn Duffy) contemplates just how they’ll flee from the wrath of Theo Tonin.

Various Items:

  • Through all his interactions with Boyd, Raylan felt no need to pass the information of Arlo’s demise along. Considering Boyd was the son Arlo never had, this feels like Raylan’s chance to keep Boyd from entering the Givens circle for just a little while longer.
  • There’s a distinct flirtation between Raylan and Rachel in this episode that affords her the opportunity to mention that part of the reason Raylan is even tolerated by others is because of his looks.

Justified continues next week with ‘Decoy’ @10pm on FX. Check out a preview of the episode below: