With Drew Thompson’s identity revealed, the characters of Justified and Harlan County turn their attention to tracking him down in “Get Drew”
The heart of this episode is Drew/Shelby and Ellen Mae. Shelby talks tenderly, happy to let someone into his life and know his identity. Surely an old man getting attention from a young attractive woman helps as well.
Ellen Mae has been loved little in her life, pushed into the darkness at a young age and forced to stand for herself. This is also why she idolizes Ava, a more loved and stronger woman - something Ellen Mae wishes she could be. Ellen Mae and Shelby riding in the car is one of the season’s most memorable shots, the camera lingering on her loneliness.
Mykelti Williamson is fantastic returning as Limehouse, a character who has a large role to play in the future of the show I’m sure, despite his minimal appearances this year. The dilemma Boyd and Ava are forced is well executed, choosing between the money and saving Ava’s skin. Choosing the money surely will come back to haunt them, especially considering they didn’t even get it.
Johnny also made his big play, choosing to send Drew to the Marshalls in return for catching Boyd for tax evasion. But Boyd being emptied out by paying up for Drew without getting Theo Tonin’s money out, leaves Johnny unable to put Boyd away and in a perilous position. Johnny’s scene in the trailer ripping on Boyd’s changing identities and interests is one of David Meuner’s best. Despite his staunch denial that Johnny is acting like “Boyd stole his girlfriend”, I wonder if that implies Johnny wants Ava for himself, perhaps this is his true motivation for locking up Boyd. Johnny’s motivation doesn’t appear to be power lust, but envy and long standing bitterness towards Boyd and what he’s gotten over Johnny.
Colt, Wynne Duffy, Rachel both get great moments in the episode. Colt playing along with Shelby’s attempts to get himself shot out of mercy before snapping out it and laughing at Shelby, further showing his unpredictability. Wynne Duffy aside from unofficially being revealed as homosexual, sells the “I’m going to Canada” scene well. I wonder if this is the last we’ll see of him this season. Rachel’s banter (sexual tension?)with Raylan continues to be enjoyable, finding her place on the show even if the plots don’t include her much. Raylan is Raylan and has his moments, though this episode belongs to the other characters like Drew, Boyd, Ava, Johnny and Ellen Mae, over him.
“Get Drew” is one of the season’s best episodes, an entertainment and action filled episodes with great scenes between Ellen Mae and Shelby, Limehouse’s deal with Boyd and Ava, Johnny’s arc reaching its climax and Justified’s usual brand of sharp quips and charisma. With all the strings coming together, episodes like this help justify how long they spent this season aligning chess pieces.