'Justified' Episode 9 - 'Hatless' Recap

It happens in every action series. The hero loses his inanimate sidekick.

Det. Sipowicz lost his gun. Thomas Magnum lost his Ferrari (twice). This week, Raylan lost his beloved hat.

However, the entire episode didn't feature Raylan in an hour-long quest to take back his beloved ten-gallon noggin holster. Instead, it offered a very engaging and tense showdown between Raylan and his ex-wife's new squeeze in one corner and some very cold and ruthless mafioso in the other.

Raylan's ex-wife and her new husband have become one of the more frustrating aspects of the show. The episodes haven't focused a whole lot on either of them, except for a couple of scenes that set up some basic exposition so the viewer's brain doesn't go into a tailspin of confusion. Everything up to this episode didn't feel as organic and worthy of our time. This week, that changed.

Raylan's crusade for his hat starts after a couple of local good ol' boys kick his ass in a fight he started at his favorite watering hole. Naturally, he's more than a little upset that Boyd is out and about because of his relationship with Ava and the only thing that can make the pain go away is an impromptu vacation and a few sips of sweet brown medicine called "bourbon."

It set up an interesting dilemma for our hero but it doesn't overtake the episode and it's probably best that it didn't. The show works best when Raylan has something important to do like keeping his ex-wife's husband from getting his face peeled off by angry mob goons.

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