Justified: City Primeval, Episode 4: Full disclosure: Justified City Primeval couldn’t shake off the “square peg in the round hole syndrome” until episode 3. Until the third episode, the flavour of Justified had been quite less, but it had still been familiar, specifically because of Olyphant’s suave presence. However, what makes Episode 4 so distinctly resemble its mother series is that it finally focuses on the criminals just a bit more, and not just on the primary antagonist, Clement Mansell. The criminals in Justified were either extremely idiosyncratic or, in the case of the criminals appearing in the filler episodes, almost hilariously stupid. Justified excelled in showcasing those moments, with Givens reacting to those events with his usual laconic style, or sometimes the users are granted an unfettered portrayal of stupidity leading to violence. The point is, this episode is the closest the show comes to feeling like the Justified of old.

Justified: City Primeval, Episode 4 Recap:

Episode 4 – Kokomo

Opening immediately from where we left Clement Mansell, he brandishes his gun at Skender in frustration because a “man cave” doesn’t have money. To understand how serious Mansell is, he forces Skender to lie down on the floor and instructs Andy to close the door to his “man cave”, with Skender’s feet at the edge of the door. The door thus comes down on Skender and crushes it.

The unpredictable nature of Clement actually becomes a problem concerning the trouble he begets in the city of Baltimore. Skender is connected to the Albanian mob, and his current “accident” could lead to gang reprisals. But Clement Mansell also knows and has a sharp nose for money, and he knows very well that Judge Guy’s black book is a magnet for money, as well as trouble. The show itself is very vague on what “The Black Book” contains, but whatever it is, it sounds vaguely incendiary in its contents, thus becoming a central MacGuffin that is promising to become a bigger deal for all of the players involved. No wonder Clement hides it in the toaster, which is an interesting spot but perhaps too risky.

Digression aside, Clement and Sandy meet with Sweety, with Clement trying to convince him to help him decode the journal. Sweety, having been burned by the system and by Clement himself, is understandably wary and holds the gun that Clement used to kill him as leverage. But again, Clement is unpredictable and thus unfazed by Sweety’s threat. Instead, Clement convinces Sweety to not snitch on him and instead ally with him. Unbeknownst to Clement, Sweety will later call up Carolyn and inform her about having laid hands on “the key to the city”.

While Carolyn herself is intrigued by the contents of the book, she is understandably worried about Sweety dipping his toes in the shark-infested waters of Clement Mansell’s plans, but Sweety is unfettered. He is frustrated at being denied a payout by the insurance company for the damages caused by the cops, essentially the system, in their investigation, and is now angry enough to get back at the system and manipulate it to his and Carolyn’s ends. He goads Carolyn to follow along with his plans for fulfilling her ambitions of being a judge and points out that the book might be a surefire way of attaining that post. And of course, Sandy too is involved along with Clement in this rigmarole of uneasy alliances, though whether that is due to fear or loyalty is still up in the air or could be attributed to not being developed enough as a character but more dependent on the performance of Adelaide Clements, who knocks it out of the park.

We have dealt with the cons; now we return to the cops and their interactions with the new players in the game, the Albanian mob. The previous episode’s discussion of the mob being extremely insular and limited within a family or a clan is proved here as Raylan finally reaches the hospital where “clumsy Jesus” Skender is being kept. His statement was crucial because the police needed something to lead to Mansell’s arrest so they could imprison him. Surprisingly, Skender chose not to speak to the authorities and claimed that his injury was caused by an accident. Raylan and others realised at that point that Skender was the nephew of the Albanian community’s leader, Toma Kastiot. Raylan, in his own laconic but experienced self, manages to convince the two goons guarding Skender to contact Kastiot for a meeting.

This leads Raylan and Norbert to a meeting with Toma at Venus Adult Day Care. That meeting is the highlight of this whole episode because it is one of those quintessential Justified moments. Toma, with his impeccable command of the English language and his eloquent explanation of why his brand of justice is different from the traditional definition of “justice”, is exactly why Justified worked so well with regard to eloquent villains like Boyd Crowder. And Raylan’s interaction with the man too crackles with energy, especially as both of them share the same sentiment regarding Skender, with Toma not having any particular affection for the man.

A still from Justified: City Primeval, Episode 4.
A still from Justified: City Primeval, Episode 4.

However, the show, in trying to show Norbert as the cop Raylan used to be, produces a character impudent enough to believe that giving Toma the address would solve the problem because the Albanians would effectively solve the problem for them. It is frustrating because the show is partially correct, but the show also knows Raylan as someone who can bend the rulebook but only when he is out of options. His gambit in Season 4 of Justified against Nicky Augustine was because his family had been threatened by the Dixie Mafia. Thus, Raylan’s disapproval of Norbert’s tactics is justified (pun intended) because Raylan’s little tells and his sighs clearly show how much he does not approve of Norbert’s methods. More importantly, this move to let the Albanians effectively run loose around Detroit can put lots of people in danger as collateral damage.

The first stop Raylan makes is at Carolyn’s (who is hilariously meeting the same convict Raylan had arrested and brought to Detroit in the first episode and had to testify at Judge Guy’s court). There, he tries to convince her that she is in danger and that she should be scared, irrespective of his trying to scare her (Timothy Olyphant’s line delivery here is fantastic). She, on the other hand, convinces him to let her do her job, and he does his job and lets the chips fall into place.

Meanwhile, Besnick and Argon, the two goons of Toma, go to threaten Sandy’s boss at the casino where she worked, and they learn her address after threatening to make him Swiss cheese by throwing him from the rooftop parking lot. Arriving at Sandy’s residence, they learn from her flatmate Hina that she had not been home in a while. They tie up her roommate, convince her to call Sandy and manipulate her into coming here. Unfortunately, Sandy is at lunch with Clement, and Clement’s propensity towards having well-cooked steak causes him to have a tiff with the waiter, which delays Sandy from going to her apartment, which has been flooded (her roommate is trying desperately to compel her to come home but fails).

Thus, when Raylan and Norbert garage themselves outside Sandy’s house to wait for Mansell to come, Raylan chooses not to wait and put any more civilians in jeopardy. Thus, Norbert enters from the front, while Raylan climbs in through the back window, interrupting a harrowing moment of Hina’s tooth being forcibly taken out by Argon. As the two goons are at a standstill, Hina angrily tries to get up from her chair and hits Besnick. Argon, in the confusion, runs downstairs and is shot by Norbert. As Besnick tries to run, Raylan just points at him sternly and silently gestures for him to give up. Back on the street, as Besnick cries over the bloody corpse that is Argon, Raylan sees Clement and Sandy drive away, with Clement pointing finger guns at Raylan and Raylan looking back with a wry smile.

Justified: City Primeval, Episode 4 Ending Explained:

When Carolyn finally exits her office to return home, she realises she is being followed. Unable to understand how to throw off her tail, she finally calls Raylan. As both the cars stop below the bridge, Raylan walks up to the Albanians following Carolyn, and in not-so-uncertain terms convinces them to stop this surveillance; otherwise, he would have words with their boss. He then walks back to Carolyn’s car and reassures her that there would be a security detail assigned to her house, even after her protestations, as he turns her own logic against her by stating he is just doing his job.

However, that night, Carolyn looks out of the window and realises that “security detail” essentially meant Raylan Givens surveilling her house alone. She walks to her car with a bottle of Bourbon and two glasses, and they share a drink; two characters, strong-willed, and as Carolyn points out, currently free and unencumbered. Considering Raylan’s track record with women, it is obvious that he would sleep with Carolyn. It follows his track record of sleeping with people associated with the case he is investigating (Ava Crowder), and knowing Carolyn’s alliance with Sweety, Raylan getting into a situationship with Carolyn could only smell trouble.

If not trouble, at least complications. However, compared to the previous episode, City Primeval feels back on track because Raylan Givens himself is more focused. Let’s hope the next episode continues this streak. The episode ends with Sweety at Clement’s or de Weems’ apartment, with the two of them supposedly rekindling their friendship, and Clement christening it with his cover of The Beach Boys’ Kokomo. The only reason why I could think of this song being used is because it shows Clement as a surface-level sort of a music nerd, who could only appreciate his own covers than actual good music.

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Justified: City Primeval, Episode 4 Links: IMDbRotten TomatoesWikipedia
Justified: City Primeval, Episode 4 Cast: Timothy Olyphant, Aunjanue Ellis, Vondie Curtis Hall, Adelaide Clemens, Marin Ireland, Victor Williams, Norbert Leo Butz, Boyd Holbrook
Where to watch Justified: City Primeval

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