Justified: City Primeval, Episode 5: The end of this episode is almost like a universe collision moment: the original protagonist of the book City Primeval, Raymond Cruz, finally meets Raylan Givens and has a conversation over a pair of drinks. But that is not the only good thing to occur in this episode. True to form for Justified, Raylan is reactionary, and because he is almost like a “fish out of water” in Detroit, his sense of justice isn’t in lockstep with the pragmatism exhibited by the DPD or even the manic nature of Cruz. Plus, we have a spate of crosses and double-crosses and a surprisingly meaty episode for Carolyn Wilder.

Justified: City Primeval, Episode 5 “You Good?” Recap:

Opening with Raylan waking up in bed with someone related to a case he is investigating is par for the course for him. What is new, though, is Raylan acknowledging with Carolyn that this “thing” should not come in the middle of their work equation (“No telling the kids at school,” says Raylan, leaning against the bathroom door with his lean, rakish physique). But it, of course, brings a complication, especially considering Carolyn’s ex-husband Jamal makes an appearance to meet her and is promptly told that he could take a message for her. Jamal chooses to retreat, but not before throwing one of the funniest lines in the episode: “Don’t let this house fool you. This neighborhood can be hazardous to your causality.”

The Detroit Police trying to put all hands on deck and appoint Maureen as the head of the task force to pin down the murderer of Judge Guy seems like an overdue action. Even then, the pragmatism of Detective Wendell Robinson shines through, and as usual, much to the delight of the fans of the show, these two are again paired up together. There is a certain pleasure in watching two cynical, somewhat bent cops think about how to game the system to catch the killer, but they are unable to bring them in by lawful means. However, as Wendell states, the case might never be solved, but unsurprisingly, Raylan cannot accept that. I mean, look at his history. He managed to solve the mystery and identity of Drew Thompson in Season 4 of Justified. Hunting a killer and having to search for evidence might take just a bit of work, which is why he decides to go back to the source—the detective who had previously arrested Clement Mansell, Raymond Cruz. Both Wendell and Raylan, however, apparently meet a dead end when they go to Cruz’s last known address and are berated by his ex-wife, who had opened the door thinking that Wendell had brought news of Cruz’s death. If that is not cynicism or the Detroit way of life, what is?

Speaking of the Detroit way of life, Clement Mansell now seeks the high life of Detroit. To that end, he partners up with Sweety to decode Judge Guy’s book. The show bafflingly doesn’t divulge the details of what exactly Guy has against all the big sharks in the societal pool of Detroit, but the names are recognizable enough for Sweety to try to call one of them, bulldozer Bert, and agree to meet at his home. While outside his home, Sweety and Clement have one of those innocuous conversations that, on the surface, feel nothing more than anecdotal, with Sweety reminiscing the time he met Miles Davis while being invited to a late-night jam session and Davis after the jam session remarking that he has big ears. Both Clement and Sweety having a laugh recalling that event is precisely why those two are unlikely friends, even though Clement can cut off Sweety at any second once he has outlived his usefulness, while Sweety wants to clear off all his debts and let this psychopath loose from his life.

And for Sweety, that story is of a long-lost past already dissolved in the ether, and these are the only moments where he is allowed to reminisce. To that end, the resultant shakedown that occurs between Burt, Clement, and Sweety is very telling of their contrasting personalities. Sweety and Burt both drive a bargain to settle at an amenable amount of $10,000, with Clement noticeably displeased. His eye is on a much larger amount, and if possible, towards a painting of a farmhouse. Clement Mansell doesn’t seem like much of an art connoisseur. Music connoisseur, perhaps, to the extent that he would almost threaten to ask his girlfriend whether she likes his singing voice and be satisfied by her placating statement, “Isn’t it alright if you like your singing voice?” But if you remember the story of Mansell about how his farmhouse had been blown apart by a tornado (back in Episode 3), Mansell chooses to take the paintings by entering Burt’s house in the middle of the night and giving him a proper scare, which does make a twisted amount of sense.

Justified City Primeval Episode 5
A still from Justified: City Primeval Episode 5

On the other hand, Carolyn’s past and her extenuating circumstances run the risk of pulling her too deeply into the operation. And no amount of putting in ground rules to control her attraction towards the tall glass of water that is Deputy US Marshal Raylan Givens would be of any avail. Her trust in the law and its system is not enough as she finds herself out of the running for Judge Guy’s seat, being advised to have the right “friends.” Carolyn’s key problem is that her friend circle usually covers people beyond the law, and thus her effort to call up Sweety’s assistant (or partner?) to ask him to hide Mansell’s gun elsewhere until it is required by Carolyn to present itself. Interesting strategy to extricate both herself and Sweety from the ghost of Clement. Whether it will work is debatable because Carolyn is not as politically savvy as she is emotionally.

Her emotional savviness comes into full force when, while having dinner with Raylan, she is interrupted by her ex-husband, Jamal. As the conversation becomes heated and Jamal threatens to give Raylan a belt-whooping, Raylan too stands up, unafraid to face a challenge, and shows off his US Marshal badge. That would be enough to back Jamal off, but that has the adverse effect of angering Carolyn off and her walking away, leaving the two men with their metaphorical dicks hanging out. (Jamal again has the hilarious dialogue here: “You know the best Chinese restaurants in Detroit are actually in Canada”). But Jamal’s later move when Carolyn comes to meet him, confronting him about their dinner altercation, is what angers her further.

Because Jamal is her ex-husband, it is not unsurprising for Carolyn to have residual feelings for him, and Jamal’s pushy declarations of undying love might have swayed her until she found the handbag of another woman at Jamal’s apartment and, on further exploration, their lingerie. Aunjanue Ellis, during this outburst, completely shows her frustration and rage, her mistakes of the past coming back to bite her and acting as an anchor weighing her down. She finally informs Jamal that she has paid the lien and walks away. We see her go to Sweety and ask about the book, effectively asking to be let in on the plans of Clement and Sweety. It is interesting how the two primary female characters in the story are working in opposite directions: Sandy is planning to run away with the money but is forced to stay because Clement Mansell dreams of becoming the next “king of the hill,” and Carolyn is going after her judge bench after finally finding a target in the book, which contains “the entire city of Detroit.” The writers are taking Carolyn in a much more villainous direction as she further digs the hole she has already found herself in.

Justified: City Primeval, Episode 5 “You Good?” Ending Explained:

For Elmore Leonard fans, this final moment should feel surreal. As Raylan tries to text his daughter to ask how Miami is and gets a stony reply in response, he takes a sip of the drink and is then finally joined at the bar by Raymond Cruz (Paul Calderon). Cruz had been the detective who had originally captured Clement in prison. Another interesting tidbit is that Calderon plays the same character in Steven Soderbergh’s Out of Sight, which is based on another Leonard novel and stars Jennifer Lopez as Karen Sisco. Sisco, on the other hand, was later played by Carla Gugino in a canceled ABC television show. The Gugino version of Sisco appears as AD Karen Goodall in the second episode of the third season of Justified. So we have a nice Elmore Leonard Connected Universe (lest we forget “Jackie Brown,” which also shares a character with Out of Sight in Michael Keaton’s Ray Nicolette).

Cruz and Givens’s interactions are a lot more different than Givens might have expected. Cruz comes off as a far more manic and cynical version of Givens. His story of how he manages to finally kill another longtime criminal might resemble Givens’ killing of Tommy Bucks at the rooftop restaurant in Miami. On the other hand, Raylan’s code, “he pulled first, so it’s Justified,” doesn’t hold water because Cruz pretty nonchalantly explains that the man was bringing out a bottle opener from below the counter when he shot him, and as Cruz explains “he still sleeps like a baby.” The final scene does a good job of highlighting how Raylan’s code is already obsolete, as cops in Detroit are far more tempestuous than he is, and Calderon sells that ambivalence perfectly.

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Justified: City Primeval, Episode 5 Links: IMDbRotten TomatoesWikipedia
Justified: City Primeval, Episode 5 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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