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'Justified: City Primeval' Episode 5 Recap + Predictions: Raylan's Doomed New Romance

Prayers for Carolyn Wilder.

In its fifth episode, Justified: City Primeval takes a much-needed breather. Last week's shocking violence takes a backseat in favor of more, ahem, intimate concerns in Episode 5, "You Good?" Directed by Kevin Rodney Sullivan (Snowfall), with a bang-up script by Eisa Davis (whose 2009 play Balrusher was a Pulitzer finalist) and Chris Provenzano, this week's Justified sees Timothy Olyphant's Deputy U.S. Marshal in some new and all-too-familiar territory. Between carrying on an ill-advised love affair and missing his daughter, he's confronted with the idea that maybe, just maybe, he should give up the chase and let fate or something else take care of that darn Clement Mansell.

Meanwhile, Mansell and Sweety inaugurate their blackmail scheme with a wonderful guest appearance by funnyman David Cross (Arrested Development). But it's Aunjanue Ellis who steals Episode 5 with a powerful performance of defense attorney Carolyn Wilder's warring ambitions. Come for the man in the hat, and stay to watch an Oscar-nominated actress do what she does best.

Warning: Spoilers ahead for Justified: City Primeval Episode 5.

Raylan and Carolyn Strike Up a Romance

Chuck Hodes/FX

The episode opens in classic Justified fashion with dirty dog Raylan Givens in the bed of one Carolyn Wilder (Aunjanue Ellis), Clement Mansell's defense attorney. They've agreed to a no-strings-attached arrangement. On his way out the door, Raylan runs into Carolyn's ex-husband Jamal (Amin Joseph), who claims he's come to see her about some money.

Sweety (Vondie Curtis Hall) and Mansell (Boyd Holbrook) choose names from Judge Guy's little black book to blackmail. Their first target is Burt Dickey (David Cross of the instantly-recognizable voice), aka "Bulldozer Burt," a high-powered Detroit real estate agent. He "mishandled" his affairs a while back, which landed him in the judge's debt. Sweety demands $30k in exchange for removing Burt's name from the book, but ultimately agrees to a measly $10k, much to Mansell's chagrin. The Oklahoma Wildman takes a shine to a painting in Burt's office that looks eerily similar to that insane mom-sucked-up-by-a-tornado flashback he told Skender about in Episode 3

Meanwhile, Detroit PD is getting pressure from the governor to solve Judge Guy's murder. Maureen (Hell or High Water's Marin Ireland) takes the lead and announces a clean re-start to the investigation. Raylan is predictably tortured that Mansell isn't yet behind bars, but they have nothing solid on the guy. He understands that Judge Guy's little black book is the key to cracking the case, and he figures Mansell took the book when he murdered the man, but why? Did someone pay Mansell to nab the book, or is he really a lone wolf? 

Sandy Wants Out

Chuck Hodes/FX

One thing must be said about Mansell: However stupid his pop-rock covers may be, the guy has a flair for theatrics. He sends a bouquet of flowers to Raylan at the police station. Raylan gives them to Carolyn and takes her out to dinner, where she reads him like a book: He pretends to be hands-off and let the low-lifes incriminate themselves, but really he enjoys having power over people. Carolyn, on the other hand, wants the judge's seat so that she can do right by the community. Jamal crashes their dinner and Carolyn leaves him and Raylan to peacock by themselves.

Now that she and Mansell have a cute $5k to their names, Sandy (Adelaide Clemens) wants to flee the Albanians and hightail it to Aruba. But the judge's book is practically an ATM, and Mansell won't leave town until he's shaken every penny from Detroit's finest. Sandy is obviously questioning whether he's willing and able to protect her at this point. Later that night, Burt Dickey finds Mansell standing in his bedroom. We see Mansell walk out of the house with the painting that reminded him of Oklahoma. Is he sentimental, or?

Carolyn Breaks Bad

Chuck Hodes/FX

Later on, Carolyn goes to Jamal's place to inform him that she paid the tax lien on the house they used to share. She finds another woman's things lying around and warns him that if he's living with someone, he's no longer eligible to receive alimony from her. Fed up with his lies, Carolyn vows to snitch on Jamal if he comes asking her for money again. "I'm done, and I'm broke," she cries. "But I would pay to make sure that you are nothing more than a memory." Desperate for cash and the coveted judge's seat, she heads to Sweety's bar and demands to have a peek at the names in the judge's book, looking for powerful people she could pressure. She's shocked to find just how many Detroit heavies owed Judge Guy. "If there's a wall in Jericho, it's about to tumble down," she tells Sweety. It sounds like Carolyn is going after the entire Detroit establishment. 

Determined to beat Mansell, Raylan meets with Raymond Cruz (TV veteran Paul Calderon, This Is Us), the arresting officer in the so-called Wrecking Crew Killings (we saw a flashback in Episode 2). Raymond doesn't really offer Raylan any advice on catching Mansell, except for an anecdote about shooting a petty criminal who didn't actually have a gun on him. Despite killing an unarmed man, Raymond says he sleeps like a baby. It's meant as a lesson for Raylan, who loses sleep over free-range criminals like Mansell: Learn to let it go. Yeah, no way that's happening. 

Questions and Predictions

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  • How is Jamal a threat to Carolyn? The guy isn't just an annoying, money-grubbing ex. Jamal used to be a partner at Carolyn's law firm, but he was disbarred after "defrauding" the community and Carolyn, we learned in Episode 1. Carolyn somehow covered for him at the time, but Jamal has hinted that she was involved in his white-collar crimes, too.
  • What were the Wrecking Crew Killings? The case that started it all. In 2017, Sweety and Mansell were partners in the so-called Wrecking Crew crime group. They robbed some weed dealers and Mansell unexpectedly shot and killed all the dealers and his own henchman to take all the money for himself and Sweety. (He spared Sweety out of respect for the man's musical talents; Sweety used to play with Miles Davis.) One of the dealers survived the shooting and Mansell was arrested — at which point Sweety hired Carolyn to be Mansell's defense attorney. The end.
  • Prediction: Mansell has a bossAnd it's Boyd Crowder. Just kidding. (But, seriously, Justified: City Primeval could use some of Walton Goggins' effervescent luster.) Why did Mansell drive all the way up to Detroit? Is he working for someone, or did someone tip him off to the treasure that is Judge Guy's little black book in prison? And why did he let Sandy go home with Skender if he planned on going after the judge instead? My head hurts.
  • Prediction: Burt's painting will incriminate Mansell. It would be poetic justice if that little stormy Oklahoma painting connects Mansell to Burt, should something terrible befall the real estate agent. And given David Cross' casting, let's just assume we'll see more of Burt.
  • Prediction: Sandy will sabotage Mansell's plan. Mansell has a blind spot, and it's Sandy's instinct for self-preservation. I could see Sandy unwittingly interfering with Mansell's scheme in order to escape the Albanians.

New episodes of Justified: City Primeval premiere Tuesdays on FX and Hulu.

READ MORE: 11 Shows Like 'Justified: City Primeval' Every Fan Should Binge For More Heroic Lawmen