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'Justified: City Primeval' Episode 6 Recap + Predictions: A Major Character's Death Unleashes Chaos

This week's 'Justified' will leave you speechless.

In Episode 6, "Adios," Justified: City Primeval proves its mettle. The stylish series has entered much darker territory with the shocking death of a central character. And for a show that usually favors the contemplative over the propulsive, the murder has thrown the remaining two episodes of the season into chaos. Directed by Sylvain White (Fargo), with a crackling script from original Justified veterans Taylor Elmore and V.J. Boyd, this week's installment puts Timothy Olyphant's Raylan Givens firmly on the back foot after a botched sting operation turns out to be child's play for Boyd Holbrook's Clement Mansell. From insane stories about deadly twisters and stupid alt-rock covers, the Oklahoma Wildman has come into his own as an often funny, increasingly brilliant Justified villain. He's no Boyd Crowder, but he works as a foil to this older, more sedate version of Raylan Givens. Whether the marshal will take the bait remains a question mark.

Here's a rundown of all the twists and turns you might have missed in Justified: City Primeval Episode 6, followed by some educated guesswork about who's pulling the strings and how it all might play out. Hint: Sandy Stanton has more power than she knows. 

Warning: Spoilers ahead for Justified: City Primeval Episode 6.

Burt Hires a Thief to Steal Back His Painting

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Episode 6 opens with Raylan in bed staring up at the fire alarm, foreshadowing the episode's explosive ending. The original Justified never really showed us Raylan's much-touted sleepless nights, but City Primeval routinely digs into smaller character moments like this. Carolyn (Aunjanue Ellis) knocks on his door with a lead: She'll tell Raylan exactly how Judge Guy's little black book "puts the pieces together" if she can trust him to know the difference between what's legal and what's just. Fine line between the two, and Raylan's always walked it like a tightrope. Has he changed since he illegally shot Tommy Bucks in the 2010 Justified series premiere? We'll find out. 

Apparent art fanatic Burt Dickey (the always-excellent David Cross) wants his Stanley Garlick painting back. He hires a former goon (who stole from him) named Lonny (Golden Globe nominee Kevin Anderson) to steal the painting back from Mansell, with nothing but a surveillance photo of Sweety and Mansell to go off of. 

Speak of the devil, Sweety (Vondie Curtis Hall) and Mansell (Boyd Holbrook) are shaking down a new mark on the roof of a car park. When he shorts them $3k, Mansell chases the man down on foot. The poor guy jumps off the roof to his death, according to Mansell. (Later in the episode, Mansell tells Sweety the man was "provoking" him. So he could've thrown him off the roof. We'll never know.)

Raylan Sets a Trap for Mansell

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Carolyn told Raylan about Sweety and Mansell's blackmail scheme. He takes the information to Maureen (Hell or High Water's Marin Ireland), and she instantly clocks that Carolyn is his source — and his paramour. Carolyn (evidently a very slick operator) also divulged that her rival for the judge's seat, the high-powered prosecutor Diane (Golden Globe winner Regina Taylor), is in the judge's book. 

Armed with proof that Diane and Judge Guy accepted bribes to cover up unlawful police shootings, Raylan and Maureen offer Diane immunity if she helps trap Mansell. She agrees, and they listen in as she calls Sweety offering $30k in exchange for having her page of the book torn out. They agree to meet later that day. When Burt's hired thief Lonny shows up at the bar looking for Mansell and the painting, Sweety concocts a plan. He hires Lonny to kill Mansell at the meeting with Diane. 

Sweety's plan is working out swimmingly—Mansell will meet Diane alone later that day, where Lonny will take him out—until Carolyn informs him of the sting operation. He calls Lonny (presumably to call off the hit), but he doesn't pick up. Meanwhile, Sandy (Adelaide Clemens) takes the painting to a gallery to sell it. 

Mansell Kills Sweety

Chuck Hodes/FX

Raylan, Maureen and Wendell (Victor Williams) are posted up outside the meeting place when Mansell shows up to make the exchange with Diane. They arrest him, but he's not in possession of the book or even a weapon. He walks free, offering once more to duel it out with Raylan. "I never seen anybody get so lucky so much," Raylan tells Wendell. "I'm feeling like I do when I'm being played a fool." He thinks Mansell has friends in high places — maybe even in Detroit PD.

Lonny heads to Sweety's to tell him he bailed when Detroit PD showed up. Just then, Mansell enters and shoots Lonny in the head. "You of all people I didn't think I had to watch my back with," he tells Sweety, who finds that Mansell's gun is no longer in its hiding place behind the jukebox. Mansell plays Sweety his ridiculous cover of "Seven Nation Army" and shoots him square in the heart. Then he lights the bar on fire, and Sweety's partner Trennell (Boardwalk Empire's Joseph Anthony Byrd) spots the blaze from across the street.

Questions and Predictions

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  • How did Mansell know he was walking into a trap? Maybe he simply saw through Sweety's shtick, recognized Lonny from the sting and guessed at where Sweety was hiding his murder weapon. Maybe (as Raylan thinks) he's in bed with a Detroit power player or the police. Or maybe Carolyn warned him. She's definitely hiding something (Does Mansell have dirt on her and her ex-husband?), but the question is: When she learns that Mansell killed Sweety, will she continue to protect her client? If so, in exchange for what? We know she wants that judge's seat, so maybe she'll take Sweety's place as Mansell's partner in the blackmail scheme.
  • If there's a crooked cop on the force, who is it? Maureen only put Raylan, Wendell and Bryl on the sting operation. Given that Bryl is on medical leave, it's more likely Wendell is the double agent.
  • How much money does Mansell have? With Sweety out of the picture, Mansell's take doubled from $11k to $22k. If Mansell was telling Sandy the truth about his goal post (another $20k and they're out), they'll escape to Aruba when they have $31k. But if he planned on cutting out Sweety all along, then it could be $42k he's aiming for.
  • Prediction: Trennell will be Mansell's downfall. Sweety's longtime partner will tell Detroit PD about Lonny, which will lead them to Burt and the stolen painting. If they catch Mansell in possession of the painting, they could charge him with blackmail...maybe? But if Sandy (the queen of dumb luck) sells the painting before the cops can find it on Mansell, then he walks. Again. 

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