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'Justified: City Primeval' Episode 7 Recap + Finale Predictions: Who's the Crooked Cop?

A major character twist pits Raylan against Detroit PD.

There's a traitor in Raylan's midst, but, then again, when isn't there? Justified: City Primeval Episode 7, "The Smoking Gun," delivers, big time. In the penultimate episode of the limited series reboot, a standup member of Detroit PD turns out to be a crooked cop, and Raylan Givens recreates his iconic quick-draw scene from the original Justified. Directed by Katrelle Kindred (Snowfall), with a script from showrunners Dave Andron and Michael Dinner, this week's installment is catnip for longtime fans of the franchise. Timothy Olyphant gives his best performance in the limited series so far as Raylan Givens runs out of by-the-book options. Whether he'll dispense with the red tape and deliver frontier justice—Justified's everlasting conflict—is yet to be seen. But his window of opportunity is closing, and the man who shot Tommy Bucks in the Justified series premiere may not be so reformed after all.

Here's a rundown of all the crucial Episode 7 details you might have missed, plus some (admittedly wild) theories about how next week's series finale might shake out.

Warning: Spoilers ahead for Justified: City Primeval Episode 7.

Mansell's Murder Weapon Turns Up

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The episode opens with a flashback to 1988. Sweety (Vondie Curtis Hall) is playing a jazz club as a pigtailed young Carolyn (Zahra Kadence Dowd) watches from the wings. After her father's death, Sweety stepped in to help take care of her. We cut to the present, where a devastated Carolyn (King Richard's Aunjanue Ellis) watches Sweety's body being hauled away from the bar. "He was a chump," she cries. At his apartment across the street, Sweety's partner Trennell (Boardwalk Empire's Joseph Anthony Byrd) hands Mansell's murder weapon over to Raylan. (Trennell is the one who removed the gun from Sweety's hiding place inside the jukebox, not Mansell. If he hadn't removed it, Sweety might still be alive.) Raylan brings the gun to Maureen (Hell or High Water's Marin Ireland) to check ballistics. 

At the penthouse, Mansell (Boyd Holbrook) is angry at Sandy (Adelaide Clemens) for selling the Stanley Garlick painting. When Mansell leaves, Raylan arrives and tells Sandy he has the murder weapon. But she refuses to testify against Mansell. If he walks, she'd be a dead woman. When she learns that Mansell killed Sweety, though, she's visibly upset — if not ready to flip just yet. "I feel like I'm in big trouble," she says. 

A grieving Carolyn finds Mansell eating cookies at her kitchen table. He tells her a variation of that insane tornado story he told Skender in Episode 3: Disgusted at his mother for bringing home a stream of no-good boyfriends, Mansell shot her and buried her in an unmarked grave. "Or that story's just bull—, tornado carried her away," he adds. What? Either he killed his mother, or a tornado did. The former seems more likely, but I have a feeling we'll find out more in next week's finale. Carolyn refuses to be his attorney any longer, and he choke-slams her and threatens to return. That night, Carolyn gives Raylan an idea: "You have the murder weapon," she says. "How you gonna put Mansell's prints on it?"

Maureen Is a Dirty Cop

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Looking for an out, Sandy goes to Skender's (Alexander Pobutsky, Daisy Jones & The Six) hospital room and apologizes for, you know, crippling him. She asks him to run away with her. "You are a dead woman," he says, immune to her charms. Back at the penthouse, she's packing her getaway bags when Mansell returns. Playing him like she does any other mark, she begs to hear his stupid cover music and he's elated. The next morning, Mansell wakes to find Sandy and his money long gone. Oh, and the penthouse's actual owner Del (Barry's Andy Carey), finally returns. 

The next day, Raylan learns just how deep the corruption at Detroit PD runs. Maureen has arrested Darryl Woods (The Bear's Corey Hendrix) for the murder of Judge Guy and Rose. (Darryl was the drifter who was high on PCP when he stumbled across Rose's dead body.) He's completely innocent, but Maureen planted Mansell's gun on him in order to close the case quickly, get a win or shield Mansell. (More on Maureen's motivations later.) Raylan confronts Maureen in the hallway, asking if she's protecting Mansell because her name is in the judge's book. "We appreciate all you've done here, Marshal," she responds coolly. "You can go ahead and get back down to Florida, see that little girl of yours." 

Sandy is at the airport, ready to board her freedom flight to the Bahamas, when Mansell calls. If she doesn't return with his money, he's going to kill Del and come looking for her. Meanwhile, Raylan is sitting in his car steaming when Detective Bryl (Norbert Leo Butz, The Girl From Plainville) knocks on his window. He stole Mansell's gun from the evidence room and gives it back to Raylan. Bryl's philosophy? Putting seasoned criminals away for other crimes they didn't actually commit is totally fine, but Maureen is setting up an innocent man simply to close the case: "I never sent some poor devil up the river I know didn't do it just to get a win." 

Raylan and Mansell Square Off

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Mansell's phone call evidently scared Sandy straight; next we see her, she's working with Raylan. He listens in as Sandy arranges a meeting with Mansell. Wise to the setup, Mansell shoots and kills Del in the penthouse. Meanwhile, Carolyn goes rogue (again). Raylan gives her the details of his meeting with Mansell, and we see her in Toma Costia's (Billions' Terry Kinney) office. She tells the Albanian mob boss about the meeting. He wants Mansell dead, she wants Mansell dead - it's a win-win, and Raylan's lawman stuff is getting in the way of true justice. 

Raylan waltzes into the meeting with Mansell's gun and recreates his standoff with Tommy Bucks. In the 2010 Justified series premiere, Raylan challenged the outlaw Bucks (played by prolific character actor Peter Greene, Pulp Fiction) to a quick-draw at a rooftop pool in Miami. Bucks drew on him, and Raylan shot him dead. Here in Detroit, he offers Mansell the murder weapon and a choice: Mansell always wanted to go toe-to-toe with Raylan, but his prints will be on the gun if he grabs it. "You sign a confession, we come up in court, you say it was 'under duress' or 'coercion' or some chicken— thing," Raylan says. "This is fair, isn't it?" Mansell is tempted, but Toma Costia and the Albanian mob show up and take Raylan and Mansell for a car ride. Toma pulls off and chucks the murder weapon off a bridge, destroying the only real evidence Raylan has against Mansell. 

Questions and Predictions

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Next week's series finale will see Raylan go up against Detroit PD, the Albanian mob and, by extension, Carolyn in order to bring Mansell to justice. How will it all shake out? We have some thoughts.

  • Is Maureen in league with Mansell, or does she just want to close the case? This is a tough one. Bryl seems to think Maureen is simply looking for a win. She was just promoted to case lead, and we know she's a chronically exhausted mother who could use the pay bump. On the other hand, Judge Guy warned Detroit PD in the series premiere that their "bosses" wouldn't want his little black book coming to light. No doubt, any wrongdoing at the station would implicate Maureen as well.
  • So who's Mansell's boss? Why did the Oklahoma Wildman drive up to Detroit? How did he know about Judge Guy's book? It only makes sense if Mansell has protection from a Detroit higher-up. But who? For the record, we have no idea.
  • What's Carolyn's next move? If Raylan foils her scheme to have the Albanians take out Mansell, Carolyn is back to square one. That being said, we don't know what her plan was for Detroit domination. Remember, she's seen Judge Guy's book. She vowed to blackmail the necessary players in order to secure the judge's seat for herself. How far will she go to take power? Would she make a Faustian bargain with Mansell, even after Sweety's death?
  • Prediction: Toma Costia might spare Mansell's life in exchange for the judge's book. Just gonna leave this one here...
  • Prediction: It's not going to go Raylan's way. Justified: City Primeval is preoccupied with Raylan's competing impulses to do things "the right way" and take matters into his own hands. So far, he hasn't achieved either with Clement Mansell. The law is crooked, and the Albanians interrupted the quick-draw. I could see Raylan letting the Albanians (or Sandy) kill Mansell and handing over the judge's book to Carolyn for her own exploits. In his eyes, that outcome may be, ahem, justified.
  • Prediction: Sandy will make out with Mansell's money. If Mansell dies, there's no need for Sandy to go into Witness Protection, either. She'll be off to Aruba with her $22k in no time. And, honestly? Good for her.

The series finale of Justified: City Primeval airs Tuesday, August 29 on FX and next-day on Hulu.

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