It’s hard to get too excited about Justified: City Primeval Season 1 Episode 5 when it feels like a lot of wheel spinning.
Sure, Raylan and Carolyn get complicated, and Clement and Sweetie start their extortion endeavor together, but the governor’s not the only one wondering why the judge’s murder investigation isn’t progressing.
I appreciate that Carolyn’s not impressed by Raylan and Jamal’s cockfight posturing. Still, if the purpose of piling the pain on her is to push her to use the judge’s notebook to secure her judge appointment, I’m not feeling it.
I’ll allow that trying to put Jamal in her rearview is a challenging process.
It took over a year to clear out his office in their law firm. He’s still collecting alimony. They have A LOT of history together.
So it’s understandable if Carolyn’s conflicted about how surgical she can be cutting him out of her life.
Jamal: Marriage. Law school. Partners.
Jamal: Just a little bump in the road, baby.
Carolyn: At this point, it’s really a whole other street.
Deleting his presence means giving up on the girl and woman she was. That’s a hard thing to leave behind. And an even harder thing to give up on.
I don’t doubt they were a deeply devoted pair. He might’ve even been faithful at some point. She believed in him and them once upon a time.
Raylan: Are we at emotions already?
Carolyn: Ah, let’s keep it at aspirations.
Then, he was part of her vision of the future. Now, he’s just an obstacle.
Carolyn believes she’s a white hat. She intends to be a force for justice and to right the wrongs of society.
Carolyn: See, in my life, everybody has their foot on my neck to get what they want. Fuck them. Fuck them to be so small that they abuse their power. Now, see, I want mine, but I’m going to use my power to do what’s right. I’m going to bang my gavel to set things straight.
Raylan: And you have confidence in the sobriety of your judgment.
Carolyn: Gotta be if I’m going to sit on the bench.
Raylan: You are sitting here with me.
Carolyn: I never said that my judgment wasn’t occasionally impaired.
What we’re meant to believe here is that finding out one friend is gunning for the judgeship, another is getting in deep with her sociopathic client, and going broke for her ex, who is still the cheating dog he’s always been all on the same day is enough to push her into the shadows to achieve her dreams.
Carolyn: The whole city is in this book.
Sweetie: You see somebody could help you?
Carolyn: If there’s a wall in Jericho, it’s about to tumble down.
Using the judge’s book to coerce The Powers That Be to appoint her to the bench damages the pristine foundation of her authority.
She may not be using the intel to extort money like Sweetie and Clement, but she is punching her ticket for the low road.
Interestingly enough, Clement and Sweetie are the only ones to get anything done here.
With guest star David Cross as their moneyed mark, Burt Dickie, they leverage the notebook to the tune of ten thousand dollars. But Clement, being Clement, amps up the pressure for some personal gain on the side.
If the farmhouse painting seems familiar, it’s because it’s reminiscent of the scenario Clement describes to Skender on Justified: City Primeval Season 1 Episode 3 about Sandy and his mother being taken by a tornado.
I’m not totally sure where they’re going with this pastoral farmhouse visual theme. It feels like another random Clement eccentricity.
I’ve commented before he puts out a Joker-like anarchistic vibe. He wants the win but doesn’t want the team. He wants Sandy’s loyalty and Sweetie’s compliance but with conditions.
He’s also very sensitive to how others lean in any given situation.
Clement: You think I got a good singing voice?
Sandy: Baby. Isn’t what matters that you like your singing voice?
Sandy may have become expendable when she didn’t immediately praise his singing voice.
Sweetie’s anecdote about Miles Davis twigs something too. What does it mean to Sweetie? More importantly, what does Clement think it means to Sweetie?
Sweetie: The point was not the money. See if the book worked.
Clement: I’m not saying the point is always the money, okay? But when it comes to extortion, I do think the point is the money.
Trying to read a method into Clement‘s madness may be futile. After all, the randomness of his killing Judge Guy and Rose Doyle in a fit of road rage, serendipitously leading to him finding the notebook, is what’s frustrating Raylan about this case.
Of all the seemingly rambling monologues collected here, Cruz’s recount of his vigilante moment seems most significant to Marshall Givens’s hero’s journey.
Cruz: Look at you, still giving a fuck.
Raylan: I try.
Cruz: You remind me of me, man. When I started out. Except you’re old.
Raylan: I ain’t gonna sleep at night this sonofabitch wins.
Earlier, Robinson sketches out his thoughts on how the Mansell case will end up this time, and Raylan voices his preference for a quick and bullet-forward conclusion.
Robinson: There’s three ways this’ll go. One is God himself sends down a lightning bolt and breaks the case open. Two, this shit drags on and drifts away and all we got to show for it is a peptic ulcer.
Raylan: Three, go find Clement and shoot him
Robinson: I suppose there are four ways. The third way I was thinking – call it a Detroit way, although for sure we don’t hold the patent.
Raylan: Entrapment. Plant a little dope or go all the way and frame the guy up.
Robinson: Yeah. Not my style either.
Sitting down with Cruz, a complete stranger, the two lawmen recognize something in each other.
Raylan’s got a history of justifying some sketchy choices, but Cruz doesn’t even try to justify his shooting. He believes in the outcome, not the law.
Will Raylan take this as a warning or encouragement?
History has shown that Raylan believes in the law, even if he tends to squint a little at its interpretation.
As recently as Justified: City Primeval Season 1 Episode 4, he laid it out clearly for Bryl, which still wasn’t enough to keep the detective from killing the Albanian goon he was meant to cover.
Speaking of Detective Bryl-liant, when the Chief says Bryl is “on ice” for the time being, do we think that’s because he shot and killed a suspect (totally legit, by-the-book police protocol) or because they’re hiding him from the Albanians for his own protection?
In any case, Downey’s not looking keen to be the lead detective on this investigation — and Robinson’s dreaming of a change of scenery.
On the other side of the law, Sandy’s getting pretty wound up, and it doesn’t help when Sweetie nixes an Albanian mark in the book out of sheer fear of being flayed.
Sweetie: Sounds like a walk in the park to me.
Clement: Have you walked in the park lately? It’s full of bums and perverts.
Everyone’s on edge and making tricky choices.
With the danger of invoking our favorite Harlan County explosives expert, this is a powder keg ready to blow. Fire in the hole, my friends.
Question is: who will light the fuse?
It’s morbid, I know, but I can’t help but predict a body count as we careen through the back half of the series toward the finale.
I still think Sweetie’s going to be collateral damage. Trennell could end up in the line of fire too. Sandy’s in a fragile state, and it’s unlikely Skender will be able to protect her.
Will Jamal redeem himself by saving Carolyn? Or Sweetie? Sacrificing himself rather than giving up on fancy shoes?
Not to mention, I imagine a whole lot of Albanian mobsters and Detroit PD will be getting in on the action too.
What about you, Fanatics? You good? Hit our comments with your predictions!
Diana Keng is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She is a lifelong fan of smart sci-fi and fantasy media, an upstanding citizen of the United Federation of Planets, and a supporter of AFC Richmond ’til she dies. Her guilty pleasures include female-led procedurals, old-school sitcoms, and Bluey. She teaches, knits, and dreams big. Follow her on Twitter.