Justified: City Primeval Episode 5 Recap — “You Good?” Is Always a Question

Clement wears sunglasses as he sits in a car with Sweety in Justified: City Primeval Episode 5, "You Good?"
CR: Chuck Hodes/FX

The following recap contains spoilers for Justified: City Primeval Episode 5, “You Good?” (written by Eisa Davis & Chris Provenzano and directed by Kevin Rodney Sullivan).

Editor’s Note: This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, the series being covered here wouldn’t exist.

The Albanian threat slips into the background in Justified: City Primeval Episode 5, and frankly no one seems sufficiently worried about it except for Sandy (Adelaide Clemens). Raylan (Timothy Olyphant) spent the night with Carolyn (Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor), in her bed, but I guess his car outside kept the mobsters from trying anything. Clement (Boyd Holbrook) basically tells Sandy to shush whenever she mentions the threat, and is focused on doing new crimes.

Sandy, Clement and Sweety sit at a table in a diner
CR: Chuck Hodes/FX

I’m sure we’ll see more of the Albanians down the line, but “You Good?” focuses on Carolyn deciding to cross ethical lines and Raylan contemplating doing the same. For her this means being willing to engage in a little blackmail to get what she wants (a seat on the bench as a judge), while for Raylan it’s a question of what he’s willing to do to stop Clement.

Carolyn has had it with Jamal (Amin Joseph), who re-enters the story here in Episode 5 to be jealous of her fling with Raylan. But we further learn that she’s paid what should have been Jamal’s debt and that this has left her broke. But she’s willing to pay for him to become nothing more than a memory.

Carolyn and Sweety talk standing on the street
CR: Chuck Hodes/FX

Clement and Sweety (Vondie Curtis-Hall) have begun using Judge Guy’s little black book to extort people. I do wish that we’d been given a little more information on what exactly is in this book that is so incriminating. Perhaps it is mostly the presence of one’s name in this book, given what it is, that lands as an effective threat. Either way, Burt Dickey (David Cross) is willing to pay thousands of dollars for the slip of paper with his name on it.

Clement doesn’t think they got enough, so he goes back to accost Burt in the middle of the night and leaves with the painting he’d pointed out earlier. I wonder if this is an overreach on his part, or to what extent it is. I’m sure Sweety won’t be happy about it, if he learns what Mansell did, but I also can’t help but think we’ll see Burt again, if for no other reason than that they got David Cross to play him.

The cops are all frustrated because while they know that Clement is guilty, they don’t have the evidence they’d need to convict him. This leds Raylan to seek out Raymond Cruz (Paul Calderon), who arrested Mansell back in 2017 but has since left the force due to burnout. It’s worth noting that Raymond Cruz is the name of the lead character the Elmore Leonard novelCity Primeval—on which this series is based.

Raylan looks over at Raymond Cruz as they sit at a bar
CR: Chuck Hodes/FX

I haven’t read the book, but I wonder if there are some Easter Eggs for fans in the story that Raymond tells Raylan as Episode 5 comes to a close. He killed a man he couldn’t convict, who was holding a bottle opener and not a gun, but he sleeps like a baby. That clearly goes against Raylan’s sense of ethics. We might recall that, in the series finale of Justified, he wouldn’t shoot Boyd (Walton Goggins) because Boyd wouldn’t draw on him.

Nevertheless, “You Good?” has Raylan considering properly extrajudicial means of dealing with Mansell. He jokes to Wendell (Victor Williams) about the possibility of killing Clement earlier in the hour, but by the end of the episode Raylan is contemplating whether it would be justified to actually do it—not in legal terms, mind you, but in moral ones. He’s not going to be able to live with himself if Clement gets away.

Last week, Raylan wasn’t OK with the idea of the Albanians doing this dirty work for him, so it would be quite a swing if he came around to being willing to murder Clement himself. I doubt that will be the case. Instead, he’ll have to create a situation where it doesn’t feel like he has a choice. Then he’ll kill him and we’ll be left to parse whether there’s an ethical difference.

I’m speculating, to be clear. See you next week.

Written by Caemeron Crain

Caemeron Crain is Executive Editor of TV Obsessive. He struggles with authority, including his own.

Caesar non est supra grammaticos

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