Justified: City Primeval Episode 6 Recap: “Adios” to the Cool

Sweety and Clement stand on a roof in front of the Detroit skyline in Justified: City Primeval Episode 6, "Adios"
CR: Chuck Hodes/FX.

The following recap contains spoilers for Justified: City Primeval Episode 6, “Adios” (written by Taylor Elmore & V.J. Boyd and directed by Sylvain White).

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.

Justified: City Primeval Episode 6 opens with Carolyn (Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor) coming to visit Raylan (Timothy Olyphant), questioning if she can trust him with what she knows about Judge Guy’s little black book. She draws a parallel between what she wants to do with the information in that book and the actions of those fighting segregation by staging a lunch counter sit-in in Mississippi in 1963, and it’s clear enough what she has in mind. What she wants to do may not be legal, but it would be just.

It’s hard to assess her claim when we don’t know precisely what she intends to do that would be illegal, but it’s easy enough to point out that if she’s thinking about blackmailing people, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would not be likely to approve. He was pretty adamant about it not being OK to use immoral means to pursue moral ends. Of course, we don’t have to agree with that, and neither does Carolyn. She doesn’t even mention King; she just draws an analogy.

If I dwell on this, it’s because whatever we might think of her suggested parallel between what she wants to do and the Civil Rights Movement, there is definitely a parallel between her attempt to justify what she wants to do and the way Raylan is always trying to do the same thing. The actions he undertakes don’t always have to be legal, but they have to be right—or, at least, he has to be able to convince himself that they were justified.

Burt Dickey sits at his desk in Justified: City Primeval Episode 5
CR: Chuck Hodes/FX.

Burt Dickey (David Cross) has not quietly exited the story, but he is rather upset about Clement (Boyd Holbrook) having taken his painting. So he enlists Lonny (Kevin Anderson), a former employee who stole from him, to get the painting back by whatever means he finds necessary. That leads Lonny to Sweety (Vondie Curtis-Hall), who we also see souring a bit on his relationship with Clement over the early parts of the episode.

As expected, he’s not happy that Clement went back to Burt’s house and stole the painting, but this also resonates for Sweety with how Clement couldn’t accept a few thousand dollars less than expected from a mark they met with in their first scene of Episode 6. Clement insists that guy stupidly jumped and went splat, but even if he didn’t directly kill him, he’s responsible.

I don’t think it’s the death that bothers Sweety so much as the general messiness of Clement’s modus operandi. It’s not cool, and given that Sweety once jammed with Miles Davis, I definitely mean in precisely that way.

Clement meets with Diane in a park
CR: Chuck Hodes/FX.

Meanwhile, Raylan and Maureen (Marin Ireland) plan to ensnare Clement by leveraging Carolyn’s erstwhile friend and rival, Diane (Regina Taylor). Apparently, Guy’s book shows that she colluded with him in her role as a prosecutor, but the point is to get her to arrange a meeting with Mansell that will allow the cops to take him down (though, of course, the secondary point is for Carolyn to get her out of the way in terms of claiming that seat on the bench).

Before he knows it’s a sting, Sweety decides to take the opportunity to send Lonny to the planned rendezvous to kill Clement, with the promise of the $30,000 in hush money as his payment. After Carolyn calls to tell him to stay away from that meeting, Sweety tries to call Lonny off but fails to get ahold of him. So there’s a moment in “Adios” where it really seems like everything might be about to go sideways in the worst possible way.

And, actually, that is what happens, but it’s not a violent scene in the park. Lonny spots the cops, so he just keeps walking by. They swoop in and arrest Clement as planned. The problem is, he’s totally clean. He’s not carrying a gun, and he doesn’t have Judge Guy’s book on him.

Wendell and Raylan sit in a car together
CR: Chuck Hodes/FX.

We have to pause here and think about this a little bit, because it would be reasonable to expect Clement to be armed for this meeting, and the whole point of the meeting was supposed to involve him handing over the page from the book with Diane’s name on it. So one way or another, he got wise to what was going on, or at least sufficiently suspicious to change his behavior.

There are two possibilities here. Maybe something just didn’t feel right to Mansell about his exchange with Sweety, who roped Clement into going alone by first saying he was going to go on this simple milk run alone himself. If Sweety was concerned about how Clement would comport himself, you might expect he’d give in by agreeing to go together instead of acquiescing to the idea of Clement going alone. Clement’s smart enough that he may have drawn an inference from this setup, if only an inference to some uncertainty about what he was walking into, and switched things up accordingly.

On the other hand, it’s possible that someone has been feeding him information. Raylan poses that possibility to Wendell (Victor Williams) very obliquely and asks for his opinion, but Wendell has no interest in engaging with the question. That makes sense because he doesn’t want to cross the thin blue line, or even come close to crossing it. I don’t know if we can infer that Wendell knows anything significant that he’s not saying when it comes to Mansell in particular.

But if Clement does have someone inside the police force who’s tipping him off on things, I’d expect that this will be someone we’ve met, and there’s no reason Wendell wouldn’t be on that suspect list. It could even be Maureen, for reasons yet unknown, or maybe Norbert (Norbert Leo Butz). Or, perhaps Clement really is just preternaturally lucky.


It’s not entirely clear if Clement figured out that Sweety had betrayed him prior to the final scene of Episode 6, or if he only really did when he walked in on Sweety and Lonny talking, but I’m also not sure how much it matters.

He insists that Lonny answer his phone, so Burt gets to hear his lackey get shot in the head. Then, Clement wants to play a demo of himself singing for Sweety. He makes Sweety turn off the jukebox, and given the latter’s reaction as he looks behind the machine, I think he’d previously stashed a gun there. But there is no gun behind the jukebox, so if there was supposed to be, we have to wonder what happened to it.

Clement puts on a cassette tape of himself singing “Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes. Sweety can’t bring himself to say it’s good even with a gun pointed in his face (though this would not have saved his life and he knew that). Clement shoots him and then proceeds to burn down his bar. We end with poor Trennell (Joseph Anthony Byrd) seeing the fire from across the street.

Sweety looks on, wearing a gold necklace
CR: George Burns, Jr./FX.

It was easy enough to guess from the episode title that “Adios” would see the death of a major character in this story, but I am sad to see Sweety go. I guess in retrospect, he should have taken Carolyn’s offer to testify against Clement rather than trying to play his own game, but it’s hard to fault him.

City Primeval Episode 6 does leave us with some dangling threads and questions. We don’t know where the gun is that Clement used to kill Judge Guy. I wonder if Trennell does.

We also don’t know what Carolyn doesn’t want Raylan to know, or if she’ll proceed to tell him in the wake of their last scene of this hour. In the opening scene of the episode, she hinted that information from the little black book could tie things together for Raylan, so I wonder how. I don’t think it’s in the failed plan we see them carry out in “Adios.”

And lastly, where are the Albanians? It continues to seem like no one is really worried about them except for poor Sandy (Adelaide Clemens), who desperately wants to get out of Dodge before their wrath comes down on Clement, but we haven’t seen them for two episodes now. I can’t believe that they just gave up on their plans for justice revenge.

Two episodes of Justified: City Primeval remain to bring all of these threads together and bring us home.

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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