Justified: City Primeval's Villain Is The Ideal Hybrid Of Raylan's Toughest Foes

It's all good to see that hero in a ten-gallon hat make a comeback, but original "Justified" fans will no doubt be missing the friendly thorn stuck in his side for six seasons. We're referring to his old mining buddy and law-breaking rival, Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins), who was as compelling a character as the lawman he often faced off with. Ranked as the best "Justified" villain the show had to offer, there was undoubtedly a huge space to fill when it was confirmed he wouldn't be coming back for the new series, "Justified: City Primeval."

In one of the coolest comebacks of 2023, Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) has a new foe to face off within the form of Boyd Holbrook as Clement Mansell. Drawing first blood in the initial episode of the series, it's clear that Givens certainly has his work cut out for him, particularly given Holbrook's previous work as some impressive antagonists. 

Before crossing the Marshal's path, he dared to go up against the Wolverine in "Logan" and was last seen with eyes filled with teeth as The Corinthian in Netflix's "The Sandman." Needless to say, he can be a real a-hole when he wants to be. However, even in the first episode, Mansell gives a strong impression that he might be cut from the same cloth as Raylan's greatest bad guys. One is a long-time friend, and another is a deadly gunslinger fond of headwear.

Clement Mansell has Boyd's brains and Boon's style

As soon as we meet Clement Mansell driving into town with an 8-track tape on full blast, there's something about Raylan Givens's new threat that evokes the same kind of dread and intrigue as one of the few men that came close to killing him. Mansell has the style, swagger, and sociopathic nature of Boon, the muscle and cold-blood killer that worked under Avery Markham (Sam Elliot) and went up against Givens in the series finale of "Justified." While he might not be as fast-handed with a firearm as Givens's former threat, he certainly knows how to handle himself and appears to have a more impressive wardrobe than the simple suit-wearing foe that Raylan fought tooth and nail to bring in.

If there's one thing that Raylan should be on guard for, it's that Mansell seems to share the same intellect and tactical thinking as Boyd Crowder himself. Something about his actions in the show's initial episode set the tone that this is a person that thinks ten steps ahead, much like Boyd used to do to outmaneuver his old friend. 

At the same time, it's the blend of Boon's bravado and permanent smirk that makes Mansell a hybrid of horrors. However, this also could be his downfall. There was a humility to Crowder that kept him level with Raylan, and took so long for him to be thrown behind bars eventually. Our bet is that it hopefully won't take as long for Mansell to meet the same outcome or if Raylan has to draw his pistol when push comes to shove. We just hope Raylan doesn't need to go hat shopping again if he does.