Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Justified: City Primeval - Why Raylan & Clement's Ending Is Perfect

For six years, Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) served as one of the toughest lawmen on television in "Justified." Though he already got a pretty satisfying ending with the original series finale at the end of Season 6, everyone's favorite US Marshall has returned for "Justified: City Primeval." 

Like "Justified," the sequel series is based on a short story by Elmore Leonard. However, this time around, Raylan is in a much different place and time: Detroit, Michigan, 15 years after the events of the original series. Though Boyd Crowder is locked safely away in prison, Raylan's also got a daring and ideal new villain to contend with in the form of Clement Mansell (Boyd Holbrook). And while Raylan is eventually able to put Mansell down for good, the final shot comes at a cost. 

Throughout "Justified: City Primeval," Mansell reveals himself again and again to be a cold and dangerous force, but when Raylan finally does kill him, it turns out that the devious crook is not reaching for a weapon at all. Instead, he's reaching for his demo tape in a last-ditch attempt to try and connect with the Marhsall, and ultimately this revelation seems to shake Raylan to his core. 

An unjustified shooting is the perfect note to end Justified on

Raylan has crossed the line, directly or indirectly, throughout many of the plotlines in "Justified," but this ending is especially resonant given how the show begins. In the first scene of the first episode back in Season 1, Raylan meets a criminal in a restaurant and coerces the man into drawing on him so that Raylan can kill him in a justified shooting in law enforcement terms. 

Due to the fact that this is the inciting incident of the series, it feels doubly appropriate that "Justified: City Primeval" ends on this note. Furthermore, what makes it even more intriguing is how dangerous Mansell is and how cold and calculated he has been throughout the series. Since Mansell has broken into Carolyn Wilder's (Aunjanue Ellis) home at this point and has already killed many people, Raylan's fear when the murderous villain reaches behind his back is more than understandable, but the shooting could still be deemed unacceptable.

Likely, this is one of the many factors over the course of "Justified: City Primeval" that makes Raylan ultimately turn in his badge and call it quits at the end of the series. However, given the surprise ending to the story, we could see him donning that iconic star and Stetson hat one more time in a sequel series.