‘Justified: City Primeval’ ending breakdown: The good, the bad and the conflicting

Walton Goggins is a liar.

From the moment news broke that FX’s Justified would be revived as a limited series called “Justified: City: Primeval,” fans of the critically acclaimed new Western series have wondered whether Goggins, who memorably portrayed the outlaw in… Kentucky for the six episodes of the show has been revived as a limited series. – The original season, he will return alongside Timothy Olyphant as US Marshal Raylan Givens. After all, what’s “justified” without Boyd Crowder? And who is Raylan without his greater personality?

In the lead-up to the show’s July debut, Goggins gave interviews in which it was mentioned He was not involved In the new series, which takes place 15 years after the original ending and is based on Elmore Leonard’s novel “City Primeval: High Noon in Detroit” (Leonard’s short story “Fire in the Hole” served as inspiration for the original series). Goggins’ absence from the project makes sense. Boyd remains in prison in Kentucky, and the story takes place primarily in the Motor City. But in the “City Primeval” finale, Goggins is revealed to be a liar when — with just over eight minutes remaining in the episode, and with Raylan recently retired from the Marshals after shooting and killing Clement Mansell (Boyd Holbrook) in Caroline Wilder’s (Aunjanu Ellis) kitchen ) — back in Kentucky, with mixed results and everything.

First glimpse of Boyd since the icon Scene “We dug coal together”. Familiar: Wearing orange prison clothing and can be seen from behind, walking through the halls of Trumbull Prison carrying a Bible. Afterwards, he is seen giving a sermon to his fellow prisoners, which is also something we’ve seen him do before. He speaks eloquently and passionately about the hateful man he was and the possibility of change before revealing that his health was deteriorating and he was taken to hospital to determine the cause. But, in typical fashion, it’s all a ruse, with Boyd planning an elaborate escape with the help of a female guard he’s been having an affair with. Once they lock the other guard (portrayed by Luis Guzmán) in the pickup truck, they set off for Mexico.

For Justified fans, Goggins’ return to the action is an exciting moment, and one we should all have seen coming. naturally The powers that be won’t let a new season of “Justified” pass without visiting the other half of the series’ central duo, especially when it’s one of the best antagonists ever. Talking to Los Angeles TimesExecutive producer and director Michael Diener said they knew they had to address the elephant in the room. “It was decided that we would eventually bring it in and enjoy it,” he said. “It was a ball that had to be done. Hopefully people will see it and let out a little rebel cry.”

But what if, on deeper reflection, one might also begin to question Boyd’s appearance?

We remember the show that was back in the day, not the one we just finished watching.

There is something going on when Boyd changes from his orange prison uniform to his totally familiar outfit; A crisp white T-shirt, fitted blazer, and dark jeans are the goggins’ transforming uniform and herald the return of the lovable geeky crime fan. In an instant, we’re reminded of what “Justified” was for six seasons: a well-written, superbly acted and wildly funny crime drama about two men cut from the same cloth – one a lawman, the other an outlaw – bound by common bonds. History and experience, however, are destined to be at odds. We remember the show that was back in the day, not the one we just finished watching. This six-minute scene, though it serves a purpose, threatens to overshadow the rest of City Primeval, which was a good series but different. Goggins’ appearance reminds us that although Holbrook inhabited Mansell’s dangerous and troubled mind, the character never quite lived up to Boyd or the other villains that made Justified’s original path so uniquely compelling. But the real problem may be what Boyd’s return to the fold might mean for our favorite marshal.

Walton Goggins in Justified: City Primeval (FX)

When events return to Miami, Raylan is at peace, relaxing on a boat with his daughter, Willa (Vivian Olyphant). She asks him if they will talk about his decision to retire, but before he can respond, he receives an emergency alert about an escaped Trumble inmate. He doesn’t mention Boyd by name, but Raylan immediately seems to understand what that means, as if he still latches on deeply to his friend-turned-enemy after all these years. He stares at the phone for a moment before choosing to ignore the message, but there’s clearly an internal battle going on. The alert is then quickly followed by a call from the Marshals Service’s Lexington office. This is not answered either, though the phone still rings as the camera pans away from the boat and the ring fades to black. It is a series of events that can be read in two ways.

The first, and most pessimistic, explanation is that FX is trying to capitalize more on one of its best and most beloved properties, and is setting up another series of episodes that sees Raylan once again go after Boyd, the only man they can possibly do to bring him to justice. In an interview with Hollywood ReporterShowrunner Dave Andron revealed that Goggins’ return was planned early in the series’ development, but did say it was done intentionally to set up future installments of “Justified”. However, while a renaissance continues to grip Hollywood, one can’t blame FX and the creative team for potentially wanting to get back into the “justified” well of a story involving both Rylan and Boyd. The fact that Ava (Joel Carter) is still out there somewhere with Boyd’s son also means there are additional narrative threads. So a new limited series that pits an aging Raylan and Boyd against each other one last time is an offer few could refuse (and Olyphant has already said he’d be willing to come back for more).

But from a straightforward storytelling standpoint, we’ve been there, done that, and we’ve got the iconic parting line and bourbon hangover to prove it. So another explanation for the final minutes of the show is that Rylan is a changed man. Not even Boyd—the former friend and wily criminal with whom Raylan often spars in Harlan—isn’t enough to get him back into service. It’s a kinder, more optimistic read, and one that doesn’t threaten to erase the growth that Rylan finally represents in choosing his family over his career, something he repeatedly fails to do over the course of the show. As his ex-wife, Winona (Natalie Zea), says poignantly at the end, “If you can’t do it for me, I’m glad you can do it for her.” It’s a soulful statement about Rylan and Winona’s long and complicated history, and Zia delivers it perfectly, with understanding and a hint of wistfulness but never frustration.

We’ve been there, done that, and we’ve got the iconic parting line and bourbon hangover to prove it.

It’s Raylan’s decision to retire after fatally shooting Mansell – who wasn’t trying to get a gun but a cassette tape – that ultimately gives “Justified: City Primeval” a reason to exist outside of corporate greed and/or cultural nostalgia. If the decision is reversed immediately in favor of a Boyd-centric series, it would likely undo not only the perfect ending to the original series, but also the lessons Raylan learned in the revival. He’s not the man he once was, and the world he lives in isn’t the same either. That Rylan ignored Lexington’s call, ignoring the excitement of the chase and Boyd Crowder’s natural attraction, is a sign that Boyd was indeed right: people Can changes.

However, judging by what happened in Kentucky, Boyd himself hasn’t changed much. He’s still the person he always was: a man who is all he needs in this moment, and who will do anything to get what he wants. Over the course of the original six seasons, we’ve seen many different versions of Boyd, revealing not only his intelligence but also his extreme adaptability to any situation. That made him a compelling villain and a good figure for Raylan, a man who was, for better or worse, firmly stuck in his ways. If Rylan and Boyd are two sides of the same coin, what does the fact that Boyd hasn’t changed from Rylan say? Does this mean that he is lying to himself and the decision to retire will not continue? Does this increase the separation between the two men? Or does this mean that Boyd has not been able to change because, until now, he has not been able to escape the life into which he was born?

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Until FX announces a decision about the show’s future (or lack thereof), the way we interpret the ending of “Justified: City Primeval” probably says more about our beliefs and desires than it does about the series. The question of whether people are capable of change has been debated for a long time. For years it seemed as if Rylan wasn’t up to it, or at least wasn’t willing to do the work (“If you wanted to change your life for me, Rylan, you would do it by now,” Winona once told him in Season 3). It’s clear that something has changed for Raylan, and that his priorities are different now. But by leaving the series vaguely open-ended, with Boyd on the run and Raylan on the water, it allows us to make our own decisions. It wasn’t the abrupt cut in black that ended “The Sopranos” and left fans debating Tony’s fate for years. But it’s up to personal interpretation, and there’s something lightening in Boyd’s escape from prison and Raylan breaking the cycle of paternal disillusionment and being there for his daughter. Instead of an ending that honors the past that bound Rylan and Boyd together, it’s an ending that looks to the future, as the two men leave Harlan alive. And what could be better than that?

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