Tuesday, August 1, 2023

REVIEW: 'Justified: City Primeval' - Carolyn Needs Protection After the Albanian Mob Targets Clement and Sandy in 'Kokomo'

FX's Justified: City Primeval - Episode 1.04 "Kokomo"

Raylan tangles with the Albanian mob. Mansell forms a new alliance. Carolyn lets her guard down.

"Kokomo" was written by Taylor Elmore and directed by Gwyneth Horder-Payton

Raylan is unencumbered now with Willa back home in Miami with her mother. He still abides by a code. He hasn't grown cynical by the criminal justice system. He sees the value in holding people accountable for their actions. He's not jaded to the point where he believes people taking justice into their own hands is the answer. He's an outlier though. Detective Bryl is perfectly fine leaking Clement's name to the Albanian mob. He hopes their "eye-for-an-eye" sense of justice will eliminate this problem from their lives for good. Raylan notes how law enforcement and this element of organized crime have a mutual interest. However, no one can predict the collateral damage. Sandy's boss and roommate are tortured just so the Albanians can find where Clement is. Carolyn is followed from her office. All three of the targets put on a brave face. Carolyn is the only one with a resource actually capable of intervening on her behalf. She is incredibly self-sufficient. She has big aspirations in her career. She doesn't want to rely on other people anymore. She can take care of herself. She has been burned too many times in the past. She is stuck in her current situation because of the deals that had to be made. She recognizes the need for Raylan's assistance. He provides it too. In fact, he goes above and beyond the typical call of service. Part of that is articulated through Willa implying Raylan and Carolyn would be good together romantically. Moreover, he doesn't think about things too far in advance. He responds in the moment most of the time. He's a shoot from the hip kind of guy in all situations. He still carries a moral compass with clear distinctions between right and wrong. He doesn't chastise Carolyn for doing her job. He knows everyone is entitled to qualified representation when interacting with the criminal justice system. People are afraid of Raylan's actions and how they hint at a thirst for violence. He maintains his composure more often than not. Of course, he lost his cool when Clement got close to Willa. He sent his daughter away to protect her. He loves her and misses her. He believes he has a job to do. He has no connections to Detroit. He's with this case until its conclusion. He has made that decision. That means protecting Carolyn. They easily could be on opposing sides. She offers legal advice to the people Raylan is targeting in his investigation. Clement is the true psychopath. Sandy and Sweety are simply trapped in a dire situation where they just don't know how to get out. They don't trust the justice system to protect them. They too have their codes they must honor. It's all built on the history of mistrust between police and the communities they are sworn to protect. So much animosity still exists. Bryl is quick to shoot. That's how he solves problems. Raylan knows the difference between having to shoot and choosing not to. He makes that determination every single day. He hasn't been compromised yet despite all the times he has had to shoot a suspect in the line of duty.

Sweety presented Carolyn with a hypothetical. She could offer him a way out of this life if he turned over the gun and testified against Clement. Sweety has no personal affection for Clement. In fact, he blames him for ruining his life. He built his dream at the bar. And now, that space is destroyed. Insurance won't cover the costs to repair it. The damage was done by police which isn't covered by his policy. A ring from the mob that's hunting Clement isn't enough for all the pain and suffering Sweety has endured either. The only tantalizing offer is blackmailing people with the secrets from Judge Guy's little black book. Guy was a corrupt public official. He has details on corrupt acts throughout the system. He benefitted from it. And now, it offers potential retribution for those who possess the book. The secrets must be damning to suddenly motivate Clement and Sweety into action. Clement views Sweety as a necessary figure in this scheme. That may not be true whatsoever. The two may simply be using each other. Sweety vocalizes that motivation. He tells Carolyn this is the way he can exact his revenge without having to trust the system. It's more personal. Sweety has more control in the outcome. But again, it's impossible to predict the fallout of every step that might be taken. Raylan can't even offer that even though he is representative of the system that is suppose to work in holding criminals accountable. He hopes he can strike a deal with Toma to respect the order of how Clement should be punished for his crimes. It's a reasonable conversation between enlightened people that is completely derailed by Bryl's admission. The Albanian mob would have found Clement eventually. The psychopath isn't worried. He knows people are hunting him. He feels untouchable. Nothing can stop him. Sandy is terrified. Her nerves are fried. That was true before she helped Clement crush a man's leg with an automatic door. That only intensifies now. She can't hide anything. That provides both Clement and Sweety with leverage they can use. That's how they find themselves in this situation where they partner up. It's presented as too good of a deal to pass up. They move on to the next scheme even as they are still dealing with the threat of consequences from the last one. They are trapped in this vicious cycle. Nothing ever changes. The Albanians don't trust a federal agent to get the job done quickly and effectively. They don't know Raylan's history. His name means nothing here. He's still getting a hold on the people in this environment. It's very different from his past. He remains the same. That's comforting in some ways. The drama still escalates. People's lives are changed because of how little control Raylan ultimately has. He carries himself with morality. He battles those who abuse the system. He trusts it completely. Not everyone has that luxury. Nor are they always the beneficiary of its protection when things turn dire. Carolyn and Sweety have had to learn how to defend themselves. But now, Raylan is here and at least willing to enjoy the company Carolyn offers despite their differences in this case.