Raylan Givens is back as a US Marshal trying to uphold the law in the new limited series, “Justified: City Primeval.” The limited series is a sequel to the popular show that ran on FX in the United States for six seasons between 2010 and 2015. In the new series, Raylan is a Marshal and a father wanting to spend time with his daughter when he gets caught up investigating a bombing that turns into the murder of a judge and a criminal informant. Raylan will spend the rest of the series hunting down the murderer.
Admittedly, this is an unnecessary return to a very popular series that didn’t need a reboot. Still, it’s very well done and a lot of fun. This story, at least through the first episode, seems to be self-contained so new viewers won’t need to watch the original series to understand what is going on in the current one. Returning viewers may get more enjoyment out of it as they get to see their favorite marshal back in action, but new viewers may end up loving this and going to re-watch the older series, which may be the point. It’s possible this could lead into new self-contained seasons or even straight to streaming movies. There’s a lot of potential to unpack from this first episode.
Timothy Olyphant slides back into the role that he originally popularized like putting on a pair of gloves that still fit perfectly. He brings the right amount of gravitas to the role to know this is a man who is not to be messed with because he will get his man and justify the means. He’s not evil, but he’s willing to push the limit of what is legal and sometimes moral to capture the bad guy. It’s just the same as the original series, except this time, he’s also concerned about the welfare of his daughter, played by Olyphant’s own daughter, Vivian. If there was one role Timothy Olyphant was born to play, it’s this one.
I like the recent style of FX switching to the limited series format. FX, more than any other network, has found a way to perfect that form of storytelling. It’s something many of the streaming service should watch to educate themselves. That way they aren’t too rushed to finish their storytelling in the final episode. It’s a trick process, but FX has got it down to a science.
Admittedly, I was a little late to the “Justified” bandwagon, but by the time I saw the original series, I was fully on board. It only took five minutes of this first episode to get me on board again. I’m excited to see where this limited series goes.
Rating: 4.5 stars
The new series is available on Hulu in the United States and on Disney+ in Australia/New Zealand. The series will also be coming to Disney+ in the UK, Ireland and Canada later this year.
What did you think of the first episode of “Justified: City Primeval?”