Justified: Fixer

"Here in the hinterlands, you gotta diversify."

I'm a lot more interested in Raylan himself and the story arc elements than in criminal-of-the-week episodes, like this one. But it was still an interesting episode with complex characters and great dialogue.

We had Arnold Pinter, the rather fun confidential informant with no interest in being confidential. We had Curtis the legbreaker, who was so enamored with Raylan's Miami quick draw backstory that he became obsessed with the idea of outdrawing him, old West style. We think Curtis is the real badass with the threats of pruning shear torture. And then we think the nice waitress is the master mind. But then the real bad guy turns out to be the stupidly named Travis Travers. He seemed like such a marginal criminal, smoking weed and placing bets, but after scenting the money, he turned vicious.

(Come to think of it, the bad guy that appeared the least threatening turning out to be the worst of the lot happened in the previous episode 'Riverbrook', too.)

Raylan has great crime-fighting instincts. He knew something was wrong, he teased at it and pursued it until he figured out what it was, and he saved the life and body parts of his new confidential informant when his boss would have probably done nothing. Raylan also did a great bait and switch with the reward money for Pinter, getting the bad guys to turn on each other by changing the dollar amount. Pinter was desperate to get out of Kentucky. And now he can.

We still haven't met Raylan's father, but they keep tantalizing us by mentioning him. Art told Raylan that Givens Senior was arrested, and Raylan asked offhand, "He kill anybody?" Apparently, Raylan's father has been both a leg breaker and a grifter, and he has temper issues. It seems likely that Raylan went into law enforcement because of his father, and probably decided a long time ago that the only way not to get hurt was to keep his distance. It'll be interesting to see if he has truly internalized that attitude, or if his father is still able to get to him.

Bits and pieces:

-- Raylan has been with the U.S. marshal service for 17 years.

-- Raylan and Winona are both from the same area of Kentucky, but they met in Salt Lake City. They promised each other they'd never go back. Oh, well.

-- Raylan stopped resisting Ava. Not a surprise.

-- "Age is a very high price to pay for maturity."-- sign on the bar.

-- No Boyd. I want more Boyd.

Quotes:

Art: "Just out of curiosity, is he a knucklehead, your daddy, or is he a real bad guy?"

Raylan: "Miami is a sunny place for shady people."

Raylan: "Something's making my neck hair stand up."
Art: "Well, far be it from me to second-guess your neck hair, but don't spend a lot of time on it."

Travis: "I never seen a Lexington cop dressed up like the Marlboro man."

Raylan: "Tim, when you were working with Pinter, did you ever come across a guy who looks like a black Mr. Clean, dresses like the janitor in a rap video?"
Tim: "Like it says Tommy Hilfiger on his coveralls?"
Raylan: "Yeah. Like he wears a tee shirt with his gators."
Tim: "Detroit accent, looks like he can dead-lift the back of a car?"
I love this sort of stuff. So beautifully descriptive. Curtis in a nutshell.

Pinter: "I hate it here. Kentucky. I hate every one of these toothless banjo-strumming redneck pricks." (Art laughs out loud.)

Pinter: "All I know is, Tahiti ain't Kentucky."

Two out of four egg creams,

Billie
---
Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.

3 comments:

Josie Kafka said...

I love the not-so-bright criminals on this show. Witty and (unintentionally) funny, but rarely masterminds. It's a pleasure, and it's a fun carry-over from the Elmore Leonard school of crime fiction.

I'd vote for at least a 2.5, just because I like David Eigenberg and I love, love, love the outdrawing scene. I think this show can be summed up in a line from Tombstone: "I'm your Huckleberry."

That was clearly not a Tudor house.

Greg Quinnell said...

Travis was played by Greg Kromer, who plays Rich on Community, and Curtis was played by the AWESOME Page Kennedy, who, among other things, played U-Turn on Weeds.

ChrisB said...

The writing on this show is exceptional. No wonder the producers are able to get such great guest stars.

And the opening bit with the egg cream, not to mention the vanilla ice cream. Brilliant.

I was surprised at the end. I did think that Raylan was going to stay away from Ava, at least for a little while. Should be interesting to see how this one plays out -- especially after his boss told him to stay away.