A quick review of tonight's "Justified" coming up just as soon as I second-guess your neck hair...
FX actually sent "Fixer" out for review a few weeks after I'd watched the 1st, 2nd and 4th episodes, and there's always the worry that the odd episode out was held back because it wasn't very good. But I'm told the issues here were just post-production-related, and I found "Fixer" to be quite a bit stronger than last week's "Riverbrook."
As with the Elmore Leonard books (and the many crime authors influenced by Leonard), the style is going to be to split the action between Raylan and his quarry. I didn't think it worked last week because the bank robber and his motley gang weren't all that interesting. I liked this combo of inept, backstabbing thieves much more, particularly David Eigenberg as the titular fixer and Page Kennedy as one of those classic Leonard-style bad guys who becomes obsessed with living up to some pop cultural ideal of violence (in this case, dying because he's too distracted trying to prove himself as a quick draw artist).
The parallels between the Fixer and Raylan in their desires to get out of town, ASAP, weren't overdone, and the theme gave us some extended quality time with an off-duty Raylan flirting with, and eventually succumbing to the charms of, the lovely Ava. I like to joke that Timothy Olyphant plays every role like he can't wait to put a bullet through his co-stars, but he's doing very well in Raylan's more relaxed, charming and, yes, romantic moments.
One question: this is now two bodies that Raylan's dropped in three episodes (and he just barely avoided killing Body). Are you okay if the series maintains (or even accelerates) this body count rate? It's one thing for Raylan to get chewed out for his supervisors about this over the course of three books published many years apart, but as an ongoing part of a weekly series? I don't mind it (certainly, plenty of TV show heroes have racked up an even bigger/faster kill rate), but I wonder if anyone does.
What did everybody else think?