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BY SAL NINER

"Fixer" episode Rewatch

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Saturday May 17, 2014 All Day


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Episode discussion topic:  http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=749096338445787&set=gm.302650513232300&type=1&theater

On Twitter with hashtag #JustifiedRewatch

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On tvtag:

http://tvtag.com/conversation/cdsal99/2014-04-16T02:10:32Z

http://tvtag.com/conversation/cdsal99/2014-05-01T18:34:42Z

http://tvtag.com/conversation/cdsal99/2014-05-17T21:18:32Z

http://tvtag.com/conversation/cdsal99/2014-05-18T08:57:27Z


PRE-THOUGHTS:

All I kept asking myself before watching this episode is whether this is the only CI (confidential informant) we've dealt with in this series.  I remember the guy having a New York accent, but that's about all I remember from this episode.

INTRODUCTION:

Arnold Pinter, confidential informat for the Lexington Marshals Service, is the target of an extortion attempt by a sex offender named Travis Travers.

PLOT:

At the Marshals office, Raylan is in the locker room getting ready for his work day when Art comes in to notify him that the Harlan County Sheriff's Department has arrested Raylan's father for a DUI, much to Raylan's disinterest.  At his desk, Tim hands Pinter's details off to Raylan, stating that Raylan is now in charge of dealing with him; while he and Rachel state that all new deputies to the office usually have the "honor" of getting the difficult CI in a sort-of initiation.

Raylan visits Pinter at a local bar/restaurant.  In getting to know one another, Pinter shares that he moved down to Kentucky because the lifestyle there is different (insinuates less hostile) than that of Brooklyn or even Miami where he was before.  Pinter gives Raylan a tip on Isaac "Tiny" Winfield, a psychotic who escaped police custody and has been on the run.  After investigating further details with Rachel and Tim, Raylan, Art, and the other Marshals go to Sherese Mason's Virginia Pines apartment to apprehend Tiny, and they find him already handcuffed to the bed in his underwear.

Later that day at the local bar/restaurant, Curtis Mims, on account that he's heard Tiny's in town, comes to visit Pinter who tells him that Travers owes them, the bookies, money in bets and is in town.  Pinter sends Curtis to go get the money from Travers.  Later that night, Raylan and Ava are playing pool at a bar and talking about the places they've been and would like to go.  Raylan shares that he met Winona in Salt Lake City during one of his prisoner transports, coincidentally also in a bar.

The next morning, Curtis is at Travers' Ashland Park house, threatening him into giving Pinter the money owed by the day after tomorrow or else Curtis will start cutting parts off of Travers with pruning shears.  However, Travers convinces Curtis that he can give him a bigger cut of money than Pinter can and Curtis agrees.  Back at the office, Art warns Raylan about Pinter while handing Raylan the reward money that will be given to Pinter for giving up Tiny; before Raylan goes back to locate Pinter, but doesn't find him, per Samantha his waitress.  Back with Art, Raylan gets a hunch that something has happened to Pinter and Art approves him investigating it but advises him not to spend too much time on said investigation.

After getting the address from the office secretary, Laurie Slader, Raylan visits Pinter's house, finds Travers there instead who tells him that Pinter has been gone for about a week and Pinter has Travers housesitting.  Travers then leaves to go to his own house and finds out who Raylan is from Curtis.  After finding out more information from Laurie, Raylan further suspects that something is not right when Travers, whose own house has been put on lien by the IRS, is supposedly "tasked" by Pinter with housesitting his.

Meanwhile, at Traver's place, he tries to convince Curtis to torture Pinter into giving them the location of the money but Curtis refuses as he and Pinter have been good associates.  Travers and Curtis bring in Samantha to torture her in front of Pinter, but Pinter knows Samantha was in on his capture with Travers to get the escape fund from him.  Outside the room they're holding Pinter in, Travers, Curtis and Samantha try to figure out their next move when they see Raylan in the yard outside.  Curtis steps out to meet Raylan who tells him that he's looking for Travers in the hopes that he can hand the reward money to him to give to Pinter.  Curtis suggests to Raylan that he give the money to him instead, which he will then hand over to Pinter.

While getting the money back from Art, Raylan gets the feeling that either Travers, Curtis, or both, are hiding something from him.  Travers and Curtis, in waiting for Raylan to come back with the money, are practicing draws and while doing so, Travers shoots Curtis dead into the pool.  In the house, Travers threatens Samantha that he will cut Pinter off part-by-part until he's convinced the bookie is telling him the truth about the money, when they are interrupted by Raylan's arrival.

Samantha goes to retrieve the gun from Curtis' body in the pool, then frees Pinter, before handing the gun to him.  Curtis engages in a gunfight with Raylan.  While Travers is hiding, Raylan gets inadvertently shot through a partly-closed door by a surprised Pinter (who believed Raylan to be Travers).  Another door across the way begins to open and Raylan, while down on the floor, turns to fire through it, hitting Travers twice through the chest dead, before revealing where Pinter's bullet hit his bullet-proof vest at the chest.

Law enforcement gets a perimeter on the house as Raylan is treated on-site for the bullet that bruised his chest, possibly his lung too, when Art tells him that Raylan will have a paid week's leave due to the investigation.  Pinter pardons Samantha from being involved in his capture, alleging it was due to her simply doing what Pinter taught her to do, but that nonetheless will fire her from his employ.  Pinter decides to leave for Tahiti when he gets his escape fund as he really doesn't like Kentucky or its people; then Art hands him the envelope with the reward money, before Pinter leaves.

Later that night, Raylan visits Ava and insinuates he found something which makes him not want to leave Kentucky, despite having wished the opposite earlier; thus with their first kiss at her front door, so begins their relationship.

(for a more detailed outline, visit:  http://justified.wikia.com/wiki/Fixer)

CHARACTERS:

Laurie.  Works in the Marshals office as their secretary, retrieving information (addresses, criminal history, etc).  She's socially awkward, it seems.  The few minutes we had with her, I really liked (one of them even made my favorite moments).  I don't remember if we see her again; regardless, would love to get to know the character more.

Rachel Brooks.  The one with the most office seniority (out of our main three, that is); Tim Gutterson being second and Raylan, of course, the third and newest arrival.  How long has Rachel been with the Lexington Marshals?  Did she work in the Marshals Service before coming to Lexington and if so, where?

VILLAINS:

Travers.  Statutory rapist.  Illegal gambler.  Extortionist.  When we first meet him (in all his high-on-weed "glory"), he seems nonchalant to his economic situation.  But once Pinter enters the picture and there's potential to get the escape fund from him, this guy goes out of his way, as far as killing, to get to Pinter and eliminate the competition.  I guess having monetary problems will do that to you... (by the way, that was meant to be sarcastic)

Curtis.  Criminal organization enforcer, violent thug.  Has his origins in Detroit.  It was interesting to learn that he had such an interest in landscaping/gardening.  He's a great first example of how in this series, we get to learn as much about the criminals as we do about those that are not criminals; which is how it is in Leonard's written works as well.  He's actually the first supporting character/villain I became interested in learning more about (on an original series watch); not because he was a villain or a criminal, but because he has, or had this whole other history before (or perhaps during the beginning of) his outlaw career.

Pinter.  Confidential informant for the U.S. Marshals Service in Lexington.  Bookie.  Con-artist.  The man sure knows how to play both sides of the coin, I'll tell you that right now.  Have we seen the last of him?  I wouldn't be surprised if we haven't...

Samantha.  Pinter's assistant.  So this girl learns to con from Pinter.  And despite her involvement against him, she gets out scot-free.  It makes me nervous for the next fellow that ends up with her... But it seems that now, for her to survive, she'll have to use the best con skills she's got.

Sherese.  Tiny's girlfriend with a cold attitude.  What became of her after Tiny's arrest?

FAVORITE MOMENT(S):


Not sure if you can see the above photo, but it is of a chalkboard with the following quote on it:  "Age is a very high price to pay for maturity." --T. Stoppard

That quote by a British writer of plays and scripts, is up in Pinter's bar/restaurant, and it is shown when Raylan enters the place for the first time to meet Pinter.  I'm not sure how you younger folks (and perhaps some of the older folks too) feel about that quote, whether you all agree with it or not, but I've found that the older I get the more I agree with it.  What can I say?  I chalk it up to personal life experience.

And as far as how that quote relates to Justified or to Raylan Givens for that matter?  Well, I'll leave that up to y'alls interpretation...  All I'm gonna say is to keep it in mind as you follow this series.

Okay, in moving along with the favorites, we've finally come upon the Laurie one I mentioned earlier in my characters section.  This is the scene in the Marshals office where she shares with Raylan that Travers has had a lien placed on his house by the IRS, Raylan wonders how someone like that could even be counted on to housesit, and...well...I'll just let you find out for yourself what Laurie replies to that effect:




I also love how Raylan's expression at the end there expresses how much out of a tangent Laurie is veering off of.  I've often heard that actor Timothy Olyphant is very gracious in giving the joke up to the other actor in a scene, and I wonder if in this instance he did just that to actress Kiersten Lyons.  If so, good choice, as it does make Laurie shine.

And speaking of Raylan, the moment where he advises Curtis on gun draws is genius.  Lots of intimidation attempts here, first by Curtis and then by Raylan.  Man can Raylan pull fast!









GENERAL REFLECTIONS:

The first time we get a glimpse into how much Raylan enjoys his favorite:  vanilla ice cream; when he orders it at Pinter's restaurant while meeting him for the first time.  These little characteristics are what make a character that much richer and in Raylan's case, we will get to see more on his love of ice cream in future episodes.  But even with all that, I still wonder:  what's Raylan's favorite ice cream brand?

While Raylan is at the bar with Ava, he shares that Winona and him swore to each other they would never come back to Kentucky, yet here the both of them are... Oh well, circumstances change.

When talking about Raylan's father, Art mentions it's a good thing Raylan didn't inherit the ill temper.  And what Raylan answers...






You don't notice it in the above photo still, but live watch how Art's eye twitches at the end of Raylan's answer.  That implies to me how much he sees that Raylan does have a temper himself.  Also, Winona acknowledged it at the end of "Fire in the Hole" by calling Raylan "the angriest man she's ever known".  We also see that temper exemplified in future episodes on various occassions.

Vocabulary lesson time.  For those 'oh so passionate about language', one thing to remember:  language - the study of how one is supposed to communicate; linguistics - the study of how one actually does communicate.  Both are fascinating disciplines and equally worthy of receiving passion.  Thus, the linguistic, colloquialisms of this episode--

Leg-breaker:  violent thug, especially a criminal organization enforcer. (like Curtis and Raylan's father)

Grifter:  someone who swindles out of deception or fraud. (like Raylan's father)

Fixer:  Local guy who works with foreign reporters (as defined by Raylan when Pinter asks him on their first meet) to get those reporters what they need.

Pinter implies or indirectly states that he was a fixer once, close to full-time, before being forced to include other duties when moving to Kentucky.

Gotta love Elmore Leonard-isms like that.  The richness of the language and linguistics you find reading his crime fiction and watching works based on that fiction.  This man is one of my idols and with good reason.

Finally, I have to mention Travers' house address:  9922 Tates Creek Road.  Is this the same road as where that bridge is?  If you remember, in "Fire in the Hole", Hale's body was found on Tates Creek Road Bridge.  Lots of crime sure does seem to happen on that road, doesn't it...

So with that, I leave you to ponder Raylan's world until we delve back into it tomorrow with "Long in the Tooth".  See you then!