Except maybe for Joy, this episodes succeed at making the most unlikable character sympathetic. You see a looser criminal meet a psychopathic dangerous ex-con as well as his fanatic mother and the result is funny, yet ultimately endearing. I'm glad it's not only plain feel-good stuff and that there is till plenty of reprehensible acts and gratuitous crime involved in the flashbacks.
All in all I enjoy the direction the show is taking so far: A couple of over-the-top humour elements didn't hurt at all, namely the oversized bible bashing and the crossbow segment. And I liked how Crabman is neutral and cool.
However I hope Earl will have to struggle a little bit more in the future to overcome his bad traits and will meet less resiliant antagonists because so far, he had it a bit easy.