Based on a broken man who is recruited from prison by an off the grid department of the government to hunt down and dispose of the people the law can't touch. It's gritty, it's murky, and moves at break-neck pace. Like Dexter and The Sheild, the lead character is an anti-hero who clearly enjoys killing and justifies this by following his own prescribed set of moral values that tend to fall on the darker side of grey.
The pilot begins with an elderly woman arriving home to find her husband shot dead on the floor of their lounge. As she rushes to his she begis to realise that she is not alone. Tentatively turning to face a man in a balaclava holding a silenced 9mm to her head, the woman begins to scream for forgiveness, whimpering that "she didn't know… she had never known". The gun fires and she swiftly falls to the floor, her skull penetrated by a single bullet.
"You knew" says the man and the screen fades to black. That man is John Mercer and he is our anti-hero.
I wont spoil the motives behind these assassinations, but they act as a foundation for Mercer's sense of justice and like a slap to the face, lets you know exactly the kind of show you've tuned into. He makes no excuse for his actions and neither does he flee the scene. We return to Mercer years later serving a life sentence for murder, when he is unexpectedly visited by a mysterious gentleman who has a voice like a Glaswegian with a chest infection. An offer of freedom in return for unquestioning loyalty is reluctantly accepted and Mercer soon finds that he may have traded one prison for another, only this time there is no chance of parole.
On agreeing to the deal, Mercer moves in with a strange young man called Callum, whom he had once bunked with in prison. We quickly find out that John does not care much for his new room mate, but like a mentally handicapped puppy, Callum is completely unphased by the rejection and seems to genuinely care for the borderline sociopath. The relationship between these two lead characters is fantastic and provides some genuinely funny moments that perfectly contrast the grit and violence. Like the odd couple, they bicker and tease one another with Mercer regularly swinging for Callum, but by the end of the second season, the bond between them is obvious.
In each episode, of which there have been just 12, there is generally a person or group thereof, that needs to be treated to a little Mercer justice. However, there are several underlying storylines that progress over the course of each season. The main one being, Mercer's conflicting desire to be free from his puppet-master, whilst harbouring his violent compulsions. The real draw to the show, is it's effective use of human revenge fantasies and watching the corrupt and depraved be punished in ways that reality can never permit. Although Mercer is clearly a few clowns sort of a carnival, we can still relate to his moral code, however polarised it becomes, and Callum acts to anchor him emotionally and tease out his humanity.
No TV show has ever had my blood pumping like the Fixer has and it's the only piece of television that I've immediately watched multiple times. I strongly recommend anyone who enjoys dark comedy and action, to give it a chance.