Note: The following review goes into detail about the episode. SPOILER ALERT!
Oh Lorne Malvo, you sly devil. Everywhere you go, mayhem and bad tidings await all but you. All throughout the episode we witnessed people reacting to all the events set in motion by Malvo back in the premiere, and it all ended in a possibly tragic way for two of our only “good” characters.
This was the most action packed episode of “Fargo” yet, and it did not disappoint. We got treated to a couple of great back to back scene’s as poor, clueless Mr. Chumph found himself acting as a sacrificial distraction for Malvo, followed immediately by an incredibly intense scene set in the middle of a blizzard. Let’s talk about the Chumph situation first. This was Malvo at his coldest and most calculating here. Knowing that he may be in need of a distraction for the police while he’s over on the other side of town dealing with the Stavros money drop-off, he got Chumph to do everything that he needed of him for, locked him up for the night and then set him up to be gunned down by the police. Glenn Howerton has done some great and slimy work in the Chumph role over the last few episodes, and I have to say I had a lot of sympathy for the poor guy after watching him go out like that.
Earlier, Malvo had menacingly staked out Gus Grimly and his daughter’s apartment, leading Gus to enlist the help of Molly once again. Unfortunately this was the beginning of a bad day for the two of them. I guess Gus’ admission that he only became a police officer because they weren’t hiring anymore postmen should have set alarm bells ringing but with everything else that ended up happening with Malvo, I found myself lured into a false sense of security. But once Molly and Gus got separated out in the middle of that blizzard, with bullets being fired in the distance, it was obvious something terrible was going to happen. So after firing his weapon blindly into the raging snowstorm, we left Gus standing over the fallen body of Molly. My guess is she’s going to be alive next week, but it’s a horrible turn of events for the two lead characters with the most honor.
On the other end of the honor scale is Lester, whose hand wound finally got the best of him, as he found himself under guard in a hospital room. Overlooking the comical and all too easy way Lester managed to sneak out of the hospital AND back in without anyone noticing, I really liked his side of things this week. We’ve watched him reach his breaking point in the first episode and then after that it was all a matter of how low he could go. Well now that he has just framed his brother for the murder of his wife, he’s proven he’ll go as low as it takes. His other important contribution this week was telling the two men from Fargo (Mr. Numbers and Mr. Wrench) that Lorne Malvo killed Sam Hess. Everything is so well tied together on this show. A little scene in a jail cell at the beginning of an episode can lead to a hugely exciting shootout in a blizzard.
I must say that I had also let Mr. Numbers and Mr. Wrench drift out of my mind a bit while I watched Chumph get blown away, so it was a nice surprise to see them ambush Malvo while he was on his way to the ransom drop off. What followed was my favorite scene of the show so far, as a gun-less Malvo played a game of cat and mouse with the two heavily armed hit-men. He may have scrambled for that gun on the seat of his car, but never once did I believe Malvo was outmatched, even against what seemed like impossible odds. He drifted in and out of view inside the blizzard, and using some quick thinking managed to lure Mr. Numbers to his death via some crafty work with his knife. With Gus and Molly approaching, Malvo and Mr. Wrench disappeared, but I’m sure they’ll face off again.
Special mention must go to poor Stavros Milos this week, as he really has been put through the ringer over the past few weeks. As he waited for the drop off, it finally occurred to him what must be done: put the money back where he found it. His logic behind this would be that it would appease God, but as we know the God in question here is really Lorne Malvo. Going back out to that fence by the side of the road, burying that briefcase and sticking that ice scraper back in the ground must have seemed like the only way to right all his wrongs, but Stavros would soon learn that nothing could ever do that. A crazy fish storm (I’m assuming that will be explained somehow) resulted in a car crash that claimed the life of his son. I’m assuming such a freak act of nature will only reinforce Stavros’ belief that God is actually punishing him.
“Fargo” continues to impress more and more each and every week. So far we’ve had plenty of quiet character moments with a few small outbreaks of action and violence thrown in along the way, but this week proved that the action can carry a whole episode if it needs to. Not that I’m expecting the show to become an all-out action series or anything over the next few episodes, it’s just nice to know that we’re probably in for a few more explosive scenes as good as the ones we got tonight. All in all, this was probably the strongest episode of “Fargo” yet, and I’m expecting to be saying that a few more times over the next few weeks.
Were you sad about the (potential) losses this episode? Who were you rooting for in the blizzard? Oofta! It’ll just be a real bummer if you don’t leave a comment below?
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