Apr 18, 2014


I've outlined my general thoughts on Fargo in my previous post, now it's time for a recap.

The episode begins with Lorne Malvo (Billy Bob Thornton) driving along the frozen highway. Suddenly, a herd of deer jump across the road and Malvo hits one of them. This accident lets a man, wearing nothing but underpants, escape the trunk of Lorne's car and run into the woods. Later, that man is discovered frozen to death by two police officers, Vern Thurman (Shawn Doyle) and Molly Solverson (Allison Tolman), when they investigate this car crash. At first they suppose the almost-naked-man is the driver, but the absence of any head trauma that must have been caused by the hit, makes them check the local hospital for any suspicious men.

And indeed, Malvo happens to look for some medical assistance; while waiting for the personnel to address his head injury, he engages in conversation with a timid insurance salesman with the broken nose, Lester Nygaard (Martin Freeman), who's been having a bad day (which was about to get even worse). Question by question, Lorne drags the cause of Lester's trauma out - turns out, this is the courtesy of the proud owner of a truck depot, a father of two dull sons, Sam Hess (Kevin O'Grady), who used to bully Lester in high school and can't pass on the thought of mocking him in present. Lester tries to sugarcoat the situation as much as he can, 'cause "it's not good to dwell on those things", but his new acquaintance sees it for what it really is.

"If that were me in your position... I would have killed this man", says Malvo eventually.
"Heck, you're so sure about this, maybe you should just kill him for me", responds Lester, unable to conceal his true desire.

He can't believe this is really happening, neither can he say "no" to Malvo's confirmation question, whether Lester is actually asking him to kill a man, so Sam Hess' destiny is decided: he is stabbed to his head in a hooker house. After Lester hears about it, he finds the hitman, and tries to take his words back in a way, but what's done is done. Lorne convinces him that killing Hess made Lester more of a man than he's ever been. Encouraged by this thought, Mr. Nygaard attempts to be a man and fix the darn washing machine, but fails miserably in front of Mrs. Nygaard, who does not hesitate to throw what she thinks of him in his face. And then... he hits her with a hammer multiple times, mumbling "oh, jeez" along the way. Somebody must have developed taste for human flesh, huh.

After realizing what he has done, Lester calls Malvo in with the clear intent to kill him and present to the police as the murderer. Right about this time, the police find out that Lester's been talking to a man with the head injury about the late Sam Hess in the hospital, and Vern Thurman pays the unfortunate insurance salesman a visit. As he notices the blood stains on the floor and attempts to arrest Lester, Malvo, right on time, shoots him twice, and then disappears, leaving Lester with two bodies and the back-up that Thurman called for on its way. So to escape the arrest, the newly born murderer throws himself against the wall and loses conscientiousness. He wakes up in the hospital, not cuffed, so that seems to have worked.

Malvo carries on with his live, and we see him driving away, presumably after having completed the assignment given by his boss in Duluth. He is stopped by Deputy Gus Grimly (Colin Hanks), but after hearing a number of very convincing requests not to go down that road and return home alive, Gus lets him go.

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