Lorne Malvo sure killed a lot of people during the 10-episode run of Fargo. I mean, other things happened on the show, too. Lots of things, in fact. A police officer named “Solverson” solved the case, a mild-mannered insurance salesman turned into Keyser Soze, people went to Vegas, there was a cake with a gun on it, etc. It was a good show. You should watch it, if you haven’t already. But that’s not the point right now. The points are (a) Lorne Malvo and (b) murder.
And so, what I have done — or rather, what I have attempted to do, because it was hard — is take all of the murders he committed on the show, and narrow them down to a top five. Notable omissions include Sam Hess, Stavros Milos’s son and dog, Lester’s second wife (which was more of Lester’s kill, considering the horrifying lengths he went to in making sure he didn’t get the bullet), the cop in the bathroom, and the chief of police in the premiere, among others. Probably. He wasn’t on camera for huge stretches of time. And there was that one year flash forward. He could have killed tons more people for all I know.
But anyway, the list. Feel free to make your counterarguments in the comments.
5) The Key & Peele sneak attack
The Key & Peele murders narrowly edged out Sam Hess getting stabbed in the head while enjoying the company of a Bemidji exotic dancer for one simple reason: Degree of difficulty. Whereas the Hess killing required only a knife and knowledge of his current location, this one necessitated the acquisition of a used car that looked enough like an FBI vehicle to temporarily confuse actual FBI agents, as well as the theft of said FBI agents’ paperwork to call off the backup. And then he had to sneak up on them through the snow-covered woods. Compared to all that, stabbing a guy in a strip club is easy. Ask literally anyone from Florida.
4) The STORMWATCH 2006 throat slitting
STORMWATCH 2006 was one of my favorite Fargo subplots (“The storm of the century, or what have ya?”), and it gave us one of the more exciting moments of the season. The biggest takeaway from the blizzard shootout — which was intense as heck, thanks to the way the scene played with the decreased visibility — was the part where Gus accidentally shot Molly, but Lorne cutting himself to use his own blood trail to set a trap was a very Lorne Malvo thing to do. RIP Adam Goldberg, RIP Adam Goldberg hair.
3) The no-look Vegas elevator triple murder
It’s the thing where he didn’t even look. Don’t get me wrong, it’s also the thing where he coldly and quickly cut bait on a plan that had been at least six months in the making and involved him (a) taking a lover, and (b) apparently learning dentistry, because that was … definitely something. But it’s mostly the thing where he threw a little mustard on it by doing it blind, like he’s the Magic Johnson of contract killers or something. Although I suppose Pistol Pete is the better comparison here if we want to be very on-the-nose and direct about things, which we might as well be, seeing as Lorne Malvo is not a very subtle man, as we’re about to discuss.
2) The Fargo mob rampage
Killed over 30 people, by himself, despite the fact that many of them were armed and he just walked right in the front door carrying a large automatic weapon, and damn near got away with it even though two FBI agents were sitting outside and he threw one of his victims right out the dang window and onto the sidewalk below.
Lorne Malvo was basically a supervillain. This brings up an important point: How great would it have been if Molly Solverson got so upset that no one listened to her about the Lorne/Lester connection that she decided to buy a mask and cape and start fighting crime under the cover of night, like a Minnesota Batman? (“I’m the hero Bemidji needs, dontcha know?”) My vote: Pretty great.
1) The Dennis Reynolds “suicide-by-cop”
Because of Glenn Howerton’s day job, and because of the bullet-riddled similarities to a legendary death scene from The Godfather, I will always refer to this murder as “the Sunny Corleone.” Number one with many, many bullets.