So, five things from last night’s Fargo. Plus a few leftover half-things. But first those five things:
1) Billy Bob is killing it. Were it not for iconic breakthrough performances and satisfying swan songs from Matthew McConaughey and Bryan Cranston, respectively, we would all need to start having a serious conversation about Billy Bob Thornton’s Emmy chances. He has no shot, barring a miracle, but he has been a terrifying wonder of deadpan and jet-black comedy all season. Last night was no exception. His whole mini-adventure with Gus and the higher-ups was great, from the promised “You’re making a mistake” callback to his take on a folksy Lutheran preacher in the interview room to the “Did you know that the human eye can see more shades of green than any other color?” riddle/threat as he was leaving, after Gus dropped “Lorne Malvo” on him. He’s basically playing the devil, or an angry, vengeful god, and he appears to be enjoying it quite a bit. As he should be.
2) Things are continuing to go poorly for Stavros Milos. The purpose of last week’s voiceover about Baby Moses floating down the river is now crystal clear, as Lorne Malvo (and to a lesser extent, Fargo Dennis Reynolds, which is his name now as far as I am concerned) appears to dropping Biblical plagues on the devoutly religious grocer one at a time, albeit slightly out of order: turning the water in his shower into blood, killing his dog (to the extent his dog counted as “livestock,” which, I mean, you work with what you got), and filling his place of business with some sort of locust stand-in (crickets, I think). Stavros’s son, assuming he’s the firstborn, may be in a heap of trouble.
3) Speaking of Stavros: At the beginning of last night’s episode, we saw a younger version of him barreling down a snow-covered road, family in tow, broke and on the run, and whoops, out of gas. After dropping to his knees in prayer, he uncovered a briefcase full of cash, which presumably funded the grocery empire that is now falling apart in dramatic, insect-infected fashion all around him.
The cool thing about this is that it serves as our first real tie-in to the movie version of Fargo (tiny Easter eggs and throwaway lines of dialogue aside), because, unless the snow-covered North is lousy with buried treasure, that’s the same briefcase — and ice scraper — from this scene, featuring a blood-spurting Steve Buscemi.
Stavros built his fortune with Carl Showalter’s ransom riches, which Lorne Malvo is now trying to separate him from through a reign of terror. (Or, I suppose, a “rain” of terror.) There you have it. It is, as they say, all connected.
4) Oh, Lester. Oh LesterLesterLester. At least Stavros’s problems are, apparently, being caused by a mad, chaos-loving, quasi-deity. You just can’t seem to get out of your own goddamn way long enough to take a single step in any direction. For the love of God, man, your best decision all night — your BEST decision — was using your gross, infected, buckshot-filled right hand to punch that cop in the face so he had no choice but to arrest you and drive you away from danger. And even that backfired, because now you’re stuck in a cell, with a doubly painful hand, with the two hitmen — one of whom you just tased — who you punched the cop to escape from in the first place. Oh, Lester. You know that saying “the world is your oyster”? Well, in this case, the world is your whatever-the-opposite-of-oyster-is. Scorpion, probably, because of the whole desert thing, and the stinging. Yeah. The world is your scorpion.
5) STORMWATCH 2006
“Ooo-kay there. Thanks for coming to this meeting. I’m lookin’ at the maps over here, and, yah, we got big storm brewing, okay? Looks like it could drop two, maybe three feeta snow in some parts now. Gonna have to be extra careful out thurr. I mean, gee whiz, we could see white-out conditions all day Monday as the wind whips up the snow on the ground, dontcha know? We’re callin’ it Stormwatch 2006. If you see anyone in trouble, or get a call, don’t hesitate lend a hand, yah? We’re the police. That’s what wurr thurr for.”
This delights me.
Other notes and half-things:
– Gus : Fargo :: Jerry/Larry : Parks & Rec
– As UPROXX’s resident expert on the hairstylings of antagonists on FX dramas, allow me to say this: Adam Goldberg’s hair is a marvel.
– Favorite part of last night’s episode: Watching two hitmen use sign language to bicker like an old married couple inside a diner.
– A staggering amount of police work on this show gets done while people are going to the bathroom. Especially Gus trying to explain himself to his boss. I guess you could say he’s … … … … … … debriefing him in the bathroom.
– We were a little light on the Ballad of Officer Molly Solverson, which is understandable seeing as the investigation took us in different directions last night, but also not understandable because Allison Tolman continues to be great. (“Used to be we were monkeys, right?”) More of her, plz.
– I lied. My favorite part was when the one cop said “Save it, Cochese” to Lorne at the station. It made me think of the video for “Sabotage.” Shout out to Nathan Wind.
As always, your thoughts below.