‘Fargo’ Discussion: ‘Get Crackin, Mister’

05.28.14 4 years ago 83 Comments



Which, like, yeah. In retrospect, of course Officer Molly Solverson was going to live. It feels a little silly to have thought otherwise. Who the hell else is gonna step up and take on your Malvos and your Nygaards and whatever other burgeoning supervillains sprout up through the Minnesota snow like diabolical weeds. Gus? Please. Bill? Be serious. It’s a miracle those two haven’t crashed their cruisers into each other yet, leading to a massive fire that burns down the evidence room and everything in it. No, Solverson had to live, or the whole thing would have started coming apart at the seams like a ratty old baseball.

But. Still. With that said. It was an incredible relief to see her sitting up in that hospital bed, goofing on Gus, and putting all the pieces together, spleen or no spleen. I do not want to live in a world without Molly Solverson pleasantly youbetcha’ing her way from clue to clue like Minnesota Columbo. Luckily, it appears I do not have to.

And while we’re on the subject of Molly Solverson, let’s point this out: I’ve mentioned this before, but I think my favorite part of her character is the way she has quietly and politely ticked off every trope in the Loose Cannon Cop playbook. She pushed too hard on a case and got taken off it, she kept investigating it anyway despite a direct order from the chief, she snuck into Lester’s house without a warrant, and last night, she covered the window of her hospital room with wild scribblng that outlined a far-fetched (but correct) theory of the case that proved everything is secretly connected. She is the greatest.


The second big thing from last night’s episode was Lester continuing his plunge into the deepest parts of the sociopath pool. Last week I described his transformation as Ned Flanders to Keyser Soze, and while I still think that works (especially after he spun that false yarn in the interview room and strutted out of the police station), maybe the better way to phrase it is that he’s gone Full Walter White. He went from a polite, occasionally overwhelmed family man to a black-hearted monster who will go to staggering lengths in the interests of self-preservation and gratification. I mean, in the last two hours of television alone he has framed his brother and nephew for gun-related crimes and had angry revenge sex under false pretenses with the widow of a man whose death he set in motion. At least Walter White was doing everything under the guise of providing for his family after he was gone. Lester is just doing it because he snapped. That’s even worse.

Unrelated: Shoutout to Gordo.



And, finally, of course, Lorne Malvo, who did just a tremendous amount of work in a small amount of screen time. The scene with his handler — or whoever that man was with the Korean ex-wife from Georgia who liked to spit on him during sex — in Reno was a delight from beginning to end. “This one calls the ambulance. This one calls the hearse.” Well, technically, both phones could call either number (and WHO EVEN HAD two landline phones in their office in 2006, anyway), but whatever. That’s not the point. And it’s not like you’re gonna correct Lorne Malvo on the subject of telecommunication, or anything else, for that matter. Just tell him who to see in Fargo and take your lumps.

Which brings us to my favorite part of the episode: the rampage tracking shot at the end that introduced us to the FBI agents played by Key and Peele (whose names are “Webb Pepper” and “Bill Budge,” because Fargo is the best at names) and ended with…


Shooting the whole thing from outside the building was a fun way to put a twist on a scene we’ve seen before in countless action movies and shoot-’em-up TV shows. Even without actually seeing any of it, I could picture it all, right down to the “Oh sh*t” look on the face of the henchman whose gun went “click” when it should have gone “bang.” Between this scene and the blizzard shootout from last week, Fargo is doing wonderful things with televised violence, in addition to all the other wonderful things it is doing.

Fargo is a good show. I think that’s what I’m trying to say.

Other highlights:

– Do yourself a favor: Go back and watch Lester’s interrogation again, but this time mute the television and just focus on the faces Bob Odenkirk makes whenever the camera cuts to him. He cycles from shock to horror to childlike wonder and back again, and it’s all really just terrific fun to watch. What a goddamn treasure that man is.


– Speaking of Solverson and wordless acting via facial expressions, I think this just about sums up where we are heading into the final three episodes.



As always, your thoughts below.

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