Tuesday, April 29, 2014

REVIEW: 'Fargo' - Molly & Gus Share a Milkshake While Gina Tries to Get Money Out of Lester in 'A Muddy Road'

FX's Fargo - Episode 1.03 A Muddy Road

Malvo flips the script on the blackmail operation, Molly sets a trap and Gus debates whether he should come clean. Lester's return to work has complicated repercussions.

The pieces are still just percolating on Fargo but, damn, those pieces percolating are just so entertaining. Molly and Gus finally meet and start discussing Lester Nygaard and Lorne Malvo. They don't have all the pieces yet. But together they are going to make one great team. Molly really is the first law enforcement person to treat Gus with any kind of respect. Everyone else just assumes he's animal control. That explains how easily it took him to back down when faced with Malvo. Instead of being angry with him for letting Malvo go, Molly welcomes his insight. He's the only one she can talk rationally with about the case. She's been able to connect things. She might be over-stepping her bounds a lot of the time. Her visit to Lester after being told to stop harassing him is proof of that. But sitting down with Gus at Lou's leaves that corner of the show hopeful for the future.

Hopeful cannot exactly be said for what the other characters are dealing with. Lester is trying to get back to work. But he quickly realizes that that is just as tumultuous as the rest of his life. His co-workers either walk on eggshells or just speak bluntly. The first case he's assigned to deal with involves going to see Gina Hess - the widow of Sam Hess who Lester had a hand in killing. That scene is awkward but Lester is calmly repressing his knowledge of how Sam died. That's interesting. He's still fumbling when interacting with people but he's getting better at lying both in his words and in his manners. He can still be taken aback when Gina straddles him to get the money faster but his exterior doesn't showcase guilt. And yet, that circumstance leads Mr. Numbers and Mr. Wrench to suspect him. A notion that is entirely correct even if the reasoning may be very wrong. They visit him and Molly stops by the office. I don't think that will be the final time Lester has a run-in with those two.

Then, there's Malvo who's dealing with business as usual - dragging a guy out of his office by his tie and taking over the blackmail of Stavros Milos. There's no reason why Malvo should be sticking around in Duluth. He's caught the guy he was hired to catch. And yet, he thinks it could be fun to mess with everyone. And that's the core motivation for everything that Malvo does. If he can have fun uprooting people's lives to see how they react, then he'll do it. That means keeping Don on his side - albeit he doesn't know what that means - as well as swapping out Stavros' medication and killing his beloved dog. That's some messed up stuff but it's still very entertaining watching Malvo as he slyly gets away with everyone. The walls aren't closing in on him yet. Though I expect they will be shortly.

Some more thoughts:
  • "A Muddy Road" was written by Noah Hawley and directed by Randall Einhorn.
  • This week's inspirational quote is "The Key to Life is Happiness."
  • Molly's father and Gus' boss have a past that includes a joint task force in Sioux Falls. Hmm, that could prove important later.
  • I just love how Gina tries to gather herself after learning that Lester is with the insurance company. Her first question? Do you want some whiskey?
  • I'm just so amused that Malvo isn't concerned with hiding his tracks at all. He walks right by that security camera without a care in the world. He's confident he can talk himself out of any situation he finds himself in.
  • Molly doesn't want to live in a world where a spider can lay eggs in someone's neck. And yet, the world she does live can be so much worse.
  • A gif of Martin Freeman shooting that gun will be made very shortly, right?