For the first time this season, Fargo pulls back on the reins for an episode and slows things down a bit. Even predators need time to contemplate their next move, and the natives and visitors of Bemidji need to do the same.
Things have been moving at a clip. The usual quiet town in Minnesota has Officer Molly looking “like a raccoon,” working late nights in an effort to tie her three homicide cases together. Five episodes in to the 10 episode open and closed season, this is essentially halftime, and “The Six Ungraspables” treats it as such. It’s time to get the money together, get that hand taken care of and hear a few parables.
Molly is slowly piecing the Malvo case together, but most of the heavy lifting, like questioning a stripper at the Lucky Penny, occurs off-screen. Instead, Molly’s real progress comes in the form of finally convincing Bill that the murders could all be connected to Lester. I’ve doled out praise for Billy Bob Thornton weekly, but Allison Tolman has been a fantastic protagonist, a genuinely intuitive detective who also never feels like a know-it-all. She’s determined without being uncouth and disobedient to her boss, but never disrespectful. Basically, she’s extremely likable and for the virtually unknown Tolman, this could be a vessel to stardom.
Molly makes the stride of getting Bill to at least consider Lester’s involvement, but unfortunately, Lester spends most of the episode unconscious, so the case stays still until Lester opens his eyes, and despite the episodes closing shot, he can’t play possum forever. He might have bigger problems after waking up than Molly. With only a little forcible negotiating strategy, Lester gives up Malvo’s name to Mr. Numbers and Mr. Wrench, and something tells me that Malvo might be a little angry with Lester when he discovers he ratted him out. Lester does even more spilling when, semi-conscious in the ambulance, he basically confirms to Molly that Malvo killed Sam Hess but he never paid him to do it. At this point, you have to wonder what fate is worse for Lester, life in prison, or whatever Malvo’s going to do when he finds out he’s blabbing.
Speaking of Malvo, he takes a bit of time to rest this episode as well. After putting the fear of God into Stavros, the supermarket Pharaoh is convinced that the Book of Exodus is playing out right in front of his eyes, and he alerts Malvo that he’s going to pay the ransom. Malvo basically lays in wait the whole episode, a predator waiting to pounce on his prize, but he also has other prey to vet. Knowing that Officer Gus Grimly is hot on his tail, Malvo spends a little time watching the officer and picking up a walkie-talkie, creepily eavesdropping on Gus’ teenage daughter. When the neighborhood watch comes by, Malvo dishes out one of his patented sinister threats served with a smile, but no real violence creeps into this episode.
It’s fitting that the entire episode takes place at night, because most of the plot stays sleeping this episode, giving us more time with each character and their fears, anxieties, and unanswered questions. We spend a sleepless night with the characters of Fargo, and when the sun rises in the show, the sun will begin setting on the season, and I can only guess we will be wishing we got some rest for the actions ahead.
The Best of the Rest
- In tonight’s cold open, we flashback to see how Lester acquired the rifle that was used to kill Vern, and we also relive Vern’s death and get a firsthand look at how Lester got hit with the buckshot.
- Speaking of Vern, his wife Ida has their baby, a girl named Bernadette. Ida and Molly’s scene in the hospital wasn’t necessary to the plot, but it helped tie the episode together and reminded us exactly who Molly is doing all of this for.
- “If anyone could shoot themselves in the face with an unloaded firearm, it’s you.” – Pearl to Lester. Anyone else not entirely sad he bludgeoned her?
- Malvo pays another visit to the van o’drugs. Turns out it also shells out appliances too. How resourceful.
- An unseen man with a badge gives Mr. Numbers and Mr. Wrench a file on Malvo. Who could that be?
- Gus gets a strange visit from his neighbor across the way, who offers a curious parable about how only a fool thinks he can solve the worlds problems.
- Dmitri does the detective work on the crickets, but Stavros doesn’t want to hear it. He’s afraid his firstborn will be killed.
- Molly breaks into Lester’s and inspects the washer, but doesn’t find the hammer.