This recap is of Fargo episode three on SBS One – Thursdays at 9:30pm
Episode three of this excellent new series opens with a flashback of the man who escaped from Lorne Malvo’s (Billy Bob Thornton) car at the beginning of episode one. Malvo walks into the man’s office and leaves carrying him by his tie. Cut to the man escaping from the car in his underpants, hiding behind a tree, and then bleeding to death.
Deputy Molly Solverson (Allison Tolman), now off the Hess murder case, has been reassigned to deal with the frozen body in the woods. She questions his colleagues and watches the security footage of Malvo dragging the man by his tie through the lobby of his office.
As suspected, the personal trainer with the blotchy skin cream left the black mail note for Stavros Milos (Oliver Platt). Malvo goes to his gym and decides to take over the black mail. He makes the trainer work for him – ‘the first thing we need is a new blackmail letter.’
We begin to see the perverse methodology Malvo puts into his targets – meeting with an apocalyptic medical supplies salesman to purchase medication- he then turns up at Milos’ house – which has a seriously ridiculous office filled with painted self-portraits and stained glass windows – murders his dog and leaves a new black mail note. He is promptly summoned by Milos (who, remember, still thinks Malvo is a private investigator) and tells him to just find the guy who killed his dog.
Malvo, finagles his way into staying into Milos’ house, reasoning that the blackmailer could strike at the house again (and presumably so he can continue to torment Milos). Which indeed he does, – filling Milos’ showerhead with pig’s blood as he bathes. As an aside, Milos also seems to harbour some very intense and complex religious convictions.
Lester Nygaard (Martin Freeman), still haunted by the massacre at his home, goes back to work. Almost everything Lester says is a lie, and the deeper embroiled he gets, the more anxious and bumbling he becomes – there’s no telling how bad this could get if things continue to spiral out of control.
On his first assignment he is sent out to Hess’ widow, Gina, (Kate Walsh) so that they can settle the life insurance for his estate. Dressed in her pyjamas she asks Lester ‘Do you want some whiskey?” – it’s like 8:30 in the morning! She doesn’t seem particularly phased about her husband’s death and dispenses with pleasantries and immediately gets to brass tax (“When do I get my money.”) Realising that wrangling money from Lester could be difficult, she plies him with liquor awkwardly tries to seduce him, before one of her sons shoots the other with a crossbow.
Almost everything Lester says is a lie, and the deeper embroiled he gets, the more anxious and bumbling he becomes – there’s no telling how bad this could get if things continue to spiral out of control.
Mr Numbers and Mr Wrench
Mr Numbers and Mr Wrench (Adam Goldberg and Russell Harvard) are still hanging around, is it a matter of time before a showdown with Malvo? In the meantime, the bizarre two-man hit team have been watching the whole meeting and adduce that Lester may have plotted Hess’ death with his widow. They show up at Lester’s office and accuse him of being involved in Hess’ murder, but before things can really heat up, Solverson shows up and breaks up their meeting. Things only get worse for Lester when he sees the security photo of Malvo in Solverson’s file. He quickly ends their meeting and flees.
Solverson & Grimly
Good vibes between police officers Solverson and Gus Grimly (Colin Hanks) as the seemingly only decent characters in all of Minnesota. Solverson, it turns out, only came to Lester’s office to gauge his response at seeing the photo of Malvo from the security footage. Seeing him freak out she reports her suspicions of his involvement in the double murder to Bill Oswalt (Bob Odenkirk), who repeats his orders to lay off Lester while he is still grieving his dead wife.
Grimly, still reeling from his run in with Malvo in episode one, confesses to his commander about not reporting the stolen car. The commander tells him to look all of their old files and to take personal responsibility for the error. He and his daughter decide to drive to Bemidji in person to fess up to their mistake in person, where they are introduced to Solverson at the station. He admits to failing to report the stolen car and being threatened by the driver – using the security photo Solverson figures out the driver of the stolen car on the night of the murders was Malvo (although they don’t know his name, yet).
Solverson, now convinced Lester is seriously implicated in the murders, invites them for dinner at her father Lou Solverson’s (Keith Carradine) café. We hear a little about Lou’s back-story – worked with Grimly’s boss and ‘he was a prick’ – definitely not the last we’ve heard of her father’s past.
Fargo is scheduled Thursday nights at 9:30pm on SBS One. You can catch up here.