In a nutshell, Fargo is basically a dark-comedic murder mystery where the viewer knows exactly who is doing the killing but not necessarily why.
Starring Billy Bob Thornton ( Bad Santa, The Man who Wasn’t There), as the sadistic killer Lorne Malvo, and Martin Freeman (The Office, The Hobbit), as the hapless wife murderer Lester Nygaard, and set in Minnesota, on the edge of the ‘Great Lakes’ in the northeastern US, this is a homicidal look at small town America.
While you may not have watched the first four episodes on SBS on Thursday’s at 9:30pm, tthey are available to watch online at SBS on demand.
In the meantime, if you have, enjoy the episode four recap.
In this week’s prologue, we flashback to 1987 where a very put upon Stavros Milos is driving his station wagon with his complaining wife and baby. The car runs out of gas, and with his wife haranguing him (what is it with this show and complaining wives?) he lies down on the middle of the road and asks God for a sign. Almost instantaneously he discovers $1 million in the briefcase buried by Steve Buscemi’s character after the botched ransom in the film Fargo. Milos get’s back into his car and declares to his wife that ‘God is for real’.
Malvo, Solverson & Grimly
In the aftermath of last week’s blood shower, Stavros employs a plumber, who in fact is Don, the spray tanned personal trainer who is in cahoots with Malvo. Don (posing as the plumber) says he can find nothing, but then makes an oblique biblical allusion to God being wrathful, which sends Milos into an apoplectic frenzy.
Grimly receives a routine animal welfare call and shows up at Milos’ house. He sees Malvo and awkwardly tries to arrest him for the murders in the first episode. Malvo slips into his assigned alias, Minister Frank Peterson and plays the part of a malmsey & homespun local preacher. Solverson tries to come down from Bemidji to question him, but she is overruled by the dim witted Oswalt once again who says he has precedence over the case. Back in Duluth, Malvo continues his ‘aw shucks’ routine in the face of the Sheriff’s interrogation. They check his apparently perfect alibi and let him go.
Solverson questions the motel owners from the first episode – they go through their records and eventually find the name Lorne Malvo. She rings Grimly and tells him the discovery just as Malvo is being released. As Malvo goes to leave the station he is confronted by Grimly about how he can continue to lie all the time. Malvo plays the part of the preacher until Grimly says his real name to him. Malvo turns and gives him a riddle ‘why do human beings see more shades of green than any other creature?“ Later that night, after having been reprimanded by his superior, Grimly meets with Solverson to go over the day’s events. Solverson immediately picks up the meaning of the riddle – people see shades of green to protect themselves from predators – Malvo constantly lies to get an advantage over the world.
After he is released, Malvo meets up with Don (who has spent the day at pet stores) and they continue terrorising Milos. This time they set off a plague of locusts throughout his supermarket – pandemonium ensues as customers struggle to escape. In this midst of the bedlam, Milos receives a phone call telling him to provide $1 million payment the next day and that God is watching. He hangs up and repeats his cry “God is for real”.
After briefly returning home with his brother, Lester receives a threatening phone call from Mr Numbers, who apparently still believes Lester killed Hess to be with his stripper wife, asking him “if it was worth it’. Lester looks overwhelmed and puts the phone down. We then see Mr Numbers and Mr Wrench having coffee at Lou’s Diner (Solverson’s father’s place) where they have a very ridiculous domestic argument through sign language.
Eventually they grab Lester and throw him into the trunk of their car and drive off to the icy lake. Whilst in the boot, Lester tries to call his brother for help but eventually finds a Taser. Once at the lake, Mr Numbers tries to beat a confession out of him, and Lester comes very close to naming Malvo as Hess’ killer, but manages to use the Taser gun on Mr Numbers and escapes. He runs to an empty road and punches a police officer to get arrested so he can getaway from his would be killers.
Later, whilst Mr Numbers and Mr Wrench are drunk in a local bar their tensions spill over into an all out brawl. As the episode ends we see they too have been arrested and will be sharing a cell for the night – with Lester!
Milos finding the money was the first strong reference we’ve seen to the original film Fargo so far – curious to see how close the series and film will be linked as we go further into the season.
How awesome is Solverson? Every week she completely nails the case in spite of all of her idiotic colleagues
Lester’s brother watching porn whilst he was calling for help from the trunk of his car was priceless.
How ridiculous is Don’s spray tan?
Lester will definitely have to give over the details of the murder – it seems like a showdown between Wrench, Numbers and Malvo is inevitable.