FARGO EPISODE 8
This week’s episode kicks off with Lester having a brand new washing machine delivered to his house. When the deliveryman tells him the old one he had (the one he was repairing when he killed his wife) was a ‘lemon’, Lester takes it as an omen to drastically change his image. He immediately goes about throwing out his entire wardrobe and all of the kitsch décor in his house.
When he heads back to the office (sporting a new jacket and tie), he is confronted by Gina Hess over her rejected life insurance policy. When she tries to use her two sons to muscle money out of Lester, he whacks the two boys with staplers to the forehead and coolly tells Gina to walk away. As she does, Lester’s very impressed colleague Linda says he’s awesome and invites him over for chilli.
When the police officer guarding Mr Wrench goes to the bathroom, Malvo suddenly appears at the urinal and strangles him from behind (in a murder very reminiscent of No Country for Old Men. He then appears at Wrench’s bedside and tells him that he (Wrench) came as close to killing him (Malvo) as anyone ever had, gives him the keys to his handcuffs and walks away.
Solverson, having been cleared by her doctor to go back to work, shows Oswalt an elaborate whiteboard chart on the case (where she incidentally has figured everything out). Oswalt doesn’t want to hear it and still believes the ‘brother Nygaard killed the wife and cornered and shot the chief”. When she protests he got it wrong, Oswalt shoots down and tells her, that’s just how life is sometimes and it wasn’t meant to be.
At a celebration at her father’s diner, Solverson reveals she still has misgivings about the case and that she has been getting flowers from a suitor: Grimly.
Then we see the series flash forward one year(!?!) And we see that Grimly has given up work on the force and become a mailman and is now happily married to Solverson, who is very pregnant. They have moved into a new house and are living in domestic idyll (Grimly’s daughter even calls Solverson ‘Mom’).
With no work to do around the office, Solverson continues to try and solve the Malvo/Nygaard case, but is continually being brushed off by the FBI when she calls.
In the one year gap Lester has gone from strength to strength – we see him accepting an award in Las Vegas for being Insurance Salesman of the Year, he bounces up onto the stage confidently and thanks his new wife Linda (the lady from the office) and makes a cheerful speech that obliquely references his dead wife and brother. As he and his very supportive wife are headed back to their room, he makes eyes with a tall brunette, makes an excuse and heads over to the bar alone. Continuing to make eyes with the brunette, he overhears someone asking the waiter for more sparkling water; it’s Malvo!
I was not expecting the series to jump forward one year, we’ll have to see in the next two episodes if it pays off: but so far, it was good to see Grimly and Solverson get married and see how successful Lester had become from becoming more and more evil.
It definitely feels as though we are moving to dramatic Solverson/Malvo/Nygaard showdown in the final two episodes.
Solverson now being pregnant makes her very close to Frances McDormand in the film Fargo. Interestingly, one of the strengths of the original was the domestic bliss between Margie and her husband Norm (and his stamp competition), in a nice contrast the whole Grimly / Solverson plotline shows how that type of relationship came to be.
Bob Odenkirk had his best scene shooting down Solverson on her whiteboard. Particularly awesome was his attempt to spare her feelings by telling her ‘the guys are gonna have a cake for you, try and act surprised.”
The two arguing detectives who were in their car outside while Malvo massacred an entire crime syndicate have been relegated to the basement permanently. I knew those guys would show up again, they had way too much personality to be nothing characters.
Lester’s sister in law Kitty (who in turns out is the girl from Road Trip) comes out of nowhere to deliver the kick ass line: ‘I was Miss Hubbard County. You don’t cheat on Miss Hubbard County’ ‘’