Fargo 1.03 Review: A Muddy Road


This. Show. Is. Crazy. We’re now in week three of FX’s new series, Fargo, and I have no complaints whatsoever. The show is compelling, dramatic, hilarious and violent. I don’t think there could be anything else you wanted in a show, could there?

This episode begins showing us a little bit of background of the man we found in Lorne Malvo’s trunk at the start of the series two weeks ago. We still don’t know much, but we know he worked in St. Paul, that Lorne dragged him into a parking garage by his tie, and cut his clothes off with a knife. Not long after we find that information, Deputy Molly Solverson finds it, and she remains convinced that this mystery man is connected to Lester Nygaard.

Lorne, meanwhile, has already discovered the blackmailer he was seeking for his latest gig, and confronts “Don” (Glenn Howerton, this week’s unexpected acting MVP). Don is a fool, so Lorne takes over the blackmail operation. Obviously, he had his own motivations to find the blackmailer, but it wasn’t to help the supermarket guy. I thought he might be helping the supermarket guy in a roundabout way, until he blackmailed him for more money, put adderall in his pill bottle, and killed his dog. This dude is a MONSTER!

While this is going on, Lester is becoming guilt-ridden sitting at home, so he decides to go back to work. His first assignment? Go to get Sam Hess’ wife to sign some insurance paperwork. Awkward. Well after his widow (the former Vegas stripper) hits on Lester (and a HILARIOUS background scene in which one of Sam’s sons shoots the other in the butt with a crossbow), he leaves, but he is followed by the two men who were looking for Lorne last week. Still not sure what they’re up to, but boy do I ever want to know!

Molly still hasn’t given up on Lester being involved in this somehow, despite her new chief’s warnings not to pursue him. She uses a sneaky tactic on Lester, but she is now convinced that he knows Lorne somehow. That comes to fruition when Duluth Police Officer Gus Grimly comes all the way to Bemidji to let them know he screwed up when he let Lorne Malvo get away, and turns out he was driving Lester’s car! The plot thickens!! There was some clear romantic chemistry between single father Gus and loner cop Molly, bee tee dubs. Interested to see if both of them make it out of this alive!

I’m really interested in this supermarket mogul, Stavros Milos. Why in the world is worried by this amateur blackmail note? Why is Lorne torturing him (blood in the shower? Seriously?)? Don obviously didn’t understand what he was doing when he made the blackmail note, but the fact that Milos took it so seriously is intriguing. I’m anxious to see how that story progresses.

Acting superlatives this week go to Glenn Howerton and Colin Hanks. I can’t get over Howerton’s superior performance in such a huge departure from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. He was barely in this episode but he nails every single bit of it, and that Minnesota accent? Perfect. Colin Hanks is a horse of a different color. After a few weeks of extremely minor scenes featuring Hanks, he finally has something to do this week. He shows a lot more depth and complexity to Gus Grimly this week. Gus is compelling because he knows he was wrong to let Malvo go, but he was right to protect his daughter. Ultimately, he does what he can to make things right, which shows his character heading in the opposite direction of the show’s main character (anti-hero?), Lester Nygaard.

As always, Martin Freeman and Billy Bob Thornton are at the top of their game. This show gets better and better every week, and I can’t wait to see where it goes. I mean, seriously, what other show is going to make you laugh, cry, cringe and vomit all in the course of an hour? If you aren’t watching this show, you should be. Period. Come on over and use my DVR if you want! I can’t wait to see where next week’s plot goes on Fargo. What about you? What do you think? Crazy theories yet? Sound off in the comments and I’ll see you next week!

[Photo via  Chris Large/FX]

Nick Hogan is a TV and movie fanatic. He loves writing reviews, TV discussion, and is always looking for new things to watch. He also co-hosts a podcast called Changing Panels (changingpanels.com/@ChangingPanels) about Comic Book TV. Follow him on Twitter @nickyahogan
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