Fargo 1.04 Review: “Eating the Blame”

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It’s week four and I’m still marveling at how Fargo can simultaneously make me laugh and cringe.

This week, at least one of my questions from last week gets answered. Which was (paraphrasing myself) “Why is Stavros Milos so concerned over this blackmail? Especially if he’s rich?” This week’s answer was pretty clear: he prayed to God in his time of deepest need and God delivered….a briefcase full of cash. Stavros was obviously deathly afraid that someone knew about this money he found in a frozen tundra, and he wanted to keep it quiet. This encounter (finding the miracle money) did create quite a faith experience for Stavros…which makes it all the more scary when blood shows up in your shower or locusts show up in your store. Good news though: 1 million dollars makes the Egyptian plague go away. I was anxious to learn more about Stavros’ background and I must say I wasn’t disappointed. They barely used him in the episode and yet I feel like I know him a thousand times better. Don and Lorne seem to be having a heck of a time torturing him too. I can’t help but wonder how Don’s blackmail efforts would be going if Lorne hadn’t intervened. Alas, the world may never know.

Meanwhile: Gus is sent on a “dead dog” call and spies Lorne on the way there, so Gus arrests Lorne. Can’t help feeling like that is a mistake. When he calls Molly to let her know, she seeks permission to drive to Duluth to interview him, but Bill insists on going himself, since he is in charge of that case now. As you can imagine, this turns sour quickly. Lorne effectively plays the part of Frank Peterson, a minister. Apparently, Lorne knows a thing or two about the real Frank Peterson, because he was able to come up with an alibi that checked out. Of course, Bill and Lt. Schmidt were never going to get very far, and Lorne is able to escape the situation to return to his blackmailing of Stavros. Molly and Gus did manage to find out Lorne’s real name (Lorne) and are now hot on the trail, though that just makes me scared for them.

Meanwhile, our favorite anti-hero Lester has returned to his home with his brother in tow. The blood on the floor from the sheriff’s murder in episode 1 is still fresh. He’s still being tailed by the men seeking Sam Hess’ killer, and sooner or later he’s away from his brother long enough to be pushed into a trunk by those two thugs. After calling his brother (who was “in a meeting”) and getting no help, Lester uses a stun gun and takes matters into his own hands. While the deaf guy dug the hole in the ice (they were bullying Lester into confessing to killing Sam, even though he didn’t), Lester was able to stun the other guy and escape. Unfortunately, he also had to punch a police officer to get a ride back to the station…but not the good kind. The officer he punched was King of Queens’ Gary Valentine, who just did a brilliant job with his small part in the episode. I’m loving the comedians who take a slight turn for the serious role in shows like this. So much respect.

Of course, once those two figure out what Lester has done and how he did it, it’s only a matter of time before they (the investigators) get into a very public fight to put themselves in the drunk tank…right next to Lester!!! Yikes!

Well, I think my general observations of this show so far has been positive. Well, it depends on how you define positive, but the show is fantastically written, beautifully acted, plus dramatic, bloody, yet hilarious. I absolutely love seeing comedic actors in serious roles (you’d know by my gushing over Glenn Howerton two weeks in a row, and now Gary Valentine), and this is the perfect show for that. This week’s episode answered many of my questions while still sending more my way. I’m really anxious and excited to see where next week takes us. I’m rooting for the good guys (Molly and Gus) to stay alive but I really enjoy watching the bad guys (pretty much everyone else). This show seems to cater to my taste but I am loving every minute of it! What about you guys? What do you think? Best Mini-Series Emmy caliber? I vote yes!

[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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