Fargo 1.07 Review: “Who Shaves the Barber?”

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This week’s Fargo was a little crazy and a little more poignant and thought provoking. Of course, it was still crazy, but in less of a “whoa he just killed that guy” way and more of a “I can almost see where this character is headed” kind of way. Ya know? Anyway, let’s jump in, shall we?

If you’ll recall, last week Molly was shot by Gus in the snow storm standoff, and Lester had planted evidence at his brothers house, and a gun in his nephew’s backpack. One by one, these actions came to fruition in very different ways.

Lester’s brother, Chazz, is kind of a jerk. So when Chazz comes in to Lester’s hospital room last week and yells at him, Lester gets the bright (okay, genius) idea to frame his brother for his wife’s murder, and then pretend that he was covering for his brother the whole time. So he plants the murder weapon in a secret compartment at Chazz’s house, alongside some underwear and scantily clad pictures of his wife. Then, he plants a handgun in his son(Lester’s nephew)’s backpack. Inevitably, while at school, the gun comes flying out of the backpack. Naturally, this leads to a warrant and Barney Fife…er…Bill Oswalt searching the premises, and finding the evidence that Lester planted. Bill then meets with Lester, who apparently has done some thinking about this conversation, because he pulls out an extremely detailed whopper of a story and Bill buys it hook line and sinker, and even gets a bit emotional during it. Chazz is taken into custody and transferred to county, and his yelling for Lester only makes him look more guilty. Pure. Brilliance. I’m more than a little scared that I’ll run into a real life Lester now, though.

Meanwhile, in the Duluth hospital, Molly awakens. She is immediately greeted by Gus and Greta. Molly can’t quite recall what happened, but Gus admits to shooting her. I must know Molly’s character (or at least her type) because I predicted that the news wouldn’t phase her, and it didn’t. She jokingly demanded that Gus find her a replacement spleen immediately, and that’s pretty much the end of the discussion. It isn’t long before Molly feels well enough to head down to talk to Mr. Wrench, who she shot just before Gus shot her. Mr. Numbers is dead, Molly informs Mr. Wrench, before making little headway on the Malvo front, but she can tell he recognizes that name. Before long, Molly (along with Gus) puts together that Misters Numbers and Wrench were sent to Duluth by Lester, who knew Malvo would be there. Molly soon returns home (much to the chagrin of Gus, who brought her flowers) and has her father drive her to the station, but when she gets there, no one is there. She was all pumped up, ready to talk to Lester again when she finds out that everyone is out celebrating the arrest of Chazz. Poor Molly, she is completely shocked, and you can tell by the look on her face that she has no idea where to go from here. I don’t know where she’s going to go from here either, but darned if I’m not excited about it!! I’m really loving the Gus/Molly dynamic, too. If there’s ever a relationship, she’s definitely going to wear the pants, but she’s so kind and gentle in nature that it doesn’t matter. I’m pretty sure I said “aww” out loud 3 or 4 times during this episode.

Now that Chazz has been successfully framed, Lester is joyously setting out to get his house cleaned (the cleaners hung up on him when he mentioned blood) and returns to work. Upon his return, his boss tells him that the Widow Hess’ claim was denied, because Sam had stopped paying the premium. Lester volunteers to go talk to her, but you can tell by the look in his eye that he has an ulterior motive. Lester, of course, is in full on revenge on the world mode now. He’s killed his wife, framed his brother for his wife’s murder, and then he seduces the wife of the man who pushed him over the edge. I’m not sure I agree with his actions (okay, I DEFINITELY don’t), but you gotta admit that Lester has a certain enviable bravery about him now. He’s following Malvo’s “there are no rules” advice from episode 1 like his life depended on it (and it very well might).

Speaking of Malvo, I’m sure you’ve all been wondering where he was during this episode. We first spot him tracking down a synchronized swimming realtor in Reno, Nevada, to find out what he knows about the men that followed him from Fargo. Of course, that dude doesn’t live long, but apparently Malvo has found what he needed, because the next time we see him, he’s in Fargo, ND and he’s slipping a giant machine gun past two FBI agents (played by Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele of Key & Peele fame) into a crime syndicate headquarters. Let’s just say, Key and Peele are going to have their work cut out for them in this case. Not sure they belong in the FBI, but they were extremely entertaining.

One more thought for this week: Did anyone else notice when Chazz and his wife were watching the news and it talked about the fish that fell from the sky and killed Stavros’ son last week? Do you mean to tell me that this was an ACTUAL fishnado? Don’t get me wrong, I think that’s hysterical, but I also really didn’t expect it to be theorized in the show. Do you think that it really was a fishnado, or that Malvo orchestrated it somehow?

Acting superlatives this week were really tough. I love Billy Bob Thornton week in and week out. Alison Tolman and Colin Hanks win me over week after week. Key and Peele were excellent casting choices. But, this week I’m going with Bob Odenkirk (Bill Oswalt) and Martin Freeman (Lester Nygaard). Martin Freeman brings such a fascinating element to his role. He’s a downtrodden man who’s taking back what he feels life owes him, and he does it so calmly and effortlessly. It’s so effortless, in fact, that I’d be scared to ever talk to Martin Freeman in real life, now. Odenkirk (of Breaking Bad fame) seems always to be underrated. However, in a show like this one that uses a lot of comedic actors for semi-serious roles, Odenkirk stands out. Saul Goodman was largely considered comic relief, but Odenkirk’s Oswalt has real obstacles to overcome, like not wanting to believe that Lester could hurt anyone, or, you know, being dumb as a rock. Oswalt’s character has made me laugh out loud and he took a serious turn during his conversation with Lester in this episode, and I thought they’d be hard pressed to find a comedic actor who could do things like that.

It’s clear now what Lester is up to, and that Molly is hot on his trail, and that Gus is hot for Molly, but what about Malvo? I still don’t understand who he’s working for, or what his endgame is, but it’s keeping me hooked the whole way. I also really want to know if that was an actual fishnado, and to applaud the casting choices on the show so far (especially Key and Peele). What do you guys think? Excited to see Key and Peele? Theories on Malvo’s endgame? Sound off below! See you all next week! Only three episodes left!

[Photo via 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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