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S01.E06: Buridan's Ass

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Malvo executes his master plan, while Lester attempts to craft one of his own. Gus and Molly team up in Duluth.

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I know so many people think this show is brilliant, but I just can't anymore. Everything is so utterly pointless and there's not a single character I can identify with or become even remotely invested in.
 

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I know so many people think this show is brilliant, but I just can't anymore. Everything is so utterly pointless and there's not a single character I can identify with or become even remotely invested in.

 

x1000

 

Aside from that, everybody on this show is dumb as a box of rocks, so Malvo runs roughshod over absolutely everybody. I'm really only interested in seeing how the whole things turns out for Lester, but I don't think that's enough to keep me watching.

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The list of the evilist is pretty spot on. I also think Molly had a vest and is ok.

As for the episode itself, that was just crazy. I'm surprised at everything that happened and that it happened in one episode.

Lester has certainly crossed the line from trying to get himself out of trouble to - I don't know what. Framing his own family? His nephew? I can see him resenting his brother but what could that kid have ever done to him.

That scene with Don was brutal and it didn't let up from there to the end.

Edited by Endeavour

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I was leaning forward towards the TV 20 minutes into that episode, and I didn't stop until the credits. Damn, what a ride.

 

The genius of that episode was that Lester went BACK to the hospital. Again, damn.

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How did Lester get back in his hospital room?  Did I miss something?

 

Tonight's episode was horrible.  No humour and too much gore.  What was with the fish? Haven't we seen that in a Paul Thomas Anderson movie?

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As for the episode itself, that was just crazy. I'm surprised at everything that happened and that it happened in one episode.

Lester has certainly crossed the line from trying to get himself out of trouble to - I don't know what. Framing his own family? His nephew? I can see him resenting his brother but what could that kid have ever done to him.

 

I liked how they killed half the cast then refused to give us an inkling of what was coming next week.

 

I think he put the gun in the backpack so the kid would take it to school, get caught with it and then the police would come to the house, find the unsecured gun cabinet and find the planted evidence.  If that's Lester's plan it really is genius. 

 

I don't believe Molly is dead either, did Malvo have her and was he firing toward Gus so Gus would shoot Molly?  Bold choice even for a master escape artist.  

 

Total normal reaction to having a voice scrambler: "Luke, I am your father."

 

I haven't a clue on where the fish came from.  Malvo couldn't have done that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Edited by whyjen8
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Damn!  Lester went dark tonight!  Setting up his brother to take the fall for his wife's death?  That alone is bad enough, but it looks like he will be using their son as well (the whole putting the gun in his backpack thing), so that is even lower.  And, then there was that final shot of that evil smile crossing his lips, once he got back safely.  Yeah, I think he's turned for good.  Great show from Martin Freeman tonight.

 

RIP, Mr. Numbers.  I wonder what happened to Mr. Wrench.  Hate to say it, but Molly was an idiot in this scenario.  Nothing good was going to come out of going into that blizzard, without much back-up.  Especially when the little back-up you have is Gus, who clearly has shown that he isn't cut out for this kind of intensity.  I totally knew he was going to accidentally shoot her.  I noticed the previews didn't show her, but I have a feeling she will be alive.  I didn't see any blood around her, so I'm thinking it will be the old "She had a vest and is just knocked out" trick.

 

Lorne is continuing to be one of the most evilest, craftiest bastards on the show.  What he did to Don was brutal, especially because the show made it obvious what was going down, and it was just watching him desperately try to escape, and basically a long waiting game, until the cops showed up.  I'm wondering if it was his plan all along to have the Supermarket King put the money back where he found it.  Does he even know that part of the story?

 

The fish thing was weird.  Most articles so far seem to think that it wasn't Lorne, but a random act.  I'm guessing it's going to be use to throw Lorne's plan off (since, he's clearly outsmarting everyone), but I was wondering for a second if Lorne bought a plane, and I just wasn't aware of it.  Or maybe a catapult! 

 

The the scene with the Supermarket King and the parking lot guy, reminded me a little bit of the film, when Steve Buscemi's character kind into it, with the toll booth guy at the airport.  But, from what I remember, he had to pay in the end.

 

A very dark episode; not much humor in this one; but I'm loving it.  I really want to see where this is all heading and who, if any, will be standing by the end.

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The the scene with the Supermarket King and the parking lot guy, reminded me a little bit of the film, when Steve Buscemi's character kind into it, with the toll booth guy at the airport. But, from what I remember, he had to pay in the end.

Also, the garage was Gustavson Parking Garage. Wade Gustavson was the character killed by Steve Buscemi in the parking lot in the movie.
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Well, I knew they couldn't and wouldn't sustain the elegance of the set-up.

 

I'll watch, but with nowhere near the delight I knew until now.  As depicted, there was no way for Malvo to have escaped the bullets.  I can totally buy that as a gen-u-eye-n demon, he is made of teflon when need be and he can disappear, as we already saw at Lester's when the Chief was killed.  If he is mortal?  BS.

 

Same for the fish - unless we specifically learn that killing the first born and that asshole security dude went against Malvo's plan.  There certainly have been instances where super storms have dropped wildlife far from their habitat.  But, try doing that with fish who have feet of ice above them.

 

What was with the hesitation by the "Fargo" (This is who Mr. Numbers named as Malvo was killing him) henchman when the big bad Russian-dupe dude demanded Malvo be killed?  Please.

 

How did Lester put the IV back in himself?  There was absolutely zero blood when he first removed it, too.  BS.

 

Now, with this massive spray of bullets on multiple sites, I suppose the State Police, the FBI, and the ATF will continue to take zero interest.   

 

One thing I was very pleased with:  Molly was back in clueless mode.  No follow-up at all about the locusts and just leaving a card?  Of course, that wouldn't already have been lore all around town?  Really?  Ugh.   That she got herself shot for being a total moron tactically when she and Gus were trying to figure stuff out?  That she refused to demand that Gus go to freaking town on that radio once they encountered the dead Mr. Numbers?   Went out half-cocked in a blinding snow, thus separating herself from her partner in a live shooting zone?  That's the dumbass Molly I can get behind.  

 

Oh...of couuuuurrrrrrse Gus managed to hit his target!  He can't do anything right and he makes a shot of which a Marine sniper would be proud.  

 

The one thing I care most about, excepting all-things Malvo, is the reveal of the syndicates who have now inadvertently found themselves at war with each other.  Who runs what and what is the Malvo connection?  What were his marching orders to begin with?  It seems he was tasked with getting the cash back from King, but I'd like to know for sure.

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Lester is most definitely breaking bad and getting his revenge for those who have bullied him. His own brother called Lester a loser and a burden. Lester's retaliation is pretty slick if not downright clever.

 

The raining fish remains a mystery though. Too bad the King's son Dimitri is a casualty.

 

No way is Molly dead.

 

Don's death was really gruesome.

 

Dark episode but riveting.

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I think he put the gun in the backpack so the kid would take it to school, get caught with it and then the police would come to the house, find the unsecured gun cabinet and find the planted evidence.  If that's Lester's plan it really is genius

Yes. That's exactly what I think Lester's plan is. Up until now I saw Lester's actions as a reaction to what was happening around him. Running into the wall to knock himself out, hitting the cop to get arrested, etc. Always a kind of desperate reaction to the situations he keeps finding himself in. In a way this is too, but now he's putting more thought into it and doesn't care about the consequences. He knows this will destroy his brother's family if he pulls it off and Lester is proud of what he's done.

 

As depicted, there was no way for Malvo to have escaped the bullets.

 

Are you referring to when he was in the car and they were in the snow? Probably a bit unbelievable (car mostly) but I'll give them a pass because of the whiteout conditions.

 

The raining fish remains a mystery though. Too bad the King's son Dimitri is a casualty.

I think the fish was a random act. I can't see anyone being behind that. I felt bad that Dimitri was killed.

 

I noticed the previews didn't show her

 

I didn't see the previews for next week. How many eps are left?

Edited by Endeavour
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Also, the garage was Gustavson Parking Garage. Wade Gustavson was the character killed by Steve Buscemi in the parking lot in the movie.

 

Not only did the garage have the same name as in the movie; from my recollection, the garage in the TV show looked exactly like the one in the movie. (The rooftop part, which is more memorable to me.) Clearly that was the intention, but I wonder if in order to realize the intention the makers of the TV show went back to that actual location (whatever city it is in) to shoot the scene.

 

As for the fish-nado, I wonder if that is an Act of God--not in the mere "insurance" sense of "unexplainable unpredictable event," but an actual, conscious, intentional act of the Supreme Being--as if He, the Lord, is saying, "Fool around with my plagues, will you, Malvo? I'll visit a real one upon all of you, just like I did in Ancient Days, and see how you like it."

Edited by Milburn Stone

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Decade-long lurker from TWOP here, finally posting.

The first thing we saw in the episode was a fish (being prepared) and then they bring it around with the fish-nado at the end. Nice touch. The whole fish thing doesn't bother me; probably should but it doesn't. I'm wondering if we still might see, in the next ep or two, how that came to pass.

Need to rewatch, but my take on the IV thing with Lester is he pulled the hose loose, it was flapping around when he put his coat on. Normally, since the IV needle stays taped and in place, they only change out the hose, so you wouldn't see any blood. That could explain that. Again, need to watch that again to be sure. But yeah, how did he get back in? When I saw him back in his bed I thought "Of course. How brilliant." Never even considered that but of course he had to return.

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Ah, the fish!  I think the fish were still alive and flopping.  So Malvo's setting it up was impossible.  Are the writers going to be sued for not declaring "no fish were hurt in thie filming."

 

I vote Molly is ok and  the vest saved her...but...was it Gus?  Wasn't there a shot we heard before Gus aimed and shot blind?  We still have one gunman missing.  Could he have shot her? 

 

Yep, the police  are really protrayed as stupid but is that not Fargo?

One  scene that was weird was when Gus and Molly were traveling in the car.  Gus was driving and there was no steering.  None.  He never moved the wheel or tried to fake it.  Had to be deliberate on the writers part. Is that one of their little chuckles?

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This was the best episode since the first one.  About time for the body count to rise.

 

Anytime dumb-as-a-box-of-rocks Gus has sense enough to tell you to call for backup, you need to call for backup.  Molly is not as smart as she thinks she is.  I guess she's still alive but, frankly, I don't care.

 

Malvo is The Devil.  If we don't see his demise on this show, I will be sorely pissed.  I also don't like his last name because of Lee Boyd Malvo, one of the two DC snipers who terrorized us several years ago.  I don't know why the producers chose that name but I cringe every time I hear it.  Anyway, that poor bastard Don.

 

I LOVED what Lester did to his weeny brother and his weird nephew.  Loved it.  In the promos, it shows brother's wife beating him on the chest.  Hee. 

Edited by Ohwell
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Lester got back into his bed the same way he got out of it, they just didn't show as much of the transition.

 

Lester comes back from his mission, sneaks back into his roommate's bed, and the nurse finds his roommate's bed (with Lester in it) "misplaced" in a room.  She says "Oh there you are, Mr. [Can't remember his name]", and she wheels him back into the room.

 

Lester then does the switch in reverse, putting his roommate back in his bed, and getting back into his bed.

 

It stretches credibility that A) no one cared how long the roommate was missing, and B) no one checked on Lester in his bed the whole time he was gone.

Edited by Kobo Duram
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It stretches credibility that A) no one cared how long the roommate was missing, and B) no one checked on Lester in his bed the whole time he was gone.

 

C.  That a patient in police custody would even have a roommate.  

I don't mind though because I loved the entire episode.

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Lester comes back from his mission, sneaks back into his roommate's bed, and the nurse finds his roommate's bed (with Lester in it) "misplaced" in a room.  She says "Oh there you are, Mr. [Can't remember his name]", and she wheels him back into the room.

 

 

But what about the cop sitting outside the room.  They are going to have to walk us back as to how Lester managed to return to the hospital room or leave a big gaping hole in the 'brilliance' of this show.  I'm getting put off by the insane amount of gratuitous violence, however, and it is bothering me a lot more than the incredulous plot devices.  Sadly this show is slipping into silly stupid.  Which is too bad, because it started off with promise, and the original Fargo was great.  This series is turning into a mess.

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But what about the cop sitting outside the room.  They are going to have to walk us back as to how Lester managed to return to the hospital room or leave a big gaping hole in the 'brilliance' of this show.  I'm getting put off by the insane amount of gratuitous violence, however, and it is bothering me a lot more than the incredulous plot devices.  Sadly this show is slipping into silly stupid.  Which is too bad, because it started off with promise, and the original Fargo was great.  This series is turning into a mess.

 

The cop guarding the room wasn't particularly attentive when they wheeled Lester's (posing as Lester's roommate) out of the room.   He even helped close the door with a casual glace to see Lester's bed was full.   Frankly, the manner in which the "escape" was portrayed wasn't that far-fetched. 

 

I don't think its a stretch to assume that the guard demonstrated the same level of attentiveness when they brought "Lester's roommate" back in; as "Lester" "slept" in the other bed.

 

I don't see a gaping plot hole, and IMO we shouldn't really have to see Lester's transition back to his own bed to understand how it happened (i.e. his escape in reverse).

 

I agree that Lester even having a roommate (if he's in custody/suspected of murder) is a questionable policy (considering we saw several empty rooms throughout the hospital), but it fits with the modus operandi of the police as it's being portrayed in the series.  In general, the average police officer in the series is not the sharpest tool in the shed.

Edited by Kobo Duram
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What I don't "get" is how Lester became so creative (in an evil way).  His brother was cruel (in the first episode?) telling him he was a loser but from what we saw early on in this series, Lester really wasn't very bright...actually, he was quite dopey.  Now he's coming across as a very clever fellow, actually an OTT clever guy (e.g., hospital switch). 

 

Malvo is The Devil.  If we don't see his demise on this show, I will be sorely pissed.  I also don't like his last name because of Lee Boyd Malvo, one of the two DC snipers who terrorized us several years ago.  I don't know why the producers chose that name but I cringe every time I hear it.

 

I've felt all along that they purposely chose the name Malvo because of that evil creep.  It's a name that connotes true evil to those of us who were looking over our shoulders back in the day.

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Cops guarding hospital rooms failing to do their job is a TV trope.  Duct taped dude getting shot up was an homage to the original Bonnie and Clyde, IMO.

I still think the show is brilliant and that this was the best episode so far.

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I don't have an issue with the violence in the show. It's based on a movie featuring a wood chipper.

The gore doesn't do anything for me.  I'm not invested in anyone except Malvo, really.

 

However, the impish and ridiculously intelligent designs/planning of the crimes is what set this show apart for me.  Anybody can do gore.  Few can do, "You're making a mistake."

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This must be one of those polarizing episodes.  You're either going to love it or hate it.  They went all out, no doubt.  Great production value... the acting has been good from the start... but I hated it. I'll probably keep watching but I'm having doubts whether it's worth it.  I'm not jiving at all with how hopelessly inept Grimly is.  He became a cop because they weren't hiring at the post office?  I guess that's supposed to explain it.  I guess in Duluth all you need to do is fill out an application and they give you a gun.

 

And every elaborate plan by the nefarious types relies entirely on the incompetence of others.  Oh what a crafty genius that Lester is for exploiting the common practice of nurses rolling patients into a hall, losing track of them and being the only person in the hospital interested in their whereabouts for a couple of hours!  You can go on and on with that kind of writing in this show.  The writer really wants these villains to be diabolical geniuses but he's not quite crafty enough to come up with plans that don't rely on completely inept or random behavior.

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It stretches credibility that A) no one cared how long the roommate was missing, and B) no one checked on Lester in his bed the whole time he was gone.

 

 

C.  That a patient in police custody would even have a roommate.  

I don't mind though because I loved the entire episode.

D. That Lester - a prisoner - wasn't restrained.

 

Oh, and there's this recent story about fish-rain: Fish rain down on Sri Lanka village, from earlier this month.

Edited by fastiller

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"Molly" is listed in the Cast Credits for the remainder of the Season, so that's good news! But, was that a huge blood stain near/beneath her in the snow? The total whiteout made it hard to determine.

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Fish rain can be caused by a water spout.  It's rare but it happens.  It's almost impossible for a water spout or tornado to form during or immediately following a blizzard.  I couldn't say it's completely impossible.  But to buy that a water spout formed during a blizzard, sucked up fish out of a non frozen lake, and dropped them on the very people who have part of an elaborate divine intervention ruse, resulting in the exact thing Stavros had been concerned about (death of the first born son)... at this point divine intervention IS the only explanation.  I think perhaps I watch this show far too sober to swallow everything it's selling.

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Duct taped dude getting shot up was an homage to the original Bonnie and Clyde, IMO.

Yep, I thought about Bonnie and Clyde (Beatty & Dunaway), but I also thought about the scene in The Godfather where Sonny is killed at the toll booth.

Edited by Captain Asshat
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Ohwell - good catch on the name. I kept thinking the name sounded familiar but didn't place it. You're right - very odd for the writers.

I'm not surprised at Lester setting up his brother. He is and always has been a loser and probably hates his brother's success.

The fact that Lester wasn't restrained in the hospital bed did not seem odd. He had a guard outside the door. I would think cuffs would be awkward with tubes and bandages. I think what was so unbelievable is that little Lester was able to lift the other guy to move him from bed to bed as he would be like dead weight.

I must have missed the blood around Molly. I thought there was a pool of blood around the Adam Goldberg character as they did an arial shot of the body.

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Article in last week's NYT told about crime victims, including victims of assault, even rape, are routinely shackled in their hospital beds if they are found to be undocumented.  Simply undocumented!  Not perpetrators of violent crime nor property crimes, just people who are undocumented who had the bad manners of being mugged, raped or robbed.  So I guess Bemidji is not NYC, eh?

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The the scene with the Supermarket King and the parking lot guy, reminded me a little bit of the film, when Steve Buscemi's character kind into it, with the toll booth guy at the airport.  But, from what I remember, he had to pay in the end.

Yeah, it was clearly a very intentional homage. In the movie, though, the parking lot attendant got shot for his troubles. This way was nicer.

 

I think fishcapault is a possibility, though you'd think we'd have seen some kind of setup for it; literal act of god is also a possibility. The Coens' movies do sometimes stray kind of near that (A Serious Man).

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But, was that a huge blood stain near/beneath her in the snow? The total whiteout made it hard to determine.

 It was the bottom part of her jacket flap.  I recorded the show & just watched it back.  Gus jerked his pistol so hard, the shot went extremely high.  I also think Molly was wearing a vest, though I couldn't tell in the coffee shop scene.  

 

I enjoyed the little "Shawshank Redemption" shout-out, with the hammer Lester killed Pearl with, hidden in the wall behind the poster.

 

I notice weird things. When they showed Lorne letting Don out of the pantry, on the floor beside him was a box of crackers, an opened can of Chili and 2 empty salad dressing bottles.  Strange meal....*LOL*

 

I've watched the first 6 episodes over the last 3 days, and I'm just captivated. 

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Still love this show! I think the fish fall was kind of a counterpoint to the fake acts of God orchestrated by Malvo. Ironically, when the grocery king does what he thinks God wants him to do, his son gets killed by an "Act of God." Wasn't he murmuring something like "But I put the money back" when he was kneeling by his dead son?

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In reading other forums, it appears to me that the King's attempt to split the deal down the middle is the catalyst for the ep's title (slavish devotion to middle ground is deadly).  To wit:  Here, God, take back the original money and we'll call it "even."  

 

There is a lot of speculation that Molly is, most sincerely, dead.  But, at the hands of either Mr. Wrench, or Malvo.  I'm still going with the TV trope that someone who has a kevlar vest on will somehow be knocked out and that Molly is OK.  Well, except for being stupid.  

 

Was Malvo on his way to collect when the Fargo boys stopped him?  How did they know where to find him?  They lucked into seeing him earlier at the King's palace.  But, there was nothing showing us that they were on to his new routine with Don.  They were pre-occupied with Lester, and even in jail with him.  Malvo didn't exactly make himself known in those two days, either.

 

I haven't seen any reasonable physical explanations for the flying fish.  Nobody could cite a time when fish have been known to fly when all the water is frozen.  Lots of speculation as to Malvo's true self - mortal or some kind of evil devil/demon.

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I didn't see the previews for next week. How many eps are left?

According to IMDB, there are 10 episodes total, so only 4 left.   I'm bummed, I was hoping for a longer season. 

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I think I've figured out my problem with this show: it's just not a fair fight. Malvo is either supernatural or is the luckiest SOB criminal ever, and every law enforcement official is so mind-numbingly incompetent.  Where's the drama/humor in that?

 

ETA: I was going to complain hospital wrist bands making the ol' switcheroo in and out of the hospital damn near impossible, but then I remembered that logic does not have much hold in the Fargo universe.

Edited by A Boston Gal
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I'm guessing that the next episode will start with a rational explanation for the fish-tapult/fish-nado.  Maybe involving fish that was being shipped to the head honcho gangster guy at the beginning?  Like the blizzard causes a truck full of fish to crash?  And those fish get swept up in a windstorm thing?

 

I also wonder about the case of money returned to the snowbank.  Will that reappear this season?  Or is that money going to be the thing that ties together various seasons of this show?

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I'm guessing they are setting up the money in the snow with the scrapper as a kind of framing device for the anthology.  It's the most plausible idea I've heard of how "Fargo" can be converted to an anthology series.  

 

 

I think I've figured out my problem with this show: it's just not a fair fight. Malvo is either supernatural or is the luckiest SOB criminal ever, and every law enforcement official is so mind-numbingly incompetent.  Where's the drama/humor in that?

 

That's a problem, but it's an even bigger problem that Malvo's diabolical plans would never work if it weren't for the incompetence/stupidity of the other characters... in other words he's not nearly as crafty as the writer makes him out to be.  I made the point in the TWOP forum that Twin Peak's Andy Brennan would be one of the best cops in Minnesota on this show.  And the Twin Peaks writers got that an inept cop was comic relief in comparison to the other, capable law men on the show.  That's not something Noah Hawley seems to get.  

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Oh my God, they killed Molly! Well, I guess not, but it is possible. She really grasped the Idiot Ball in this episode by running off into the snow without staying beside the Gus (I'm pretty sure he wouldn't have shot her if they'd been side by side - he's not that useless!). And a bit surprised that Mr Wrench died, which presumably means we'll not be getting a load of Mr Numbers either, since he has nobody to talk to (I may have the characters the wrong way round there).

 

I'm starting to wonder if Lester Nygard might turn from being an unlovable loser to being a diabolical mastermind, if his framing of his brother was anything to go by. It seems unlikely that he might be able to outdo Malvo in the Badassitude stakes, but who knows? Even Godfathers have to start somewhere.

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If Lester's plan works out I wouldn't be surprised if he goes and finds Malvo and thanks him for changing his life. Heck, they might even team up in the future! That might actually be fun to watch. Team Lornster 4 eva!

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I'm starting to wonder if Lester Nygard might turn from being an unlovable loser to being a diabolical mastermind, if his framing of his brother was anything to go by.

When he sneaked back to his hospital bed, the expression on his face looked to me like, "Hey, I'm pretty good at this criminal stuff.  I could get used to this."

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As soft spoken and laconic as Malvo is most of the time, it would be zero shock to me if he was a "Lester" in a previous time.  Then, some evil took an interest in appealing to his human base instinct and he eventually became a total badass and was "promoted" to demon.  

 

I am very much appreciating watching Lester's awakening.  I firmly believe we all have the complete spectrum of behaviors and decision-making within each one of us.  There is great danger when we completely ignore our "bad" side - especially if we lead relatively bland and "hopeless" existences.  If someone like that gets a taste of power and control.....watch out!

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Just wondering if "Lorne Malvo" is an anagram for something. It's such an odd name, it seems like something the Coen brothers would dream up.

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It makes "removal" and "lovelorn", amongst a bunch of other stuff.  But those two tickle me in context. 

 

I've been wondering if it's an anagram, too, though.  It has that sound about it.

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It makes "removal" and "lovelorn", amongst a bunch of other stuff.

Those are both missing letters, though; don't these things typically use the entire name?

 

It does make "normal love" and "marvel loon", among a bunch of other things, though.

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Yeah none of the stuff that really catches my eye matches perfectly.  A lot of people seem to be having fun noting that it almost does "malevolent".  I don't think it's an anagram of anything significant.  But it sounds like it should be, which is kind of a neat trick if you think about it.

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C.  That a patient in police custody would even have a roommate.

Well, that way Lester is in the 2nd bed in room 221.  221B.  No, Martin, there's no escape.

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