Last night’s episode of Fargo: Eating the Blame does a lot of clearing up with some of the more esoteric things in the show. For one, the meaning behind that framed and mounted windshield snow scraper is finally explained. For another, viewers now know what Malvo was referring to when he took over blackmailing supermarket king Stavros. The meaning of last week’s blood shower also becomes very clear. On top of that viewers also learn that Stavros believes that “God is real.”
The opening of last night’s show has a young Stavros, his wife and toddler son driving in the snow with all their worldly possessions packed in a station wagon and trailer. The couple are running to Fargo because Stavros is broke and he “knows a man in the town.” Their desperate pilgrimage is interrupted when the car runs out of gas in the middle of the snowy landscape.
Stavros gets out of the car and tries to flag down a trucker driving towards the stranded vehicle. As the truck speeds past him he loses his balance and falls face down on the frozen road. Praying to God for deliverance from his predicament, he glances to a fence running parallel to the road and sees a bit of reddish orange sticking up through the snow.
Going over, he finds it is a snow scraper and he uses it to dig at the frozen stuff. He finds a large case full of money. Murmuring that “God is real,” he heads back to and enters the car with his small family. The rest of the show follows Stavros eating his Malvo provided speed like tic tacs and having his plumbing inspected to find out where all that blood came from last week while he was having his shower.
Gus Grimly stumbles over Malvo again and arrests him after letting him go in the first episode. He feels as though he’s made up for his earlier gaff until the master manipulator Lorne gets released. Molly is still in the doghouse with the new chief and it is Oswalt’s questioning of Malvo that instigates his being let go. Molly and Gus are attempting to join forces to find out who really committed the triple murder that she suspects Lester Nygaard of being involved in.
The two hitmen are still trying to get Lester to confess to killing Sam Hess so they can murder him. Lester, after getting put in their car’s trunk and taken to the lake to be killed and have his body disposed of, escapes by taking the taser he pocketed at his brother’s house and zapping the one hitman who can hear. He then runs to the main road and punches a policeman to get arrested.
Stavros has his supermarket infested with crickets and the reference to Moses, which Malvo quoted from the bible in last week’s show, means that he is being visited with the 10 plagues of Egypt. As Stavros stands in his store with pandemonium breaking out all around him, he gets a call demanding $1 million and the voice reminds him that “God is watching.”
At the end of the show Lester, who thought he was safe behind bars, is trapped in the jail’s drunk tank with the two hitmen who staged a bar fight to get themselves arrested as well. Fargo: Eating the Blame not only cleared things up, it allowed the actors the chance to really invest their characters with increasing depth.
Billy Bob Thornton continues to portray Malvo with just the right amount of quirky menace. Martin Freeman plays Lester Nygaard with the perfect mix of confusion and stupid cunning. The two hitmen are becoming firm favorites and they continue to hint at a long backstory together. Bob Odenkirk is brilliantly annoying as the anally challenged police chief who refuses to consider anything that Molly comes up with as evidence in the triple murder.
Colin Hanks and Allison Tolman look to be the beginning of a great double act. Both actors have a lovable awkward chemistry that seems to signpost them not only becoming an investigative team but a love match as well. Oliver Platt plays the “hard-ass” supermarket king with the right amount of religious superstition and increasing mental issues.
Fargo: Eating the Blame is moving along at an excellent pace, clearing some things up and leaving just enough questions to keep viewers returning each week to see where the show is going. This quirky small screen version of the cult classic film, is addictive fare which delivers a great off-beat and odd cast of characters who, with twisted plot lines, entertain on par with the Coen bros big screen hit.
By Michael Smith