Like the old cigarette commercials used to say, “You’ve come a long way baby,” and in Fargo, this applies 100 percent to Lester Nygaard; unfortunately this newly confident fellow goes on to wake the sleeping dog, Lorne Malvo, and he rediscovers what terror really is. It is surprising to see that Lester ever forgot, but considering that his professional and personal life have improved beyond all measure it is equally certain that he would forget his prior dealings with the devil after all his good fortune.
While last week’s episode ended with Lester confronting Lorne at the Vegas bar table with his three companions, this week the show starts with yet another incarnation of the killer for hire. This time it is Malvo as dentist, considering the hitman’s sadistic sense of humor this does not surprise the viewer very much.
It appears that Lorne has ingratiated himself to “good old Bertie-Bert” for a reason yet unknown. At a Sunday house party, the audience gets to learn a bit more than they may like about Malvo and his fiance’s love life but more importantly they also find out why “Mikie-Mike” has gotten so close to Bertie-Bert. The other dentist’s brother is in the witness protection program and is Lorne’s next target.
Fast forward to Las Vegas and the chance encounter between Lester and Lorne and it turns out that the “new improved” Nygaard will not let things go with the sleeping dog he has awakened and Lester decides to follow Malvo and his party to the elevator. In this penultimate episode of Fargo, Lester discovers that his new found good luck will only stretch so far.
In terms of a change of fortune, Nygaard and his new wife Linda are not the only Bemidji residents who have benefited from their brief encounters with Malvo. Deputy Solverson has hooked up with Gus Grimly and his daughter, Molly is expecting a baby and this quirky couple look picture perfect in the scene at the diner with Molly’s father.
However, not all who crossed paths with Lorne have been so lucky. The two FBI agents who were present while Lorne took out an entire syndicate crime gang, and only noticed when one of the murdered crime crew was shot out of an upper story window, have been in their own version of purgatory since that day. It is not necessary to mention Stavros the supermarket king or his first blackmailer either.
Since this week’s show is about more than waking sleeping dogs, or poking lions with a stick or just plain old chance encounters, the two FBI agents, who have been banished to records presumably for the remainder of their careers, have another chance encounter with Malvo. This one looks like it may help the two men redeem their lack of action during the first crossing of paths with the paid killer.
After Lester confronts Lorne the second time in the crowded elevator; with Lester, Lorne, his fiance and his target, Bertie-Bert and wife, once Malvo ascertains that this is really what Nygaard wants, he pulls a gun and without aiming once, kills the other three members of his party. As he bends down to grab Bertie-Bert’s feet, Lester smacks him with his newly won award and flees.
Malvo stands in front of the open elevator, his features hidden in shadow and he softly tells Lester that he will be seeing him later.
If there was ever any doubt that Lester Nygaard was self centered and only cared about his own personal well being, this penultimate episode will remove it. The award winning insurance salesman cold bloodedly sets up his second wife, the naive and sweet Linda, to take a bullet meant for him. Proof positive that Lester only cares about Lester.
Another kind of proof is revealed about Lorne Malvo. All through this series, it has been hinted at that the mischievous/sadistic hitman could be the devil incarnate. Lorne himself alludes to it in Molly’s father’s diner. After having the apple pie, he states matter-of-factly that it is the best he has had “since the Garden of Eden.” The shooting of the three people in the elevator without even looking also reeks of the supernatural if nothing else.
As the countdown begins to the final episode of Fargo, viewers may wonder what would have happened if Lester did not wake the sleeping dog, or kick the devil’s hornet’s nest. Considering the success rate of Malvo in other episodes, things do not bode well for the good guys, and gals, in this story. Although Molly has proved that she is up to the task, if only she could dump Police Chief Bill. The season finale will take an impressive 90 minutes to air this story’s conclusion and the waiting will be excruciating, but so worth it. The Fargo finale airs on FX Tuesday June 16 bring popcorn…lots of it.
By Michael Smith