Fargo: The Six Ungraspables
May 13, 2014 9:55 PM - Season 1, Episode 5 - Subscribe

When Lester has a close call, Molly makes an unorthodox decision. Gus weighs some neighborly advice, and Malvo gets what he wants.
posted by komara (24 comments total)
 
Observations (as a Coen Brothers fan who is probably drawing too many lines between things):

- the opening music sounded like something better suited to O Brother Where Art Thou?
- my hypothesis formed last week that Bill Oswalt (Odenkirk) knows Malvo and is deliberately trying to protect him is leaking. Oswalt is either a really good actor or he’s truly shocked at the connections that Solverson has made. Well, maybe he’s shocked not at them but that she made them, and now he’s going to have to deal with it. Either way, his surprise appeared genuine.
- in my opinion Glenn Howerton’s acting was improved this week. He seemed a bit less playing an ‘aw jeez’ character and more of being an ‘aw jeez’ character. Incredibly dimwitted regardless, and Chumph is close enough to Chump that I’ll take it for an obvious pun.
- the parable of the Rich Man told to Gus Grimley by his neighbor had strong flashbacks of the parable of (Sussman and) The Goy’s Teeth as seen in A Serious Man, from the camerawork and pacing down to the characters in the parable saying the words while being voiced over by the in-show person telling the story.
- one of my least favorite tropes rears its head: The Character Who Could Know the Truth if Only They’d Stop and Listen. When Stavros Milos’s sun Dmitri is this close to revealing that a pet shop was bought out of the kind of crickets that invaded the grocery store and then he’s shushed ... I wanted to scream.
- favorite line from tonight: “Don’t be a nudnik.”
- new irrational theory: Zack over at the AV Club said in his review of tonight’s episode "I think Molly is basically untouchable, at least until the very end; I suspect she and Malvo won’t cross paths until the big showdown, if only because the two of them have been set up so neatly as polar opposites that I can’t imagine them walking away from each other with their conflict unresolved." I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that the series pulls an idea from yet another Coen film (No Country For Old Men) and resolves this without the good and the bad ever coming face-to-face. Okay, so the theory is already a little frayed as Solverson has kind of seen Malvo’s face in that blurry security cam footage but I’m wagering that’s as close as they ever come to each other.
posted by komara at 9:59 PM on May 13, 2014 [1 favorite]


I couldn't decide if Mr. Numbers and Mr. Wrench recognized Malvo's named, but I was being distracted by a hungry cat at the time.
posted by homunculus at 10:18 PM on May 13, 2014


I wasn't distracted, and I couldn't decide either. I thought Wrench might have looked a touch alarmed when Numbers signed Malvo's name to him, but I can't say for sure.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 11:04 PM on May 13, 2014


Did anyone get a good look at who it was that passed-on Malvo's file to Numbers and Wrench? I saw a badge, but was watching on a tiny tv and didn't make out a face.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:43 AM on May 14, 2014


I'm just so happy Lester is finally getting treatment for that awful, awful hand. That was more sickening than anything I've seen on Hannibal by far.
posted by dialetheia at 5:15 PM on May 14, 2014 [5 favorites]


I thought Colin Hanks was particularly good in this episode. Nice to see him have a chance to actually act. It's also interesting to see how much he differs from his father. He seems much more serious. Which I like.

And yes, I loved hearing "nudnik"!!
posted by flyingsquirrel at 7:27 PM on May 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm just so happy Lester is finally getting treatment for that awful, awful hand. That was more sickening than anything I've seen on Hannibal by far.

Yes. And unless I blocked it out, they didn't even really show the hand in all its infected glory, did they? It was all just implied by his distress and the seeping bandages. That's pretty amazing television, to be completely repulsive without ever showing the source of the repulsion.
posted by something something at 7:42 PM on May 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


they didn't even really show the hand in all its infected glory, did they?

In the previous episode they showed him evacuating the pus; I almost had to leave the room. In this episode, they did a photomontage from when the metal pellet from the shotgun entered his hand through to its current state. It could have been gorier, but I'm very glad it wasn't.
posted by flyingsquirrel at 7:56 PM on May 14, 2014




Did anyone get a good look at who it was that passed-on Malvo's file to Numbers and Wrench? I saw a badge, but was watching on a tiny tv and didn't make out a face.

I don't think we were shown a face. If we were, I missed it too.

Also I may have missed - did Molly find anything behind the washing machine? Lester did hide something around there didn't he? I can't remember. (getting old sucks, btw.)
posted by dnash at 11:41 AM on May 15, 2014


"I don't think we were shown a face. If we were, I missed it too."

We were treated to a long shot that showed a full body and a face, vaguely. I was watching on an iPad so I was not able to make out anything and it was only on-screen for a second, tops.

"did Molly find anything behind the washing machine?"

I'm assuming she found the hammer inside the washing machine and then put it back, signifying her departure from traditional police methods and her distrust of Chief Oswalt (or if not distrust at least dissatisfaction with the path the case has taken so far).

Plus she wasn't supposed to be there anyway, at least not on official duty, so she couldn't very well run into work saying, "I FOUND A BLOODY HAMMER!"

Finally, it sure did look like she did all that hose disconnecting and backplate removal and washer-insides-digging with her bare hands. Fingerprints galore.
posted by komara at 11:52 AM on May 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


Finally, it sure did look like she did all that hose disconnecting and backplate removal and washer-insides-digging with her bare hands. Fingerprints galore.

And if I remember correctly (I often don't), she didn't put the hose back on.

I thought Colin Hanks was particularly good in this episode.

Me too, and it was a relief. I've only seen him on Dexter, and I thought he was really hammy. It was hard to watch.
posted by mudpuppie at 6:19 PM on May 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


I thought Colin Hanks was particularly good in this episode.

Me too, and it was a relief. I've only seen him on Dexter, and I thought he was really hammy. It was hard to watch.


I don't know whether Netflix or Hulu or whatever has The Good Guys available, but check it out if you can. It's a quite hilarious cop show with Bradley Whitford as the rule-breakin' renegade cop and Hanks as the rule-followin' by-the-book cop.
posted by Etrigan at 7:28 PM on May 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


~did Molly find anything behind the washing machine?
~I'm assuming she found the hammer inside the washing machine and then put it back


If she found the hammer, it sure wasn't made apparent to us. I thought Lester had stashed the hammer somewhere in the upper part of the washer mechanism, not down in the lower area where Molly searched.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:25 AM on May 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


I've been thinking a lot lately about the organization Malvo works for. It's pretty sophisticated, considering how effective the alibi they put in place for him was. When they showed his contact in a previous episode there were a lot of dedicated phone lines, which makes me think they have a number of operatives doing similar work to Malvo.

But Malvo is a troublemaker and they know it - didn't seem to surprise anyone that he took a couple personal days to screw with Lester. If you're hired to fix a blackmail situation for someone like Stavros, why send Malvo, who is likely to make things worse? How do you stay in business by sending clients someone who will fuck with them?
posted by InfidelZombie at 12:22 PM on May 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


That's such a huge thing that I figure we're going to learn at least a little more about his organization and their motives generally before the end. So much of what Malvo does makes so little sense that it has to make some sense, if we're apprised of the motives.
posted by Etrigan at 12:25 PM on May 16, 2014




I am both glad and disappointed about the hand being addressed. It was a really interesting little plot device, keeping our sympathy for poor Lester very immediate and yet also a reminder that he isn't exactly innocent. It was so well done - it gave this extra background level of stress to every scene he was in, especially because you just knew he was going to go septic sooner or later, and then what might he say?
posted by biscotti at 5:52 AM on May 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


1. Molly definitely didn't find the hammer in the machine. I was expecting her to, but she reached all the way back and pulled her hand out with nothing. I was a little unsure what prompted her to go straight to the washing machine and take the back panel off to look in there, but I'm thinking that it must have been because it was already sitting pulled out from the wall and at a weird angle.

2. I loved the scene between Gus and his neighbor telling him the story about the rich man. I like the neighbor and I think he may come into play in a bigger way in remaining episodes. I hope so anyway.

3. The guy who gave the file to Messrs. Numbers and Wrench was definitely wearing a badge and I thought when I first saw the scene that it was Oswalt (it's taking all the force of my will to not refer to him as "Saul") but I just rewatched and his voice was definitely not Oswalt's and the brief shot showing his face didn't look like him either (though I couldn't tell who it was).

4. IANAL but, when Lester was in the ambulance mumbling incoherently and Molly is asking him how he got shot, etc., she hesitates and then asks him if he paid to have Hess killed and he said "I never paid him". I assume this isn't something that would ever be admissible, right? You can't use what someone said when they're delirious with pain, right? I've noticed it seems like Molly is doing a lot of her police work kind of outside the law, doesn't it? Going into Lester's house with the key she found under the mat, rummaging around in the back of the machine, asking Lester questions in the ambulance. Not saying she's not a good investigator, it just seems like if she's building a case on any of this info, she's running the risk of it getting thrown out of court, which is obviously counterproductive.

5. Every week I love Malvo and his deadpan delivery more and more. "Do I look like a guy who would want a pink scanner?". Lol.
posted by triggerfinger at 8:52 AM on May 18, 2014 [5 favorites]


Oh, and I'm secretly hoping that Gus's daughter will play a role in cracking the case. When Gus asked to her look up the preacher and it came up with Malvo's picture I was hoping she'd find a way around it to find other images - maybe using Google image search or looking at the cached pages instead? It can't be that hard to find an image that wasn't tampered with.
posted by triggerfinger at 8:58 AM on May 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


I've noticed it seems like Molly is doing a lot of her police work kind of outside the law, doesn't it?

Me too! I'm so glad you said this. It's making her so much less sympathetic for me. Interrogating Lester while he was completely delirious seemed especially beyond the pale. I'm definitely still rooting for her, but I hope she gets called out for it.
posted by dialetheia at 12:19 PM on May 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


My husband and I have been recording every episode, and we're just now getting around to watching them. Saw this episode last night. Some thoughts:

In the beginning, it seemed like Malvo was just a malevolent guy that enjoys messing with ordinary people. I even said to my husband "So, he's the devil and he's fucking with people for fun?" Obviously since then, it's become clear that he's part of some kind of organization. But what if the organization is led by the Devil himself, and Malvo's cover identities are somehow obtained via supernatural means? He's just a regular human agent for the Devil, so he doesn't have any supernatural powers himself, which would explain the non-supernatural causes of the plagues he was visiting on Milos, but the symbolism is what counts. Yeah, I know, doesn't fit with the whole Fargo universe, but I guess I'm just looking for a sci-fi/fantasy fix anywhere I can get it.

I also don't think that Molly found the hammer. We would've seen it and her reaction to it.

And as far as Chief Saul, I assumed he was just a clueless halfwit. His resignation that Molly's definitely onto something didn't really dissuade me from that notion. I'm not sure that I buy that he's part of what's going on, but I find it an interesting theory.
posted by MsVader at 12:58 PM on June 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


This is finally on Hulu. There was a scene in the previous episode or two with Lester getting the hammer out of the washer, though I don't remember it showing what he did with it after. I wonder if it was cut from the original airing?
posted by Pronoiac at 12:32 PM on August 28, 2015


Ah, it was episode 2, about 37 minutes in, then it cuts to him moving into his brother's house.

If all the cuts are that significant, then right after that, it cuts away from him handling a jar of pee.
posted by Pronoiac at 1:18 PM on August 28, 2015


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