Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Fargo 1.8: The Year

Well, I've never seen anything quite like it on television.   Fargo, about 2/3rds through episode 1.8, just skips a year.   The show had some time passing in an earlier episode, but this was a whole year.  Molly is pregnant - finally achieving the status the deputy began with in the movie version.  Except she's happily married to Gus, who's traded in his badge for a postal delivery route, and Lester and Malvo both seem well out of range.

Lester screwed her, literally and figurativelyThe two are in fact in Las Vegas - Lester, looking confident and great, to receive his insurance man of the year award, and Malvo who knows why.   The episode began with Lester learning that the washing machine that provoked the final spat between him and his wife was a lemon, which means his inability to fix it wasn't his fault after all.   And it ends with Lester riding high, married to a beautiful woman who adores him, about to pick up another beauty in Vegas, until he spies Malvo.

This, like so many scenes in this bizarre and wonderful series, is replete with ironic meaning.   It's saying that no matter how far Lester goes - not only away from the law but in enjoying the better things in life - he'll always have the Achilles Heel of Malvo, who knows better than anyone where Lester came from.

Indeed, that last scene might have been a good ending for this season, but Fargo has other things to tell us.   Is one of them that Lester won't get away with his crimes in the end, that Molly will have the satisfaction for finally getting the bad guy - maybe bad guys, with an "s," if she is able to get Malvo, too?

I'm not sure - not sure of anything in this wild roller coaster of a series - and that's precisely what makes Fargo so good.  It has indeed shattered the usual expectations of narrative, and for once in my television viewing, I have no idea where this is going.   Which is welcome indeed in a TV series.

See also: Fargo Debuts with Two Psychos ... Fargo 1.7: The Bungling and the Brave

A story about another kind of killer ...  The Silk Code


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