Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Fargo Season 1 Finale: The Supremely Cunning Anti-Hero

A brilliantly satisfying finale to what I hope will be the first season of Fargo - true to its quirky, compelling, and often stunning narrative, in other words, just perfect.   Indeed, as much as I loved the 1996 movie, this reboot of the story was considerably better, and will replace in my mind, from now on, what I took away from that movie.

Gus killing Malvo after Lester surprises Malvo and shoots him in the leg was just as it should be.  Gus, after all, let Malvo intimidate him in that fateful first encounter.  And Lester -

Well, I'm not even completely sure that he's dead.  We see what looks like the top of his helmet under the hole in the ice where he fell through, but then why does Molly later say to the Montana police let me know when you recover the body?   That clearly indicates that Lester's body is not in hand, and, given Lester's astonishingly high quotient for survival, it's by no means impossible that he somehow swam under the ice and got away.

Lester, indeed, in this series, has been one of the most quietly astounding anti-heroes ever on the television or any screen.  From the get go, he manages to crawl his way out of every threat, including, at very least, the death about to be meted out by the arch-killer Malvo.

Speaking of Malvo, the one slight flaw in all the action tonight occurred not tonight in but in Las Vegas.  Why didn't Malvo just wheel around and shoot Lester after killing the other three people in the elevator, including the blonde that he must have had at least a little lustful feeling for?

But given the 90-minute clockwork masterpiece of tonight's episode, that can be forgiven.  Replete with riddles explained (like the fox, the rabbit, and the cabbage, explained by Lester) and those not quite (the two gloves story, which Molly tells Lester  but doesn't elaborate upon when he asks her what it means), Fargo with its snow and ice and Minnesota accents and dialogue has been a nearly letter perfect, one-of-a-kind series.   I hope we get to see more of its next year.

See also: Fargo Debuts with Two Psychos ... Fargo 1.7: The Bungling and the Brave ... Fargo 1.8: The Year

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


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