Fargo has continued to grow into one of the best series on television. Since it was initially introduced as a limited series, there’s always this feeling like anything could happen. The bad guys could get caught at any time and the good guys could end up dying. Still, I’d love if the show could continue on, even if it had to be in a True Detective-like anthology series. The series’ voice is so unique and fun that it’d be a shame to lose it.
“The Six Ungraspables” continues the streak of fun, horrifying, and compelling moments. However, it also had some of the weakest moments of the whole series. Here are the best and worst moments of the episode.
Best: Lester, The Gun, and His Diseased Hand
The episode begins with a flashback, beginning with how Lester got the gun that eventually ended Vern Thurman’s life. While on a simple errand to buy socks, he’s intimidated into buying a shotgun, with some irregular socks thrown in. Really, that’s the only way a man like Lester would have procured a gun before he began to mentally unravel.
(Lester’s wife makes a cameo and lays some harsh truth on him: “If anyone is going to shoot themselves in the face with an unloaded firearm, it’s you.” And damn if that isn’t a fact.)
We get to see pieces of what happened during that fateful, and bloody, confrontation at the end of the pilot, including Malvo picking up the gun where Lester hid it. We also get to see the shotgun pellets pass through Vern’s body and into Lester’s hand. The injury has apparently eluded the authorities and medical staff, who only bandaged up the bloody hand without a single x-ray. It’s quite incompetent on everyone’s part, but that’s just one of those things you have to suspend disbelief to enjoy.
Overall, the entire opening sequence is so satisfying because it’s clear that Lester’s quest to buy socks would ultimately lead to his entire life being ruined. That pellet in his hand is all the proof the police need to prove that he wasn’t knocked out in the basement when Malvo killed Vern.
Worst: Grimly’s Ethical Dilemma
The problem with characters like Grimly on a show like Fargo is that he’s just so boring. He’s surrounded by characters who are morally iffy and clever. Meanwhile Grimly has been kvetching about a scary man saying some scary words to him weeks ago. He’s barely an active participant in this world. It’s more fun to watch him get outsmarted by Malvo, like in last week’s episode, than to have to hear him wonder again and again whether he made the right choice. No, Grimly, you didn’t. You’re a police officer who let a criminal go because he said some vaguely threatening words. He’s a coward. And that’s okay!
“Do I put myself in danger or do I let it go?” he asks his neighbor. Hey, buddy, maybe you’re in the wrong profession.
But the show seems insistent on discussing whether his actions were cowardly or secretly brave for continuing to face the world or whatever nonsense his discussion with his Jewish neighbor was about. Once Grimly becomes a more active, he’ll become worthy of his place in this awesome show.
Best: Mr. Numbers and Mr. Wrench
After weeks of inferring the right solutions from the wrong clues, the two hitmen, Mr. Numbers and Mr. Wrench (ugh at those names, though), are finally onto Malvo. They’re interactions with each other are always a lot of fun. I can’t imagine what Malvo will make of them.
Worst: Solverson’s Bad Instincts
Molly Solverson is an amazing detective but a terrible cop. This week she gets lucky that Oswalt starts to shift his utter disbelief that sadsack Lester could be involved in Vern’s death. She’s made enough bad choices regarding this case that it’s almost unbelievable that she hasn’t been put on suspension. She shouldn’t even be able to be involved in the case since she was so close to Vern (she even visits Vern’s wife in the hospital after their baby, Bernadette, has been delivered.) But she continues on with the investigation, partially because her detective instincts are so fantastic. She even intuits where Lester hid the hammer used to kill his wife (it was in the back of the dryer before he moved it.) Unfortunately, she also trounces through the crime scene without so much as a rubber glove and touches everything with her bare hands. If she got lucky and found the hammer, she would have completely ruined the evidence. If only Solverson had somebody older and wiser to guide her. But I guess that’s the void that Vern left when he died.
Best: Malvo’s Greatest Hits
As always, Malvo’s presence always brings the best moments. Here are his top moments from the episode:
- Malvo tries to buy a police scanner/walkie talkie from the gun dealer from episode 2. The dealer refuses to sell him only one, despite the fact that Malvo has no friends to give the second scanner. “Maybe you can make a friend,” the man says. Malvo’s response: “Maybe I can give it to you. Call you up later. Listen to you shit on people.”
- Stravos agrees to pay the blackmail and Glenn Howerton gets excited. He babbles about what he’s going to do and buy. Meanwhile, Malvo is calmly giving him orders. Howerton’s character unwittingly gives Malvo the means to lock him in his own pantry. He even hands him a nail gun to really ensure he doesn’t escape. Classic Malvo.
- Malvo doesn’t buy The Jungle Book because a guy raised by wolves becomes friends with a bear and a panther. “There are no saints in the animal kingdom. Only breakfast and dinner.”
- He scares Grimly’s neighbor the same way he did with Grimly, with vague threats and a song in his voice. Damn, he’s scary.
- Lester’s hand finally starts to kill him. Turns out having a foreign object in your body isn’t great for your health. While being taken to the hospital, Solverson tries her best to get him to confess to his part in Hess’s murder. He only admits that he didn’t pay Malvo. But now he’s in the hospital and Solverson has her eye on him.
- Remember when Grimly watched a woman change from the apartment across the street like a big old pervert? Well now her husband is in on the creepy fun. He sees Grimly across the way and declares that he’s coming over to hang out. This is why blinds are the greatest invention of all time.
- The Jewish neighbor tells Grimly a parable about a rich man who was made miserable by the suffering in the world. He gives up all his money, his kidney, and then eventually his life to try to stop the world’s suffering. Basically, he’s trying to tell Grimly that one man can’t stop all the bad in the world, but what I heard was “we’re wasting time so you’ll appreciate Malvo all the more when he’s on screen.”
- Solverson visits Thurman’s wife and assures her that she’s doing everything she can to bring justice for Vern. The wife has just had her baby and was forced to name her Bernadette, because that’s the name he wanted. “And now he’s dead. That man always knew how to win an argument.”
- Grimly and Solverson plan a date. That’s a death sentence in a show like this if I ever heard one. Especially now that Malvo knows where Grimly lives.