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Fargo S01E10: "Morton's Fork"

Obviously spoilers lie ahead, like immediately in the first sentence, so if you haven't watched Fargo's Season 1 finale, aww jeez, get outta here!

As "Morton's Fork" faded to white, Fargo's moral compass landed squarely on "good" rather than "evil" with Lorne Malvo sporting six new holes in his body and Lester Freeman (probably) frozen in a backwoods lake in Montana, the Earth having swallowed him whole. Ultimately, it was a satisfying finale because the bad guys got theirs—but it wasn't always clear that things would turn out the way they did. 

Heading into the episode, the options were nearly endless. Lester could've gotten away, proving that his wriggly deviance could get him out of any situation. Malvo could've disappeared into the shadows, reiterating the theme that alpha predators will always lurk in dark corners. Or—as was actually the case—good could've prevailed, providing a happy ending for this black comedy. All three outcomes were equally likely, because Fargo's characters were both lovingly crafted and disposable, and the series' dark humor opened up the possibility that anything could happen. 

That sense of uncertainty and unease is what made Fargo such a special miniseries. It's already one of the best examples of the genre that will flood your small screens in the next few years as television gets hot for the "limited event." And good luck to those who follow it, I say, because Fargo has set the bar awfully high. 

In playing with the format that tells a complete story that won't be revisited, creator Noah Hawley gifted us with characters we adored and despised (in a good way), and dispensed of them in equal measure with unflinching violence. He treated the project as an almost entirely closed-ended deal, resisting any temptation to say, "If it works, let's keep it going." (I say almost entirely closed-ended because it's easy to imagine Fargo Season 2 brushing up against Season 1; couldn't you see Mr. Wrench making an appearance in whatever story comes next?) Characters were arced out, cases were solved, and the story reached its finite conclusion while the setting—the real star of the show—feels as if it will live on forever. 

From the very start, Fargo was a show about a place populated with lively characters—much like the vibrant Harlan county of Justified—and the disruption that occurs when an invasive species like Lorne Malvo comes to town. The elements of nature often played a part in the action, culminating in the wild blizzard shoot out of Episode 6, and Malvo repeatedly referred to the natural order of the wild as a life philosophy, so it made sense to me that some cosmic force fought back against those who caused a disruption in the otherwise peaceful Great White North. Malvo was ultimately done in by his spirit animal, a lone wolf that beckoned Gus Grimley toward Malvo's temporary hideout. And the Earth caved in to put an end to Lester, who'd been on the lam, because a simple arrest wouldn't've been enough to atone for all the disarray he caused in Bmidji. As Bill said, "Don't worry, everything will work itself out." Which may as well have been his version of Jeff Goldblum's "Nature will find a way," speech from Jurassic Park

But another beautiful thing about Fargo was that it wasn't just about one thing, not even close. Thematically, it was rich with ideas. Stavros (whatever happened to him?) brought religion into the mix, Bill represented relentless optimism and the idea that man is not corruptible (until he changed his tune, at least), Malvo proved that man is corruptible and took joy in infecting innocent people with evil as some sort of Lucifer figure, and Lester was our Faust, making a pact with the devil. 

However, Fargo was best at exploring the more clearcut theme of good vs. evil, and that rang truest when the writers decided that Gus would be the one to off Malvo. Gus, the man who couldn't shoot a gun except when he was aiming at the woman he was currently courting, found his redemption from letting Malvo go way back in the first episode by killing Malvo dead in his cabin. Some viewers may've wanted to see Molly, the series' hero, take Malvo down, or some may've wanted to see Lester do the deed as payback for pushing Lester's own life out of its orbit, but giving Gus the duty makes the story simpler and more honest and gives Fargo's purest character a well-earned victory. Gus never understood the riddle of the rich man who tried to end all of the world's suffering, but he was very aware of the idea of doing what you could. So he took out Malvo, because it was what he could do. 

I still think Fargo peaked with Episodes 5-8, which made for unbelievable television, but I'm not sure there was a way to make this finale much more satisfying. Here's hoping that other miniseries take notice of how Fargo was crafted and use it as inspiration. 



NOTES


– The big showdown between Lester and Malvo was quietly perfect. I assume Lester was yapping on the phone like he was in a shouting match in order to draw Malvo into his room, where the bear trap would gnaw on Malvo's leg so that Lester could put a bullet in his melon. Of course Lester missed the shot, because he's beta. But the situation maintained the predator allegory as Malvo was baited and hunted. 

– Did you at any point think that Malvo was a werewolf? Or a vampire? Or the devil? Because I sure did, especially when he started moving after Gus shot him three times. Holy crapola! 

– Malvo's self-surgery trick was disgusting and also inspiring. I still don't know how it worked, only that it did. 

Fargo made interesting use of Budge and Pepper throughout the series. Ultimately, their contribution to the real story was minimal. They were great characters, but they were never central to anything truly relevant. Stavros (Oliver Platt) and Don (Glenn Howerton) are in a similar category, but they never felt useless, they felt more like fun window dressing. 

– What was Molly was trying to say when she told Lester about the man who dropped his glove on the subway platform and then dropped his other glove from the train because whoever found the first one may as well have the pair? Lester said, "I'm not this kind of person you think I am, this kind of monster," and the story was Molly's response. My initial guess was that the gloves were a reference to both Lester and Malvo, who at that point were bound together in a way. And since she couldn't hold Lester, it was best to let him go to draw out Malvo (she'd previously mentioned using Lester as bait). But I wonder if there was something more to what she was saying. What do you think she meant?


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 12/14/2015

Season 2 : Episode 10

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I thought the glove thing was simple. She was trying to tell him a story about kindness, and he gave a "what are you trying to tell me?" reaction, irritated. Someone like her Chief would have understood it immediately, because in a town like that, it's just the kind of way you act.

Stavros was important to me because it got to show off the kind of person Malvo was, how he betrayed his "client", and then once he found the real person who did it? Went even further, and murdered him...that was just....immensely eye-opening.

The FBI agents were important. It showed that Molly Solverson was vindicated, in front of the Chief, and that she was finally right. Without them, Chazz would have still been sitting in prison...

I loved the Easter Egg on the FBI agent's filing room board, when they knock it down with the tennis ball. It has a mini poster in the middle of the fish, the same as in Lester's basement, where he knocked himself out and hid the hammer.

This was a truly brutal series. I didn't like how a postal worker gets an award for bravery for just capping someone on a couch. He could have taken the evidence. Called the FBI. The cops. This guy could have been arrested so very easily. But no, in the name of protecting the family, he caps him? And we're all happy about that? Do they not even worry that no one is going to come around about that? Hm...if it were me, I'd want to question him, but no. Apparently you can just kill someone and get a medal now. Lesson learned! (Since this was a true story and all don'tcha know!)
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Great comments, I love hearing other peoples interpretations and I think some of them are more correct than this but this was my original thought on it: So unbeknown, Malvo has Lestor blackmailed. If ever Lestor was to rat him out, Malvo had the tape to prove Lestor was guilty. If ever he got caught he was going to take Lestor down with him. I thought the glove metaphor represented this. Maybe molly knew that if Malvo was ever caught he would take Lestor down with him, thus presenting the glove metaphor to Lestor. The guy on the train being Malvo and that if he lost the first glove (himself) he might as well throw the other one with it (Lestor).
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Malvo is actually the literal devil. Or at least, a demon. No, I'm not making this up. The clues are there and very obvious:

1) The "since the garden of eden" statement. A reference to delicious "pie" that was tempting Adam and Eve. You'll see more about that later, when I talk about feeding off of negative emotions.
2) The way he tempts people into basically turning to their animal instincts to survive at all costs.
3) The now-famous "blood wings" shot of him as a silhouette in the elevator, after the shooting.
4 ) His ability to manipulate and intimidate people with a mix of charm and frightening intensity.
5) The discussion he had with the rabi (or what ever the Jewish fella was). The man calls Malvo a word which is the name of a Jewish demon who dwells in the wild and feeds off of negative emotions. And what Malvo says to him back isn't any less indicative of the fact that he is an actual demon.
6) The disappearing act he pulls, in the basement and behind the car.
7) The rather strange co-incidence that Stavros' first born son does actually die, which fits biblically.
8) All of the many times people mention getting a weird feeling from the guy, and the "black eyes" comment.

This of course leaves season 2 completely open. Perhaps another demon shows up. Then again, perhaps, as the director said, we "follow the money" and continue to tell the story of the briefcase, which started in the movie.
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Oh, ya. What's that then? Key and Peele? I love those guys and only wish they'd have written their own lines. All of the show was in some ways, as absurd as when K&Peele are on the floor saying stupid sh*t, but they themselves could have been much funnier. Still, maybe "funny" isn't what the director was looking for? Over the top goofy, maybe?

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I hated the pilot and didn't finish it. Then I came back and finished it days later. Thought "let's see the next one or two". Then I get really into it and began to absolutely love the story and the characters, except for Lester, who I think was acted over the top, but not in a good way like Malvo.
The two things that stuck out to me:
1. An improvised dentist who was able to get the patient he was targeting, and operate on him successfully? The guy should be president!
2. Lester should have dropped in Vegas, no one is that crazy.
But this is fiction, bordering on comic book stuff, so why not?
Excellent entertainment and I hope they do as well next season.
Colin Hanks is very good in everything I've seen him in so far on TV. Hats off!
Bob Odenkirk, who's not waiting with baited breath for Better Call Saul?
Great stuff and I hope it marks the beginning of characterization of quality in all TV, because I can't handle another procedural whether cop or secret op.
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Glove story would never be understood by a psychopath proving he was exactly who she thought he was. It is a matter of EQ and IQ
Lester had no problem in the later scene working out the fox, rabbit and cabbage riddle but failed to understand the meaning of the glove story.
If you guessed the ending to the glove story before it was told you are a warm soul with above average EQ and I salute you fellow human being.
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This explanation makes more sense to me than most of what I read. Lester's quick ability to solve the rabbit/fox/cabbage riddle represent his shrewd actions. His inability to understand the gloves metaphor represents his apparent lack of conscious and morals. As for Molly, she always saw Lester for what he was and saw no point in either confirming or denying his claim that he wasn't a monster. So she presented him with the metaphor. I think she knew he wouldn't understand it, and it certainly summed up how she felt about the entire mess. As difficult and sad for Molly as it was, the best she could do at that point was to let Lester go in hope that some greater good would come out of it. I really enjoyed the series and sincerely hope for a season 2.
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Yes exactly I do like a show that encourages us to think for ourselves.
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Aw jeez, come on now, really? Lester's "demise" was a wonderful metaphor. Ever since episode 1, the man had been walking on thin ice, so to speak. He was bound to fall through eventually, right?
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Great capsule interpretation of Fargo.
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I know I'm all alone here but I just finished watching the finale. That was possibly the worst ending to a great miniseries in the history of television. Falling through "thin ice?" Really? Talk about lazy writing. Can anyone think of a less dramatic way for Lester to die? And what's with Hanks just shooting Malvo? No interaction? Nothing to say? It's as if the writers came up with this brilliant idea and then came through until the last 15 minutes when they turned the writing over to a bunch of junior high schoolers.
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Lacking "dramatic" finales is what the series was about. Don't you remember the building shootout scene, where you see nothing but the outside windows? lol. It's a black comedy; it's not supposed to be always dramatic, it's supposed to be real. And the "thin ice" thing wasn't intended as a (lazy) metaphor.
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You're definitely not alone. I loved the show until the last episode, but that final was really poor. In the end it felt like a long shaggy dog story: it builds up, builds up, builds up.... joke's on you, there's no pay off.
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i thought the glove thing was about doing something to help someone else, because its too late for you to save yourself.

throw out your glove Lester... your train is leaving the station anyways....
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Best one Ive heard so far..
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A pretty good interpretation!
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Ok am just gona say it, no body, so Lester aint dead (only a wish) + was i d only one wishing lester did mot die, he grew on me
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Director confirmed he's dead. Besides, this isn't that kinda story where unless you don't see a body, there's no death.
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I don't see how Lester wouldn't have simply claimed that Malvo coerced his confession. Lester's version would be that Malvo killed Hess, then came after Lester's family to keep him quiet. Fairly believable, given how dangerous Malvo proved himself to be. Not to mention the Fargo organised crime connection that was simply forgotten, even by Molly eventually.
Also, there is no way Gus would get away with shooting Malvo unarmed and injured.
I feel like they really went with a Disney ending, instead of the blood bath I was expecting. In real life, Malvo would have killed Gus. Maybe even faced Mr. Solverson and Molly. If anyone was going to take down Malvo, it should have been Lester. It really seemed like the story was going that way, until Lester randomly reverted to episode one Lester.
The only dropped plot line I really wish had been adressed was Bill's adopted son. I would have sworn Bill just walked up to a random guy and assumed he was African. Either they cut that out, or I really misread that scene.
Key and Peele really shined here. Would have liked to see some dialog between them and Malvo, though. I had guessed their mutual interest in riddles would be addressed.

Time to go watch the movie.
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Best series since True Detectives.
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Was that a "Sling Blade" Carl, err Malvo use to cut off his pants leg?
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With regard to the gloves: Lester had just referenced Molly's pursuit of him since "day one", and was asking why? The "fellah" on the train is Lester. The finder of the glove is Molly. She who finds the glove has choices, just as he who lost the glove. A lone glove on a platform would most likely be stepped over as useless. A few people, however, may find a lone glove and wonder if the person who lost it may have also lost the mate. Molly didn't "step over", and regard as useless, the lost glove of Lester (as the bumbling police chief did). No, Molly picked it up and looked around for what else she could find. Lo and behold, she found it. Molly became the only possible winner, the lady with a new pair of gloves.
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was disappointed Mr Wrench did not make an appearance- thought he would. Stavros, we never saw again. Hopefully Lorne didn't kill the car salesman- hopefully they released Lester's brother... and hopefully good things will happen for the Hess brothers. I love Key & Peele... I think they're geniuses but not sure they fit that well here, maybe that was the point.

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Solverson has one glove in Lester, but if she keeps it (charges him with murdering Linda &/or Pearl) then they will never get Malvo, he'll disappear forever with Lester in prison. So it's better to let the glove (Lester) go... and someone will have both eventually.
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I don't wish to be 'that guy' ... but I only counted five shots - three at first, then two more after Malvo moved ... unless the hole in his leg from the trap is number six?
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Didn't Lester shoot him once?
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I thought he missed completely?
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For me the glove story was relating to the title of the episode "Morton's Folk" - when you have two different choices that both lead to unfavourable outcomes. You then have to decide which is the least unfavourable.
For the man throwing the second glove away, though he was left with no gloves, at least he could find some peace in knowing somebody else has two.

For Lester the choice is hand yourself over to the police or hand yourself over to Malvo. She's telling him pick which one is the least unfavourable, he chose to see if he could survive a bit longer.

I think, like other people have said, it may have something to do with morality as well. The man on the train perhaps reached some level of transcendence by doing a selfless thing that didn't benefit him at all, she wants Lester to do a selfless thing and turn himself in before anybody else gets hurt.
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i like that...
i thought it meant simply what she was saying in the interview about turning in Malvo.... that you can help someone else...
lose something for someone else's gain, because really, it's too late for you....
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What an ending! Love the show and can't wait to see what comes in a second season!?
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Hawley confirmed that, if the series is renewed for a second season, it will be a new story featuring different characters
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I wasn't surprised by the outcome, happy ending and all because it was after a true story and the Coens produced it and the movie Fargo was in a similar fashion.
I was having a bit of a problem at first too, with Molly's glove-story, but I really think she told him with this story what it's going to happen and why she's letting him go.
And here, for the fans:



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nice!!!
its all about getting good traction... pullllllllllll

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Aaaaaahhhhhhh! My eyes! ;) That was one gruesomely awesome scene.
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Right? Ewwwwww...
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Till Episode 6 I was firmly with the group that True Detective IS the best show of the year.
Everything changed once Episode 7 was beamed and it reached its crescendo in the finale. whatta a series!
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I agree. In fact I think it was light years better than True Detective. Anybody else?
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Totally. True Detective was over hyped, except for Mcconaughey's acting!
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Lets not slag True detectives now!
I think if we break the 2 series into 2 mini series True Detective first half would edge ( for me) Fargo's first 5 episodes.
True Detective's own early success was its downfall( in the sense of not being the best show this year).
Still we are very lucky to have seen 2 extra-ordinary shows within 6 months of each other.
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My take on the glove-story is that the murder of his wife represents the first glove, dropped by accident. All the immoral stuff he did later on, represents the second glove.
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this ^^.....it's like, well, crap, i already "messed up" once, nothing really happened to me....let me just get rid of the other, no big deal.....pretty much saying, you already messed up and got away with it once lester, i don't think you care if you mess up again, you'll just keep acting like you haven't
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Great ending for a great show. Congrats to Noah Haylew.
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This was so awesome, I'm sad it's over :'(. Every episode was brilliant of course some way more than others but I don't think there was really a bad one in the bunch.
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Fargo is unique in so many ways. It makes me wonder what it would be like if No Country For Old Men was made into a series? The Coens should do more tv.
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Are you aware the Coens did not actually "do" this?
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Sorry, but you misunderstood me. There, I apologized for you. See? That was easy.

When I speak, you may not know what I mean, but I sure as hell do. Ambiguity exists, no matter how much you refuse to believe in it. Here's a phrase you might find useful: I'm not sure I understand you.

Now have a nice evening.
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I said they did all three because they did all three. The question you never asked is what I meant by did all three.
If you had asked, you'd have never proceeded to tell me what they didnt do. Obviously the usage of ''did'' was unclear to you.
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No. Unless having any part in the making of a movie/series, no matter how insignificant that part is in regards to how the final product actually turns out, means "doing" a movie/series, then you need to use the word more carefully. And you said they need to "do more tv" as though they actually had any creative input in there, when they really didn't.
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I never asked you about the nuances of producing or screenwriting, but I guess you feel such a strong desire to teach that you end up telling people what they already know.

"Everyone's an idiot but me!"

Must be nice....
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If you already knew this, then why would you say: (quoting) "of course they did. the are the executive producers of the series, the writer/directors of the original movie and the directors and screenplay writers of NCFOM. They did all three.."
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of course they did. the are the executive producers of the series, the writer/directors of the original movie and the directors and screenplay writers of NCFOM. They did all three..
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Being a producer isn't nearly anywhere the same thing as being a director/screenwriter. A producer does not handle the writing/creative aspect.
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Brilliant show, So glad i decided to watch the first episode.
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In Fargo everything is perfect; the people, the scenery, the story
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This ending was perfect. The review was perfect. The bit that you mentioned about the gloves in your 'Notes', was the same meaning that I got.
I don't want a second season.
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One thing I'm disappointed in... no Molly or Malvo interaction. That scene would have been GOLD.

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Did anyone else notice the car salesman was the librarian from the first episode?
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Can't believe this hasn't been renewed yet.
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People seem to be suggesting it was meant as a miniseries.
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It was started as that but as the show started to air it seemed clear that it was going to become an American Horror Story style anthology series that rebooted every year.
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Really? Ok then. Certainly fine by me. I'll watch it.
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I think the gloves allegory was referring to the two murders, Lester's wife/ or Sam Hess and the Sheriff. Lester committed one murder (lost one glove), and Malvo committed the second. So Lester pretended not to have committed any of them and pinned them on someone else, first his brother Chazz and then ultimately Malvo, when he was forced to reveal the name to Wrench and Numbers in the prison cell. Thus he dropped the other glove as well, so whoever found the one would find the other, and have the pair (get stuck with both murders).

An alternate version would be referring only to Lester himself. He did the first murder accidentally, and everything else after that he did on purpose, trying to present them as accidents. For instance, he had a great responsibility for the death of his second wife as well, he may not have pulled the trigger but it was him who killed her. Ditto for Malvo's companions in the elevator, Sam Hess, and so on and so on. A question of accidental and premeditated murder, and allocation of blame/ responsibility.
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I kinda think Lester was a much bigger scum than Malvo. As least Malvo does what he does and make no apologies about it and he did help Lester b4 and even offered him a way out to walk away in Vegas. I sensed Malvo had a perverted soft spot for Lester in a sick underdog kinda way until Lester turned the tables on him and became a bitch instead. Lester sending his second wife to the safe was pretty calculated as he kinda guessed Malvo might be in the office that night. Who does that to your "loved" one, if indeed he did even loved her. Fargo was truly brilliant and Billy Bob Thornton deserves an Emmy cos for the 1st time, his role as Malvo gave me the creeps. Martin Freeman too deserves an Emmy for playing so convincingly, how a displaced Hobbit can become such a douche bag! :)
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Who does that? Simple, a cold and calculating psycho. That's who.
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He never even once showed that he loved his second wife, not even a little bit.
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Well, I guess he didn't love her. I mean, he probably liked her more than the previous wife, as he was a bit shocked and disturbed by her death, but not enough to mess his act. He couldn't even act properly upset.

And, folks is how you distinguish a great actor, one that can play a guy that can't act.
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....what about the second-hand car seller? Did Malvo let him go? pff i hate when even a single thing goes unexplained.
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After the car salesman says to Malvo "Please, I have a daughter", the car disappears. It was blocking the driveway in front of the FBI car so it would seem that Malvo let him go
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Because Malvo can't kill the guy and move the car himself? Having Malvo show mercy does not seem in character for him at all.
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Gus says that he figured out the riddle before killing Malvo, do you think that there is more to it than what was already revealed? What connection do you think that made with Gus in his decision to take out Malvo? He makes a clear decision to stalk Malvo's cabin, for a long time, rather than calling it in when he first discovers the location.
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That is difficult, The shades of green riddle The answer was so you can spot the predators I dunno maybe Gus understood there and then that even non predators need to kill to protect there own.
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To me, the glove allegory was about Lester losing his morality. He lost some of his humanity and rather than holding on to what's left, or trying to get back what he's lost, he just threw it all away.
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This was a fantastic series and a satisfying ending
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How come people keep talking about Fargo as if there won't be a season two?


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Because it's a 1 season series. :)
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How you be knowin' dat?
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It may be renewed for Season 2 but it would be with a new cast and a new story so no matter what it was a good ending to what this story was.
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Could Lester be alive?

Consider the riddle about the fox, the rabbit, and the cabbage. Lester figured it out right away. He was the only one who could. Why did the writers do that? To show that Lester is very smart. Lester may be a weasel, but he's a clever weasel, Lester proved that many times.

Also remember the phone call that Molly got at the end? She was asking if the divers found the body.

The Fargo series has turned out to be a hit. Maybe there will be a season 2, and maybe Lester will be in it.

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I highly doubt (and sincerely hope) that Lester is not alive. The funny thing about that fox/rabbit/cabbage riddle, is that the same riddle was used in an episode of the office, starring the very same Martin Freeman. In that version, the rabbit was a chicken, and the cabbage a bag of grain, but the answer is the same. Knowing this, and seeing Lester solve the puzzle easily, brought a smile to my face. It is doubtful, but it could just be a subtle reference to Freeman's initial claim to fame, and nothing more.
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Lester's wimpy ass is dead. But since anything can happen in tv land, His ass'll probably drift beneath the ice til he hits a section of river that isn't iced-over. There, we'll find two random fishermen, who're impossibly good at resuscitating near frozen drowning victims. They'll have a hypothermia rescue station conveniently close by.

See? I should be the one writing this stuff. As if tv doesnt already leave you wondering "How the hell did that happen?"

As an adjunct professor it's not my job to know everything.
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They would have made use of a trained Polar Bear capable of underwater search and rescue but would have been unable to use their anti-hyperthermia station due to an unusual magnetic pulse caused by a very localized, directional Solar Flare.

If you're going to fantasize you might as well really use some imagination.
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I see your point, but I wasn't thinking science fiction.
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I think the question of Lester's survival is definitely hanging intentionally. There are many cases of people submerged in icy water for as long as 80 minutes with no oxygen who survived without even brain damage due to the diving reflex http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mammalian_diving_reflex
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Was the riddle really that difficult?
I thought it showed how stupid the FBI guy was, rather than how smart Lester was.

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I think eating them was the correct answer.
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The gloves story: I thought it meant she's letting Lester go because that will allow someone else to catch both Lester and Malvo, instead of forever holding on to one glove (Lester) and never finding the other one (Malvo). Since both ended up getting caught, but not by her, and since finding one "glove" directly led to the other one (thanks to the tape in Malvo's case) that would confirm my theory.

That being said, the finale was a huge letdown. How does Gus, who is not even a police officer anymore, can get away with murdering Malvo? Even if the guy is a dangerous criminal, that doesn't give you the right to murder him, especially if you're just a mailman! And then he not only walks away freely but also receives a citation for bravery. How big and dumb of a plot hole is that?
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Well actually, right after he shoots Malvo Gus picks up the weird crescent knife from the table and walks away. Maybe he did use that as an excuse for shooting Malvo. A knife is considered a "hot" weapon, and i'm pretty sure law enforcement can shoot to kill when they see a someone with intent to use one. We didn't see him explain anything, basically, so we just don't know how he got away with it.
As for him getting away with murder: I think that all along the show they've shown that Malvo is pure evil, and even associating with him will make you do bad things. Malvo had been taunting Gus and others since the first episode with the fact that they can't win BECAUSE they're good, and don't have what it takes to stop him (and that they can't stop him with conventional means). The show just proves it's point with this, because they make the purest and most absolutely "good" guy on the show kill someone without provocation, which as you say, is wrong (BAD). So by just meeting him for a couple of minutes, Malvo managed to corrupt even Gus.

These are the small nuances that I love about "Fargo".
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I see what you mean bechorb, and I like that interpretation, though Gus (who's a mailman at that point) really shouldn't be able to get away with it, let alone be congratulated for it. Some suspension of disbelief was needed at other points during the show as well, and it didn't bother me, but I think this was too much. Malvo corrupting Gus would have been more effective IMO if, for example, Gus killed Malvo and then left, not getting caught but having to live with that murder on his conscience.
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PS: I also see what you mean about the "let the viewer assume he lied to get away with it" angle, but if that's the writers were going for it I'd say it was poorly executed.
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I agree, I thought that was an odd choice. He broke into the cabin and shot him unprovoked. Regardless of whether Malvo is a wanted man, Gus absolutely committed murder as well. I don't think that happens all the time; there is not even a chance it could be labeled self-defense or citizen's arrest. I was waiting for Gus to tell the police a story just to cover it up, something like Malvo took him as a hostage to get to Molly. In fact, I was sort of hoping to see a little dishonesty from Gus on that one.
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That's not dumb at all, that is typical american. Happens in real life all the time.
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IMO: Molly being promoted to captain was a reference to the "Fargo" movie. And Malvo having to treat his compound fracture was a reference to "No Country for Old Men."

I think practically every episode has references to those two movies.
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The only thing that kinda bothered me was how insistent Molly was on going to check on the agents at Lester's house, going so far as driving over, and then...nothing. Next time we see her, she's arriving last at Malvo's hideout. I feel like there was a scene that was cut (probably for time, considering this was the longest episode) showing Molly arriving at Lester's just as he's making his getaway, only to get the call about Gus's shooting and making a conscious decision to prioritize her husband over getting her man.
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A cut scene as you describe sounds likely, it would have aided in the continuity of the storyline.
I found the two weeks later scene where Lester meets his end a little out of place.

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From start to finish, I truly enjoyed this series! You couldn't help but root for Lester at times; however, he needed to be caught ASAP! To me, using Linda as bait was the worst of his offenses. Also it's a shame, but you know that there are too many Chief Bill Oswalts out there...smh

*@Tim Surette (article's author) - I can see where you're coming from with the glove story, but I interpreted it as basically for Lester to cut his losses and just give it up! She saw through all the charades and was tired of his continuous lies & mis-directions. By the way, real good article!

This was a real quality production and I'll definitely be locked-in if somehow there's a 2nd season.

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The story about the two gloves was her telling Lester that she knew he was an opportunist. Malvo came into town, killing people, and Lester "lost a glove" (Sam Hess). After realizing that it was too late to go back, he decided to throw his other "glove" (his wife Pearl) out the window, saying that Malvo might as well get both gloves...
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I have never been able to figure out how Malvo got out of Lester's house after he killed the Chief. He walked down into the basement, and when the cops looked down there, he was gone. Where did he go?
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There was good to like in this series, but I thought it slow, at times ridiculous, and writing characters like the Chief to be stupid just to progress the story irritates me no end. I would have preferred a more intelligent cat and mouse game among the characters even if between Lester and Malvo, or Lester and Molly, which could lead to Malvo. In fact, Molly should have been allowed to pursue the case(s), but instead the show just seemed to choose shutting her down with the stupidity and that was what made watching so frustrating and a bit tedious.

I do think the Chief somewhat redeemed himself in the end with his realization of Molly being better and revealing his naive mindset with wanting a nicer world to live in, but still, getting there was annoying.

Another thing that bothered me was the glossing over of Lester's framing of his brother. Was there a trial and/or further investigation? Lester's nephew never reveals his uncle was in the house that day and wearing a hospital gown? It's like the show did not want to run into potholes following that part of the story regardless of the limited number of episodes.

I didn't care for Hanks in this. I didn't see romantic chemistry between them, but OK. His daughter looked more like Molly's daughter, particularly in the end scene on the couch. I also think he should not have shot Malvo. He had him! Where and how was Malvo going to run? Third times the charm, as he now had him dead-to-rights - literally, I suppose.

Something about Freeman bugged me a bit too. Although I thought he better settled into the character from episode one, his mannerisms seem to be a bit too quirky and cartoonish at times to make him believable as the psychopath he became. It's that, or I still see too much of Watson from Sherlock in him. He wasn't bad, but I do think he was miscast, or perhaps misdirected, here. Everyone else seemed closer to realistic while he bordered on being something of a caricature.

Finally, in the end it was all basically a slasher series with bullets...and a hammer...and a bear trap.
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The thing about Coen media, the logic is behind a thick veil of philosophy, people aren't operating on the same sets of logic, their character and experience almost always filters their motives, much like in real life. Gus could have called it in, he was never going to arrest Malvo.
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& I also think he should not have shot Malvo. He had him!

He had him before, remember? And Malvo got away, slick as snot. Malvo always gets away. He got away from Lester's basement. He walked from killing 22 people. He got away from Gus when Gus pulled him over. He got away when Gus brought him in.

Malvo had, very directly, threatened Gus's daughter before. Anybody who got in Malvo's way, or crossed Malvo, ended up dead. Molly was a serious threat to Malvo, and consider Molly's condition.

Gus was not taking any chances.
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Sorry, I still don't buy it. Like I said, "third times the charm". Had he been smarter and more careful by not repeating past mistakes, he could have redeemed himself. Malvo had nowhere to go. His leg was shot. Had Gus called it in, I believe the squad could have come to back him up and get him. Molly would still likely be at the station. Let's not forget Gus could have called in before he went to wait for Malvo when he spotted the red BMW. They now had too much on Malvo for him to explain it away not to mention the tapes in his possession. His arrest could still have lead to Lester, or Malvo giving up Lester. This show just did things like this to drag the story out more than it needed to be. I would have preferred Lester be caught at home rather than some dopey fall through the ice. Did we need to have Lester's elusiveness dragged out to that point?
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The Natural Order of Things indeed, the ending was a surprise to everyone i guess, i thought Malvo will kill Lester or other way around, but Gus killed Malvo, i thought Gus won't be strong enough to do it and he would call Molly, and the way Lester died was really funny and sad, if there is another season i think Lester didn't die and he made it out of the water if there is another season, i hope so... :)
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That was one of the most emotionally satisfying finales I have ever experienced. I cried like a baby watching Molly, Gus and Greta snuggling on the couch while watching TV. I love antiheroes as much as the next person but it was refreshing to be able to root for such unambiguously good, kind and decent characters as Molly and Gus and their family.
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I have to add: after Gus shot Malvo the first three (or four?) times, and he seemed to have died, I totally expected him to pop back up, grin and say "Just kidding!". I honestly half expected them to reveal that Malvo was a vampire all along. :D
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About Molly's little anecdote with the gloves: I thought she was trying to get Lester to sacrifice himself and give up Malvo. I think for a moment she believed that maybe Lester was being manipulated. When he said "I'm not this kind of person you think I am, this kind of monster" he seemed to almost be pleading. Now, we the audience know it was an act, but I think that phrase planted a smidgen of doubt in Molly's mind. Maybe Lester was as much a victim as his wife - or rather, wives were. The man in the anecdote who killed himself, left the two gloves while thinking of someone else who might need them, instead of focusing on his own (albeit, self-inflicted) demise. By telling that story, Molly was trying to convince Lester to sacrifice his safety by telling her what he knew. If he snitched out Malvo, Lester may put himself in further danger, but he could also help Molly to stop him from hurting anybody else.

And honestly, that whole scene could have been an out for Lester had he taken it! He could have collapsed into a blubbering mess and "confess" to Molly that Malvo had been the one pulling the strings all along. He could have nailed Malvo for the death of his first wife, like he had pinned it on his brother. If he had done that, he probably wouldn't have ended up a meat popsicle in the middle of a frozen lake...
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finally!! someone not over thinking the gloves!!!

the train leaving the station is also an important part of the metaphor!
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As in it was his last chance to help Molly and wash himself of Malvo forever? Yeah, that's a good point! I forgot that part (I could have tied that in to that last bit I wrote)
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With as much as you love disgusting shots, Tim, I was totally expecting to find a .gif of Malvo resetting the broken bone somewhere in your review. Probably a good thing that you didn't, cause that completely grossed me out. In a good way! And hot damn, was that bear trap jaw-droppingly awesome! Malvo took it like a BOSS, too!

Loved the series. LOVED IT. And I loved how Lester and Malvo met their ends. Lester deserved every horrible thing after framing his brother and sending his beautiful, gentle soul of a second wife into the shop to eat a bullet for him. He was such a bag of dicks, and watching him go under was gratifying. As for Malvo, that wide-eyed last shot of him before Gus redecorated his face was unsettling, to say the least. Great stuff. But hey! Going by the lack of the stole sedan in Lester's driveway, I'm guessing Malvo did have a little heart left in him, and let that car salesman go. Or perhaps he just thought the guy was too easy and not worth the bother.

Either way, it was a nice touch.
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I loved the way it ended. I actually found myself rooting for Molly to come out alive through all this. I would've been content with either of Lester, B&P, Malvo or Gus getting killed, but if Molly had died...i would have been really, really, super pissed.

The whole Bill crowning Molly as chief scene...WOW...WOW. I didn't see that coming tbh, but i feel so happy for her. And satisfied with the happy ending with Molly, Gus and their daughter chilling, having family time in front of the TV, fading to white...Going to really miss the show, even if and when a second season reappears on our screens in the near future.

Noah Hawley could be the next Christopher Nolan.
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