tv review – FX’s Fargo, episode 1.2

The plot thickens. Right off the bat ‘The Rooster Prince’ introduced us to two new and shady characters from Fargo who were hired by Sam Hess’ boss to look into Hess’ murder and get the guy who did it. While they were not successful, it didn’t keep the duo from drilling a hole in the ice to dump an innocent man into the water of a freezing lake like it was just another day at the office. Meanwhile the man they were after, Billy Bob Thornton’s Lorne Malvo, received an assignment of his own: he had to look into an extortion case. Lorne being the man he is, he didn’t take everything at face value and put his own spin on the assignment, which got him in trouble with his employer. But he wasn’t impressed: he responded to the threats of his employer’s muscle by pulling his pants down in front of the man, and… went on to take a dump. Fargo‘s world sure is populated by some interesting individuals, but it’s hard to imagine we will encounter a stranger and more immovable man than Malvo. He’s a predator, a man who will never back down and takes control of each situation, over other people. He’s dangerous, amoral, but he’s also charismatic and immensely fun to watch.

Fortunately, the other characters are equally as interesting, even though they don’t pack the punch Malvo does. Lester was busy dodging Deputy Molly Solverson’s questions about his wife’s murder and, while he didn’t quite succeed and Molly knows he’s hiding something, he is fine for now because of Molly’s idiot boss portrayed by Bob Odenkirk. This bumbling idiot strongly believes in coincidences and is pinning the murders on a vagrant or a couple of them, which is frustrating because we know he’s wrong and Molly’s right. Her behavior got her in trouble though: Lester called up Chief Bill, an old schoolmate of his, and got Molly removed from the case. While she will not be investigating the murders of Hess, Lester’s wife and her mentor anymore, she will be looking into the naked man found in the snow last week. This will undoubtedly put her on the trail of Malvo soon, so… same difference really. Meanwhile Colin Hanks’ Gus Grimly’s conscience (and daughter) is pestering him about the decision he made last week, namely letting Lorne Malvo go. A Grimly-Solverson team-up seems likely, it’s just a matter of when.

Because of its tone, Fargo is unlike anything else on at the moment. The quirky yet dark atmosphere of its world made the film of the same name such a success and it’s the main reason right now the show has got me hooked. From it spring very interesting and off-beat characters, brought to life by fine acting from the stellar ensemble cast, who deliver their lines with gusto and charm (or in the case of Malvo: with quiet menace). It’s also noteworthy that I have no idea what to expect next: sure, the main story is set up, but we’re dealing with unpredictable characters who are put in larger than life situations. Nothing’s certain because of it.

Fargo‘s ‘The Rooster Prince’ was another fantastic outing that offered laughs, thrills and weirdness. More please. 9/10

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