‘Fargo’ shot straight out the gate like a champion race horse with its eye set on the prize - a captivated audience. Drifter Lorne Malvo (Billy Bob Thornton) is driving down a dark lonely road when a deer suddenly darts out and rams into his vehicle, causing it to flip on its side. Lorne is okay. So is the half-naked man he had locked inside his trunk. Let’s take a stab at this and assume the man was locked inside the car against his will given that once the trunk popped open, due to the crash, he went fleeing across the field wearing only a diaper. Well, actually he was wearing underpants but it could have been a diaper.
Next, we meet poor pitiful Lester Nygaard. Lester sells insurance for a living and is married to the most annoying woman on the planet. She goes on and on about how he’s not this and how he’s not that and how she could have done better yet she won’t leave to go do better. And to make his day even more unpleasant than it already is, Lester runs into an old high school bully, Sam Hess. Sam is still a bully these days and is instilling his bully-ways into his numb skull sons.
Lester ends up in the ER after Sam intimidates Lester to the point where he knocks himself out by accident. He practically runs into a window pane. Also seated in the waiting area of the ER seeking medical treatment for his head bump into the steering wheel is Lorne, who takes an interest in how Lester broke his nose. After hearing Lester’s story Lorne immediately suggests Sam needs killing. Lester jokes that Lorne should kill Sam for him, but this is no joking matter to Lorne. Can you say ‘Strangers on a Train?’
Local authorities find Lorne’s abandoned (stolen) car in a lovely snow-laden field. The dead deer is inside the trunk and the half-naked man, now a frozen popsicle, is dead and leaning against a tree. Maybe he should have taken his chances and stayed inside the trunk.
Lorne goes to Hess & Sons Trucking Company, meets Sam and insults him by calling one of his boys dim. He then tells Sam he only wanted to have a good look at him, blinks with a mischievous smile and says, “That’ll do it” and then leaves. The man is eerie cool.
Lester’s day ends just like it started. Miserably. He has a hen-pecking spouse, a thankless job and even his own brother tells people he’s dead out of shame. Where in the land of Moses is the love?
Lorne follows Sam to the Lucky Penny Strip Club where Sam’s luck is about to run out. By the way, these women look like a penny a-minute dancers. Just as Sam is in the throes of passion (lust), Lorne throws an ice pick into his head. The girl was no witness because of, you know, all the blood in her eyes.
When Lorne checks into Leroy’s Motor Inn, he informs the desk clerk he’s a student of institutions. More like someone who needs to be a resident of an institution. He is indeed an interesting creature. After witnessing the clerk rake an employee over the coals, Lorne asked the young man why does he allow her to talk to him in that manner and then proceeds to tell a tale of how he got even with his tormentor by urinating in the man’s car gas tank. Later, he sees the boy urinating in the clerk’s Chevy Cavalier and phones her to report this. What kind of sadistic crap is this?
OMG! The man really should change his name from Lorne Malvo to Instigator Malvo…for real. He calls the Hess family home, asks to speak to the oldest son pretending to be Sam’s attorney and tells the boy his father left everything to the youngest son. You can almost see the steam rising out of the kid’s head. Distraught and jealous, the oldest son takes a shovel and starts pounding his brother with it. Luckily, the cops are there and Officer Solverson goes outside to stop the potential bloodbath.
The news of Sam’s death nearly knocks the window out of Lester. He later meets Lorne at the diner where Lorne feigns surprise at the horrible news. Dude is hilarious.
A nurse at the ER overheard Lester and “a real intense’ looking man (Lorne) discussing Sam Hess. Meanwhile, Lester is at home trying to do manly things like fix the washing machine, but of course he can’t. The contraption starts to shake, rattle and roll even more. That’s when things really go south. His wife calls him everything but a child of God. There is a toolbox nearby with hammer calling Lester’s name. He begs her to stop all the badgering. She continues to taunt, tease and bait Lester until he answers the call of the hammer.
Bam! He hammered his point home, squarely in her forehead over and over again. A brother needs peace and quiet. Panicky, Lester seeks help. So who is he gonna call? Uh yeah, Lord of the loons, Lorne Malvo. It makes sense in a way. Lorne lives for this kind of stuff. He’ll know what to do. Lester asks Lorne to come over, but remember Chief Vern? Well, he arrives first to follow up on the tip about Lester and this intense looking fellow. Timing is everything and in this case, Chief Vern’s bad timing is going to cost him.
He sees Lester’s wife lying at the foot of the basement stairs. Lorne is standing behind the father-to-be with a shotgun and blasts the lawman out of this world and then leaves. Officer Solverson shows up on the scene and spots her chief lying on the floor dead. A nervous and frighten Lester is running out of options. He purposely runs into the wall and knocks himself out in order to play victim. Oh Lester, what a tangled web you’ve weaved, son.
Snowflakes are falling, but this is nothing unusual for the town of Fargo. What is different though is the criminal element which has come to town. The people are used to each other’s quirkiness and eccentricities, but there is a new crazy in town and the fun has just begun.
Tune in next week to see what hold Lorne has over Gus Grimly (Colin Hanks).