FX’s Fargo returns Tuesday, May 27th asking an existential question in the episode title “Who Shaves The Barber?”. Gus (Colin Hanks) deals with the setback he created when she possibly fatally wounded Molly (Allison Tolman), Malvo (Billy Bob Thornton) seeks answers to who is after him and why while Lester (Martin Freeman) might have a clean break from murdering his wife, much to the chagrin of his brother Chazz (Joshua Close). With the clock ticking down to the final moments in the series as two to three episodes are left, it begs the question, what other twists and turns are left?
Quite a few.
It’s amazing to see how well Lester has adapted to being evil, and acting how his fantasies that one would assume has been there since childhood; he is taking his bully’s woman, The Widow Hess, (played to sexy abandoned by Kate Walsh) and even successfully framing his special needs nephew Gordo. What is more surprising is to see that the frame-job went so well. With Molly being finally asked to take the case from Bill Oswalt (Bob Odenkirk) after making her case that something with Lester just didn’t add up, it is really more like a perfect storm of contrivances that leads to Chazz’s fate and Lester’s freedom.
Fargo is a series that has been expertly crafted from rich and textured performances by the entire cast and crew. In a unique version of show and not tell for Malvo’s insanity as he slaughters an entire building slash restaurant that hides the gangsters from up north in Fargo, after learning that Mr. Numbers (Adam Goldberg) who he brutally cut his throat in last week’s episode and Mr. Wrench (Russell Harvard) were sent to kill him.
I suppose the argument could be made that it was for budgetary reasons, or pose the question “How many times can you see someone kill someone else?” but the sequence involving Malvo wiping out the gangsters from the titular Fargo was impressive storytelling from the medium of television that was for once refreshing. The fact that Thorton since the pilot of Fargo has had the audience in his cold hard grip doesn’t hurt either; by the time he walks past the FBI agents and goes into the building, when the camera doesn’t cut away but stays firmly focused on the front of the building, following the path Malvo takes as he works his way to the third floor annihilating all in his path.
The sequence with Molly and Mr. Wrench, as she shuffles down to his hospital room and makes a simple question regarding Lester and the Fargo situation, which leads to a statement/question that we all have for those who participate in such things… ‘What is the point? Your friend is dead, and your family is far away and can’t help you. Why do this kind of thing to begin with?’
Of course I am paraphrasing the question, but the words cut Wrench deep, or it appears that way, again, another great nuanced performance from both Harvard and Tolman. Can I also state how much I adore and love Colin Hanks as Gus? For as much as an goofball he is as a cop, the connection and chemistry between him and Tolman is palpable, and is a real joy to watch.
Fargo has been a real treat to watch from writing to performances, long breaking out of the general fear of how can the show not just be different but also maintain and retain the charm of the original film by the Cohens?
No matter how difficult it actually may be, Fargo makes it feel effortless. Here’s to the last remaining episodes…
FARGO can be viewed on FX, which for Time Warner customers is Channel 64 and Insight Communications customers is Channel 76 respectively.
But what do YOU think, examiners?