Tonight I'll try running to my computer and typing out my thoughts during commercial breaks for this, the fourth episode of "Fargo."
Seems like I'm always griping, so let me start with:
- Another extended length episode? I guess I should simply accept the fact that they all will be this long. And I read somewhere that the running time of the episodes isn't THAT much longer than usual, the extra minutes go disproportionately to commercials. Not sure if that's worse, though, than bloated storytelling.
- Maybe I just got lucky, but I saw the opener coming from a mile away - the Greek-American supermarket tycoon got his mystery money way back when by finding it in the snow next to a fence in the middle of nowhere - in other words, where Steve Buscemi left it (in "Fargo" the film) in the winter of '87. Thus, to me this scene felt too predictable and slow. YMMV.
So... Gus Grimly arrests Malvo without a fight. Hmmm. Malvo in long-term captivity would not make for good entertainment. Grimly killed doesn't seem likely. Where is this headed?
So, I'm assuming the higher ups (from Bemidji and Duluth) will F up and let Malvo go, given that Odenkirk, not Molly, is heading over to question him.
- Do Minnesotans really say "and the like" that much? I've never noticed that.
- Lester festers - or at least his hand continues to do so, as a not-so-subtle metaphor.
Was it Billy Bob's bad Minnesota accent or Malvo's? I'm going with the latter, charitably.
Gus Grimly or Ed Grimley?
Some praise: "You're making a mistake" - well done.
The scene where Gus confronts Malvo in the hallway crackled with tension.
It's cool to have a character who is hearing impaired and only speaks via sign language - I am all for more diversity of this sort in fictional characters. As long as it's not used as "quirk" or calling attention to itself - and in this episode it doesn't feel like it makes either of those mistakes.
How the hell did I forget that Martin Freeman was the original (UK) The Office's Tim (equivalent of the US version's Jim)?
The production values remain very high. The cinematography, especially. Loved the way the scene with Lester escaping from the deadly duo on the frozen lake was shot.
I have to admit, the ending scene was pretty fun.
It occurred to me near the end of the hour when we see Molly in her civilian clothes, meeting with Gus, what the main problem with this series is, the one that keeps me from totally buying in: whose story is this?
Breaking Bad: Walter White. Mad Men: Don Draper. Justified: Raylan Givens. Not that there aren't amazing storylines in each of those series revolving around characters other than the protagonists, but the balance is kept. You always know whose story is being told in the end.
Whose story is being told in "Fargo"? Malvo's? Lester's? Molly's? Gus's?
In this episode, I think Oliver Platt and the deadly duo got as much time on screen as Molly. That's a mistake. It's like giving Ryan Hollins more minutes than Kevin Love, and who in his right mind would do that?
As always, I welcome anyone else's two cents.