Tonight's episode is the 8th out of 10. I'll try instant reaction posting again, meaning running to my computer during commercial breaks and blasting out a few thoughts.
ACT 1 -
Good start. The factory scenes showing the process of washing machine assembly reminded me of Breaking Bad's meth lab montages.
I enjoy showy editing, such as the frame spinning Lester around as though he is in a washing machine... and the match cut from the circular washing machine to an overhead show of Molly's coffee cup.
Lester is getting happier and more relaxed by the minute - he feels he's gotten away with it all. A kiss from his hot sister in law! The fun of throwing out all his dead wife's junk. I sense a comeuppance in his future.
Molly and the chief - great together. Bob Odenklrk is good as the world's nicest jerk.
I'm not a fan of this series' infatuation with quirky male duos. The Hess twins reappear, but at least I get to see Lester staple their foreheads!
Key and Peele - I like them but their presence in Fargo is superfluous. They are fine, but their roles are a distraction from the main story. And if 22 people were shot to death in Fargo, you know the FBI would be all over it, the way they were in Boston after the marathon bombing. But Malvo is the world's luckiest criminal. And it looks like he wants to kill the lone survivor of the third quirky duo, Mr. Wrench.
No, Malvo's not out to kill Mr. Wrench, it seems, but perhaps to recruit him. Our supercriminal was impressed by how close the deaf man (and his dead partner) came to killing him. Those skills could be useful.
Allison Tolman really shines in the scenes with Vern's widow at the party and in her wordless expressions as she walks by Lester's insurance agency.
Now this is a true surprise - a jump forward one year. I love the way it saw visualized - the camera leaves Gus in his squad car, flies past birch trees to catch up to a USPS truck driven by Gus. We can infer that the hearing about his shooting Molly led to his discharge from the force... and into another public service role, one better fitted to his nature.
Then he goes home... to his pregnant wife, Molly. She must have dropped the Malvo case and moved on. He's still on the loose, Lester is free as a bird. Unless there are going to be more curveballs in ACT 5.
Ok, so Molly is still on the force, still trying in vain to solve the Malvo case. Key and Peele are reminding of it when they see their grainy photo of Malvo on the file room wall. And Chief Bill brings his new adoptee in to the office where Molly hears the miraculous story of how he was united with his adoptive parents. I smell something awfully fishy and not very Sudanese.
Lester wins the national insurance salesman of the year award; a bit heavy handed of a triumph for the bumbling weasel we met less than a year ago, but okay. Then he sees a clean shaven, silver-haired Malvo in Vegas. Coincidence? No way. But what will Malvo want from him is the question?
Overall, another very good episode. The series seems to have hit its stride here in the second half of its run. Let's hope it can stick the landing in the penultimate and ultimate episodes.
NOTE: I am likely not going to be able to watch the final two episodes until late June, so if anyone or anyones want to take over next week's recap and/or the finale recap, please mention it in the comments below. If not, I will just put up a simple post both weeks to create a place for discussion, in case anyone cares to converse.