Television: Fargo, "A Muddy Road"

In which Molly tightens the noose a bit by sneakily showing Lester a picture of Malvo to see what kind of reaction she gets. But it looks like the hangmen (Adam Goldberg & Russell Harvard, whose characters are listed on IMDb as "Mr. Numbers" and "Mr. Wrench") will probably get Les first.

Meanwhile, we get a bit of backstory on the guy in the car trunk at the start of the premiere episode: an accountant that Malvo had kidnapped from his office. It's a testament to the bystander effect that all the accountant's coworkers merely watched and no one did anything or called anyone. Only when the police turn up do they happily relive the incident.

Security video gives Molly a look at Malvo. Meanwhile, on a hunch Gus runs the plates of the car he stopped Malvo in and discovers it's stolen and belongs to Lester Nygaard. His daughter encourages him to drive to Bemidji and deliver the news in person: that he unwittingly let a murder suspect go. Molly takes it well, all things considered, and invites Gus and his daughter for burgers at her dad's diner.

So where is Malvo? He's found the dope who was attempting to blackmail Milos but instead of taking the blackmailer to task, Malvo decides to take over the blackmailing. He kills Milos' dog, replaces his heart meds with Adderall, and puts pig's blood into the water system so that Milos showers in it. And he ups the blackmail demand to a cool million. And gets Milos to let him stay in the in-law apartment. Man knows how to work a situation.

It's a good show that so far has managed at least one good tension spike per episode. Not sure how much more I can take of Molly dickering around Les, but it appears Mr. Numbers and Mr. Wrench now have Les in their sights, so it may not matter for much longer anyway. (These guys came to visit Les at work but were interrupted by Molly stopping by. For once Les had reason to be happy to see her.)

Billy Bob Thornton as Malvo continues to be the highlight of the show. Does Malvo get paid for any of this? Or does he just like fucking people over? Well, if the blackmail pays off . . . Best of both worlds, I suppose.

Next week it's Lester's turn for a ride in the trunk and Malvo will do his best impersonation of a bumbling idiot. Should be fun.

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