Television: Fargo, "A Fox, a Rabbit, and a Cabbage"

Things aren't looking too good for Lester.

You'll recall that last week he happened upon Lorne Malvo at a Vegas bar. When Les approached Malvo's table, Malvo pretended not to know him. Here's the point at which a smart man would walk away. Actually, a smart man would never have approached the table to begin with. Why seek a connection with a known killer?

I understand from a character standpoint why. Lester, new and improved, feels the need to show himself off. He wants to prove his worth. And Malvo brushing him off only makes Lester feel worthless again. It sends him back to that time and place in his life when he was easily pushed aside. So Lester—stupid, foolish Lester—stands his ground.

Anyway, Lester follows Malvo and his "friends" into an elevator. Malvo, as it turns out, has been playing the long game, posing as a dentist in order to get close to another dentist's brother who is in witness protection for turning evidence on the mob. Lester forces Malvo's hand, however, and Malvo shoots everyone in the elevator. Except Lester, of course. (I don't understand how Lester got blood on his face but his white shirt remained pristine.)

Malvo seems to expect Lester to help with the bodies. But Lester, in yet another really stupid move, tries to knock Malvo out (fail) and then takes off for his hotel room and makes his wife pack and leave in the middle of the night. They go back to Bemidji, which is another really stupid move. Fly anywhere else, dude. But no, he goes right back to the town Malvo knows they live. And Malvo follows, though he's tripped up a bit by the fact Lester has moved to a new house.

Meanwhile, the two FBI agents get wind of Molly having called about Malvo and the Syndicate and all that. So they head to Bemidji to check out her evidence, and over Bill's objections they praise her fine police work.

And now Molly has a new wrinkle to iron out: Lester has been identified as the possible witness to three murders in Las Vegas. So she goes to question him. But Lester tells her everyone in the elevator was alive when he got off. (Won't the cameras refute that pretty easily?)

Malvo goes to Lester's old house and is confronted with new inhabitants. And just because he likes to fuck with people, he tells the man and two young boys about the murders and ghosts in the house. I have to say, I found this a bit over the top, even for Malvo. I know he does this kind of thing a lot, but in this one instance it seemed excessive in a way that was almost out of character.

Then Malvo hits up the diner and tries to get Lou (Molly's dad) to tell him where Lester lives. But Lou has enough sense not to give out that kind of information. And in one of those cinematic near misses, Malvo leaves through one door just as Molly comes in through another.

There is only one final option for Malvo: lie in wait at Lester's insurance shop in town.

And though Molly told them not to leave town or anything, Lester buys tickets to Aruba and he and his wife head down to the shop to fetch their passports and some extra cash.

Now it seemed to me that Lester knew exactly what he was doing. He sent his wife in for the passports and money. He had her wear his coat and told her to put the hood up. And yet he looked so shocked and horrified when he saw Malvo shoot her in the head. Maybe expecting it and seeing it are two different things, though.

Malvo leaves the shop. And Lester . . . Well, it's going to look pretty weird, a guy having two murdered wives a year apart. Even if Malvo were to leave him alone—and he probably won't—Les would be screwed.

Finale next week.

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