FARGO Episode 5 “The Six Ungraspables” Recap
The episode opens to a quiet scene of a cornfield with a song playing in the background by The Carter Family. The scene quickly goes from the middle of nowhere to a sporting goods store in Bemidji where Lester is shopping around for socks and finds pairs of “irregular socks” that are priced at “Best Offer”. We’ve established that the show is quirky and Lester has a conversation with the store clerk that could easily get lumped into that category. The exchange between the two ends with the clerk proposing that Lester give him $55 and he can have the socks and a 12-gage shotgun.
A moment later we realize that this is a flashback to before the death of Pearl Nygaard and the gun that has just been purchased is the gun that Malvo will inevitably use to kill Chief Thurman. The next few minutes are Lester’s brief interactions with the gun and Malvo’s as they take us through Chief Thurman’s death again and show us the piece of shotgun pellet that went through the Chief’s body and onwards into Lester’s hand causing the infection he currently has.
We flash forward to the present where we find Lester still in prison with the “Fargo Associates”. They use Lester’s infected wound to extract the information that they need about who really killed Sam Hess, getting the name they’ve been after and info about where he might’ve been heading. The associates get released and from there they begin their search for Lorne Malvo.
Deputy Solverson has a brief off-duty scene before we see her back at the police station talking to the new less-than-competent Chief. She’s still trying to convince him that her theory isn’t crazy and goes overly evidence and newly discovered information with him on the case. She lays out the timeline and gets the Chief to finally connect the dots in his mind and they decide that they had better talk to Lester.
Meanwhile Gus Grimly begins an investigation of his own into Lorne Malvo on his daughter’s computer. Unable to work it on his own, Greta helps her father dig for information and Gus begins to establish a timeline of his own.
Malvo visits with the dealer of less than legal goods that we saw in a previous episode when Malvo was looking for some drugs to switch Milos’ medication with. This time though, Malvo is looking for a police scanner. The show has made a habit of inserting silly, albeit fun interactions between various characters. Malvo’s interaction with this “dealer” is one of them, adding to the dark, twisted and fun charm of the show.
Malvo heads to Don’s home to use his phone to call Milos, who is rapidly deteriorating due to the “plagues” and medication swap (unbeknownst to him). He’s convinced that the death of his son is the next thing that will befall him. Milos tells Malvo to pick him up so that they can get the money, still unaware that Malvo is the one behind the whole thing. Malvo locks Don in a closet and leaves.
Back at the holding cell, Deputy Solverson and Chief Oswalt show up to question Lester and find him delirious from the infection in his hand. They rush him to the hospital. On the way, Molly tries to get Lester to talk about the murders and starts to get a little more of an idea of what happened.
The “Associates” have a shady dark alley exchange with someone and acquire a police file on Lorne Malvo.
Grimly has a late night talk with a neighbor who can’t sleep. They talk for a while without having any previous knowledge of one another and Gus subtly asks what he should do about the Malvo case. The neighbor tells a parable that gets acted out in a separate scene while its being told to Gus. “Only a fool thinks he can solve the world’s problems,” is the moral of the story and Gus’ reply is simply “Yeah but you got to try, don’t you?”
After the talk, Gus is still unable to sleep and he sets out.
Malvo and Milos head to the supermarket to get the blackmail money. A talk with his son reveals that although dim, he may have figured out what is going on and who the real blackmailer is (or rather the original blackmailer since Malvo has Don doing all the legwork). Milos isn’t in the mood to listen and dismisses him.
Molly has a talk with the doctor treating Lester and learns that he almost lost his hand due to the infection surrounding the shotgun pellet. She leaves the hospital to go to Lester’s place to do an illegal search while he’s passed out. Down in the basement, she notices the laundry machine out of place and investigates. We know that she’ll find the hammer that Lester used to murder Pearl with but surprisingly she finds nothing and leaves the house with no new clues.
Malvo and Milos are back in the car and Malvo talks about the Roman Empire. On the way back to Milos’, he spots Grimly in the road. He drops Milos off and gets dismissed and paid for his services.
Gus gets a call from Molly and they start talking about the case. Distracted, Gus doesn’t notice that Malvo has followed him home. Malvo observes from the street and encounters the neighbour that befriended Gus. He’s on the neighbourhood watch and after threatens to call the police, Malvo returns the threat in the subtle way we’ve seen him do before and then drives away.
The officers all meet at the hospital as Chief Thurman’s widow gave birth to their baby. Molly has the officer’s leave so that there can be some peace and quiet in the hospital and then goes in to visit with Ida. Ida and Molly talk about the baby, the case and more. It doesn’t feel like idle chitchat but rather a glimpse at a real conversation between friends, one torn by both grief at the loss of her husband and joy at the birth of her new baby girl and another that feels the need to give her friend closure. Molly leaves and stops by Lester’s room, hoping to speak with him. He pretends to be asleep and the episode comes to a finish.
Prior to this episode I thought I had an idea of where the show was going and while a couple of my theories remain in tact in my mind, this episode dissolved most of them for me. Honestly, it’s refreshing though. Too many shows are predictable and it’s nice to feel like there are more twists and turns to come. Performances continue to be great and the show does very much feel like it’s deserving of the name Fargo. There are so many parallels between the show and the film that many of my theories are starting to be formed around things that could happen in the show that happened in the movie.
I think the biggest appeal is that this really does feel like a 10-part movie. It doesn’t feel like just a TV show and I especially love that none of the episodes have really felt like filler. Even the bits that deviate from the main plot help contribute in some way, usually with character development.
I can’t wait to see where it all goes in the remaining half of the seasons.