FARGO Episode 8 “The Heap” Recap
The opens to a factory warehouse where machines and people are working on building appliances. As we’re taken through the process of how “it’s” made, “it” becomes a laundry machine that gets shipped off to the home of Lester Nygaard. The delivery man brings in the new appliance and talks to Lester about his old machine that he dubs “a lemon”. The delivery man mentions that the machine was actually recalled, “I bet you she bucked your bronco!” to which Lester replies, “You don’t know the half of it.”
Lester watches the new machine silently wash a load of clothes before he receives a visit from his sister-in-law, Kitty. She gives Lester updates and talks about Chaz and Gordo and their respective incarcerations. Kitty is distressed about what has happened but when Lester asks her if it’s because of the murder, she looks at him and says “Look at me, I was Miss Hubbard County, for Pete’s sake! You don’t cheat on Miss Hubbard County.”
As she’s getting ready to leave, she notices the empty appliance box and asks Lester what he’s purchased. He tells her that he’s replacing everything in the basement and she says, “You deserve it, Lester. All good things, you deserve,” which feels genuine from her and yet it feels overall like a sarcastic warning for things to come.
After she’s gone, Lester happily begins the process of reclaiming his house and his life by ridding both of everything that had belonged to Pearl.
Things open up to a police car coming down a wintery road and in the driver’s seat is Molly who is back on duty. She makes a quick stop in at her father’s diner where more flowers have arrived for her from Gus. “A smarter man would think you’re being wooed,” says Mr. Solverson. Molly tells her father about her plan to talk to Chief Bill Oswalt at the station to discuss the Lester case. The conversation fizzles out and Molly heads to the station where she requests the presence of Chief Oswalt in the staff room to talk about her questions and loose ends.
Chief Oswalt doesn’t want to hear any of it and that much is made clear almost immediately. As far as he’s concerned, the case is closed, they’ve caught the bad guy and that’s that. They have a passionate argument (or at least Molly does) and Molly’s face shows a visible amount of hurt over being disregarded in the matter, especially when she’s knows that she’s right. The subject gets changed when it’s mentioned that a ‘Welcome Back’ get together is being thrown for Molly with cake.
Back at the insurance office, Lester is working away as his coworker, Linda, strikes up a conversation with him and begins offering compliments. Just as she begins to ask him over for dinner, Mrs. Gina Hess and her sons storm into the office with a folder of papers that state her claim has been denied. Things tense up in the office and Mrs. Hess begins openly accusing Lester of knowing all along that she wouldn’t receive her money, which of course, he did. Lester fumbles around trying to make excuses and the sense of uncomfortability sets in as Mrs. Hess and her sons attempt to bully Lester into getting what they want in front of his coworkers. Mrs. Hess gives Lester until the end of the day to produce $2 million in insurance money and sets her boys on him as a warning. Lester finds some inner strength and as the boys come closer to him, he picks up a stapler on the desk behind him and whacks them each in the forehead with it. They back off and Lester speaks up and tells them what’s what and they storm out of the office as angrily as they came in, albeit with a bit more shock on their faces than before. Lester’s coworker comes back over to him and coos “That was amazing! You’re amazing!”
At the FBI offices in Fargo, North Dakota, the agents that we met for the first time in the last episode are waiting in a reception area to speak with their boss. Their boss impatiently collects them and rides up in an elevator with them as they blunder their way through what happened, trying their best to shine a light of positivity on the situation. Their boss drops them off in the filing room along with a demotion. Convinced that they’ll only be there temporarily, they post up a photo of Malvo that was taken from an ATM machine and seemingly plan on working the case in their spare time in the filing office.
The hallway of a hospital fades in from the black and to an officer guarding Mr. Wrench, the remaining “Fargo Associate”. The officer quickly runs to use the washroom and never returns to his post due to Malvo waiting for him in one of the stalls. Malvo heads into the hospital room and waits for Mr. Wrench to wake up and starts off his talk with him by saying “Never heard of a deaf hitman…”
Malvo continues to provoke Mr. Wrench a bit by reminding him and what happened to his partner and that he’s now unemployed due to Malvo’s massacre in the last episode. He talks for a bit more and announces that Mr. Wrench and Mr. Numbers came the closest that anyone has ever come to killing him. He tosses the key to Mr. Wrench’s handcuffs onto his chest and leaves him with one last sentiment, “If you still feel raw about things when you heal up, come see me.”
Back at the diner again, the police station is all there celebrating Molly’s recovery and return to the force. Molly and Ida are sitting together and Molly is filling Ida in about her “mystery suitor”. They talk about Gus and Verne with Molly showing off a bit more of her funny side before Bill comes over and unintentionally turns it into an awkward conversation. Ida changes the subject and thanks Molly for catching her husband’s killer. Molly comes close to confessing that they got the wrong guy and realizes that Ida just needs the closure and says, “It’s all behind us” and leaves to go for a walk. She passes Lester’s office and sees him with his coworkers and stops to observe before continuing on.
While Gus is out on speed patrol with a cup of something warm from his thermos, he gives Molly a call just to talk to her. He tells her that his hearing is the next day and once again apologizes for shooting her. He works up the nerve to ask her out and winds up being moreso asked out by her when he can’t quite get out the right words.
These two are honestly one of the best parts of the show for me.
We do a flash-forward to a year later where Gus is driving a delivery truck. He’s finally what he wanted to be, a postman. We don’t find out if it’s because he lost his job at the hearing or if it’s because a position is open, but it doesn’t really matter too much. He has a quick chat about dinner over the walkie-talkie with his daughter Greta and heads to his home, which is now a house in Bemidji where he lives with Greta and a very pregnant Molly.
The parallel to Marge from the Fargo movie is very strong here. They do a mini exposition while having a family dinner and fill us in on what’s happened in the last year. Following the dinner there’s a scene with Molly in her police uniform, as she gets ready for work in her bedroom. Her shirt is all untucked and it’s yet another piece of imagery almost directly out of the Fargo movie. Molly steps into another part of the room where one wall is covered with the Lester case that was never truly solved. Molly sits down and makes a call to the FBI to talk to them about Malvo to try to help progress their investigation. Like Chief Oswalt, they want nothing to do with Molly and end the call with her fairly quick.
At the FBI building, the two agents are exactly where we left them in the filing room, clearly still being punished for their epic mistake. A corkboard accidentally gets knocked down and the photo they pinned up of Malvo gets uncovered once again and it feels like their need to figure out who he is and what happened that day has been reignited.
Molly is in the Bemidji Police Station when Bill comes in with a stranger. Bill explains that him and his wife have taken in somebody from Sudan and they tell the story of how it all came to be; how the boy came to be in America, what has already happened to him and how he came to live with Bill.
Molly heads home to Gus, who is lightly sleeping with the TV on. She gets ready for bed and settles in for the night and says half to Gus and half to herself “We’re doing alright.” Yet another scene reminiscent of the Fargo movie.
On stage at an awards show, a magician finishes up an act as a presenter takes the stage to announce the 2007 Insurance Salesman of the Year (you can see where this is going). The award goes to Lester, who has done a complete turnaround with his life. He’s married again to his coworker Linda and he’s taken his traumas and turned them into stories he can use to sell insurance to people. Everything about Lester seems completely different from the person we met at the beginning of the series.
After the ceremony, Linda heads back up their hotel room while Lester heads to the bar for a nightcap. He orders a “dangerous drink” and exchanges flirtatious glances with a beautiful woman at the bar with some friends. In between looks, Lester takes in the room around in and notices a familiar face in the bar, Lorne Malvo.