FARGO Episode 9 “A Fox, A Rabbit, And A Cabbage” Recap
Some chipper country music starts up as the scene opens up in dentist’s office and zooms out from the mouth of a patient currently being worked on. The dentist appointment wraps up and we get our first look at the cheerful, jolly dentist and discover that it’s Malvo in what feels like a bizarro world version of the character. Malvo banters with his patient and a friend at the office and we’re left a little stunned and suspicious about what’s going on.
The scene changes and text at the bottom of the screen tells us that we’re in Kansas City, Missouri where a house party is happening in a beautiful home that is beautifully decorated. The guests are sophisticated, drinking and eating oeuvres and schmoozing with one another. The camera pans to the upstairs and we discover that this impossibly beautiful house belongs to Malvo. WHAT SHOW ARE WE WATCHING?! Moments later, an impossibly beautiful woman comes upstairs to chat with Malvo and we find out that she’s his fiancée. His fiancée, guys. Is it April Fool’s Day?
Malvo is a completely different person than the one we’ve come to know in the show so far. He’s classy, refined, settled down and doing well for himself in a career that doesn’t seemingly involve him murdering people.
He heads down to his kitchen where he’s joined by a friend named Burt, the fellow we saw Malvo chatting with in his office. Where he works. As a DENTIST. Burt and Malvo have a manly man conversation about their women and it leads into how the ladies are in bed… Malvo’s fiancée is a freak in the sack, apparently. Given the conversations that we’ve seen Malvo carry out with Fargo characters such as Lester, Gus and Don, it’s just weird to think that Malvo can even pretend to act in such a way.
However, a point comes in the conversation where it’s mentioned that Burt’s friend is in witness protection and the pieces start to fall into place as to why Malvo is doing what he’s doing. Burt seems to be Malvo’s link to finding this person he’s really been after and in order for him to get access to that person, he needs to maintain a series of normal relationships.
The scene changes over to a car driving through the Vegas strip and from there we’re taken down the hallway of a Vegas hotel and ending in a hotel bar: the same bar that Lester spotted Malvo in at the end of the last episode. This time things are from Malvo’s perspective and we get to see his interactions among his friends and fiancée while Lester watches from the bar. Lester can’t leave well enough alone and walks over to Malvo’s table and strikes up a conversation. Malvo acts like he’s never met Lester before in his life while Lester continues to insist that they know one another, making everyone at the table vastly uncomfortable.
Malvo stands up and prepares to leave the bar with his group and subtly whispers to Lester “Just walk away.” As Malvo and his people head to the elevator to go back to their rooms, Lester stops the door and steps in with them and refuses to leave until Malvo acknowledges that he knows Lester.
At this point, you just know some bad sh*t is about to happen and Malvo looks Lester in the eyes and asks him, “Is this what you want? Is this what you really want?” and Lester replies with minimal hesitation, “Yes!” and in that instant, Malvo has a gun with a silencer out and shoots everyone in the elevator except for Lester. Malvo turns to Lester and coldly says, “These are on you.” The elevator comes to a stop on a floor that no one gets on or off of and continue their ride.
Malvo explains to Lester that he’s been working Burt for six months and the elevator comes to a stop again on what appears to be a service floor. Malvo tells Lester to grab Burt’s feet so he can start disposing of the bodies but Lester whacks him over the head with his newly won Insurance Salesman of the Year Award and runs off. The Malvo we’ve come to know and love to hate over the course of the season is back in full swing and calmly calls after Lester “See you soon!”
Lester rushes back to his hotel room, waking up Linda in the process. He packs up his things and starts packing up her things in a hurry while she looks on with confusion. He tells Linda that they’re leaving and they grab their things and without much fuss, she follows Lester out of the hotel and out of Vegas.
Back in Fargo at the FBI building, the two agents are lying on the floor of the filing room while one asks the riddle about the fox, the goat and the cabbage to the other. The riddle is interrupted by the arrival of an agent requesting information on the Fargo Syndicate case aka the case that landed the agents in the filing room in the first place. The agent informs them that Deputy Solverson has called in from Bemidji and claims to know who pulled the trigger on the mobsters a year ago. The officers collectively look a bit like a puppy that has just had its favourite ball thrown and excitedly respond with “Where’s Bemidji?”
Greta, Gus, Molly and Lou are all in Lou’s Diner having a bite to eat together. Molly announces that she’s temporarily in charge of the police station while Chief Oswalt is out of town. Molly receives a call about the elevator shooting in Vegas and tells them that Bill is away. When she asks why she’s being called in regards to a shooting in Vegas, they inform her that one of the witnesses is a resident of Bemidji and they end the scene in the diner with a shot of Molly’s shocked face.
Lester and Linda are rushing back home to Bemidji after catching an early flight home from Vegas. Linda is worried that they left their trip early because of her and Lester assures her that that’s not the case at all. They talk about having another vacation to make up for the one that was just cut short and settle on Acapulco. Lester tells Linda that they’ll book the flight immediately and head out as soon as they are newly packed with the things they need. He drives towards home to drop Linda off, telling her to start prepping for the trip. He helps unload their bags and Lester’s paranoia is painted all over his face. Lester looks around the yard for any sign of Malvo and heads into the basement to unpack Chaz’s hunting gear that Kitty left for him.
Lester gets ready to head out and just as he opens the door, Molly walks up to it. Lester tries his best to get out of the impromptu questioning but Linda’s manners kick in and she invites Molly in to sit down.
Out on the road, Gus is delivering mail when he spots someone familiar on the road. It doesn’t immediately click with him that it’s Malvo and the scene almost immediately changes over from Gus’ perspective to Malvo’s. Malvo arrives at Lester’s old house and gets out of the car only to discover a new family living in the house. He chats with them and tries to find out where Lester is living now. The man doesn’t know but passes on information that Lester now owns his own insurance store downtown and lets him know that he can’t miss it. Malvo thanks them and then just as you think he’s going to leave, he turns back around and tells them that someone was murdered in their house. He goes into detail about it, where it happened and then mentions that people used to hear noises coming from the basement, trying to convince them that the place is haunted. Once he’s thoroughly traumatized the family, he leaves.
Back at Lester’s, Molly is interviewing him about the murders in Vegas. Lester walks her through the events of the evening, making sure to leave out all of the events that transpired in the elevator. Lester is a terrible liar and acts incredibly suspicious when Molly pushes the questioning and asks why they switched their flight to an earlier one. Just when you think that Lester might break and that Molly’s caught him in something, Linda jumps in and takes the blame for the early return home. Molly tells them not to leave town as the Vegas Police Department are in the process of sending over photos from the elevator. Linda starts in about how they were planning on leaving for Acapulco and Lester interrupts and sees Molly out the door.
While Molly is getting ready to leave Lester’s, she receives a call from the station to inform her that two FBI agents have arrived and are looking for her. Molly starts up the car and notices Lester watching her intently through the blinds.
Back at Lou’s Diner, Malvo pulls up and heads in. Lou offers him some coffee and Malvo asks for a slice of pie to go with it. They interact for a bit and Lou tells him about his time as a cop. Malvo inquires about Lester and tries to figure out where he’s living these days. Lou doesn’t give the information to him and things shift to an uncomfortable silence. Malvo spots one of Lou’s photo from Molly and Gus’ wedding. Malvo recognizes Gus and steers the conversation towards them, asking if Gus is his son.
At this point, you can practically feel the bad things that are about to transpire.
Malvo once again asks for Lester’s info and when Lou once again declines to provide it, he leads into a story from a case of his while on the force. You can feel Lou rooting around for the gist of what kind of man Malvo is. They continue to talk and tensions rise and Molly pulls into the diner parking lot around back. As I mentioned, you can practically feel the bad stuff coming to a head and your mind races but Malvo gets up from his seat and heads out the front door. Him and Molly do not cross paths and when she comes in, Lou quickly mentions the odd fellow that was in in a very casual way. As you see Malvo get into his car and shut his door, the FBI agents pull up and miss seeing Malvo’s face as they then also walk into the diner.
The tension is relieved but you know that it’s all just the calm before the storm.
The FBI agents sit down with Molly and discuss the case. Molly then takes them to the police department to show them her timeline and evidence, even though it’s all circumstantial. Bill storms in and immediately starts apologizing to them for wasting their time. He gets ready to yell at Molly directly but instead tells the agents about how her damn whiteboard has been haunting his nightmares, to which Molly looks visibly hurt. The FBI agents stop Bill and point out that her police work has been top-notch and make plans to stay overnight to go over everything with her.
Possibly a foreshadowing of a future career in the FBI for Molly?
Gus heads home to an empty house and looks over Molly’s evidence board that she keeps at home. He flashes back to the car from earlier and focuses in on the driving trying to play back the scene again and again. Something from it is clearly bothering him and his gut is clearly telling him that Malvo is back in town but he can’t seem to be 100% that it was him in the car.
Lester remains paranoid about Malvo. He prints out their tickets for their trip to Acapulco despite Molly’s warning. They head into town to pick up their passports from their office. Linda tells him about how she always had a crush on Lester and then talks about how she came to live in the United States with her parents. Linda talks about working at the motel that her parents own and compares herself to Cinderella.
As they pull up to the office, Lester notices a light on that he knows he didn’t leave on. He realizes that it’s probably Malvo making good on his promise to see him soon. Lester immediately makes up an excuse that he’s all of a sudden thrown out his back. He asks her to in and retrieve the passports, but before she leaves, he has her put on his bright orange coat and has her pull up the hood over her head so her “pretty face doesn’t get cold”. We knew that Lester had changed but he’s evolved into a creature that is in survival mode. A creature that will stop at nothing to carry on living his life, even at the expense of his loved ones.
Linda heads into the office while Lester watches like a hawk. As it turns out, Malvo really is waiting for him in the office and with Linda dressed like Lester, Malvo steps up behind her and shoots her point blank in the back of the head. Lester seems more scared for himself than concerned about the fact that his second wife was just murdered in front of him. He hides in his car until Malvo lights a cigarette and walks away.
One episode left to wrap up everything that has transpired in the show so far. One episode left for everything to come to a head that’s been building since FX first started airing this series.