Fargo Finale Totally Rocks (And Yes, We Have Spoilers)

Fargo Finale Totally Rocks (And Yes, We Have Spoilers)

So, ya saw the Fargo finale on the TV, didja?

Ya didn’t? Then go watch it and come back, because there’s no way I can make this review spoiler-free.

After nine-plus hours of Lorne Malvo and Lester Nygard exploiting the decent and unwitting, justice finally comes to Bemidji in a big way. Writer Noah Hawley and director Matt Shakman draw out the dread and danger beautifully, keeping the bad guys bad and good guys (and girls) threatened right up until the end of the 90-minute episode.

Billy Bob Thornton’s Malvo is less playful and more of a menace this time, allowing that the police are finally on to him and his protege, the now fully realized sociopath Lester (Martin Freeman), who quickly improvises yet another not terrible alibi when another wife turns up dead.

Deputy Molly Solverson (Alison Tolman) — the greatest female protagonist maybe in the history of television — also sees the sociopath when she questions Lester about the sudden demise of wife No. 2. Freeman expertly plays every deflection and dodge he can summon without so much as a hint of panic, a much different creature than the tentative loser we were introduced to nine episodes ago.

Molly tries to use Lester as bait to bag Malvo. That doesn’t work and there are a few more victims (R.I.P., Key and Peele — I didn’t think the comic relief was excessive at all), but justice ultimately prevails.

Molly’s boss Bill (Bob Odenkirk) finally achieves the self awareness necessary to grasp what was really happening and checks out. “I don’t got the stomach for it, not like some,” he confesses to Molly. He hands over the investigation and, ultimately, the police department to her calling her “the real deal.”

Molly’s husband Gus (Colin Hanks) convinces her, however, to stay out of the manhunt for Malvo by invoking her stepdaughter Greta (“I can’t make her go to another funeral, Molly”). His case is buttressed by Molly’s retired cop dad, Lou (Keith Carradine), who isn’t about to give up Greta to anyone.

As I said, justice comes to Bemidji in a big way. Malvo is made mortal by his creature Lester, in a manner recalling Lorne’s story about the bear caught in the trap; however, he is finished off by Gus, a move I liked very much. Gus was the first cop to confront Lorne Malvo in this story, oh so many episodes ago, and was maybe the only one to get a true measure of him (Lou got an inkling last week, but not more than that).

The cop-turned-postman Gus sees there is no place in their world, not even jail, for Malvo — who could be the Satan trying to convince God that Job isn’t a pious man, or the Serpent in the Garden bedeviling Adam and Eve into throwing away Paradise.

Gus doesn’t redeem himself so much as make certain his family safe from such a monster — once and for all time. He also hands Molly an open-and-shut case against Lester and winds up with a citation from the city.

The acting is just about pitch perfect, as it has been throughout the 10-episode run. Tolman is a revelation, Thornton and Freeman are as creepy and compelling as any bad guys I can remember in a long while and the main supporting actors — Odenkirk, Hanks and Carradine — are just about awesome.

Yes, there are loose ends (Mr. Wrench? The used car salesman? Stavros?), but aren’t there loose ends in life? We are in the midst of a great run of television (Fargo, True Detective, Breaking Bad, etc.) that can be savored, obsessed over or just enjoyed. Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth — good is fucking good, so watch and wonder while it lasts.

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  • tatere

    I loved it that Gus takes away Malvo’s knife *after* shooting him twice in the head. Somebody’s been paying attention.

  • CHUDster A. Arthur

    I thought it was a nice touch that they finally used the actual music from the movie in the final shot of the show, when it all comes full circle to the scene of domestic tranquility in the same way the movie ends.

  • Holiday

    That’s some television you talk back to. Some stomach clenching NOOOOs erupted before I could mind my viewing manners. The diner scene with just Thornton and Carradine was one of the tensest I’ve seen. The nods to the movie, what odd li’l touches. Yessir, this will make a fine series to binge watch again.

  • Jason M

    What the hell was Molly’s parable about the dude with one glove supposed to mean? TELL ME, PLEASE.

    • beavertank

      What I took from it was, it was all about selfishness vs. selflessness. The guy who dropped the glove had two choices, hold onto his one remaining glove and be angry, or let the other glove go and give someone a chance at finding a usable set.Molly was letting Lester go because she wanted to give someone else a chance at finding the full set (Lester and Malvo) rather than hanging onto what she had (Lester) and being angry about losing the other (Malvo).I also took it as a nod to the series-long issue of there being two kinds of people in the world, those who do good even at their own expense (the “humans” – Molly), and those who do evil no matter who gets hurt (the “animals” – Malvo).

  • beavertank

    Since I live in Fargo, I was both obligated to watch the series AND got an extra hilarious enjoyment of the shots that were supposed to be in Fargo.I loved that finale, though. Just perfect.

  • pianoplayer1

    Fargo was great! Love me some Billy Bob as Mephistopheles!But, do not forget Justified! Raylan Givens and Boyd Crowder and that really, really scary Limehouse dude rock!

  • pianoplayer1

    I agree that Billy Bob and Keith Carradine together made me so nervous that I had to watch the screen while peeking around the hands over my eyes!