"Morton's Fork" was the perfect conclusion to Lester and Lorne's game of cat and mouse.
Fargo Season 1 Episode 10 was a stressful hour of television to watch unfold. Throughout Fargo season 1, Lorne and Lester came out on top by manipulating those around them, including the cops and FBI. In the end, it was their chance reunion that ended up costing them everything.
This tragic tale all started with Lorne's seemingly simple question, "Is this what you want?" and it all came to an end when that question was asked and answered again. Lorne put the responsibility for the future on Lester and the insurance salesman made the wrong choice.
He had a wonderful life and he threw it all away when he answered, "Yes."
This new battle between the men caught Lorne by surprise. He wasn't dealing with a befuddled Lester, instead he was facing off against a quick-witted and dangerous opponent as he found out. Lester sacrificed his wife, covered up the real circumstances of her murder, and drew Lorne into his trap.
Throughout the episode, the anxiety wasn't about whether Lester and/or Lorne would take each other out, it was the fear of who would be caught in the crossfire. Gus worried for Molly and warned her to stay safe. He told his wife he didn't want his daughter to attend another funeral one minute, then the next he was pursuing Lorne. What?!?
Recently, Lou had challenged both Lorne and Lester. He understood the danger of the situation and stood guard holding a shotgun with his granddaughter. With both Lou and Gus taking a stand it, it seemed unlikely they would both make it out alive. It was fortunate that they both did. Instead, it was the FBI agents that Lorne killed as he went after Lester.
Fargo could have ended as a tragedy, but I was glad that it didn't. There was no sadness when Gus shot Lorne and killed him or when Lester ran to his own death falling through the ice. It was their own arrogance and a total disregard for others that led them each to their deaths.
Gus may not have been the best police officer, but he found the strength and courage to stand up to the man he previously feared. He let Lorne go originally out of fear for his daughter, but the circumstances had changed. He needed to confront and kill Lorne to protect his family and community now.
Lorne's smug face turned into laughter after he was shot and then surprise when Gus shot him again. Good riddance, Lorne!
Lester also had a smug look on his bloody face when he closed the door after Lorne left. He had a little longer to live, but two weeks later he ended up right where he was the year before. He may have escaped Mr. Wrench and Mr. Numbers, but his fate remained the same. His was destined to die through the frigid ice. A fitting death for a coward.
The Fargo score has added to the tension and stress of watching scenes throughout the season and when Lester was trying to outrun the authorities at the end was no exception. The music added to the unique and quirky tone of the series just as much as the accents and choice of phrasing.
My favorite moment of the finale was when Molly listened to the tape of Lester calling Lorne after killing his wife. The look on Molly's face was one of relief and validation. She was right about everything and it was validation that she wasn't crazy or on a ill-conceived mission against Lester. That was more meaningful then Lorne or Lester's death.
When she got the call about Lester, she barely reacted and didn't even bother to mention it to Gus. As far as she was concerned the case was over and she had all she needed in that living room watching a game show with her family.
Molly and Gus had their happy ending together. Gus may have been a postman, but he demonstrated his inner courage and strength to do what was necessary and right. He earned that Citation of Bravery and Molly finally was going to be Chief.
Fargo was brilliant from beginning to end.
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