Fargo Review: Lester's the Man

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Lester's the man! 

It pains me greatly to write that. Really. There's no denying it,  but right now he's the master of manipulating situations into his favor.

He has everyone fooled, except for Molly. She doesn't have the full picture, though I expect when she finds out she'll see through his lies.

On Fargo Season 1 Episode 7, Lester's frame job on his brother, Chaz, was successful. His nephew took the planted gun to school, which led to the police raid on Chaz's house where they found the planted hammer, panties, and photos. The evidence along with Lester's "hesitant statement" telling the "truth" was all it took.

Bill didn't waste any time questioning this new evidence and arrested Chaz for the two murders. That really wasn't much of a surprise since Bill's shown a willingness to take the easy answer. He took the evidence at face value and didn't even consider the greater picture which Molly had explained to him.

High on the success of framing his brother, Lester took the opportunity at work to visit Mrs. Hess. Instead of telling her that Sam's life insurance policy had lapsed and she wasn't getting any money, he convinced her to grease his palms to help move along the process. After a shared drink, he banged her from behind while getting satisfaction from taking what belonged to Sam.

When Sam's picture fell from the wall, Lester had his victory. In that moment, he seemed invincible. He went from a inadequate husband and insurance agent to a killer, manipulator, and sexual god. His rise to the top is going to make his tumble all the way down and into a cell all the more glorious. 

He has to get caught, right?

Molly has suffered letdown after letdown. The Chief was killed, Bill was promoted instead of her, she had a good lead, she lost it because she was shot, and now she's left having a mini-breakdown in the middle of the parking lot. She deserves better. There are three episodes left in Fargo Season 1 and that's plenty of time for her to prove Lester's guilty.

She may have some help in the matter from an unexpected person -- Lorne Malvo. After a quick trip to Nevada, Lorne realized that Mr. Wrench and Mr. Numbers weren't after him from a job he took, but from getting involved and killing Sam Hess. In response he went to Fargo and massacred the mob there.

I loved how that scene was filmed. Whether the decision was made in order to save money or for creative reasons, it worked out well. As the camera panned across the reflective windows and the gun shots sounded and Lorne yelled, it left some mystery to the massacre. It was a case of what you don't see being more powerful.

My only complaint is regarding Agent Pepper and Agent Budge. Are there any competent law enforcement officers in Minnesota? Seriously! Besides Molly, the rest are various levels of incompetent. (I initially used "stupid" but that seemed a little too harsh, though perhaps more accurate.) 

Lorne walked in front of their car, showed a huge automatic rifle and they didn't notice. They didn't hear the gunfight or see the body fall out the window. That must have been a really good sandwich. Then, Lorne walks out of the building, stops and looks at them, and they don't notice. Lucky for Lorne, but that's likely very unlucky for Lester.

If Lorne figured out that the hit was from Fargo, then he probably knows that Lester is the one that tipped off Mr. Numbers and Mr. Wrench about his location in Duluth. Next up: Lorne goes after Lester. It may not matter if the police don't figure out the truth that Lester was involved. 

I'd love to see Lester decide to confess to the truth in order to save himself from Lorne's punishment. A life sentence in prison would be better than anything Lorne would do to him. At this point, if one of them has to get away, I'd rather see it be Lorne. Even though Malvo's a criminal, a killer, and a horrible man, Lester is just so much more annoying.

An ideal conclusion and happy ending would find both Lorne and Lester either in prison or dead with Molly getting the recognition that her theory was right about all the murders. And, of course, Molly and Gus!

Who do you want to see taken down?

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Carla Day is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.

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Fargo Season 1 Episode 7 Quotes

I shot ya.


Let's just say there's a lot of blood.