Fargo S1E7 [Open spoilers]

So I’m going to guess that Chaz has a pretty good alibi the night of the murders? I hope this comes up. Lester may think he’s got things wrapped up but he’s not thinking far enough ahead.

I cheered when he banged the wife though! Ol’ Lester Smooth! (why yes, I love* The Wire*)

I’m just now noticing that most (all?) of the episode titles represent paradoxes or parables or the like. The last one was Burridan’s ass, this one referred to the barber paradox and so forth. And usually the scenes from previous episodes are introduced with something like “Previously on Fargo . . .” but here they play with that a little. In last week’s episode they said “Erstwhile on Fargo . . .”.

I think they used “Erstwhile” twice. I had to flip on CC to hear what they were saying. Last night it was “precedently”. (Pre-SEE-dent-ly)

I doubt if it was a good idea to bang the widow: 1. The insurance agency will fire him when the widow finds out and complains. 2. The two sons are not people Lester would want to mess with–and if the widow tells them something that makes them angry toward Lester very bad things could happen to him.

Lester seems pretty good at handling himself in tough situations.

The cops getting a search warrant because the kid brought a gun to school is unrealistic on its face (and I like how the chief says something along the lines of “these days”, as in a kid with a gun at school wouldn’t have been a big deal in the past), but I can fanwank this scenario not shown to the viewers:

Cops called to school, ask kid where he got gun. Kid replies: “It looks like one of my dad’s guns. He has lots of guns. He has a big cabinet in the garage with lots and lots of them, and a big one he calls a machine gun.”

I think that’s a realistic scenario, and had I been a cop at that interview, I’d be inclined to procure a search warrant, too. Especially if the kid repeated that his dad told him he keeps that one hidden because it’s special (not saying they presented that conversation, but it wouldn’t be unreasonable for dad to explain to his son given that dad’s special toy is either stolen and/or an unregistered Class III weapon).

I’ll give that to you on a fanwank, but that’s about it. Like I said earlier, I think they could have either found a better way to have the cops search the house or have them find the evidence.
If Lester had just told them how Chaz killed his wife with a hammer that might have been enough to do it.

But I suppose this is supposed to be taking place in a slightly altered reality.

Amazingly, unbelievably good.

In fact, the authors have really stretched reality here so that in the beginning, we think of Lester as a pathetic loser who can’t stand up for himself. But now, we think of him as a real slick criminal mastermind.

Obviously, this stretches reality past the breaking point. But, once again, I don’t mind.

Why not?

Because it makes the story superbly exciting and fun to watch. This has to make for a very unique kind of TV show that, on the one hand stretches reality past the breaking point. But, on the other hand, is a real success at creating a fun and exciting program. AFAIC, the showrunners have a real success on their hands here. I like it a whole lot!

I don’t think I’d call him a real slick criminal mastermind. He got in over his head and now he’s weaseling his way out of it. He’s quick on his feet and with the help of some creative writers and time dilation he’s managed to stall the cops for a while until they can sort out the hammer thing, but he’s not robbing casinos just yet.

I don’t think it’s the authors’ intention to tell us that Lester is a mastermind. We WANT him to be after we, as an audience, have seen shows like Breaking Bad where there is a long con going because the protagonist is capable of it. But Lester, while not stupid, is still only making what he feels is the best of a particular situation. He’s taking advantage of the fact that he knows the police see him as a pushover person with no courage. Ironically, the police are the same way; no one has the courage to look for the real truth. Of course besides our two protagonists.

It will be a battle of which side decides to say “fuck it” and go gung ho; the police decide to ACTUALLY do police work or Lester goes full Malvo.

If that is true (and I think there is probably a good reason to expect that it’s true), then considering how the showrunners stretch reality as much as they do, this show will probably end in a wild (think of the Wild West) finish with luck maybe playing a lot to do with who comes out on top and the end result should be one whole Hell of a lot of fun.

That strikes me as just the perfect way for this show to end. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

The comedy they could right on this would be genius! The only people that have a handle on things are Malvo and Molly. Everyone else is either catching up or too dumb to listen. The half-wits trying to battle each other could be fantastic. Lester included.

Great noticing! “The Barber paradox” was the first one I noticed, but I didn’t put 'em together.
Episode 1 - “The Crocodile Dilemma”
Ep 2 - “The Rooster Prince” isn’t so much a dilemma/paradox as a fable
Ep 3 - “The Muddy Road” – no paradox as far as I can see
Ep 4 - “Eating the Blame” - ?? Dunno this one
Ep 5 - “The six ungraspables” seems to be a Zen koan: “What is the reality?” “The six ungraspables.” (The graspables are the five sense and the intellect)
Ep 6 - “Who shaves the barber” as noted by Dewey is the famous paradox of the barber shaves everyone who doesn’t shave themselves.
COMING (According to Wikipedia):
Ep 7 - "The Heap also called “sorites paradox”
Ep 8 - “The Fox, the Rabbit, and the Cabbage” is presumably not a paradox per se, but the age-old puzzle-riddle of trying to get all three across a stream in a boat that only holds two (plus you), so that the fox doesn’t eat the rabbit (if left alone together on either shore) and the rabbit doesn’t eat the cabbage (if left alone together on either shore) and the cabbage doesn’t eat… um. Yeah.
Ep 9 - “Morton’s Fork” is a version of “heads I win, tails you lose.”

PS - I both hate and love Wikipedia.

Both are zen parables.

Muddy Road:

Eating the Blame:

I loved the scene with Malvo and the Rundle Realty guy, and particularly the exchange:

Malvo: Two hombres took a run at me in Duluth.

Rundle guy: Mexicans?

Malvo: You’re focusing on the wrong part of that sentence.

I never would have cast Billy Bob Thornton as a stone-cold killer, but his low-key and menacing approach tickles me no end.

What exactly happened at Rundle Realty? Did he kill everyone, just the head guy or…?

My interpretation is he either killed or seriously hurt the head guy. Everybody else was fine (hence the scream after he left the building - one of the women found his victim).

So, btw, curiosity killed the Celt, and I know I’ll regret this, but, what is a “Bemumpkin” or whatever? You know, from Chaz’s story with the dancer?

WTF was Rundle Realty, anyway? Why was a guy who evidently was the coordinator for a nationwide network of hitmen working in a shabby strip mall office with zero security?

IMHO, BBT is one of the most talented and one of the most underrated actors working today.

If you have never heard of the movie One False Move (1992), I would like to recommend it to you.

It’s a low budget movie but it was great. It stars BBT, Bill Paxton, Michael Beach and others. Remember Michael Beach? Remember Third Watch? You wouldn’t recognize him in this movie if I didn’t tell you it was him.

If you ever get a chance, this is an excellent movie.