Fargo Ep.6 Recap: Buridan’s Ass

May 28, 2014
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Another parable: a hungry, thirsty donkey finds food to his far left and water to the far right, but he can only have one. He dies from a paralyzing inability to choose.

The arrival of the massive snowstorm in the most recent episode of Fargo gives way to a massive shit storm. Everyone is silhouetted in an opaque, blue hue, squinting for a modicum of visibility in the bright, blinding white snow. That no one can see more than two feet in front of them brings a wave of several ghastly consequences.

Fargo S01E06 Recap: Buridan’s Ass

Stavros suffers Nygaard-level guilty flashbacks and gets a phone call from that disguised voice again, telling him the time has come to make the drop. The voice is Don’s, willingly coerced by Malvo. The comical moments here are swiftly eclipsed by Malvo mercilessly duct taping Don’s legs to a stationary bicycle and his hands to a machine gun aimed at the front door. Malvo fires shots out the window and slips away as the SWAT team moves in. Finding Don backlit, pointing a gun, they unleash countless rounds of ammunition as the scene goes slow-mo and Don dies in a blood bath on the bike, slumped over the gun. This was a heavy scene. There was no way you couldn’t feel bad for Don.

Lester is not permitted to leave the hospital yet. His brother Chaz shows up and tells him that he believes Lester’s done unspeakable acts and that there has always been something terribly wrong with him. Though Chaz isn’t buying what Lester’s selling, he says, “If you want this to go away, you’ve gotta give ‘em someone.” Oh, beware the power of suggestion, Chaz. Lester sheds his cowardice and, in another inspired getaway plan with brilliant detail, he pulls a Freaky Friday with his half-conscious roommate. He then goes to Chaz’s house and plants incriminating evidence in his brother’s gun closet and in his nephew’s knapsack.

Fargo S01E06 Recap: Buridan’s Ass

Gus tells her Molly he always wanted to be a mailman so he could deliver happiness to people. That’s the moment when the most disorienting shoot-out starts. Gus and Molly respond to the sound of gunshots and Wrench and Numbers ambush Malvo’s SUV in the blinding snow. Naturally, or supernaturally, Malvo somehow disappears into the white. (We don’t actually see him do it.) He heads toward a shed, slashing his hand with a knife along the way. Numbers follows the blood trail right to Malvo, who slits his throat. (Adam Goldberg was so good; sadly, there’s no way Numbers isn’t dead as road-kill.) Now, deaf as he is and caught in a blizzard, where is Mr. Wrench?

Molly and Gus find Numbers dead, but Gus suddenly loses sight of Molly in the heavy snowfall. When lightning-like bursts of gunfire go off in the distance, he shoots instinctively. Taking a few steps forward, he sees Molly lying face down in the snow. Really shoulda been a mailman.

Fargo S01E06 Recap: Buridan’s Ass

The interstate is closed, but Stavros orders his bodyguard to take his son Dimitri to a safe place. Stavros drives to the empty parking lot to hand over the money to Malvo as instructed but the voice of God tells him to leave; it’s bigger than the money. So he goes to put the money back where he found it. He buries the leather case, sticks the orange scraper back in the snow, looks up at the sky, and knows that God is happy.

But the snowflakes suddenly give way to hundreds of fish hurtling down from the sky like the hail of frogs in Magnolia. Stavros finds Dimitri dead; the car he was in flipped over and careened off of the snowy highway into a ditch. Stavros asks why God would do this when he put the money back like he was told. “Was it too late?” he asks. We, the audience, might ask: was this an act of God? Because how the hell could Malvo make fish fall from the sky? Also, did Gus kill Molly and, if not, will he get laid?

Fargo S01E06 Recap: Buridan’s Ass

Next time we see Lester he’s sneaking back into his hospital bed unseen. He stares blankly ahead. Then slowly, a resolved and self-satisfied smile appears across his face. It’s a look we’ve never seen on Lester Nygaard. Until now.

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