Let me start by saying I love Adam Goldberg. He shows up in the first scene of Fargo’s second episode. Also, I said this when I wrote about the premier, is there not a ‘Twin Peaks’ vibe or is it just me? Take the sign language. That guy’s not even deaf, is he? Goldberg does the most masterful fake sign language we’ve seen since the Fake Sign Language Guy at Nelson Mandela’s memorial last December.
Goldberg is introduced as Mr. Numbers, one of two henchmen, the other being the supposedly hearing impaired Mr. Wrench, played by Russell Harvard. They saunter into town – Mr. Numbers in a fine-tailored black wool overcoat and Mr. Wrench in a conspicuous suede cowboy coat with tassels – to avenge the death of Sam Hess. The names Mr. Numbers and Mr. Wrench remind me of the Mr. Pink, Mr. White, and those other similarly named Tarantino characters in ‘Reservoir Dogs.’ ‘Fargo’, ‘Twin Peaks’, ‘Reservoir Dogs.’ Got it.
Billy Bob Thornton as Malvo continues to freak me out with his hair plugs and smizing eyes, which is just what he’s supposed to do, though I was unimpressed with this week’s side storyline in which Malvo solves the who-is-blackmailing-Stavros case when a ransom note smeared with fake bronzer leads Malvo to Stavros’s ex-wife’s orange-skinned personal trainer. Snore. Also, weird and not in a good way.
Meanwhile Molly Solverson’s accent sometimes sounds like bad Irish brogue. Other times it seems to disappear completely. Deputy Bill is hilarious with his unabashed behaviour, comedic timing, and micromanagement of Molly. Still, it was painful to watch him demote her for his own personal gain. Though I get the sense that these murders are a bit more than she can chew, Molly is clearly the more capable deputy of the two.
Colin Hanks does not age. It’s hard to believe his character, Gus Grimly, is a father of a teenage daughter with a weird, androgynous, Lord Fauntelroy haircut (my guy Adam Goldberg doesn’t seem to have aged either), but his sensitive demeanour and halting decision to let Malvo get away for fear of leaving his daughter without a dad is totally believable.
Lester Nygaard is experiencing some remorseful flashbacks, having killed his wife. He goes into their bedroom, a room in a house most assuredly decorated by Mrs. Nygaard whose car is filled with stuffed animals and a handcrafted, wool knick-knack that reads “I Love Knitting.” On the wall near the closet where Lester is headed, there hangs, over the frilly wallpaper, an ornamental sign that says, “Everything Happen For A Reason.” Does it, though? Lester opens the closet door, brushes his hand across his dead wife’s clothes and collapses in tears, his face buried in the arm of one of her sweaters. I love this guy. I wish he hadn’t fled the pharmacy before he got the antiseptic for that gnarly hole in his hand.
I’m also continuing to love the wintry sprawl of the town where everybody knows everybody, except for Numbers and Wrench who track down the man they think is Hess’s murderer (he’s not), and freeze him alive under the frozen lake. People die ROUGH in Fargo. I love the big coats and the heavy boots —I think because I loved the movie. In fact, I think the things I like most about Fargo the TV show are the things that are most like about Fargo the film. Not sure if that’s a problem or not. I guess we’ll see.
Questions episode two left me with: Is the bun on the nape of Molly’s neck real or is it hair extensions? Is Mr. Wrench deaf or is he not? When will we find out what the deal is with the naked Jewish lady peeling off her wig in the window? What are people talking about more – the jar of piss in Lester’s nephew’s closet or Malvo on the toilet; the plop heard around the world? (Do let me know.) Also, does Deputy Bob have a sweetly overly nostalgic streak? Thank god he finally remembered that the name of the gum they all grew up on was Hubba Bubba. I kept thinking maybe it was Bubble Yum or Juicy Fruit. So, we’ve got that covered.