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Fargo “The Rooster Prince” Review (1×02)

23 Apr

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“The Rooster Prince” maneuvers its characters around a chessboard, shading in certain nuances and expanding on new characters as we start to get a sense of Noah Hawley’s vision for the series. It’s a slower episode, but it’s certainly just as compelling and entertaining as it was last week.

Our impression of Molly in the premiere was based upon a short time on screen, but many of us were drawn to her because of her inherent goodness in a world of crime, her compelling presence as embodied by the magnificent Allison Tolman. This week, we start to get a sense of how Verne’s death will drive her: she’s relentless, determined to dig deeper and deeper, to find something to satisfy those suspicions continually nagging her. For, while people like Lorne Malvo and Bill Olson have moved on–and with Lester trying to do so–she hasn’t.

That’s pretty much in direct contrast with everyone else in the show, isn’t it? Mr. Numbers and Mr. Wrench seem like guys who are merely completing their next job, tossing a guy into a hole in the ice due to the fact that he looks like Malvo. A path of destruction is left behind by both them and Malvo, but they aren’t floundering around like Lester is. They all get what they want, and while Numbers and Wrench don’t seem to take pleasure in doing so like Lorne does–hell, he’ll even take a crap right in front of you–they’re ruthless in their own ways.

While Malvo’s starting to poke holes in the fabric of the town, Lester’s poking holes in his own story and in his own psyche. The wound in his hand seems representative of the feelings he can’t shake, the holes in his story that keep getting wider and wider as Molly investigates. When he breaks down over his wife’s sweater, it seems like a genuine response; this isn’t the kind of person who’ll do something and then feel nothing, who’ll move on in life without a care in the world. That doesn’t make him any less pathetic, but it also reflects a man who’s easily buffered from one side to the other: take responsibility, or run? Take responsibility, or run? As Gus Grimly says, “There’s more than one right thing.” Lester so desperately wants it to be “run”, and his motivational posters tell him that there’s a reason for everything. There must be a reason his wife is dead, right? He sure wants to believe he was justified (bring in Raylan or something).

Well, it turns out he’s actually being buffered–bullied, even, which is an idea that ties into the Grimlys’ conversation–by Malvo, who, as the tapes suggest, has run this play before. Malvo’s the one causing the controlled chaos right now, and it’s inevitable that this won’t end well.

GRADE: B+

OTHER THOUGHTS:

-The evolution of Molly’s demeanor in this episode is expertly handled by Tolman, going from slight suspicions to full on interrogations in stores.

-Bob Odenkirk’s doing some fantastic acting right now.

-*Woman stands in her underwear* Colin Hanks: Hello, whore.

…Oh jeez, why am I still making Dexter jokes?

-So, Dennis from the Gang shows up as a trainer, and I don’t know what to make of the scene. Where’s Dee and Charlie and Mac and Frank?

-“Highly irregular is the time I found a human foot in a toaster oven.” You’re so experienced, Malvo.

-“Um…chicken?” This guy. He really gets jokes, this guy.

Photo credit: FX, Fargo

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One Response to “Fargo “The Rooster Prince” Review (1×02)”

  1. ironhawk22 April 23, 2014 at 2:11 pm #

    Don’t feel bad, my review of the pilot was also filled with Dexter Season Six jokes. Don’t forget about the tableaus though! Also that’s a really good joke. Great review.

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