11:13 pm EDT, May 6, 2014

‘Fargo’ episode 4 recap: Who is the smartest one of all?

Fargo returned tonight with episode 4, titled “Eating the Blame.” Our recap breaks down the events of the tense fourth episode!

This should be obvious, but this recap will be very spoiler filled.

With the opening of episode 4, Fargo showrunner Nick Hawley played his hand in a way that will likely divide purist fans of the original film from Joel and Ethan Coen. Hawley said all along that the show would exist in the same universe. It’s now clear that they aren’t just the same in look and feel, rather they’re the same exact universe. Fargo the series is a sequel, even if it doesn’t contain any of the characters from the film.

Episode 4 makes it look like the next six episodes will come down to which characters are the smartest. Right now, it looks like Lorne Malvo is pretty smart as he’s easily able to get himself out of situations and get others to do what he wants. Still, it seems likely that Molly Solverson will give him a run for his money. She’s been figuring things out and quick, her problems lie in the fact that nobody seems to listen to her. If that flips, it would be interesting to see what happens when it’s her brain power up against Lorne’s.

Lorne felt a little taste of not being on top tonight when Gus arrested him after recognizing him as the man who stole Lester’s car that he failed to police correctly in the premiere. Unfortunately for Gus, he’s clearly just not on Lorne’s level and it doesn’t take much for Lorne to convince the Duluth police that he’s an innocent minister with an alibi that checks out. It’s no help to Gus that Bill, the Bemidji police chief, came over to interrogate Lorne instead of Molly, who would have undoubtedly been more apt at combating Lorne’s clever tactics.

While Molly doesn’t have as much to do in this episode (we expect this is temporary), she does come up with something major. She finds out Lorne’s name via the motel that he stayed at in the premiere (the one where he tricked the kid to urinate in the gas tank). Molly finds out the name Lorne Malvo, the name that we know to be his real name anyway. It would make sense that he might use his real name in a town where he wouldn’t expect things to happen while he was resting. It’s also possible that he never uses a real name and that Lorne Malvo is just another alias. Molly tells Gus the name, and when Gus says it to Lorne’s face, Lorne breaks his scared minister character and gives a riddle which Molly later solves.

After he gets out of jail, Lorne’s attack on Stavros Milos gets even stronger. After previously killing his dog and infusing his shower with “buckets and buckets” of blood, Lorne attacks Stavros’ grocery store with a huge infestation of pests which Stavros connects to a Biblical plague. “God is real,” Stavros says, reminding himself of the deal he made with God many years ago when he found the money left on the side of the road by Steve Buscemi’s character in Fargo the movie.

Meanwhile, things are not going good for Lester. His bullet wound that seemingly nobody else has noticed continues to affect him more and more, and that’s the least of his worries. Mr. Numbers and Mr. Wrench, the two men down from Fargo, correctly believe that Lester is directly involved with the murder of Sam Hess, but for the incorrect reason. They believe he and Hess’ widow are having an affair. Was it worth his life, they ask.

The pair from Fargo are getting better to watch with each episode. Their sign language shtick may have seemed a bit off at first, but Adam Goldberg and Russell Harvard seem to have better chemistry with each episode. The pair end up kidnapping Lester with the intent to kill him after he confesses, but Lester once again proves to be smarter than we might have thought. He gets himself thrown in jail where Numbers and Wrench can’t get to him, but in a clever twist the pair get in a barfight which gets them in jail too, in the same cell as Lester where the episode teasingly comes to a halt.

What did you think of ‘Fargo’ episode 4?

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