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Fargo State of Mind
on 6 September 2014
Welcome to the Coen brothers universe of cold, snowy, big sky Minnesota where there be dragons and the humour is dark.
In the small town of Bemidji, a couple of unfortunate events result in two strangers striking up a conversation in a hospital waiting room. Lester Nygaard, a browbeaten wimp of a man trapped in an unhappy marriage and Lorne Malvo, a softly spoken killing machine. Malvo, played brilliantly by scene stealing Billy Bob Thornton, is evil incarnate with his dead eyes, shark smile and manipulative Jedi ways. Lester, played by Martin Freeman with a large slice of Jack Lemmon, is an unlikeable insurance salesman mocked by his wife and barely tolerated by his successful younger brother. Malvo acts as a catalyst to Lester's suppressed anger and by the end of the first episode Lester has chosen to join the dark side.
Initially it appears that Malvo and Lester have both separately escaped justice, especially with the chief of police's unwillingness to conduct anything approaching a competent rigorous investigation. However, Allison Tolman's down to earth pragmatic Deputy Molly Solverson has unresolved questions and with Lieutenant Columbo-like nagging persistence slowly begins her search for the truth. The arrival of two henchmen (Gerry Adams and Glen Campbell lookalikes) also seeking answers signpost mob connections. The body count grows with each episode as this brilliant, intelligent and audacious series reaches its conclusion.