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Headscratchers / Fargo Season One

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  • Why is Gus killing Malvo considered legal? It wasn't exactly self-defense... did he lie to the police?
    • Arrests and prosecutions are at the discretion of the police and a prosecutor, respectively. If they feel like neither would be productive, they don't. Malvo is wanted in connection to at least thirty murders, including those of two federal agents, a Duluth cop, and the chief of Bemidji police. Police would immediately be sympathetic to Gus' actions and if he were arrested, it would be immensely unpopular among law enforcement personnel and civilians in the community. Any prosecutor would know that Gus would be acquitted in a jury trial, so going through a trial would be a waste of time and money.
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    • There's no indication that Gus even reported the incident. Malvo died as he lived- a phantom.
      • Except for all the cops investigating the site and Gus getting a citation for bravery over it you mean?
      • Malvo had left his gun on the table nearby and had a knife right by his hand - perhaps everyone around agreed that Gus "obviously" saw him reach for a weapon and so he shot him. After all, justice had undoubtedly been done, and everyone would rather consider the whole mess wrapped up than drag Gus through the courts.
  • Why didn't Lester report that his car was stolen? He initially blamed Vern and Pearl's deaths on an unknown intruder. He could have added a stolen car on to that list of crimes and it would have actually been true since Malvo took his car. Obviously, he didn't want to give the cops Malvo's name but since he didn't report a stolen car, it only raised more suspicions about him once the police realized Malvo was driving around in his car and he never said anything. If the cops ever caught up to Malvo in Lester's stolen car, they would have said, "Oh, this is our intruder" and called it a day. Lester would go on to deny ever talking about Sam to any strangers in the hospital and there would be nothing to connect the two men.
    • People did see Lester and Malvo talking in the ER. The ER nurse would later confirm this so there would be a firm connection between the two. Malvo would just say that he killed Hess for Lester, Lester reneged on the payment, and they both go down. But on a simpler level, Lester was completely flying by the seat of his pants in the beginning. Being the meek man he was, his first instinct would have been to give a simple lie of "Oh, the car's in the shop" rather than go through the paperwork of filing a report and coming up with more lies.
  • Lester was unconscious in the hospital for some time after the initial murders in his home. Why wasn't the clearly visible wound on his hand treated and the buckshot in his hand found immediately?
    • He requested an AMA?
    • I think we're just supposed to believe that the medics missed it when Lester first arrived at the hospital. It's a small red dot on his hand, and they were distracted by his head wound. And we already know that Lester deliberately concealed it after he woke up.
  • Why didn't Lou recognize Malvo when Malvo came into the diner? It seems like Molly has made it her life's mission to solve the Nygaard/Malvo case, and seeing as Lou is a hard bitten ex-cop who's seen a lot of action thanks to the Gerhardt case, I'd think he'd be all over hashing through the case with Molly. We know that Molly has several photos of Malvo, even in quite reasonable quality, and some of these have even been published in newspapers, I don't believe that Lou wouldn't have recognized Malvo if he saw him.
    • How do we know that the photos have been published in newspapers? Also, we don't see "several" photos of Malvo, only three, two of them blurry: one from the CCTV footage of him dragging the victim through the office, the other from an ATM CCTV in Fargo (which Budge and Pepper pin to the wall in their basement) and another of him in character as the reverend. Even Pepper, who has glimpsed Malvo, finds it difficult to recognize him from the original CCTV photo. The Malvo Lou meets has silver hair and a goatee, not dark hair and a full beard, and we know that Malvo is a skilled actor. Lou clearly recognizes that there is something very, very dangerous about the guy he meets (as he puts it to Lester with characteristic understatement, "I didn't think much of his demeanour") but he'd probably have to be a genius detective to recognize that it's the guy Molly is after.
      • In addition to all that, I don't think we see any indication that Lou is "hashing through the case" with Molly. He listens to her when she talks about it and offers comments as they come to him, but otherwise, he's retired. He's got his diner to run and she's got her police work. So there's no reason to believe that Lou ever saw Malvo's picture, much less kept an eye out for him.

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