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Recap / Fargo S 01 E 04 Eating The Blame

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In a flashback to 1987, the Milos family runs out of gas along a deserted highway in winter. Stranded and heavily in debt, Stavros Milos prays for help. Stepping outside the car, he finds a briefcase of money buried in the snow, marked by an ice scraper, and takes it as a sign from God.

Nineteen years later, Chumph, disguised as a plumber, tells Stavros that everything appears normal in his pipes, and suggests the shower of blood is similar to a biblical plague. Stavros grabs Chumph from his neck and tells him off. Chumph tells him he is crazy and leaves, while Stavros worries about what Chumph said. Outside, Lorne Malvo is watching from a distance.

Gus Grimly spots Malvo by Stavros' house and arrests him. He informs Molly Solverson, and when she requests to go to Duluth, Oswalt refuses her and goes instead. Malvo produces identification as "Frank Peterson," a Lutheran minister from Baudette, and has an alibi. Molly learns Malvo's name and calls Grimly, but Malvo (as Peterson) has already been released.

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Malvo and Chumph release hundreds of crickets into Stavros's supermarket, simulating a plague of locusts, to further entice Stavros into paying the blackmail money.

Meanwhile, Lester Nygaard is abducted by Numbers and Wrench who intend to kill him, but he escapes. Fleeing, he finds a police officer issuing a ticket for a car parked on the side of the road. Nygaard punches him to get arrested. Mr. Wrench and Mr. Numbers witness this and later stage a bar fight to get arrested, and end up in the same cell with Lester.


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Tropes:

  • Age Cut: A Match Cut from young Milos in the flashback to present day old Milos.
  • Awful Wedded Life: We already knew Milos and his wife were bitter and separated, but here we get a firsthand glimpse of their unhappiness in the beginning flashback.
  • Bar Brawl: Numbers gets drunk and jumps Wrench for giving him a dirty stare, leading to their incarceration.
  • Briefcase Full of Money: Milos finds one in a flashback.
  • Call-Back: Molly interviews the people seen working at the motel Malvo stayed at in the first episode.
  • Caught with Your Pants Down: Downplayed. When Lester calls his brother to tell him he's been kidnapped, Chazz is in the middle of watching porn. As the conversation continues, he keeps peeking at it until Lester passes it off as a prank and he just goes back to doing his thing.
  • Cheshire Cat Grin: Numbers ends the episode with one when it's revealed that he, Wrench, and Lester all ended up in the same cell.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Back in 1987, Milos' car just so happened to break down right where Carl Showalter buried the alleged treasure of Fargo and marked it with a red windshield scraper.
  • Foreshadowing: Molly interrupts Bill when he's in a meeting talking about a huge upcoming blizzard.
  • Ironic Echo: After Gus arrests Malvo, he says "You're making a mistake" before reiterating that he's quoting Gus in a few hours. Sure enough, Malvo is set free before the episode's end.
    Gus: (to Schmidt) You're making a mistake! (Malvo turns and smiles at him)
  • Like an Old Married Couple: Wrench and Numbers entertainingly squabble in Lou's diner in such a manner.
    Wrench: You don't respect me.
    Numbers: I'm not doing this with you.
  • One Phone Call: Malvo gets one at the Duluth police station.
  • Police Code for Everything: Apparently, 613 means "Dead dog, foul play suspected."
  • Previously On…: The first episode of the series to feature one.
  • Stealth Sequel: This episode reveals that the show and the movie take place within the same continuity due to Milos' wealth coming from his discovery of the money Carl Showalter buried back in 1987.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Lester manages to avoid death at the hands of Wrench and Numbers using nothing more than a Taser gun.
  • Unwitting Pawn: When Knudsen won't give Lester a ride into town, he punches him in the face so that he'll end up in custody and away from Wrench and Numbers.

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