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Recap / Fargo S 01 E 06 Buridans Ass

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Malvo has Chumph call Milos, who is ready to make the ransom drop. Malvo then knocks out Chumph and duct tapes him to an exercise bench in Chumph's entryway. Malvo also tapes an unloaded shotgun to Chumph's hands, then proceeds to fire randomly into the neighborhood with a rifle. Malvo leaves before police storm the house, killing Chumph.

In Duluth, Deputy Solverson and Officer Grimly are discussing the recent murders when nearby gunshots are reported. They rush to the scene and find a car wreck that Mr. Numbers and Mr. Wrench had staged to trap Malvo. A shootout ensues in a snowy whiteout. Malvo ambushes Mr. Numbers, forcing him to reveal who hired him and Mr. Wrench to kill him, then Malvo slits Numbers' throat. Solverson and Grimly get separated in the whiteout, and Grimly, blinded, hears shots and accidentally shoots Solverson.


Meanwhile, Milos returns to where he found the satchel of cash 19 years earlier and buries the blackmail money in the snow. He believes God has now forgiven him for having taken the satchel, but while driving back, discovers his bodyguard and son, Dmitri, have been killed in a freak auto accident.

In Bemidji, Nygaard sneaks out of the hospital and plants the murder weapon and other incriminating evidence in his brother Chazz's gun cabinet after his brother disowns him. He also places an unloaded handgun in his nephew Gordo's backpack, then returns undetected to his hospital room.



  • #1 Dime: Stavros keeps the red ice scraper on display at his office, the one that led him to his first million. In this episode he decides to return it together with the Briefcase Full of Money.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Chumph may be a chump, but there's no way he deserves his fate.
  • Ambiguous Situation: Gus shoots Molly down in the middle of the blizzard, and the last we see her is lying on the ground in the snow.
  • Bandage Mummy: Lester's ploy at the hospital.
  • Batman Gambit: Malvo pulls one on the entire Duluth police department by having them fire on a man duct-taped to an exercise bike who'd had a shotgun unwillingly taped to his hands.
  • Character Death: Mr. Numbers, Don Chumph, Wally, and Dmitri.
  • Cheshire Cat Grin: Lester begins growing one at the end of the episode once he's successfully snuck back into the hospital and set the pieces in motion for his brother's life to come crashing down.
  • Creepy Souvenir: Lester wife's panties that he plants at his brother's house.
  • Cut Apart: The scene where Mr. Wrench and Mr. Numbers sneak up on Malvo behind the car is shot in this way. Naturally, he was hiding behind another car nearby.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Chazz is certainly an asshole, but after he justifiably calls his brother out for lying to his face, Lester responds by framing him for Pearl's death, implicating him in an affair, and ruining the lives of his whole family.
  • Ethereal Choir / Ominous Latin Chanting: Plays over Chumph's death scene.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Lester is very willing to frame his brother for murder and ruin his family's life, but when he plants a gun in Gordo's backpack, he checks to make sure it isn't loaded.
  • Famous Last Words: Right before the SWAT team takes out Chumph, he manages to wriggle his mouth free of the duct tape.
    Chumph: WAIT!
  • Foreshadowing: The episode actually opens with a visual metaphor when the men at the Fargo crime syndicate are served fried fish at a Chinese restaurant.
  • It Works Better with Bullets: Chumph pulling the trigger of the shotgun when Malvo is standing before him. Of course it wasn't loaded.
  • Just Keep Driving: When the first fish hits the windshield, any driver in their right mind would slow down, but Wally keeps driving which leads to his and Dimitri's death.
  • Karmic Death: Chumph, a fitness instructor, no doubt counted on living a long, healthy life. He's gunned down while taped to an exercise bike, an instrument used to keep people in shape.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Malvo killing Mr. Numbers.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Lester cements himself as one of these from this episode on after framing his brother for double homicide.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Lorne had nothing to do with the storm of fish that ended up killing Wally and Dmitri. Was it truly divine intervention, or one of the most ridiculous Contrived Coincidences in history.
  • Multiple Gunshot Death: Chumph is riddled with bullets from the SWAT team. Ends with Blood from the Mouth.
  • Mythology Gag: The whole sequence where Milos goes to the roof of the parking garage serves as one big Shout-Out to the original movie, complete with Milos leaving and telling the man working the gate that he's decided not to park there. Unlike Carl Showalter, however, Milos gets out of paying by citing his leaving the premises as fulfilling God's will.
  • Ominous Fog: The poor sight during the blizzard makes for a suspenseful chase and shootout scene. Also leads to what looks like an Accidental Murder.
  • Previously On: This is the second episode to include an "Erstwhile on..." opening, likely because it deals with a lot of ongoing variables coming to fruition.
  • Rain of Something Unusual: Biblical fro....ehmm fish.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Chazz gives one of these to his brother when he sees through the lief he's telling straight from his hospital bed.
    Chazz: You’ve been a burden my whole life. I’m done. There’s something wrong with you, Lester, there’s something missing. You’re not right in the world.
  • Slashed Throat: After stabbing him a few times, Malvo finishes Mr. Numbers this way.
  • Spock Speak: Mr. Carlyle, a member of the Fargo syndicate, speaks very robotically.
    Carlyle: Assets deployed: Mr. Wrench and Mr. Numbers. Three days, plus lodging, plus mileage.
  • A Storm Is Coming: The storm warning on the radio early on.
  • Suicide by Cop: Unfortunately unintentional on Chumph's part, as Malvo set it up to look like he was shooting at the SWAT team. The trope name is even mentioned on the police radio before Malvo turns it off.
    Voice: Oddest suicide by cop I ever...
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Gordo doesn't seem to notice anything weird about his recently hospitalized uncle sneaking downstairs in his house.
  • Villainous Glutton: Moses Tripoli, who's barely seen stopping to breath while out to eat with the syndicate.
  • Wham Episode: This episode serves the role of a mid-season climax, adding Mr. Numbers, Don Chumph, Wally Semenko, and Dmitri Milos to the season-wide body count. Milos' whole plot has come to a conclusion with him reburying his money and his blackmailer, Don Chumph, being gunned down through Malvo's Batman Gambit. Lester has now incriminated his brother in the murder of Peal Nygaard and Vern Thurman, and to top things off, Molly has been shot by Gus in the middle of the climactic blizzard.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: That's the last we see of Stavros in this season.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Malvo cuts his own arm to make it look like Wrench and Numbers wounded him in their shootout. When Numbers follows the trail of blood, Malvo gets the jump on him from behind and ultimately ends his life.


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