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Recap / Fargo S 01 E 10 Mortons Fork

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Immediately following Linda's murder, Lester goes into the office and makes it look as if she stopped by alone. Lester then walks to Lou's Coffee Shop and orders dinner for two, pretending to wait for her to return from the office. He sneaks outside to a pay phone and, disguising his voice, reports gunshots to police, then goes back in. After Linda's body is discovered, Nygaard is questioned at the police station and later released.

Meanwhile, Lou informs Grimly that Malvo may be back in Bemidji. While rushing to the police station to see Solverson, Grimly spots the red BMW in a secluded driveway and suspects it could be Malvo's. While investigating, he sees Malvo exit a cabin and drive away.

In town, Malvo visits a car dealership ostensibly to test drive a car, telling the salesman it looks like an "undercover vehicle". Oswalt informs Solverson that he is resigning and wants her to take over as Chief. Agents Pepper and Budge drive Nygaard home, unaware that Malvo is following them. Nygaard refuses to allow them in the house, so Pepper and Budge remain on watch outside. When a car pulls into the driveway, Pepper and Budge, suspicious, pull out their guns and approach. Inside is the car salesman with his hands duct taped to the wheel. Malvo ambushes Pepper and Budge, killing them. While Nygaard pretends to frantically call 911, Malvo breaks in and enters the upstairs bedroom. He steps on a bear trap that Nygaard hid under a pile of clothing. Nygaard charges out, shooting at Malvo but misses. Malvo returns fire, also missing, then escapes to his hideout to treat his badly broken leg. Grimly surprises Malvo and fatally shoots him.

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Later, Grimly shows Solverson a briefcase containing Malvo's tape recordings, including Nygaard's phone call where he confesses to killing Pearl. Two weeks later, police track Nygaard to Glacier National Park in Montana and pursue him on snowmobiles. Nygaard crashes before running onto thin ice, then falls through. Solverson receives a call at home regarding police divers searching the water. Grimly tells her that he is receiving a citation for bravery, saying she deserves the credit. She assures him it is his moment.


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Tropes:

  • Bathroom Break-Out: Lester uses the bathroom to sneak out of the diner and place an emergency call to the police.
  • Book-Ends: Lester gets his nose broken again.
  • Boom, Headshot!:
    • How Budge goes, while Pepper is shot in the neck and bleeds out.
    • When three shots to the chest don't kill an already weakened Malvo, Gus finishes him off with two more to the head.
  • Call-Back: Gus brings up the riddle about shades of green before killing Malvo.
  • Character Development:
    • Lester had been taking advantage of Bill's naivety from day one, but it's no longer on the table after his second wife dies under foul circumstances.
      Lester: Uh, Bill?
      Bill: Answer the question.
    • Also, Lester himself has reached the end in his trek into darkness, as the evil, selfish man being interviewed in this episode only vaguely resembles the one we saw back towards the beginning of the season who mourned the death of his own victim.
  • Convenient Misfire: Lester has Malvo at close range but his gun jams up when he pulls the trigger. Hence Malvo gets away for the last time.
  • Creepy Souvenir: Malvo's suitcase of exasperated tape recordings he took from his various victims now ends up in the hands of the police after his death, further incriminating Lester.
  • Dead Hat Shot: Lester's hat on the frozen lake.
  • Didn't See That Coming: Malvo is thoroughly caught off-guard by Lester's bear trap and Gus waiting in his cabin to finish him off.
  • Dies Wide Open: Malvo dies after taking five shots from Gus. His lifeless body is left staring at him with blood dripping out of his mouth, making the whole thing all the more creepy.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: By the back-end of his Character Development, Lester's fallen so far into darkness that he no longer thinks of anyone but himself. When Molly tries to tell him a story about being basically decent without any benefit to yourself, he just doesn't get it.
    Lester: You know, I'm not sure what you've had against me since day one. But I'm not the person you think I am, this, this kind of monster.
    Molly: There was a fella once. Running for a train. And he's carrying a pair of gloves, this man. And he loses a glove on the platform. But he doesn't notice. And then later on, he's on the train sitting by the window, and he realises that he's just got this one glove left. But the train's already started pulling out of the station. So what does he do? He opens the window and he drops the other glove on to the platform. Now whoever finds the first glove can just have the pair.
    Lester: So, what are you telling me?
    Molly: ... goodbye, Mr. Nygaard.
  • Iconic Outfit: Lester's puffy orange coat once again, to the point that Molly very easily deduces Lester was the intended victim when Linda is found dead wearing it.
  • I Have a Family: The guy from the car dealership pleas for his life saying he has a kid, but Malvo doesn't care.
  • Karmic Death: Having been on "thin ice" since killing Pearl and constantly skirting the edge between getting caught and getting away, how does Lester die? He falls through a sheet of thin ice and drowns. Especially fitting since that's the fate he barely avoided meeting at the hands of Wrench and Numbers.
  • Non-Protagonist Resolver: Malvo is killed by Gus.
  • Oh, Crap!: Lester has one of these right before he falls through the ice and freezes instantly.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Gus kills an unarmed Malvo execution style and even gets awarded for this act.
  • Previously On: I mean, it's the last episode, after all.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Bill has become one of these, acknowledging his mistakes and letting Molly take the lead on the manhunt for Lorne Malvo.
  • Run for the Border: Lester tries to snowmobile his way across the Montana border into Canada after being implicated for Linda's murder only to get caught by the border patrol and drowns after trying to flee through running across a frozen lake.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Yes, Lester actually manages to take down Malvo by setting a bear trap under some piles of clothes and luring him towards the bathroom by acting like a helpless victim. It's actually quite ingenious.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The fate of Lester's brother is Left Hanging.

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