Fargo recap: Conning the Cons

Molly's "naked fella" investigation turns up a surprising clue, Lester's return to work leads to more trouble, Malvo gets into the blackmail game, and Gus comes clean
Ep. 03 | Aired Apr 29, 2014

Chris Large/FX

Scene change to St. Paul, where Molly is meeting with an old friend for dinner after wrapping up her "naked fella" investigation at his former office. Her friend is one of those people who moved out of Bemijdi right after high school because "nothing ever happens in Bemidji." (Except three homicides in a matter of days.) If these women ever had anything in common, they certainly don't anymore.

Molly's asked if she's dating anyone; she makes a joke about being an old ship captain and her friend doesn’t get it. The woman launches into her own stories about "Internet dating," including one about the guy she's dating now: On a trip to Acapulco, they thought he got a spider bite, but it turned out a spider laid eggs in his skin, and "in the middle of doing it all these baby spiders popped out of his neck." Lesson learned, she says: "From now on I'm staying right here in Minnesota."

Cut to Milos' house, where his dog sees a deer, goes outside, and sees Malvo. Milos is calling for the dog, King. Malvo sticks his arm through the dog door, unlocks the door, and lets himself in. He replaces Milos’ acetaminophen with the Adderall. Milos is coming and yet Malvo is calm, walking slowly -- he once again seems unconcerned about getting caught, or simply knows he’s so good he won’t get caught. We think Milos is going to see Malvo, but no. Milos walks to the door and sees his dog outside, dead, with another blackmail note. (No peeks at what this note says, unfortunately.) No one is outside.

Meanwhile, back at the insurance office, Lester's hand is giving him the kind of trouble that makes one think this injury is going to be his downfall. He is moaning in the bathroom, trying to squeeze puss out of the infected wound. His coworkers say they're going to Arby's. He tries to redress his hand and walks out, surprised to see Numbers and Wrench waiting for him in the front of the office.

The phone rings. It's Duluth impound -- they have Lester's car, which is surprising, but great news. Numbers looks at brochures, Wrench looks brooding. "So, what can I do for you fellas then?" Lester asks. "'Cause we’re kinda busy right now." Is that an attempt at a joke, or is that Lester's defense mechanism kicking in again?

Wrench signs and makes angry faces at Lester. "No, sorry," Lester says, not comprehending sign language.

"Sam Hess," Numbers says. "You family of his?" Lester asks. He’s not getting any better at hiding surprise when it comes to being questioned about the crimes he helped commit.

Wrench jumps up, threatening. He signs in Lester’s face, aggressively. Numbers laughs. "Lester, we saw you with the widow -- looked like you were having a party. Were you celebrating, maybe?"

Lester is flustered, intimidated, and pushed against the desk in his chair. "I got a deaf cousin," he tries, weakly. And then the last person he wants to see shows up to save him. It’s Molly.

He walks over, but the door is locked. "Sorry about the door, not sure how that happened," he says. He’s trying to play it cool, like Numbers and Wrench are customers. "I’m not interrupting anything?" Molly asks, once again doubting he will give her a true answer. "Oh no, just giving these guys a quote," he says as they play along, then leave.

Lester closes the door behind them, relieved. Molly suspects they're not from around here and Lester agrees, saying they were looking for travel insurance -- which is still an odd thing for an out-of-towner to be shopping for.

Now Molly's going to play her own con. With the chief dead, she’s worried about life insurance. (Notice the snow globe on Lester's desk? Producer Warren Littlefield has said a Fargo snow globe from the 1996 film helped serve as inspiration for getting the FX series made.) She’s got all her details here, she says, holding up a manila envelope. And then she drops it.

Both she and Lester bend down to pick up the papers. Sneaky Molly stuck that photo of Malvo from the office building security cameras in there, on top, and Lester notices. "Ok, well, uh, oh…wow, uh you know there are lots of choices policy-wise," he says. "And of course I can’t give you the whole long speech," he adds, though Molly insists she's got time. "It's all in here, all the details," he says, pushing brochures her way. He looks at his watch, getting more flustered by the second. "I gotta close up real soon," he says, always making excuses. Molly studies him. She thanks him for his time and he ushers her out the door. He knows he’s in trouble.

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