A year later, Lester is becoming accustomed to recognition. In a business-fancy ceremony in Vegas, Lester is named the Insurance Salesman of the Year 2007.
“Thank you so much,” he says from the stage. “Aw, jeez -- that’s a real honor,” he adds, putting on glasses, cracking jokes. “Speak from the heart,” he says, pumping himself up, warming up the crowd. “Everyone knows it’s been a tough year for me, and I wouldn’t have gotten through it without the love and support of my wife, Linda. I love you,” he says, blowing a kiss to his (former?) co-worker seated in the audience. “You know you can go through your whole life without a care, then one day it all changes. People die. They lose their homes. They go to prison. It’s calamity, huh? I know it ‘cause I lived it. And if this year has taught me anything, believe me, I’ve seen it all. It’s that the worst does happen, and you need to be insured. Thank you so much, it’s a great honor.”
Cut to Lester sitting on a chair -- it looks like a throne – as he holds court with his fellow gala attendees, his wife by his side. Lester and Linda head to the elevator to go up to their room, but a group of young women in tiny dresses catches his eye. He decides to grab a nightcap at the bar, telling Linda to go ahead to bed. She apologizes for being a downer, clueless to his actual intentions.
Lester goes into the bar to stalk the women who walked by. He puts his trophy on the bar and orders “something dangerous,” a concoction called a Blood and Sand. He keeps making eye contact with one woman at a table.
He looks over his shoulder at a group sitting in a corner banquette. A waitress walks by, and a man turns around. It’s…
With an update on Mr. Wrench
In 2007, Malvo’s now-white hair is cut short, and he’s wearing a nice suit. He asks for more sparkling water, smiling. Malvo is more accustomed to having an audience eating out of the palm of his hand than Lester. He seems to be enjoying it -- or this is business. With this guy, you can never tell.
Lester can’t believe his eyes. The ghost from his past seems to make him lose his nerve. This is the man who set in to motion everything that changed his life. Will Lester confront him? Thank him?
Similarly, you could say Lester set in motion the changes in Malvo’s life. Without their chance encounter at the hospital, Sam Hess would still be alive, Pearl might not have been murdered, the chief would probably still be in charge, and two Nygaard men wouldn’t be behind bars.
What else? Well, Milos’ life wouldn’t have been turned upside down, Numbers and Wrench probably never would have stepped foot in Bemidji, the Fargo crime syndicate would still be in business, and Budge and Pepper might still be in the field.
Speaking of Wrench…
We only get an update on the Fargo thug circa 2006. Still recuperating in the hospital, Malvo pays him a visit -- after incapacitating, and possibly even killing, the cop sitting guard at his room. (OK, so Malvo's choke-out scene was a pretty intense, violent moment for the episode, but it still dulls in comparison to his execution of Don Chumph, slitting the throat of Numbers, and slaying 22 members of a crime syndicate.)
When Wrench wakes up, it doesn't take long for him to realize he has company. "Never heard of a deaf hit man," says Malvo, who is holding Wrench's chart. He's assuming his prey is reading his lips. "Carolina Murphy had his tongue cut out by an Indian back in the '80s; he worked a little after that but never quite the same," Malvo continues. "And Buzz Mead, you know Buzz? He was born with just a socket."
The look on Wrench's face is startled, appalled. "How did Malvo get there?" he must be wondering. "Do most Malvo victims get long, intimidating speeches?" we wonder.
"Used to take his glass eye out at parties and drop it in his drink. He was a s--t shot though," Malvo adds. Now Wrench is just getting pissed.
"Now the other fella, your partner," Malvo says. "He can hear just fine. We had a kind of chat before I cut his throat." Yes, it becomes very apparent that Wrench is reading his lips. At the mention of Numbers, he struggles to get out of the bed, momentarily forgetting, then quickly remembering, that he is cuffed to the rail. Malvo just smiles deviously.
"You’re unemployed now, by the way," Malvo says. "In case you don’t read the papers." Wrench yells, slams his arm against the bed rail. Again, Malvo just smiles.
"I watched a bear once," Malvo continues, toying with his captive colleague. "His leg was in a steel trap. It chewed through bloody bone to get free. It was in Alaska. It died about an hour later, face down in a stream. It was on his own terms, you know?"
Wrench knows what is about to happen -- except he doesn't. Malvo puts Wrench’s chart back on the bed. "You got close," he says. "Closer than anybody else." Malvo tosses Wrench the handcuff key, the look of shock on the incapacitated hit man's face probably matching the viewers'.
"I don’t know if it was you or your partner," Malvo says. "But, look -- if you still feel raw about things when you heal up, come see me."
Whether that's an invitation to hunt him down -- Malvo thrives on the idea of being the alpha predator that people are aware of, but no one can catch -- or join him in a new league of contract killers, here's hoping for a 2007 update on Wrench before season's end.