Lou gets a strange feeling about this guy. "How long did you work for the Tampa DA?" he asks. Malvo admits he didn't work there, just "spent some time" there. He calls himself a traveler, shakes off the questioning with the "just hoping to reconnect with an old pal" bit again.
And for some reason, this conversation reminds Lou of that infamous Sioux Falls case everyone keeps bringing up. Lou says he'd tell this stranger the details, "but you’d think I was making them up." Malvo looks intrigued, but maybe it’s just hitting a little too close to home for him. Is Lou suspecting him of being the culprit?
Molly is close to arriving at the diner as Malvo asks one more time for a way to find Lester. Lou offers to pass along Malvo's number if he leaves it, he'll make sure Lester gets it. But Malvo says he's just passing through and thanks him for the pie and decaf. "Haven’t had a piece of pie like that since the garden of Eden," says Malvo, as if he considers himself the embodiment of evil. Perhaps he is.
Malvo exits out the front door just as Molly enters from the back. Lou comments about how sometimes you "just meet a weird one." Yeah, a weird, twisted killer who is your daughter's No. 1 suspect.
And it turns out Budge and Pepper just missed Malvo, too -- again. Malvo drives off as they sit down with Molly. They like that she wouldn't let go of the crime syndicate case. But Molly doesn't understand why they've come to interview her – another FBI fella already said her evidence was circumstantial. The agents write that guy off as a "worker bee" and a "drone," whereas they have a vested interest in the case. They explain their involvement and why they need to know who she thinks did it. Molly orders coffees to go and takes them to the Bemidji station.
There, she shows off her dry erase board connecting all the dots in the Bemidji murders. Budge and Pepper are seriously impressed. And then to ruin it all, Bill walks in. He sees what Molly is presenting and flips out. "Oh no, no, I’m so sorry," he says. "These guys aren’t interested in…" He wants to meet with them in his office, privately.
But Budge and Pepper are too smart. They ask if he's seen the evidence Molly has put together. Yeah, Bill says it's been giving him nightmares.
Pepper calls him out. "You don’t care about the fact that this Malvo character was seen with Lester at the hospital?" he asks. "Or that he ended up in Duluth in direct conflict with these other two?" he adds, pointing to the pictures of Numbers and Wrench. Bill tries to explain and can’t.
The agents commend Molly in front of her clueless boss and say they're going to stay in town to take another run at Lester in the morning. Bill doesn’t understand. The evidence doesn't add up… at least in the story he made up in his mind.
But if Lester has anything to say about it, he's not going to be in town for the FBI agents to question him. It's time to head to the airport, and he hurries Linda into the car. While driving to the office – Lester's fancy new insurance office with his name on the sign – Linda admits she's always had crush on him. She compares herself to Cinderella; after her parents immigrated to Minnesota, she was put to work right away cleaning rooms at their motel. He likes the idea of being the knight in shining armor.
But that's all he cares about – bolstering his own ego. When he drives by the office, he becomes suspicious: Why is the desk lamp on? He keeps driving and pulls into a parking spot across the way, suspecting Malvo is inside, waiting for him. And then Lester proves his true colors.
Lester says he tweaked his back lifting the luggage and asks Linda if she wouldn't mind running in and grabbing the passports and cash out of the safe. He can't be sending her in there to die, right? It's such a disgusting thing to process, it's hard to believe at first. But then he confirms it, handing her his trademark orange parka "because it's cold out there" and he was in such a hurry to leave he didn't let her grab her own coat. He even tells her to put the hood up -- so Malvo will think it's him. He’d hate for her pretty face to freeze, after all.
From the safety of his car, Lester watches as Linda walks to her death. She turns the lights on. And he watches Malvo stand up, just as he expected, and shoot his wife in the head. Feathers fly out of the hood. Lester gasps, but does he care? No. Because he is still alive.
Malvo bends down, examines the body. He must see that he didn’t shoot the right person. He stands up and looks out the window. Lester is sitting in the only car in the area; he must be seen. Malvo walks out the door and looks around. He sees the car now, for sure. He lights a cigarette, lingers. And then he walks away. Lester breathes deeply. He thinks he’s going to get away with murder -- again.
So how does the end? Does Lester follow through on his plans to fly out to Acapulco? Can he grab his passport and board the flight before anyone finds Linda's body? At this point, Lester getting away with his crimes and (literally) walking away into the sunset would feel like a letdown – unless Malvo tracks him down in Mexico, which we know is certainly possible.
If Lester stays in Minnesota, is there any possible way for him to get away with the murder of a second wife? Not with Molly and the FBI now on his trail, surely.
So who's going to come out of this season triumphant – the persistent cop, the "nice guy" murderer, or the contract killer? And more importantly, who will be the casualties before all is said and done?