SPOILER ALERT: This post contains spoilers about Tuesday's Fargo finale.
Whoo partner, that finale sure was a heart-stopper, huh?
Tonight's 10th and final episode of FX's Fargo was a finely crafted masterpiece of suspense, as the competing forces of good (law-enforcing lovebirds Molly and Gus) and evil (heartless hitman Lorne Malvo and his prize pupil Lester) finally collided, with fatal results. For the bad guys, anyway.
And keen-eyed viewers may have picked up on a few references to episodes past that underlined how Fargo has come completely full-circle. Here are three callbacks we noticed in the finale that really tied the room together, as it were. (Sorry, that's from another Coen brothers movie entirely.)
1. The car salesman
Does the cheerful car salesman who takes Malvo on a test drive look familiar? That's because he was one half of the young couple that Lester tried (and failed) to sell life insurance to in the Fargo premiere.
But what's weird is, when Lester warned the guy that he might get hurt at work, he replied, "I work in a library." But now he works at a used-car lot? Oh well, guess it is a year later, following the time jump; he may have switched jobs by now.
(The couple also says hi to Lester in Lou's Coffee Shop when he stops in and orders a grilled cheese for his dead wife Linda in the finale.)
Sadly, the poor guy gets pulled into Malvo's web of evil, getting his hands duct-taped to the steering wheel and serving as a decoy to lure FBI agents Pepper and Budge to their deaths. He pleads with Malvo to spare his life: "Please… I've got a little girl."
We never learn the guy's fate, although since the second car disappears from Lester's driveway, we sure hope he survived. He and his wife need to get back to hugging the pants off that little girl.
2. The wolf
Right after Gus finishes telling Molly to be careful and not go after Malvo, he slams on his brakes when he sees a wolf standing in the road.
That brings to mind the survival-of-the-fittest yarn Malvo spun for supermarket maven Stavros Milos in Episode 5, with pearls of wisdom like "You know what wolves do? They hunt. They kill."
Then in Episode 6, Malvo had that dummy Don Chumph read a script over the phone to Stavros: a parable about a little boy with nothing to his name. "Why was he outside, and they in? Why was he so hungry, and they fed? It should be me, he said. And out of the darkness, the wolves came, whispering."
Back to the finale: As the wolf trudges off the road, the path it takes leads Gus to spot the red BMW that Malvo's been driving. Later, Malvo spies that same wolf through his window of his cabin, right before Gus emerges from the darkness, pistol in hand.
Which brings us to…
3. The riddle
Just before Gus pulls the trigger on Malvo, he tells him, "I figured it out… your riddle." What riddle was he talking about?
That's a reference to Episode 4, when Gus had to watch helplessly as Malvo walked out of the police station free as a bird after posing as a harmless minister named Frank Peterson.
When Gus stopped Malvo on the way out and asked him how he can lie like that, Malvo responded with his own question: "Did you know the human eye can see more shades of green than any other color? My question for you is: Why?"
Gus didn't have an answer, so Malvo told him, "When you figure out the answer to my question, you'll have the answer to yours." Later in the episode, Molly gave Gus the answer: "Because of predators."
As Fargo creator Noah Hawley explains to Yahoo TV, "Before men had homes and they lived in the wilderness, you had to be able to spot the predators. There are so many shades of green in nature that the human eye developed to be able to see them all. But for Gus, what it meant was you're either predator or you're prey. In that moment, Malvo was telling Gus, 'The reason that I can come in here and lie and walk out the front door is because I'm a predator and you're not.'"
So basically, Malvo was a predator willing to lie, cheat, and steal (and kill) in order to survive. And finally, Gus realized that to put a stop to Malvo, he had to become a predator himself. So he puts five bullets in Malvo, redeeming himself for letting Malvo go in the premiere.
A satisfying comeuppance for a great TV villain? Oh yeah, you betcha.
Watch all the Fargo deaths again here:
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The Kid from 'Just the Ten of Us' Directed 'Fargo's' Final Two Episodes
The Anatomy of a 'Fargo' Murder, as Told by Glenn Howerton
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