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Fargo, Channel 4 - Sunday 11th May: TV Review

By jspiteri  |  Posted: May 12, 2014

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How come the human eye can see more shades of green than any other colour? This was just one of the mysterious riddles used in the increasingly complicated mind games being employed by bad guy Lorne in last night's Fargo.

The opening scene took us back to 1986 and a young Stavros with nagging wife and baby in tow, stranded on a snowy Minnesota highway, penniless and out of gas.

Stavros's prayers for salvation are seemingly answered by the miraculous discovery of a case full of dollars buried at the roadside, with just an ice scraper to mark the spot - an event which explains the God fearing mentality of the present day supermarket king.

Even Stavros's plumber, called in to find the cause of the blood in the shower, offers a biblical explanation for the strange event only adding to Stavros's increasing paranoia.

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It's when hapless police officer Gus Grimly gets a call out to Stavros's house about the murder of his dog that he comes across Lorne who he takes in for questioning. Gus alerts the lovely Molly to the capture of the wanted man, only for police chief Oswalt to forbid her to get involved in the questioning.

Lorne, of course, is way too smart for the local plod and, when accused of being the wanted man, adopts the persona of a bumbling minister equipped with a iron-clad allabi who, despite Gus's protestations, is released without charge, leaving a bemused Gus with a riddle to solve.

Our favourite 'heavies' - Mr Numbers and Mr Wrench - make an appearance in Lou's Diner where an altercation prompts the bizarre conversation between the deaf mute and his partner over the fact that 'nobody likes being watched while they eat'. Wrench: 'some people do' Numbers: 'who?'. Wrench: 'Mormons'. This is the kind of 'off the wall' dialogue that gives Fargo its comically strange style.

Numbers and Wrench go on to kidnap Lester who they think is responsible for the murder of bully Hess and, when Wrench gets out his favourite ice drill, it looks like our mild mannered insurance salesman might meet an chilly end. Plucky Lester manages to escape however only to find himself banged up in the same police cell as his kidnappers after the pair are brought in for fighting.

The blackmail plan moves forward with a plague of locusts sent to torment supermarket king Stavros while Gus finds the answer to Lorne's shades of green question courtesy of frustrated sleuth Molly - our ancestors apparently needed to distinguish between different shades of green to be able to spot predators in the undergrowth - another teaser in this oddball murder mystery.

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