Fargo Season Finale Review: “Morton’s Fork” (Season 1, Episode 10)


Well, where do I begin? After sitting here, dumbfounded and speechless since the end credits began to roll on Fargo, I’ve finally started writing. For ten weeks now, I’ve been jotting down my various thoughts and explorations, theories and quandaries, and even critiques about what may just be the best show currently on television. The sad thing is, it’s no longer on television. This is it, kids. This is the end.

And what an end it was. “Morton’s Fork” may not have been the best episode of the show (that distinction may just go to last week’s “A Fox, A Rabbit, and a Cabbage“), but it was a completely satisfying end to an impressive series that not only tied up most of the its loose ends, but did so in typical Fargo fashion: with unbearable tension, dark humor and heartwarming, sweet moments.

Fargo managed to do something in its final hour that this year’s other breakout hit, True Detective, only half pulled off: an end to the ever-waging battle between good and almost intangible evil, in which good prevails and shows that monsters are not real, they’re merely men who operate on the darkest edges of humanity. Lorne Malvo saw himself as an animal, and wanted to bring the rest of humanity down to his level. He succeeded in turning Lester – effectively infecting him with his rabid nature – but in the end, both men were put down like the animals they were.

Okay, so Lester wasn’t really “put down” the way Malvo was, but remember that story Malvo told Wrench a few episodes ago, about the bear caught in the trap? The bear chewed off his own leg to break free, only to die after a short time, “on his own terms.” Malvo was literally caught in a bear trap, and broke himself free only to die soon after. Lester, on the other hand, was caught in more of a metaphorical trap. He may not have been arrested for his crimes, but was caught thanks to the taped confessio thatn he never knew he left on Malvo’s answering machine. Rather than stay caged, he made a run for it, only to die because he was too caught up in his own self-preservation that he didn’t bother to mind his surroundings.