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Fargo - 1x03 - A Muddy Road - Review

It’s a true testament to both the writing of this series and the actors working on it that by the time the third episode has rolled around, I’m genuinely excited when every character makes their first appearance. Fargo continues to tell a tangled web of stories weaving around one another, each leaving a passing impact on the last. Billy Bob Thornton and Martin Freeman once again deliver impressive turns as the two leads, but the supporting cast is just as important - and amusing - this week. Writer Noah Hawley has begun to reveal his characters true motives to us, or at least set them on a path that will ultimately bring us there. After a stellar first two installments, you betcha “A Muddy Road” is fantastic. Perhaps the best yet.

We open with a flashback - and if you’ve been wondering how the man in his boxers ended up in Lorne’s trunk at the start of episode one, you’ll like this. The scene serves as a segue into Molly Solverson’s recent reassignment to the frozen man’s case - and it just so happens to provide her with another nudge in Lester’s direction (not if you ask Deputy Oswalt though, and Bob Odenkirk is great as always). The cat and mouse game between Lester and Solverson is already electric and truly seems as though it will be reaching a fever pitch in the weeks to come. In the meantime we see Lester heading back to work tonight, and that means dealing with Gina Hess’ insurance. The scene between Kate Walsh and Freeman early in the episode is one of my favorite of this series thus far - her trashy, repressed former-stripper housewife and his awkward, stuttering salesman are a perfect comedic match. I hope to see more of Walsh throughout the series; not only is she effortlessly believable, but totally hilarious (regarding her sons, Hess depends “I’ve taken shits I wanna live with more than them.”)

We also get another appearance from FX MVP Glenn Howerton as Don Chumph, Milos’ wife’s personal trainer. After Lorne discovered that he was the one behind Milos’ blackmail at the end of the last episode (presumably the reason Lorne is even in Minnesota) the two meet up again this week. Just like the scene between Walsh and Freeman, Thornton and Howerton are endlessly enjoyable to watch opposite each other. The dialogue and execution are both perfect, and a twist in the story just goes to show how little I can anticipate what this series has coming next - and I can’t think of a better compliment for a show like this.

Throughout the hour we also begin to see Gus deal with his guilt over letting Lorne go - and his interactions with the Bemidji police will likely prove quite troublesome for Lester. The story is really taking shape now, and this series has proven more awesome than I could have even hoped. Feel free to hit the comments now to let us know what you’re most excited to see tonight, or head back after the show and share all your thoughts on the episode. Plus, check out a few more highlights from the show before it airs tonight:

Stuff You’ll Love:
- All the odd pairings: aside from Gina / Lester and Don / Lorne we also see Lester’s first interaction with Mr Numbers and Mr Wrench as well as a meeting between Gus and Molly.
- Malvo’s menace: I love all the characters here, but hands down the best dialogue goes to Thornton’s character, especially when he’s fucking with people. There’s no shortage of incredible lines & dark situations tonight.
- The ending: as I’ve said, many relationships and stories begin to shift in episode 3, and when it all ends I have no doubt you’ll be sitting at the edge of your seats wondering what the heck could possibly come next… just like I was.

Fargo airs Tuesday nights at 10 on FX - “A Muddy Road” premieres tonight.
Follow me on Twitter for more Fargo updates and all my SpoilerTV work.

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