If you watch Fargo but haven’t seen the end, don’t read this post. I’m probably going to spoil the shit out of it. Seriously, don’t go beyond this sentence. Having said that…
Fargo is one of my favorite shows ever, thanks in large part to Lorne Malvo and the transformation Lester undergoes because of him. Because of that… the finale was bittersweet I guess. At first I was kind of pissed that both of my favorite characters died in the last moments, but after stewing on that for a bit I started to appreciate it. See, even though Malvo was shot to death by a dull, run-of-the-mill, average joe (the kind of guy that dreamed of being a mailman) and Lester fell through thin ice running from cops he probably could’ve beat in court… even though those things happened, not once does it contradict Malvo’s worldview. Or mine, which is damn near one and the same.
Gus being the one to put Malvo in the ground was, at first glance, a little unfair.
This Mr. Do-Right, this nice guy, this harmless failure of a cop… but this is how the world works. There are no real rules, life isn’t fair, and sometimes bad shit just happens. It doesn’t really matter whether you’re a predator or not, doesn’t matter if you’re aware of how reality really works. You might be more capable of surviving, better able to handle shit when it’s thrown your way, but sooner or later you’ll make a mistake, miscalculate. And the way of the world will bite you on the ass. Or maybe you’ll die in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, or just get old… or something else. The bottom line: somehow, reality is going to prove how real it is.
Eventually, it’s going to kill you.
Given all this I accept the ending and I can appreciate it for what it is. The story of how Lorne Malvo’s life came to an end, and the story of how Lester Nygaard’s life finally began and, soon after, ended. We’re all going to die sometime… so why not as a testament to the reality he’s so proud to be aware of? Why not shot dead on a couch, unable to defend himself? Or running from the cops, panicking even though there’s a decent chance of winning in court? Really, why not? That’s just the way the world works. It’s not going to get any safer, any less savage, just because you want or believe in fairness, or doing what’s “right”, or anything else.
You can influence reality, but you can’t control it.
Meaning? Well, just that I believe in the power to create and I have a lot of respect for people who can, but that doesn’t mean you can overshadow the rest of reality with your creations, whether they’re paintings, books, or federal laws. They exist within it, might even conflict with it, resist it, but they can’t make it go away. You can destroy things too, but you can’t destroy everything. Anyways…
R.I.P Lorne Malvo and Lester Nygaard, because we all know deep down that (even for fictional characters) death is the only place you’re ever going to find peace. Those deaths… they were the end result of a fan-fucking-tastic series of events, they made a great story. That the end result was dying, that’s fine by me; just look at all the crazy shit that led up to it, that had to happen for them to die that way. Totally worth it. They went out in a great way, all things considered. I’m not to fond of the comparison, but to me that ending was as beautiful as the death of Heisenberg.
Which, by the way, illustrates my point even better: Walter White was going to die from day one. We knew that. He was diagnosed with lung cancer in the first episode. That didn’t change that the events leading up to that, and the end itself when it finally came, was all so much better than a frail, decrepit nobody withering away and dying in a hospital bed. Probably more so with the threat of cancer always looming, the possibility of fading away having done nothing significant. We might not have known the reaper was coming for the two best characters on Fargo, but it doesn’t diminish the story. It made it more shocking in the moment, and more powerful in retrospect.
All hail Billy Bob Thornton and Martin Freeman & everyone else that had a hand in creating this show.
It was a great run, but all (good and) bad things must come to an end.