TV Show Review

TV Review: FARGO: Season 1, Episode 2: The Rooster Prince [FX]

Allison Tolman Bob Odenkirk Fargo The Rooster Prince

FX’s Fargo The Rooster Prince TV Show ReviewFargo: Season 1, Episode 2: The Rooster Prince was a quiet step forward for the new series. After an hour-and-a-half long premiere full of tension and violence, Fargo settles in this time in order to build the world even further.

The primary purpose of this episode was to introduce a few more plot threads and characters that will carry the show forward. Following the murder of Sam Hess, two nameless men from Fargo are called to find the man responsible. The duo, played by Adam Goldberg and Russell Harvard, are stern, imposing figures, but aren’t quite as stoic as Thornton, who continues his eerie work as Lorne Malvo. Goldberg and Harvard can’t afford to be still, as they communicate through sign language (Harvard was born deaf). These men establish themselves as a potential threat further down the road, as they ruthlessly handle someone they suspect to be Hess’ killer.

It’s worth pointing out that there is another “sign language” of note in Fargo, and that is literally what the signs in Lester Nygaard’s home are telling us. In the first episode, a Seussian poster reading “What if you’re right, and they’re wrong?” hung on the wall in his laundry room. This time, as Lester walks through his bedroom, signs that say “Everything happens for a reason” and “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you’ve imagined” can be seen. How symbolic will these innocent affirmations turn out to be? It will be fun to trace in later episodes. Especially now that Deputy Molly Solverson is full of suspicions about the alleged victim Lester. Her inquisitions are the main source of tension here, and the pressure really comes through in Freeman’s performance.

Meanwhile, Lorne has moved on to Duluth where he has been hired by the Supermarket King of Minnesota Stavros Milos (Oliver Platt) to track down a blackmailer. Lorne is a devilish and cool character, but the way he handles himself is a bit peculiar. In a confrontation with a mail clerk, Lorne behaves and speaks in a way that essentially telegraphs the fact that he’s a killer. He doesn’t pretend to be an average Joe going about his business. If this weren’t a Coen universe, this man would be captured by police immediately. But his cold demeanor is just viewed with awe by the ordinary masses of Minnesota, who are content with their small lives.

We also get another brief glimpse at Officer Gus Grimly (Colin Hanks) of Duluth, but  not enough to really get him involved in the main story yet. Big things are on the horizon for Gus, one would guess.

While not as pulse-poundingly exciting as the first episode, The Rooster Prince is an essential stepping stone towards what’s shaping up to be a killer story.

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About the author

Nick DeNitto

Nick DeNitto graduated with Honors from Adelphi University. He began writing movie reviews in middle school and has worked tirelessly to mold his own unique critical voice. He is currently affiliated with the National Board of Review and hopes that one day he is remembered as “The People’s Film Critic.”

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