For a series as stark and frequently intense as Fargo, the sweeping plains of the American Midwest in winter are an apt backdrop. There are often subtle moments of serenity and grace, even outright glory, in both, but they are far more often simply bleak, brutal, and cold as hell.
And while nature itself isn’t necessarily out to kill anyone, the people are a different story. Much like the 1996 film of the same name, Fargo is packed with outlaws, hitmen, gangsters, small-time hoods, and aggressive dimwits in perpetual motion, scheming and lashing out, either for a briefcase full of cash or revenge or merely because that’s just how they interact with the world.
Death lurks around every corner in Fargo, and viewers keen for blood spatter and the depraved genius of human suffering are sure to get their fill. And if the psychos and dead-eyed cutthroats don’t rack up enough kills, a blizzard or tornado might drop in and bump up the body count.
Okay, then! On that cheery thought, settle back with a nice fizzy bottle of pop because here are 10 times Fargo really outdid itself with the blood and the mayhem and the what-not.
10. An Involuntary Swim ("The Rooster Prince")
Mr. Numbers and Mr. Wrench are hitmen with the Fargo crime syndicate. When Sam Hess, a syndicate associate, is murdered, they travel to the small town of Bemidji to sort things out.
They know they’re looking for a smallish man with a beard and brown hair. A stripper suggests it could be Lenny, a bigmouth who’s having a drink at the bar. Numbers and Wrench approach him, and Lenny immediately hurls insults and threats, oblivious to the grim death staring him right in the face.
The pair toss Lenny into the trunk of their car, and later one of Hess’s associates confirms that he’s not the guy. Well, nuts. They take Lenny to a frozen lake, and when he tries to fight back, they crack him in the skull with the butt of his handgun. Mr. Wrench then drills a Lenny-sized hole in the ice.
The pair lift up the two-bit tough guy and dangle his head above the water. Senseless, he mutters, “No…wait…” but it’s too late. With a slight gurgle of water, that’s that for Lenny.