A week ago today, the first episode of the new series “Fargo” premiered on FX. Based on the 1996 Coen Brothers film, the :Fargo” TV series follows a Minnesota man and the series’s protagonist, Lester Nygaard (Martin Freeman) and his morality shift after he meets a shady character going by the name of Lorne Malvo (Billy Bob Thorton).

 

In the first episode we saw the initial encounter between the show’s two main characters. After Nygaard gets his nose broken by a former high school bully and Malvo wrecks his car on account of a herd of deer, the two happen to meet in the local hospital. Nygaard tells Malvo what happened to him, and the latter suggests killing this bully by the name of Sam Hess. While Nygaard does not act on the idea, Malvo ends up killing Hess later in the episode.

 

As this is based on “Fargo,” cops have to be somehow involved in the series, and in this episode a few policemen end up investigating both the murder of Hess and Malvo’s car wreck. They begin to connect the dots and Nygaard ends up being implicated as a suspect. When the police chief, Thurman, goes to investigate Nygaard, he finds the man’s wife dead in the basement. When Malvo eventually shows up at Nygaard’s place, he kills the police chief, and Nygaard attempts to make the crime look like a robbery of some sort.

 

This was certainly an eventful and entertaining episode for a series opener. The leads, Martin Freeman and Billy Bob Thornton, are both phenomenal in their roles. These two are some seriously talented character actors, and the fact that we will be able to see them performing on television for five episodes of this program is an exciting prospect indeed.

 

Stylistically, the show is like nothing else currently on television. The show’s Creator Noah Hawley and Director Adam Bernstein knew they had a lot to live up to in the follow up to a film as beloved as “Fargo,” and they deliver in spades. Anything less than exceptional would have been berated by fans of the film, and they do fine work in giving the people what they want.

 

“Fargo” the film, more than any other, successfully explored the psychology of midwesterners and the pent up anger that exists within that society. Judging by this first episode, we are bound to get even more of that in the season to come.   It is hard to say where the show will go from here, but “The Crocodile’s Dilemma” was an extremely satisfying hour of television.

 

Episode two, entitled “The Rooster Prince,” airs tonight, Thursday, Apr. 22 on FX.

 

Did you see the opening episode of “Fargo”? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below, or reach out to me on Twitter @TuckerPoikonen.