Photo: Chris Large / FX

Fargo's Moments Of Midseason Foreshadowing, Ranked

Which of the apparent harbingers of doom in the latest Fargo is probably doomiest? Tara puts them in order.

We're now officially at the halfway point for Fargo's first and supposedly only season (though, as CBS did with Under The Dome, I can imagine FX deciding to pick it up for more, and unlike Under The Dome's renewal, such an eventuality wouldn't fill me with rage). As the various plotlines continue to develop, some story elements seem like they might be foreshadowing future events...but which ones, and how likely are they to spell doom for our characters? Here's a definitive, authoritative ranking from an expert Symbologist (read: complete guesswork from someone with an English degree who watches so much TV).

10. Molly and Ida discussing the hunt for Vern's murderer

The moment of calm that reminds us of why good police work is important and that finding the murderer is not just an abstract mystery to solve comes when Molly visits Ida and Bernadette, the baby Ida's just given birth to. (It's nice that Bill Oswalt has also just kicked off his redemption arc, of which more later: Molly comes upon basically the whole police department loudly goofing off in the hall and he says Ida kicked them out for being too loud; when Molly points out that Ida did just have a baby and Oswalt says, "We all agreed it was a good point," it's endearing rather than evidence of more of his obtuseness.) Molly and Ida exchange pleasantries that suggest that they're fond acquaintances rather than dear friends -- Ida even gets a good gallows-y crack in about how she and Vern hadn't really agreed about the baby's name: "I wanted Allie. And now he's dead. That man always knew how to win an argument." Obviously, hanging over both their heads is the matter of Vern's murderer, still at large, and in classic Minnesota style, they both avoid discussing such unpleasantness directly. "No details, just tell me you're taking care of it," says Ida. "I'm trying," Molly replies.

Is this nice scene setting up further horror yet to come for the Thurman survivors? Lord, I sure hope not.

9. Lester's hand

I have already used this space to preach the gospel of proper wound care, Lester's ignorance of which has now landed him in the hospital with sepsis.

Is Lester going to lose his hand? According to the doctor: no. Buuuuuuut? Yeah, probably not.

8. Gus's neighbour's parable

When Gus and his across-the-courtyard neighbour, Ari Ziskind, happen to see each other both up in the middle of the night drinking milk, Ari comes across the way to share the parable of a man who couldn't stand that there might be any suffering in the world that he might possibly alleviate, and who, after giving away all his money and one of his kidneys and found neither to settle his mind, ended his life so that he could donate all his organs. The lesson: "Only a fool thinks he can solve the world's problems." "Yeah," squints Gus, "but you gotta try, don't you?"

Is Gus going to sacrifice his life for the sake of Molly's case, and justice for Vern? This would offer a nice symmetry after the way he let Lorne get away in their first encounter, but I don't see it. His kid is cute and likable. No one wants to see Greta orphaned.

7. Oswalt coming around on Molly's theory of the crime

Molly finally gets the chance to lay out her theory of the Sam Hess murder -- that Lester and Lorne Malvo were in league together, and that Lorne killed Pearl because Lester didn't pay him, and Vern to escape arrest -- and Oswalt seems to be figuring out, at last, that she's probably right. Fortunately, Lester is already in police custody, so keeping an eye on him will be easier.

But is Oswalt going to end up murdered investigating the crime just like the last Chief who believed Molly? I'm not sure Oswalt has the stature to die a hero's death.

6. Storm's a-brewin'!

This is now the second consecutive episode in which Oswalt has been involved in planning for some kind of crazy storm that's bearing down on Bemidji like a shotgun full of snow!

Is inclement weather going to cripple the police department? I certainly hope not. This isn't Phoenix: personnel should be accustomed to dealing with bad winter weather.

Is the storm going to fuck up someone who isn't used to terrible winters? This, I can imagine. You've seen Lorne's stupid thin coats. He might be unprepared!

5. Don getting boarded up in his pantry

Naturally, Lorne excises Don from the blackmail scheme...by locking him in his own pantry and then further securing the door with wood screws.

Is Don going to die in that pantry? I'd say there's a pretty good chance. Either Lorne won't bother returning to free his patsy, or else he'll be incarcerated or killed and be rendered unable to. And don't give me that "Don is a trainer, he could just kick the door down" nonsense; gym strength is hardly ever functional.

4. Lorne buying a police scanner and walkie-talkies

Lorne returns to his Adderall connect so he can acquire a police scanner and a pair of walkie-talkies (even though he really only needs the one).

Is Lorne going to use this gear to monitor when Greta is unattended and kidnap her? This seems inevitable. I don't think anything too terrible will happen to Greta -- she's likable and cute, as I've already said -- but having her in actual danger will test Gus's ability to be a decent cop for once and make decisions for the greater good.

3. The Supermarket King vs. The Final Plague

Lorne's been visiting all the plagues of Egypt on Stavros.

Does Lorne intend to wrap up this performance with the final plague and kill Stavros's firstborn son? It would be pretty sad to see this poor simpleton get killed over a little bit of money, but if the choice producers have to make is between killing Greta or killing Dmitri...sorry, dude.

2. Lorne Malvo vs. Neighbourhood Watchman

In his capacity as head of the Neighbourhood Watch, Ari confronts Lorne about parking outside Gus's apartment and tries to get him to move along. Lorne responds anti-Semitically, and the implied threat is enough to send Ari back to his own apartment to be near his family.

Is Ari the one who'll be killed to solve the world's problems? He's nobler than Gus, that's for sure.

1. Numbers and Wrench getting intel on Lorne

After literally leaning on Lester (specifically, on his infected hand, in jail) and getting Lorne's name out of him, Numbers and Wrench go Through Methods to get a St. Paul detective to give them a file on the incident where Lorne dragged the guy out of the office by his tie.

Are Numbers and Wrench going to kill Lorne? Well, they're definitely going after him. Which criminal element will emerge victorious remains to be seen, but now that THEY know about HIM, they definitely have an advantage. I like their odds.

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