The year is 2006, and household appliances that do both the washing and the drying are hitting the market and blowing people’s minds in the process. This is what makes for casual dinner conversation at the home of Lester Nygaard (Martin Freeman) and his wife Pearl (Kelly Holden Bashar), but it doesn’t take long for Pearl to flash her claws with barely cloaked jabs at Lester’s career and, more generally, his manhood. We then get a small peek at why Pearl's stagnant love isn't entirely undeserved. Welcome to FX’s Fargo.
The network unveiled the first seven minutes of their small screen spinoff of the Coen brothers’ pitch black 1996 comedy of the same name, via Yahoo!, and that’s all the time it takes to introduce our two lead characters and the plotlines that will presumably follow them throughout the season. It should surprise no one that this narrative will be equal parts death, deception and despair. We just haven’t figured out quite who gets what yet. (But we’re betting Pearl’s clock is already ticking.)
Lester is a down on his luck insurance agent, as we can see in the scene where he stutters his way to an awkward failure. We see his disgust forming when Pearl is telling him he’s a shitty salesman, but it’s clear he is just as angry that she’s right as he is that she’s saying it in the first place. I have a feeling it won’t take too much convincing to get Lester down a dark road of sin with Pearl bearing the brunt of his frustrations. After seeing him for so long on British shows like The Office and Sherlock, it is an absolute hoot to hear Freeman's Minnesota accent, it sure is. I can’t wait to see him get pissed.
This clip starts off with just the man to bring him down, Lorne Malvo, played by Billy Bob Thornton with the most ferocious facial hair of his career. At this point, Lorne isn’t much more to us than a shadowy sinister presence who has seen unexpected things inside of his toaster oven. And the only thing to infer about him here is that he drives too fast in the snow, which plays a part in the ensuing accident, and that he keeps his hostages next to the tire iron in the car trunk. The guy who climbs out, looking like Patton Oswalt, runs away while Lorne stands solemnly over the deer that caused the accident. What’s in his mind? Is he sad about hurting a defenseless animal, or is he thinking about skinning it and grilling some steaks?
With an all-star supporting cast that includes Oliver Platt, Colin Hanks, Glenn Howerton and Kate Walsh, Fargo will make its debut on Tuesday, April 15. Watch Lester and Lorne meet in the series’ first trailer below.