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Grady Numbers, also known as Mr. Numbers, is a major antagonist in Fargo. He is one of two secondary antagonists of Season 1 (alongside his partner Wes Wrench).

He was a hitman who worked for the Fargo Crime Syndicate. He frequently worked with his deaf partner and friend Wes Wrench. In early 2006, he and Wrench were sent to kill Lorne Malvo, due to his involvement in the death of Sam Hess. However, Numbers had his throat slit by Malvo after a gunfight in Bemidji.

Early Life

Grady Numbers grew up close personal friends with Wes Wrench in the American Midwest. He did not have a hearing impairment but knew sign language to communicate with his deaf friend. When playing ball with Wrench, they were attacked by two older boys, but the fight was interrupted by Hanzee Dent. (Palindrome)

Season 1

"The Rooster Prince"

Numbers is first seen with his associate Wes Wrench driving down the freeway to Hess & Sons Transport. There, they meet with Max Gold. Numbers tells Max they are from Fargo, North Dakota, and have come over to find out what happened to Sam Hess. They are told he was murdered, and Max gives them a description of the man that came into the shop the same day. He asks if they will find him, Numbers assuring that they will.

Grady, along with Wrench, visits The Lucky Penny, the place where Sam was murdered. They speak with the owner of the club, as well as Paprika, the girl Sam was with right before he died. Numbers gives them the description he was given by Max, and Paprika says it could be Lenny, another man who frequently visits the club and fits the description. They find Lenny drinking at the bar and talk to him. Lenny threatens to stab them, and Wrench knocks him out and he is put in the trunk of their car.

They return to the Hess & Sons with Lenny, only for Max to tell him that he doesn't think it's him. Numbers is later seen with Wrench dragging Lenny out onto the frozen lake and dropping Lenny into an ice hole.

A Muddy Road

Numbers and Wrench watch Lester Nygaard and Gina Hess at the Hess residence while hidden in the bushes, seeing Gina begin to flirt with Lester before he sees them after Mickey shoots Moe with a crossbow in the backyard while roughhousing.

Grady and Wes later arrive at Lester’s workplace, Bo Munk Insurance Shop, and corner him after he answers a phone call. Grady asks him about his affiliation with Sam Hess. Wrench, in sign language, taunts Lester who confusedly responds that he has a deaf cousin. Before the two men can get any more information from Lester, Molly Solverson arrives at the door. Lester makes up a conversation with the two as they leave to avoid suspicion from Molly, Grady playing along before Wes and him depart.

Eating the Blame

Numbers, anonymously, calls Lester Nygaard and asks him if sleeping with Gina Hess was worth his life.

At Lou's

He returns back to his table at Lou's Coffee Shop with Wrench and they discuss their theory on why Sam Hess was killed. Grady suspects that Lester had his wife, Pearl, and Gina's husband, Sam, killed in order to continue on with his affair with Gina and so she could collect Sam's life insurance in the process. Grady makes it clear that he wants them to make the hit and head home quick, but Wrench wants them to be certain that Lester is the true culprit, as they took the wrong person the last time around. They bicker for a few moments, drawing attention from the rest of the diners in the restaurant as well as Lou who is visibly suspicious of the pair. Finally, they both agree to grab Lester and get him talking before they leave, Grady refusing to look at Wrench's signing outside which draws a few eyes from inside the restaurant.

Later in the day, Lester walks out of his workplace only to be thrown by Wrench and Numbers into the trunk of their car. They drive him over to the lake that they dumped Lenny in and drag him out onto the ice before Wrench begins drilling a hole in the surface. Grady pins Lester down and tries to get him to confess, but Lester refuses, frantically responding that it was the "other guy". Before Grady can get any more answers, Lester shocks him with a taser he had hidden in his pocket and flees the scene. Grady and Wes follow Lester out to the highway to find that he's in the back of a cop car and is driven away from the scene.

The pair stop at a bar in Bemidji later in the night to have a few drinks. While Grady, already tipsy, orders from the bartender, he confronts Wes for glaring at him from the other side of the room. They quickly devolve into a fight, attacking each other and destroying the interior of the bar in the process. They are then presumably arrested for the incident and escorted into the same jail cell as Lester, just as they had planned, the two looming over Lester as Grady cracks a smile.

The Six Ungraspables

In the jail cell, Lester sits in between Numbers and Wrench, profusely sweating. Wrench stands and watches the guard outside as Lester attempts to apologize to Grady, though he is quickly incapacitated by Wrench who stuffs a sock into his mouth. Numbers asks Lester who "the man" was that he was referring to back at the lake, though Lester refuses. Upon further pressing the subject, they get him to finally confesses and reveal that Lorne Malvo was the one who killed Sam as well as the fact that Lorne is probably in Duluth due to that being where Lester's car was impounded. The guard comes back to release the pair after their bail is paid and before they leave, Numbers tells Lester that if he's in danger, they can help. Lester curtly refuses the offer.

Later in the evening, an unknown man with a police badge delivers a file to Numbers and Wrench which has an image of Lorne Malvo from the Bemidji Police. The man's face is not shown.

Buridan's Ass

Grady's corpse.

While a blizzard begins to hit Duluth, Grady and Wrench split between two cars surrounding Lorne Malvo as he is headed to the Gustafson parking garage to retrieve Stavros’s blackmail money. They pin Malvo’s car in between their vehicles, causing him to crash. Wrench exits his vehicle with a handgun and fires a few rounds towards Malvo who promptly ducks out of the way. Wrench approaches the driver’s side window to get a clearer shot, but Malvo kicks the door, causing him to be knocked over. Grady then exits his own car with a machine gun and begins shooting at Lorne’s windshield.

The two men, now both armed with machine guns, approach the vehicle only to find that Malvo had escaped through the passenger side door. The alarm of a parked car further behind them begins to go off and they head towards it, though Malvo is still nowhere to be seen.

They decide to split up in their pursuit to find Lorne and Numbers spots a trail of blood leading into a shed which he then follows. In the whiteout, Lorne attacks Numbers from behind and stabs him in the back, demanding to know who sent him. Grady refuses before Lorne continues his assault and he finally reveals that it was “Fargo”. After he answers, Malvo slits his throat and leaves him to bleed out. Molly and Gus, alerted by the gunfire arrive on the scene and find Grady on the ground, dead.  

Season 2

Palindrome

A younger Grady and Wes are shown in a park playing ball although Wes declares that he doesn't like the game, much to Grady's annoyance. The two sign to each other in argument until a group of older kids approaches and attacks them. They have a scuffle until Hanzee Dent appears and breaks the children apart.

Episode appearances

Season 1

Season 2

Killed Victims

This is a list of victims Mr. Numbers has killed:

  • Unamed man (Deleted scene)
  • Gas station owner (Deleted scene)
  • Lenny Potts
  • Potentially numerous other hits

Trivia

  • Grady has a tattoo that says "Boundaries" on his collarbone, as seen in Eating the Blame.
  • Grady's first name is revealed in the credits of Palindrome.

Season 1 characters
Main Lorne MalvoMolly SolversonGus GrimlyLester Nygaard
Recurring Ben SchmidtBill BudgeBill OswaltBo MunkBurt CantonChaz NygaardDon Chumph
Gina HessGrady NumbersGreta GrimlyIda ThurmanJemma StaloneKitty NygaardKnudsen
Linda ParkLou SolversonMax GoldPearl NygaardStavros MilosVern Thurman
Wally SemenchkoWebb PepperWes Wrench
All characters