The Rooster Prince
Season 1, Episode 2
Episode Information
Air Date:

April 22, 2014

Written by:

Noah Hawley

Directed by:

Adam Bernstein

Episode Chronology
Previous Episode:

The Crocodile's Dilemma

Next Episode:

A Muddy Road


The Rooster Prince is the second episode of Season 1 of Fargo. The episode premiered on April 22, 2014.


Molly begins to suspect that Lester is involved with the murders, but her new boss points her in a different direction. Meanwhile, Malvo investigates the blackmail plot against a man known as the Supermarket King.


The episode opens up with Wes Wrench and his associate/ interpreter Grady Numbers driving down the highway. They stop at Hess & Sons to discuss the murder of Sam Hess with Max Gold. Wrench has Numbers ask why there is no library in Bemidji, to which Max shrugs and says "Cutbacks?" Wrench says that every town should have a library. Numbers tells Max they believe the murder of Sam Hess was connected to the business, confirming that Sam did in fact have some sort of connection to the criminal underworld. Max tells them he saw a guy walk into the garage a day or two prior, and he thinks it was he who killed Sam. He describes him as middle-aged, brown hair, with a cut on his forehead. Max wants to be sure that they will find the man who killed him, saying Sam was his friend. Numbers assures him they will.

Meanwhile, Chaz holds a service at his house to mourn for Pearl Nygaard. Lester has put a bandage on his hand wound in order to heal it himself, since he can't go to the hospital to get it checked without raising any sort of suspicion. Chaz offers Lester their spare bedroom for a while, and that he should also sell his old house, saying the house will probably be in bad shape after the police are done searching it for clues, which worries Lester.

Lester visits his old house to find scraps from the search everywhere. Looking down at the basement, he has flashbacks of beating Pearl to death. Elsewhere, Molly visits Vern Thurman's grave before heading to the Thurman residence where a service is being held for Vern. Ida sees Molly is washing dishes from the meal and tells her about the time when Vern was a rookie cop and had a boss who was extremely incompetent. His boss was struck on the head by a hail storm and killed. Molly tells her about the time her dad got shot, and now has a limp from it. Bill Oswalt comes into the kitchen, having assigned everyone to jobs in order to help Ida through the rest of her pregnancy. Molly tells him they should talk to Lester again, knowing Vern went over there to talk to him but never came back to say anything. Bill doesn't think Lester has any connection to it, recalling the times in high school Lester fainted from just about everything. Bill, now Chief of Police, deduces that is was merely a drifter who committed these murders. Ida convinces him to see Lester.

Lester is in his bedroom going through old belongings, including Pearl's. He opens up the closet and cries into one of Pearl's old sweaters. He gets a visit from Bill and Molly to ask a few questions. Bill and Lester reminisce about a grape gum "Hubba-Bubba" from when they were kids. During this talk, Molly tries to ask questions about the case. Lester tells them he came home and found his wife dead, then was knocked out. He claims to have never seen Vern at his house. Molly asks about the man with whom he was discussing Sam Hess at the hospital , and he gets uncomfortable and tries to cover up the story. He says his memory is really fuzzy, and gives no more information. Bill is satisfied, Molly on the other hand is not.

Meanwhile in Duluth, Minnesota, Lorne Malvo visits a post office to pick up a message from his next client. Malvo asks for a package addressed only to Duluth, and forces a confused mail clerk to get it for him. His next client is Stavros Milos, the owner of Phoenix Farms supermarket. He also finds a wallet in the package with his new ID card, saying that he is now Frank Peterson, a minister. Malvo meets with Stavros, also known as the "supermarket king" about a blackmail issue he is having. Stavros introduces his head of security Wally, whom Lorn describes as a fire hydrant due to his large amount of red he is wearing. He shows Malvo the letter Stavros received, saying the blackmailer knows about "the money" and demands $43,613 or they will tell everyone. Stavros wants Malvo to find the blackmailer and stop him. Suddenly, Stavros' son Dmitri barges in and tells a really bad joke, only to be shooed away. After he leaves, Stavros tells Malvo to start by talking to his wife, who is planning to divorce him and sue for 50% of his fortune. Before Malvo leaves, he gets Stavros to sign a copy of a book he got in the package.

Gus Grimly attends a meeting at the Duluth Police Department about the break-in at the Nygaard residence. Gus still has the ticket he was going to give Malvo, and still feels guilty for letting him get away. He is put on animal control duty again due to the other guy being sick. After a day of work, Gus returns home to his daughter Greta Grimly, who is talking with a friend over the walkie-talkie. In his room, he looks across the alleyway to see his Orthodox Jewish neighbor undressing in her apartment. She notices him watching and he looks away, but when he looks back she is in the window and drops her dress to reveal lingerie underneath. Stunned, he looks away for good and then sits down to dinner with Greta, where she talks about a school assembly about self-defense against bullies. Greta didn't really buy into it, saying that going to someone for help isn't always an option. Gus tells her sometimes there is more than one right thing to do, thinking about his confrontation with Malvo.

Back in Bemidji, Numbers and Wrench visit The Lucky Penny to speak with the owner of the club, as well as Paprika, the girl Sam was with right before he died. Paprika tells them she couldn't see the killer due to the amount of blood in her eyes. Numbers gives them the description he was given by Max, and she 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. He 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 the guy who killed Sam.

Elsewhere, Malvo visits the Milos residence, now posing as an attorney, where Helena Milos is working out with her personal trainer, Don Chumph. Don shakes his hand, getting his self-tanning lotion on Malvo. Helena tells Malvo she never believed that her husband's fortune came from her uncle. Before he can ask anything else, Dmitri comes home. Malvo tells him a cheesy joke and recommends he tell his father at some point.

Later, Malvo is sitting on his bed listening to a recording of the phone call Lester made shortly after murdering his wife. He notices a brown smudge on the blackmail note, and deduces that Don is the blackmailer. He suddenly gets a visit from Wally. Wally tells him to stop looking for the blackmailer, and to leave town before he kills him. He doesn't want Malvo and his "big-city connections" overtaking their small-town operation. Malvo says nothing, and instead goes into the bathroom to defecate while still making eye contact with him. Shocked, Wally tells him he is disgusting and leaves.

At the Bemidji Police Station, Bill calls Molly into his office. He tells her to focus on the person who broke into the Nygaard residence, and leave Lester alone. As she leaves the office, she watches as Vern Thurman's name is scratched off the office door. Meanwhile, Lester visits his old house again and gets the hammer out from inside of the washing machine, the same hammer he used to kill Pearl. He packs up and moves into Gordo's bedroom at Chaz's house, while Gordo will be sleeping in the living room. In the room, Lester finds one of Gordo's mason jars of urine in the closet.

Later, they all sit down for a TV dinner. A commercial for the Phoenix Farms supermarket is playing. Chaz tells Lester he was thinking of going hunting this weekend, and plans to take Gordo with him. Lester volunteers to go to, much to Chaz's surprise. Even more to his surprise, Lester decides he should sell his old house, which Kitty agrees is a good idea. Lester goes to the Lynwood Drugs pharmacy to get something for his wounded hand. Before he can buy the anti-bacterial ointment the pharmacist recommends, Molly approaches him with more questions. Lester tries to talk away, telling her he is feeling harassed. Molly continues to ask questions, following him out to his car, where she notices the sewing material and "I Love Knitting" sticker. He explains that he is driving his wife's car because his car is in the shop. Panicked, Lester insists he feels harassed and drives away.

The next day, Molly talks with her father about the case, and Lou agrees with everything Molly says. Molly does not believe what Lester is saying is true, but they have to listen to Bill due to him being in charge. Lou still wants Molly to take up a less dangerous occupation. Bill visits Molly at Lou's Coffee Shop and tells her she is being taken off the case due to harassing Lester when he told her not to. He puts her on the case about the frozen man in the woods.

Elsewhere, Numbers and Wrench take a handcuffed Lenny out to the frozen lake. They drill a hole into the ice, drop him into the hole, and leave.

Deleted Scenes

  • Numbers & Wrench foil gas station robbery (1:58): In this deleted scene, Grady Numbers and Wes Wrench enter a gas station and interrupted an attempted robbery. Numbers ended up killing the robber as well as the gas station owner for having a running security camera. The scene ends with Wrench killing an eyewitness knocked over by the robber earlier and Numbers taking the money from the cashier and stealing a bag of chips.


Main cast

Recurring cast



  • Unnamed burglar (Deleted scene)
  • Unnamed gas station owner (Deleted scene)
  • Unnamed eyewitness (Deleted scene)
  • Lenny Potts


  • First appearance of Grady Numbers.
  • First appearance of Wes Wrench.
  • First appearance of Ben Schmidt.
  • First appearance of Greta Grimly.
  • First appearance of Stavros Milos.
  • First appearance of Helena Milos.
  • First appearance of Dmitri Milos.
  • First appearance of Don Chumph.
  • First appearance of Wally Semenchko.
  • First (and last) appearance of Lenny Potts.
  • Pearl Nygaard (Kelly Holden Bashar) and Vern Thurman (Shawn Doyle) appear in flashbacks, but are not credited.
  • Vern Thurman's birthday is revealed to be September 28, 1961.
  • The title "The Rooster Prince" refers to the parable of the same name. A prince is put under a curse where he believes himself to be a rooster, and sits under the table naked pecking at the floor. The king and queen ask around for someone to help cure their son, when an old man volunteers, saying he knows how to cure him. He too takes his clothes off and sits under the table with the prince, pretending to be a rooster. Eventually the prince befriends his "rooster friend" and the old man shows him how a rooster can do human things such as sit at a table and wear clothes. Eventually, the old man is able to bring back his old human habits one bit at a time, curing him.


  • In this episode, Molly states she is 31 years old, making her birth year 1975. However in Season 2 she is 6 years old in 1979, making her birth year 1973.
Season 1 episodes

01. "The Crocodile's Dilemma"
02. "The Rooster Prince"
03. "A Muddy Road"
04. "Eating the Blame"
05. "The Six Ungraspables"

06. "Buridan's Ass"
07. "Who Shaves the Barber?"
08. "The Heap"
09. "A Fox, A Rabbit, and A Cabbage"
10. "Morton's Fork"

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