The Six Ungraspables
Season 1, Episode 5
Episode Information
Air Date:

May 13, 2014

Written by:

Noah Hawley

Directed by:

Colin Hanks

Episode Chronology
Previous Episode:

Eating the Blame

Next Episode:

Buridan's Ass


The Six Ungraspables is the fifth episode of Season 1 of Fargo. The episode premiered on May 13, 2014.


When Lester has a close call, Molly makes an unorthodox decision. Gus weighs some neighborly advice, and Malvo gets what he wants.


The episode opens up with a flashback to Fall 2005 in Bemidji. Lester is seen at a sporting goods store buying a pair of socks. The cashier tells him to give him a price of his choosing, and Lester can't think of one. The cashier offers him a shotgun with ammunition to go with the socks for $55, which he accepts. Back at home, Pearl is surprised to see Lester with a shotgun, thinking he was only getting socks. Pearl mocks Lester for possibly being able to shoot himself accidentally without there being any bullets loaded. She leaves to do laundry, and Lester puts the shotgun and bullets on top of the shelf. On January 20, 2006, Lester takes the gun down from the shelf and plans to kill Malvo. He sets the gun in his kitchen and goes to the door to let Vern in. The events of Vern's murder play out from Malvo's perspective, as he enters Lester's house, picks up the shotgun, and kills Vern. The bullet from the shotgun is shown going through Vern, breaking, and a piece of it goes into Lester's hand. A timelapse beings, showing the hand wound getting infected until the camera pulls away to show Lester in jail with Numbers and Wrench.

Lester tries to apologize to Numbers for electrocuting him, but Wrench stuffs a dirty sock into his mouth to gag him. They demand to know the name of the "man" that Lester mentioned, the one who killed Sam Hess. He tells them his name is Lorne Malvo, and he thinks he is in Duluth, seeing as that is where his car ended up after Malvo stole it. He also tells them the Bemidji PD have a picture of him. Numbers and Wrench are released, having their bail paid. As they leave, Lester pukes.

Molly folds laundry at her house while watching TV, and decides to confront Bill about the investigation. Bill is in the middle of a conversation with Cindy, one of the officers, when she arrives. She gives him every bit of information she has, and she almost has everything figured out. Bill looks astonished, and agrees with her that maybe they should go see Lester.

At the Grimly residence, Gus asks to use Greta's computer to research Frank Peterson and Lorne Malvo. His search is unsuccessful. He leaves to think about the case more. Elsewhere, Malvo visits the drug dealer again to purchase a police scanner. He also asks for a walkie-talkie. He visits Don Chumph's house to use his phone, where he calls Stavros to ask about the blackmailer. Malvo tries to get a recording of the call, hoping Stavros admits to a crime that he got his money from. Stavros doesn't specify, but he does say he is going to pay the money, Malvo tricks Don into locking himself in his pantry, and bolts the door shut, not wanting him to get cold feet.

In jail, Lester is now unconscious, having several flashbacks of his house, Malvo, and the murders of Vern and Pearl. Bill and Molly find him mumbling in his sleep and rush him to the emergency room to get his hand wound checked. In the ambulance, Molly tries to ask Lester (while on medication) what happened to his hand. He only mumbles, and she asks him if he paid Malvo to kill Sam, He says he never paid him. He is taken in by the doctors before she can ask any more questions.

Elsewhere, a man with a police badge hands Numbers and Wrench the file with the picture of Malvo from the Bemidji PD. The man's face is not shown.

Gus sits down in his kitchen with a glass of milk, and sees a neighbor of his doing the same. They both go to their windows to talk, and the neighbor decides to go over to his apartment. After he arrives, and tells Gus about the cold winters and holes in his socks, and that he does not complain about these things. Gus tells him about his confrontations with Malvo, and how he should go about stopping him.

The neighbor tells Gus a parable about a rich man reading the newspaper. He finds an article and realizes the world is in misery. He gets an idea to donate all of his fortune to charity, be even after he does, he still finds misery in the world. He goes to the hospital and tells the doctor he wants to donate a kidney. He does, and the surgery is successful. Still, people in the world are still suffering. He goes back to the doctor and tells him he wants to donate his entire body, but the doctor rejects his offer, telling him it is suicide. He returns home, having given up everything and failed his mission to fix everything. He sits in his bathtub, where he takes a knife and slices his throat, killing himself.

Gus asks the neighbor if what the man did was worth it, to which he doesn't give a direct answer to. He tells Gus that the lesson of the parable is, only a fool can believe he can solve the world's problems. Gus replies saying "But you've got to try, don't you?"

Gus lies awake later that night unable to sleep, so he gets up and goes for a drive. On the highway he passes a car being driven by Malvo with Stavros in the back seat. They pull into Phoenix Farms so Stavros can retrieve the money. In his office, he puts the money into a briefcase and is interrupted by Dmitri, who had called the pet store to find out someone bought all their crickets. Stavros doesn't let him finish and tells him to pack up to leave.

At the hospital, Molly tries getting food from the vending machine. She asks one of the doctors about Lester's hand, he tells her the wound came from a shotgun pellet that had fabric attached to it, so it would have had to have passed through something, or someone. The doctor also says Ida had her baby earlier that night.

Molly goes to Lester's house, without a warrant, to further investigate. In the basement, she notices the washing machine has been moved out of place. She takes off the back panel to try and find some sort of clue, but finds nothing.

Malvo drives Stavros back to his mansion. On the way, he tells Stavros about how the Romans were raised by wolves, and the wolves were known for successfully hunting their prey. There are no saints in the animal kingdom. Gus is seen standing in the middle of the highway, and is blinded by the headlights. He braces for impact, but Malvo passes him. Pulling into the driveway, Stavros tells Malvo he is done, and he must leave by tomorrow morning. Stavros gives him the money he owes, and goes inside.

Gus pulls back into his driveway and gets a call from Molly, who asks if he wants her to drive to Duluth tomorrow to continue working on the case, which he agrees to. As he walks inside, Malvo pulls up and listens to their conversation using the police scanner and walkie-talkie. Malvo starts picking up chatter from Greta's walkie-talkie, and the neighbor who visited Gus knocks on his window. He tells Malvo he shouldn't be here and threatens to call the cops. Instead, Malvo messes with him, then drives away.

Back at the hospital, Molly visits Ida and her newborn daughter, Bernadette. Ida tells her about the story behind the baby's name, and tells Molly that she is the babysitter. She asks if she is still looking for the man who killed Vern, to which Molly replies she is trying to.

Molly leaves Ida's room and walks over to where Lester is being kept. She opens the door to find him laying in bed, pauses and glares at Lester, and closes the door. Lester opens his eyes, knowing he's being watched.


Main cast

Recurring cast




  • The title refers to a Zen koan. A monk asks Ummon, "What is the Dharma Kaya?" Ummon told him "The Six Ungraspables.", the Graspables being the five senses and the mind.
  • When the neighbor that visited Gus recognizes Lorne Malvo as an Evil Angel he calls him "Se'irim", the yiddish word for "demon",
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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