In a small town full of deceit, one woman will stop at nothing to uncover the truth.
Watch the original version of Fargo
Jerry Lundegaard sat alone in his dingy office, surrounded by stacks of unsold cars and mounting paperwork. He rubbed his temples and tried to ignore the phone ringing incessantly on his desk. The debts were piling up faster than he could handle, and he was drowning in a sea of financial trouble.
He knew he had to come up with a plan, and he knew it had to be big. The faint glimmer of an idea started to form in his mind. He had seen it in the movies before, and it always worked out perfectly. He would fake the kidnapping of his wife and demand a ransom from her wealthy father. It was risky, but it was the only way out.
Jerry Lundegaard pushed his way through the crowded bar, trying to find some privacy. He had arranged to meet two men there that night, and he hoped they hadn’t backed out on him. He spotted them sitting in a booth near the back, both looking shifty and suspicious.
“Hey, you guys,” Jerry said, sliding into the booth across from them. “Thanks for coming.”
Carl Showalter and Gaear Grimsrud were not the type of men Jerry would usually associate with. They were rough around the edges, with scarred faces and questionable morals. But when you’re in as much trouble as Jerry was, beggars can’t be choosers.
“We’re here,” Carl said gruffly, eyeing Jerry warily. “What’s the job?”
Jerry took a deep breath and launched into his plan. He explained how he wanted them to kidnap his wife and hold her for ransom, demanding a hefty sum from her wealthy father. He assured them that nobody would get hurt, and it would be a quick and easy job.
Carl and Gaear exchanged a look, and Jerry could see the greed starting to take hold. They asked about the details of the plan, and Jerry answered as confidently as he could. He didn’t mention that his wife was heavily pregnant, or that he had no idea how to actually pull off a kidnapping.
“Alright, we’re in,” Carl said, his eyes lighting up with the promise of easy money. “But we want half the ransom up front, just to be safe.”
Jerry hesitated for a moment, but he knew he had no choice. He agreed to their terms and promised to deliver the money the next day. As they left the bar, Jerry felt a sense of relief wash over him. This was the way out he had been looking for.
Over the next few days, Jerry continued with his plan. He told his wife that he was going out of town on business and made arrangements to have her kidnapped while he was gone. He borrowed money from his father-in-law to pay the ransom, knowing that he would have to pay it all back eventually.
The kidnapping went off without a hitch, and Jerry waited anxiously for the ransom demands to come in. But things quickly started to go wrong. The kidnappers got spooked and accidentally killed a state trooper who pulled them over. The ransom negotiations dragged on, and Jerry’s lies and cover-up attempts only dug him deeper into trouble.
As the situation spiraled out of control, Jerry realized that he had made a terrible mistake. He had underestimated the risks and the consequences of his plan, and now he was in way over his head. And with a determined police chief hot on his trail, it was only a matter of time before he would be caught.
Chapter 2: The Kidnapping
Jerry sat nervously in his car, watching as the two thugs he had hired approached. They were both large, brutish men, with tattoos and scars covering their faces. Jerry had never seen them before, but he had been assured by a friend of a friend that they were “professionals.”
“Are you the guys?” Jerry asked, as they reached his car.
“That depends. Are you the guy with the job for us?” one of the thugs replied, his voice cold and emotionless.
Jerry nodded, then leaned in close to the driver’s side window to speak in hushed tones. “I need you guys to kidnap my wife. I’ll give you the details, but it has to look real. I need to collect a ransom from her father.”
The thugs looked at each other, then back at Jerry. “How much you looking to get?” the other thug asked.
“Fifty thousand,” Jerry said quickly. “But I can’t pay until I get the money from her father. I’m good for it, I promise.”
The thugs exchanged another look, then nodded. “We can do it. But you better be telling the truth about the money,” the first thug warned.
Jerry felt a wave of relief wash over him. He had never been involved in anything like this before, but the desperation of his situation drove him to take the risk. He gave the thugs the details they needed, including his wife’s daily routine and the make and model of her car. They made their plans and arranged to meet him again in two days’ time.
The day of the kidnapping arrived quickly, and Jerry’s nerves were frayed. He had hardly slept, worrying about the plan and what could go wrong. But when the thugs arrived, dressed in dark clothing and with their faces obscured by ski masks, he felt a sense of excitement too. This was really happening.
Jerry watched from a distance as the thugs approached his wife’s car outside her workplace. They forcibly took her from her car and bundled her into the trunk of a waiting car, then drove off quickly. Jerry was already on his way to his father-in-law’s house, where he planned to make the ransom demands.
As he drove, his phone rang. It was one of the thugs.
“We ran into a little problem,” he said, his voice strained.
Jerry’s heart sank. “What kind of problem?”
“It looks like someone saw what we did. We might have to make a detour.”
Jerry felt the familiar weight of panic grip him. “No, no, that’s not part of the plan. You can’t deviate from the plan.”
The thug on the other end chuckled. “Relax, man. We got this. We’ll take care of it.”
Jerry didn’t feel reassured, but there was nothing he could do. He arrived at his father-in-law’s house and made the demands, as planned. He waited anxiously for the call that would tell him his wife was safe and he could make the ransom payment.
But the call never came.
Hours passed, and Jerry’s anxiety grew. What had gone wrong? Had the thugs double-crossed him? Had they been caught by the police? He tried calling their phones, but they went straight to voicemail.
Finally, in the early hours of the morning, Jerry’s phone rang. It was one of the thugs.
“Yeah, we got a little problem here,” he said, sounding out of breath.
“What problem?” Jerry demanded.
“Your wife, man. She’s dead.”
Jerry felt like the ground had opened up beneath him. “What do you mean, she’s dead?”
The thug hesitated. “It was an accident, okay? We didn’t mean for it to happen. But now we gotta figure out what to do with the body.”
Jerry’s mind raced. This was not part of the plan. This was not how it was supposed to go.
“What am I going to do?” he whispered.
“We’ll figure something out,” the thug said. “Just keep your mouth shut and wait for our call.”
Jerry hung up the phone and stared out into the darkness. He had never felt so alone. He had made a terrible mistake.
Jerry sat in the driver’s seat of his car, parked on a quiet side street. He checked his watch nervously, checking the time against the schedule he’d laid out in his head. The plan was simple enough: they’d take his wife Jean, park her in a secluded cabin in the woods, and wait for her father Wade to pay the ransom. It was a foolproof scheme, one that would net him the money he so desperately needed.
The only problem was that he’d hired a pair of complete amateurs to carry out the job. Carl and Gaear were muscle, sure, but they had no experience with kidnapping or extortion. Jerry had always thought they were a bit thick, but he’d never realized just how stupid they could be.
He glanced back at Jean, who was gagged and tied up in the backseat. She was still unconscious, knocked out with the sleeping pills Jerry had slipped her. He’d been careful to pick a dose that wouldn’t be fatal, but he couldn’t help feeling a twinge of guilt as he looked at her.
He shook his head, trying to focus. They were supposed to switch cars soon, heading for the cabin in the woods that Jerry had rented out for the occasion. He’d made sure it was isolated, far from prying eyes. The plan was to keep Jean there until Wade paid the ransom, and then release her unharmed.
But as they pulled up to a stop sign, Jerry saw something that made his heart skip a beat. A car was stopped at the intersection ahead of them, waiting to turn left. The driver was a young woman with long brown hair, and she was staring right at them.
Jerry’s blood ran cold. Had she seen something? Had she noticed Jean in the backseat? He tried to act natural, as if nothing was amiss, but his hands were shaking on the steering wheel.
The light turned green, and the car ahead of them pulled away. Jerry followed, his eyes glued to the rearview mirror. He hoped against hope that the woman hadn’t seen anything, that she was just another driver passing through.
But as they turned onto a side street, he saw the car behind them again. It was following them, keeping a discreet distance but never letting them out of its sight.
Jerry’s heart was pounding in his chest now. They couldn’t be caught, not now. He had too much on the line, too much to lose. He had to get the woman off their trail, and fast.
He glanced at Carl and Gaear, who were in the backseat next to Jean. They looked nervous, too, as if they sensed that something was wrong. Carl was fidgeting with his gun, and Gaear was staring out the window.
“We’ve got a tail,” Jerry said, trying to keep his voice calm. “I need you guys to take care of it.”
Carl nodded, and Gaear grunted. They both got out of the car, Carl with his gun at the ready.
Jerry watched as they approached the other car, which had pulled over to the side of the road. He couldn’t make out what was happening, but he saw Carl raise his gun, pointing it directly at the driver’s window.
For a moment, he thought the worst had happened. But then he saw the other car pull away, the driver looking scared but unharmed.
Carl and Gaear returned to the car, getting in the backseat again. Jerry could see the tension in their faces, as if they knew they’d screwed up.
“What did you do?” he demanded, his voice rising. “You were supposed to take care of it!”
“We did,” Carl said defensively. “She won’t be following us anymore.”
Jerry didn’t know whether to believe him or not. He just knew that things had suddenly become much more dangerous. They weren’t just dealing with a kidnapping anymore. They were dealing with murder.
Chapter 4: Jerry’s Cover-Up Attempts
Jerry had thought that everything would be easy once the kidnapping was carried out successfully. However, as the days went by, he began to realize that he had made a grave mistake. His lies and cover-up attempts had only dug him deeper into trouble.
The first sign of trouble came when the kidnappers called for the ransom money. Jerry was sweating and trembling as he answered the call, trying his best to sound confident and in control. The voice on the other end was cold and intimidating, demanding the money in exchange for Jerry’s wife’s safe return.
Jerry tried to negotiate, but the kidnappers were not interested in his excuses. They hung up abruptly, leaving Jerry to stew in his own fear and desperation.
As days passed with no word from the kidnappers, Jerry became increasingly paranoid. He started to suspect that the police were onto him, and he began to monitor their movements obsessively. He spent hours on the phone with his accomplices, trying to keep track of every detail of the plan, and making sure that they were all on the same page.
However, as the investigation picked up steam, Jerry’s attempts to cover up his involvement became more and more desperate. He started to make mistakes, like forgetting his lies or slipping up when talking to the police. He became easily agitated, and his temper began to flare up more often.
The pressure was beginning to take a toll on Jerry, but he refused to give up. He was determined to see the plan through to the end, no matter what it took. However, as he dug himself deeper into the web of lies and deceit, he neglected to consider the consequences.
Meanwhile, the kidnappers were growing restless. They had been paid a small amount of the ransom money, but they were starting to lose patience. Carl, the more impulsive of the two, began to lash out in frustration. His partner, Gaear, was less vocal but equally dangerous.
As the days dragged on, tensions were running high on both sides. Jerry was barely holding it together, and the kidnappers were starting to crack under the pressure. Jerry knew that he needed to do something, and fast, before the plan spiraled out of control.
He hatched a new plan: he would call his father-in-law and plead with him to pay the kidnappers directly. He hoped that this would buy him some time and ease the kidnappers’ aggression.
However, when he placed the call, it was clear that his plan had backfired. His father-in-law was furious, not just about the kidnapping but also about Jerry’s involvement. He threatened to cut Jerry off entirely, leaving him with nothing.
Jerry was at his breaking point. He had nowhere to turn, and the kidnappers were still out there, waiting for their money. He knew that he had to act fast if he wanted to survive this ordeal.
But as he tried to come up with a solution, he knew deep down that his actions had consequences. He had put his family in danger, and he had betrayed the trust of those closest to him. As the weight of his actions began to catch up with him, he realized that there was no easy way out of this mess.
The sound of the phone ringing snapped him out of his thoughts. It was the kidnappers, demanding the rest of the ransom money. Jerry took a deep breath and tried to sound calm as he agreed to their demands. But deep down, he knew that this was only the beginning of his troubles.
As he hung up the phone, he couldn’t help but wonder how much worse things could get. He knew that the police were closing in, and that the kidnappers were growing more unstable by the minute. He could only hope that he would be able to make it through this ordeal alive.
Chapter 5: Uncovering the Clues
As Marge begins to investigate the disappearance of Jerry’s wife, she starts to piece together clues that lead her closer to the truth. She begins by talking to Jerry, trying to get a sense of his relationship with his wife and any enemies he may have had.
Jerry is nervous and evasive, but Marge’s friendly demeanor and persistent questioning eventually get him to open up. He tells her about his financial struggles and his plan to collect a ransom from his father-in-law. However, he insists that he had no involvement in his wife’s disappearance.
Marge remains skeptical but keeps digging for more information. She talks to Jerry’s colleagues at the car dealership and learns that he has been in hot water with his boss for falsifying sales records. She also discovers that Jerry has been making suspicious phone calls to a man named Shep Proudfoot, who has a criminal record for grand theft auto.
With this new information, Marge decides to pay Shep a visit. She finds him at his trailer home, where he is clearly agitated by her presence. Shep denies any involvement in the kidnapping but admits to working with Jerry on a sketchy business venture. He provides Marge with the name of another accomplice, a man named Carl Showalter.
Armed with this new lead, Marge begins to investigate Carl. She learns that he has a criminal record for assault and battery, and she tracks down his last known location at a motel in the outskirts of town.
When Marge arrives at the motel, she finds that Carl and Gaear Grimsrud, the other accomplice, have already checked out. However, she discovers evidence of their presence in the room, including a bloody shower curtain and a used condom. Marge orders a DNA test on the condom, hoping it will provide a clue to the identity of the kidnappers.
Marge also finds a note addressed to Jerry, which reveals that the kidnapping was not a simple “snatch and grab” but a carefully planned operation. The note demands that Jerry hand over specific instructions and $1 million in exchange for his wife’s safe return.
Marge’s investigation leads her to a local bar, where she discovers that Carl and Gaear were seen the night of the kidnapping. She interviews a man who saw them struggling with a woman at the bar, and she begins to piece together the timeline of events.
With all of this information, Marge begins to close in on the kidnappers. She tracks down their new location at a remote cabin by a lake and calls in backup to assist in the arrest.
As Marge and her team approach the cabin, they hear gunshots and realize that the situation has escalated to a dangerous level. They prepare for a standoff with the kidnappers, knowing that one wrong move could result in tragedy.
In the next chapter, the tension reaches its climax as Marge and the kidnappers face off in a deadly confrontation.
Jerry’s plan to kidnap his wife and demand a hefty ransom from her father was supposed to be foolproof – but now, with the clock ticking and the stakes getting higher, tensions are beginning to mount. Carl and Gaear, the two thugs Jerry hired to carry out the kidnapping, are beginning to feel the pressure, and their violent tendencies are becoming harder to control.
As they wait for the ransom to be paid, Jerry’s nerves fray and his lies become more elaborate. He tries to convince himself that he’s still in control and that everything will work out in the end – but as the days drag on, he realizes that his plan may have more holes than he thought.
Meanwhile, Carl and Gaear’s behavior becomes increasingly erratic. Carl, in particular, is showing signs of unraveling. He becomes more confrontational with Jerry, and his impulses are becoming harder and harder to predict. Jerry tries to keep him in line, but he’s starting to realize that he may have bitten off more than he can chew.
Things come to a head when the ransom negotiations hit a snag. Jerry had originally demanded a large sum of money, but now he’s starting to realize that his father-in-law may not be as cooperative as he had hoped. As they await the next move from the other side, Carl’s temper boils over. He begins to lash out at Jerry, accusing him of not having a plan and not knowing what he’s doing.
Gaear, on the other hand, is growing more distant. He spends most of his time holed up in the cabin they’ve been using as a hideout, barely speaking to anyone. When he does speak, it’s mostly to make snide remarks or express his displeasure at the situation. Jerry is starting to realize that he may have underestimated Gaear’s capacity for violence.
As the tension builds, Jerry knows that he needs to keep the situation under control. He tries to reassure Carl and Gaear that everything is going according to plan, but his words ring hollow. He’s starting to doubt himself, and he knows that if things go wrong, the consequences could be deadly.
One night, as they sit in the cabin waiting for news of the ransom, Carl suddenly snaps. He lunges at Jerry, knocking him to the ground and grabbing his gun. Gaear leaps up from his chair, his hand already on his own weapon. Jerry is caught in the middle of the two, helpless and terrified.
For a moment, it seems like there’s going to be a shootout. But then, just as suddenly, Carl breaks down. He collapses to his knees, sobbing uncontrollably. Gaear looks on, expressionless.
In the end, nothing comes of the confrontation. But the incident has shaken Jerry to his core. He realizes that he’s not in control of the situation, and that he may have made a fatal mistake. As the days drag on and the demands for ransom continue, he knows that things are only going to get worse. And he’s not sure if he has the strength to keep going.
Marge’s investigation led her to Jerry, who was trying his best to cover up the truth. He pretended to cooperate with the police, but Marge knew better. She noticed that Jerry had lied about his financial situation when he had first reported his wife’s kidnapping. Marge could smell the lies, and she knew they were emanating from Jerry.
Marge went to Jerry’s dealership and asked to speak with him. Jerry tried to act surprised and sympathetic towards his wife’s kidnapping, but Marge could tell he was playing a part. After some questioning, she finally managed to get Jerry to reveal the truth about what had happened.
Jerry admitted that he had hired two men to kidnap his wife, and that he was behind the entire scheme to get a ransom from his father-in-law. Marge was taken aback. She couldn’t believe that a man could go to such lengths just to get some money.
Marge tried to get more information out of Jerry, but he hesitated, realizing that he had made a massive mistake by admitting to everything. He tried to backtrack, claiming that he was just trying to protect his wife from some dangerous people who were after him. However, Marge saw right through his lies.
Marge asked Jerry to come down to the station with her for further questioning. Jerry pretended to comply, but he had no intention of going anywhere with her. He knew that he had to come up with a way out of this mess before it was too late.
Jerry headed back to his office and frantically tried to figure out his next move. He made a few phone calls, trying to get in touch with Carl and Gaear. However, he was in for a nasty surprise. Carl answered the phone and told Jerry that Gaear had gone rogue and had killed someone.
Panicked, Jerry realized that he had lost control of the situation. He knew that he was in deep trouble and that he needed to find a way to get out of it. He quickly packed a bag and headed out of town.
As he was driving, Jerry thought about his plan and how it had gone so wrong. He realized that he had made a mistake by entrusting Carl and Gaear with the job. He should have known better than to rely on inexperienced criminals to do his bidding.
Jerry’s thoughts were interrupted when he saw a police car in his rearview mirror. He knew that he was in trouble and that he had to act fast. He pulled over and tried to pretend that he was just a harmless salesman.
Marge got out of the car and approached Jerry. She asked him where he was going, and he stuttered, trying to come up with a convincing lie. However, Marge saw right through him. She knew that he was running away from his problems.
Marge told Jerry that he was under arrest for his involvement in the kidnapping and ransom plan. Jerry tried to resist, but Marge’s experience and training quickly overpowered him. She handcuffed him and read him his rights.
Jerry realized that his plan had completely backfired. He had lost everything, and it was all his fault. He couldn’t believe that he had let his greed get the best of him.
As Marge drove Jerry back to the station, he realized that he had crossed a line that he could never come back from. He was a criminal now, and he had no one to blame but himself.
The realization hit Jerry like a ton of bricks. He had lost everything that mattered to him, including his family and his reputation. And it was all because of his greed and his desperation to get out of debt.
As they pulled into the parking lot of the station, Jerry knew that his life would never be the same. He had made a massive mistake, and there was no going back. All he could do now was face the consequences of his actions and hope for the best.
Jerry’s plan to collect a ransom from his wealthy father-in-law has gone horribly wrong, and the situation is spiraling out of control. The thugs he hired to carry out the kidnapping, Carl and Gaear, are quickly proving to be unpredictable and dangerous. They are struggling to keep their victim alive and hidden, and the police are closing in on them.
As the pressure mounts, Jerry struggles to maintain his composure and keep his lies straight. He knows he’s in deep trouble, and he’s desperate to save himself from the consequences of his actions. But Carl and Gaear are becoming increasingly unhinged, and Jerry’s attempts to control them are failing.
The tension between the three men is palpable as they argue over their next move. Carl is becoming more reckless by the minute, while Gaear is growing increasingly quiet and ominous. Jerry is terrified of what they might do, but he can’t figure out how to get himself out of this mess.
Meanwhile, Marge is closing in on the truth. She has been meticulously piecing together the clues and evidence, and she’s getting closer to unraveling Jerry’s web of lies. She knows that he’s involved in the kidnapping, but she still doesn’t know the full extent of his involvement.
As Marge and her team close in on the criminals, Jerry becomes increasingly desperate. He knows that the gig is up, and he’s running out of time. He tries to come up with a new plan, but he can’t think straight with the thugs breathing down his neck.
In a last-ditch effort to control the situation, Jerry tries to make a deal with Carl and Gaear. He offers them a bigger cut of the ransom in exchange for their cooperation. But his plan backfires spectacularly when Carl decides to take matters into his own hands.
In a fit of rage, Carl shoots Jerry in the face, killing him instantly. Gaear is shocked by his partner’s actions, and the two men begin to turn on each other. They argue over the money and the fate of their victim, and the situation quickly devolves into violence.
Marge and her team arrive on the scene just in time to witness the chaotic outburst. In a tense standoff, Marge manages to negotiate the release of the kidnapped woman, but not before a final, bloody confrontation between the two thugs.
In the end, Carl and Gaear both meet violent ends, and the truth about the kidnapping is finally revealed. With Jerry dead and his criminal associates brought to justice, Marge can finally breathe a sigh of relief. But she knows that the scars from this case will linger for a long time to come.
Marge stood outside the cabin, her gun at the ready. She had tracked Carl and Gaear to this remote location and knew that this was where they were holding Jerry’s wife. She took a deep breath and knocked on the door, announcing herself as a police officer.
There was no response from inside the cabin, and Marge could feel her heart racing in her chest. She tried the doorknob, but it was locked. She knew that she had no choice but to kick the door down.
As the door flew off its hinges, Marge entered the cabin, gun raised. She saw Carl and Gaear standing in the corner, their eyes wild with fear and desperation. And in the center of the room was Jerry’s wife, still bound and gagged.
“Drop your weapons and put your hands up!” Marge shouted at the two thugs.
Carl hesitated for a moment, but then he threw down his gun and raised his hands. Gaear, on the other hand, lunged at Marge with a knife. She fired her weapon, hitting him in the chest. He fell to the ground, dead.
Marge quickly checked on Jerry’s wife, untying her and removing the gag. She was shaken but unharmed, thanks to Marge’s quick action.
As backup arrived, Marge arrested Carl and Jerry and read them their Miranda rights. They were loaded into separate patrol cars, and Marge sat down next to Jerry.
“Why did you do it, Jerry?” Marge asked him, her voice soft but stern.
Jerry hung his head. “I was desperate, Chief. I knew that my father-in-law had the money to pay the ransom, and I thought it would be easy. I never intended for anyone to get hurt.”
Marge sighed. “But people did get hurt, Jerry. You’re facing some serious charges, and you’ll have to pay for what you’ve done.”
Jerry nodded, his eyes filled with regret. “I know, Chief. I’m sorry.”
Marge shook her head. “Sorry doesn’t cut it, Jerry. You put your wife’s life in danger, and you caused a lot of pain and suffering. You’ll have to face the consequences.”
As the patrol cars pulled away, Marge sat silently, lost in thought. She had seen a lot of horrible things in her career, but this case had really hit her hard. She thought about Jerry’s wife, alone and terrified in that cabin, and the two thugs who had thought they could get away with their crimes.
But in the end, justice had prevailed. Marge had done her job, and she knew that she had made a difference. She smiled to herself, feeling a sense of satisfaction and pride in the work that she did.
“You betcha,” she whispered to herself, a small smile playing at the corners of her mouth. And with that, she turned her attention back to the road, ready for whatever the next case might bring.
Some scenes from the movie Fargo written by A.I.
EXT. CAR DEALERSHIP – DAY
Jerry Lundegaard, a sniveling car salesman, paces in front of the dealership, staring at his watch. He looks paranoid and sweaty, glancing around nervously.
INT. JERRY’S OFFICE – DAY
Jerry sits at his desk, surrounded by stacks of paperwork and bills. He rubs his temples, his face contorted with worry.
How am I gonna come up with this money?
Suddenly, his phone rings. Jerry answers, listening intently before hanging up with a satisfied grin.
EXT. DOWNTOWN MINNEAPOLIS – DAY
Jerry meets with two shady looking men, Carl and Gaear. They sit in a car, exchanging hushed whispers.
I need you to kidnap my wife. My father-in-law will pay the ransom.
You’re kidding, right?
This is stupid.
Nobody will get hurt. It’s foolproof.
We’ll need a lot of money to do this right.
I’ve got it covered. Trust me.
FADE TO BLACK.
EXT. JERRY’S CAR DEALERSHIP – DAY
Jerry, a nervous looking man in his late thirties, paces back and forth in his car dealership parking lot. He glances at his watch, then looks up as a black car pulls up in front of him.
CARL and GAEAR, two shady looking characters, step out of the car and approach Jerry.
Is everything set?
GAEAR just grunts in response.
Remember, nobody gets hurt. We just need the ransom money.
(rolling his eyes)
Relax, Jerry. We’ve done this before.
GAEAR grabs Jerry by the collar and lifts him off his feet.
You don’t trust us, Jerry?
Jerry shakes his head frantically.
No, no, I trust you. It’s just…
(cutting him off)
Jerry hesitates for a moment before blurting out.
My wife’s pregnant.
CARL and GAEAR exchange a look before nodding.
Okay, we’ll make sure she’s comfortable.
GAEAR grunts again in agreement.
The three of them get into the black car and drive off, leaving the car dealership parking lot deserted.
INT. JERRY’S CAR – DAY
Jerry drives nervously, his wife Jean is in the back seat tied up and gagged.
Just hold still, honey. It’ll all be over soon.
As they approach a stop sign, a passing car slows down and the driver turns to look at them.
Damn it, keep your head down.
The car drives off, but Jerry’s nerves are already frayed.
INT. CAR SWITCH LOCATION – DAY
Jerry pulls up to a remote location, where Carl and Gaear are waiting in another car.
He’s out sick. We’ll have to make do with just the three of us.
GAEAR grunts and gets out of the car to help transfer Jean to the other vehicle.
EXT. HIGHWAY – DAY
As Carl and Gaear drive off, Jean’s muffled screams can be heard from the trunk.
INT. POLICE STATION – DAY
Marge, the pregnant police chief, is talking to her deputy, Lou.
Keep an eye on Jerry. I’ve got a feeling he’s involved in his wife’s disappearance.
You got it, Marge.
Marge heads out to her car, determined to get to the bottom of the case.
EXT. CAR SWITCH LOCATION – DAY
The empty vehicle that Carl and Gaear drove away in pulls up, and it’s clear that something has gone wrong.
She had an accident. I took care of it.
Jerry’s face pales as he realizes the gravity of the situation.
INT. JERRY’S OFFICE – DAY
Jerry is on the phone with his father-in-law, frantically trying to negotiate a ransom.
(on the phone)
I need a million dollars, Wade. If you don’t pay up, they’ll kill her.
Wade’s voice crackles over the line.
(on the phone)
Are you sure this isn’t some kind of scam, Jerry?
Jerry’s jaw clenches as he holds back a desperate scream.
INT. POLICE STATION – DAY
Marge and her team are poring over maps and witness reports, trying to find a lead.
(to her team)
Keep digging, guys. There’s got to be something we’re missing.
As she speaks, an officer enters and hands her a slip of paper.
A witness saw a car matching the description of the kidnappers’ vehicle.
Marge’s eyes light up as she reads the address.
EXT. ABANDONED CABIN – DAY
Carl and Gaear are holed up with Jean, who is still tied up and gagged.
We need to get out of here. The cops are closing in.
Gaear grunts and begins stuffing his gear into a bag.
EXT. SURROUNDING AREA – DAY
Marge and her team approach the cabin, guns drawn.
(to her team)
Take it slow, guys. We don’t know what we’re up against.
As they sneak closer, they hear muffled shouts and screams coming from inside.
INT. ABANDONED CABIN – DAY
Carl and Gaear are trying to make their escape, but the cops are closing in. Jean lies helpless on the floor.
(offscreen, on phone)
You can’t leave her here! I need her alive!
Gaear, in a fit of rage, turns and attacks Jerry, killing him instantly.
EXT. ABANDONED CABIN – DAY
Marge bursts into the cabin just as Gaear is making his escape.
(to her team)
Stop that man!
A tense chase ensues, with Marge and her team pursuing Gaear through the woods.
EXT. FOREST – DAY
Gaear is running, but Marge is hot on his trail. She tackles him to the ground and handcuffs him.
You’re under arrest for kidnapping and murder.
Gaear simply glares back at her, unrepentant.
FADE TO BLACK.
INT. JERRY’S OFFICE – DAY
Jerry is sitting at his desk, sweating profusely as he talks to the debt collector on the phone.
Your payment is overdue, Mr. Lundegaard. We need you to pay up or we’ll have to take legal action.
I understand, I do. I’m just having some cash flow problems right now. Can you give me some more time?
I’m sorry, Mr. Lundegaard, but our hands are tied. We need payment within the next 24 hours or we’ll have no choice but to proceed with legal action.
Jerry hangs up the phone, looking even more stressed.
INT. JERRY’S CAR – LATER
Jerry is driving, deep in thought, when he spots Carl and Gaear’s car in his rearview mirror.
There they are.
He pulls over to the side of the road and the two thugs get out of their car.
We need to talk.
We need more money.
Jerry sighs, knowing he doesn’t have much choice.
Jerry looks panicked, but nods.
Fine. But this is taking longer than I thought.
It’ll be done soon.
INT. JERRY’S GARAGE – LATER
Jerry, Carl, and Gaear are discussing their plan in hushed tones.
Once we have the money, I’ll make the call to my father-in-law. He’ll wire the ransom to us, and we’ll release my wife unharmed.
And nobody gets hurt, right?
Of course not. My wife is just a means to an end.
We should get some rest. We start tomorrow.
The three men leave the garage, each of them looking uneasy.
– Jerry Lundegaard
– Carl Showalter
– Gaear Grimsrud
– Police Chief Marge Gunderson
– Wade Gustafson
– Jean Lundegaard
– Stan Grossman
– Mike Yanagita
Setting: Brainerd, Minnesota
Scene 5 – “Unraveling the Clues”
INT. BRAINERD POLICE STATION – DAY
Marge sits at her desk, poring over files and evidence. She takes a sip of coffee, grimaces at the taste, and sets it aside. Her phone rings.
MARGE: (answering) Marge Gunderson.
INT. JERRY’S OFFICE – DAY
Jerry is pacing back and forth, wringing his hands. The phone rings.
JERRY: (answering) Yeah?
WADE: (on the other end) Jerry, it’s Wade.
JERRY: Hi, Wade.
WADE: We had a deal, Jerry. Where’s my daughter?
JERRY: She’s, uh…she’s fine, Wade. But there’s been a bit of a snag.
WADE: A snag? What kind of snag?
JERRY: (hesitating) Well…I’ll explain it all later. But I need more money.
WADE: More money? How much more?
JERRY: (nervously) A million dollars.
WADE: (angrily) A million dollars?! Jerry, I don’t have that kind of money!
JERRY: (pleading) Please, Wade, you’ve got to help me out here. I’m in way over my head.
WADE: (sighing) Fine. But this better be the last time.
INT. POLICE STATION – DAY
Marge hangs up the phone and looks at the files in front of her. Her eye catches something, and she begins to piece together the clues.
MARGE: (to herself) Lundegaard. That name sounds familiar.
Just then, her deputy, Lou, bursts into the room.
LOU: Chief, we got a lead on the kidnappers.
MARGE: (excitedly) What is it?
LOU: One of the guys, Carl Showalter, was spotted at a motel on Highway 10.
MARGE: (grabbing her coat) Let’s go, Lou. We’re going to pay Mr. Showalter a visit.
INT. MOTEL ROOM – DAY
Carl and Gaear sit on the bed, counting the ransom money. There’s a knock at the door.
CARL: (nervously) Who is it?
MARGE: (through the door) Police! Open up!
CARL: (whispering to Gaear) We gotta get out of here.
GAEAR: (nodding) Yeah.
EXT. MOTEL PARKING LOT – DAY
Carl and Gaear burst out of the room, clutching their bags of money. Marge gives chase, but they hop in a car and speed away.
MARGE: (yelling into her radio) They’re getting away! Call for backup!
INT. CAR – DAY
Carl and Gaear speed down the highway, laughing and whooping with joy.
CARL: (proudly) We did it, man! We’re rich!
GAEAR: (smiling) Yeah.
Just then, they see a police roadblock up ahead.
CARL: (swearing) Oh, shit!
GAEAR: (calmly) Don’t worry. I got this.
He reaches into his jacket and pulls out a shotgun.
EXT. HIGHWAY – DAY
The police cars screech to a stop as Gaear opens fire. Chaos ensues as officers duck for cover and return fire.
Marge hides behind her car, trying to get a clear shot.
MARGE: (to herself) Dammit, where is he?
Just then, Gaear emerges from behind a tree, gun in hand. Marge takes aim and fires.
INT. CAR – DAY
Carl looks over at Gaear, who slumps over, bleeding.
CARL: (panicked) Oh, shit! Oh, shit!
EXT. HIGHWAY – DAY
Marge approaches the car cautiously, gun drawn.
MARGE: (to Carl) Hands in the air, now!
Carl slowly raises his hands.
CARL: (defeated) You got me, Officer.
Marge approaches the car and handcuffs him.
MARGE: (proudly) That’s right. And you know what, mister? You’re under arrest.
EXT. POLICE STATION – DAY
Carl is led into the station in handcuffs. Marge watches him go, smiling to herself.
MARGE: (to herself) Another case closed. And all before lunchtime.
She takes a sip of her coffee, grimaces again, and throws it in the trash.