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In Fargo Episode 5 of Season 1 ("The Six Ungraspables"), Grimly's strange neighbor catches Malvo sitting in his car before Grimly's house listening in on his daughter's conversation with a walky-talky.

The neighbor tells Malvo to get lost and that he is (allegedly) part of the neighborhood watch.

Malvo then does his usual thing and threatens him and his children with a story about how dangerous the world is, to which the neighbor replies with a strange expression I did not understand:

Neighbor: There it is, now the truth comes out.
Malvo: You know, some people think you don't need alarms on second-story windows. Think they can save a few bucks, you know, and still be safe. Another way they save money is they don't hook up the alarm to the phone line. So the bell rings, but the cops don't come. Or they come, but only after the neighbors call. Which, um, if this community's tight, as you say, you know... just might be quick enough to save your life... or your children's lives. Maybe.
Neighbor: (says something like "Seyirim")
Malvo: You're a nice guy. (rolls up his window and drives away)

What does the neighbor say and what meaning has it?

Bonus points if you can shine some light on the significance of the scene, i.e. why is the neighbor able to see Malvo for what he is (evil) and is the neighbor really part of a neighborhood watch or just making that part up to scare Malvo away?

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1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

According to multiple sources (here's one of them), the neighbor Ari Ziskind, an Orthodox Jew, says "Se'irim", a Hebrew word for Demon, probably in response to Malvo's malevolence and veiled threats. Ari also says that Malvo's black eyes spell trouble, so there might be a hint of mystical Jewish intuition going on there.

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I really wonder if they will go in a supernatural direction with the show. There are a lot of hints for that, but they seem to be keeping it intentionally ambiguous. Personally I hope they don't, and keep it on the metaphor level instead. –  atticae Jun 16 '14 at 14:21
@atticae That's really more J. J. Abrahms style. The Coen Brothers understand structure, logic and how to tell a story. –  RBarryYoung Jun 16 '14 at 21:27
A show can have slight supernatural overtones or a mystical ambiance without being full-on sci-fi. Many 'small town mystery' shows go down that road. And the Coens aren't strangers to fantastical elements either (e.g. the end of The Hudsucker Proxy). –  Walt Jun 18 '14 at 11:19

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