I know I'm about a month behind on this but better late than never, right?
Lupin is FUCKING EVIL. I love how he sounded like he was spitting out everything that he said. Like even the words (like his food) didn't want to be in his mouth. He consumed but never digested. Malvo was terrible but vicious. Varga is terrible in a more civilized way. Karma will come for him in the Fargo universe. I don't think it will come through legal means.
Loved the relationship between Gomez and Burgle. Loved that Burgle was invisible to technology (to the point of not existing on google!) until Gomez completed her.
Nikki was great. I was surprised she got the slow pan over the body-Fargo music death, but it made sense. WHAT WAS THE BOWLING ALLEY AND WHO WAS RAY WISE??? His appearance totally means I need to go back and rewatch Burgle's trip to LA. I loved the idea of Swango and Wrench as Avenging Angels, but I feel like Swango should have saved the "exalted" speech for Varga. As I said, he's not the kind of man you leave to let the legal system deal with.
I really need to watch that again. I don't think there was anything quite as good as Offerman's speech in Rhinoceros from season 2, but this was just wall-to-wall solid and Ewan McGregor really had me believing he was two people. I loved the reveal that Ray traded the car for the stamp, given how important that car was earlier on.
I don't think I can ever drink from a World's Best Dad mug now.
I really liked the first two seasons of Fargo, and I guess I really liked this one too. There was for me a kind of disconnect though with what I was watching - I wasn't terribly invested despite the great story and the performances. There was just something missing for me. Maybe there were too many questions that went unanswered or too many plot coincidences to get us from point A to point B.
I will say that Varga was an amazing character. I loved how he'd just answer any question with some sort of riddle or off-topic story and most of the time, he'd get away with it. There are times when I'll watch TV and say to myself, "pfft, I could write this stuff." Then a character like Varga comes along and I realize there's no way I could ever come up with a character like that.
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About a month after Fargo Year Two ended, Noah Hawley tweeted a picture of a book called Ficciones, a famous collection of short stories by Jorge Luis Borges, with the caption “Reality/Irreality.” I immediately read it, thinking it was a reference to Year Three (there are a million much better reasons to read great literature, but I’m afraid I wouldn’t have known of this work if it weren’t for the tweet...I highly recommend reading this, by the way). One of the themes found across some of the stories is sort of a metaphysical treatment of story creation and authenticity. It includes stories on 1) an encyclopedia containing entries relating to a completely fabricated country (and another world), 2) the man who independently recreated whole excerpts of Don Quixote, and 3) the mystical Library of Babel that contains all possible permutations of letters and characters (which, by definition, means it contains every conceivable, coherent story ever written).
I was ready to bet money that this year’s episode titles were going to be taken from the titles of these short stories. Instead, we got more than one reference to bridge-playing strategies. Anyway, really interesting stuff. There’s a natural relationship between Ficciones and Fargo, whose whole premise is the authenticity of stories, facts and truth. This season, when I first saw the library that also served as Gloria's police station, I thought it was the Library of Babel. Eh, probably too much of a stretch.
The thing about Fargo is that each season’s plot is pretty objectively unremarkable, but it’s the eccentricities and characters that make it so engaging. The beginning of the season introduced the conflict between the capable and inquisitive female law enforcement officer and the stubborn male superior...it was so similar to the first season that I began feeling disappointed in seeing such a blatant repetition. But then I started thinking about how Hawley was going to introduce quantum mechanics and parallel universes into the show. And that was before Paul Marrane started talking to Gloria about quantum entanglement.
Oh, speaking of quantum mechanics...
Originally posted by EddieBurkett Loved that Burgle was invisible to technology (to the point of not existing on google!) until Gomez completed her.
It was almost as if Gloria both simultaneously existed and didn’t exist until someone else truly observed her. Schrodinger’s Cop.
Great performances by the cast all around (as usual) but Michael Stuhlbarg was just off the charts. I felt everything he felt. When he broke down in front of his wife, it almost broke me too.
The bowling alley episode was by far my favorite, and not because of the bowling alley. The entire pursuit of Nikki and Mr. Wrench in the woods was incredible. By the way, that was the only episode (I think) that started with “This Is A Story” (meaning, without the word “True”). It also did not include the rest of the disclaimer (“The events depicted...”).
About Varga...he doesn’t digest food (because he *can’t*?)...was that a screwdriver he was using to pick his teeth?...He had to ability to spout off countless stories and historical facts on a whim, as if he spent a long time recording information. Varga is MNSKY the android. No? OK then.
About the ending: I know it ultimately didn’t matter who came through the door, but my initial thought was that Varga was right, given the way the lighting changed and Varga seemed to disappear into darkness.
Finally, one thing that’s been nagging me: how was Gloria able to get down to Nikki’s jail cell just in time to stop DJ Qualls from killing Nikki? That area was guarded, and Gloria wasn’t going to be able to secure all of the necessary different-colored forms.
There are questions about whether there'll be a fourth season. I'd surprisingly not be too upset if it doesn't come back. I do have a strange desire though to see an entire season dedicated to Mr. Wrench.
Originally posted by Mr ShhI do have a strange desire though to see an entire season dedicated to Mr. Wrench.
As far as I can tell, Mr. Wrench is the only character to appear in all three seasons. I'd love for season four to explain how he winds up in that bus on Christmas Eve and then how he uses Nikki's money to become Minnesota's next top crime lord, returning to the field for one last hit of unfinished partner-related business five years later. Mr. Wrench eventually is killed, and only upon seeing his tombstone do we learn that his last name by birth is Fargo.
DJ Qualls' character was weird. The way they didn't show his face when he first entered the room suggested it would be someone we knew, and I guess we did, but my reaction was more "Hey that's DJ Qualls!" not "Hey that's a bad guy!"
I still need to rewatch Paul and Gloria's conversation in the bar. (Shout out to Mac for playing such a callous douche, and not in a fun way!)
I like how Varga and Gloria were so diametrically opposite. Gloria avoids technology and doesn't exist on google. Varga coopts in and hacked (bought off) google so that there's only one search result for him and he's got some potent malware for 2010. I thought it interesting that Gloria is finally rendered whole by her hug with Gomez, and then Varga subsequently gains the ability to disappear, as though only one of them can fully exist at a time.
I love that Hawley has cultivated such an atmosphere that he can get Martin Freeman and Billy Bob Thornton to come back and narrate in subsequent seasons (the Peter and the Wolf motif for that episode made that one of my favorites this year.) I'd like to hear Ewan McGregor narrate a season 4 ep if there ever is one.
I'm glad that I finished it but I'm sad I didn't watch it as it aired. This is the kind of show where as much as the waiting behind episodes feels brutal, its good to let the episodes ruminate.
I just saw that there was a thread for this season. I liked this every bit as much as the previous seasons, although I'll admit that nobody was quite as engaging as Lou Solverson, who's probably one of my all-time favorite TV characters. I was super stoked about the reappearance of Wrench, and I loved watching him take the squad hunting him and Nikki apart. I agree with Shhh that the bowling alley episode was the easy favorite, especially with the way they altered the lighting and coloration for that episode.
Really, this is just an amazingly well-crafted series, and this was another great season.
I'm totally a mark for Pharaoh, but my fear is now that he's done his Will Smith and his Denzel...what now? Not that he doesn't have more impressions, but those are the high points and I hope it's not all downhill from here.