So, then. We’re back at this again. It’s time for the MinnesotaBrown.com “Fargo” review.
The Season 3 premiere of Noah Hawley’s “Fargo” airs tonight at 9 p.m. CST on FX. This Minnesota-based crime noir serial is based on Joel and Ethan Coen’s Oscar-winning movie of the same name, but has since taken on its own life on television. Each season introduces new characters and storylines, but remains rooted in the same theme and aesthetic.
On a dare from my Hibbing pal Matt Nelson who works at the Washington Post, I started reviewing the show when it debuted in 2014. My goal was to identify little details that only Minnesotans would notice.
Season 1 was a big hit for this rustic little blog. The page views racked up and we formed a nice little community of commenters. Season 2 wasn’t as big a hit for me as other Minnesota media markets started their own review sites and podcasts after the show’s success.
In case you noticed, yes that is the same partridge plaid Stormy Kromer cap worn by Lester Nygaard in Season 1, which I owned completely non-ironically before the show ever aired.
In Season 3 of “Fargo,” we again see a new storyline, this one set closer to modern times, though the show seems to maintain a sense of timelessness. The events happen a few years after the early 2000s timeline of Season 1, and almost 40 years after the sepia-tinted events of Season 2.
Ewen McGregor takes on one of the most challenging tasks of any Fargo star by playing two of the leading characters, twin brothers Emmit and Ray Stussey. Emmit, dapper and well composed, is the “Parking Lot King” of Minnesota, a successful real estate developer. Ray is much more disheveled parole officer, resentful of his brother’s success.
The brothers provide much of the season’s dramatic tension, though the show will again use the “long arm of evil” device, showing how dark forces reach into the idyllic enclave of small town. The everyday folks then sort themselves into the damned and righteous by their response to this encroachment.
The show always centers around a small town police officer who represents a moral center of the play. In Fargo, Season 3, that character is Gloria Burgle, the recently divorced police chief of Eden Valley, Minnesota (near St. Cloud), portrayed by Carrie Coons. Now a single mom, Gloria will endure the trademark “Fargo” trials and tribulations of a good person facing unspeakable darkness.
I’ll be looking at each episode using my trademark ratings system, ranging from “Interesting” (needs improvement) to “Pretty good” (pretty good, I guess, if you’re into that sort of thing) to “Oh, ya!” (Excellent).
You can always read more at the MinnesotaBrown.com Fargo Review page.
“Fargo,” Season 3 Cast:
Ewan McGregor as Emmit and Ray Stussy
Carrie Coon as Gloria Burgle
Jim Gaffigan as Donny Mashman
Michael Stuhlbarg as Sy Feltz
Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Nikki Swango
David Thewlis as V.M. Varga
Scoot McNairy as Maurice LeFay
Shea Whigham as Moe Dammick
Karan Soni as Dr. Homer Gilruth
Fred Melamed as Howard Zimmerman
Thomas Mann as Thaddeus Mobley
Hamish Linklater as Larue Dollars