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Fargo – A Muddy Road (S1, Ep3)

Okay. There you are Fargo TV show! The plot finally gets a little thicker–or should I also say muddy? (Neither really, it just moves nicely and finds a great pace.)

As Moses was by fate brought into the land of Egypt, so too is Malvo, or so he believes (or just recites). As he takes over Don’s thin attempt at blackmailing–in a 26879-1-3great scene in a small space–Lorne begins his reign of plagues directed at Stavros.  Is this just his sadistic way of having fun before proving his worth or is Moses taking down Pharaoh? Regardless, I think we’re going to have a little more fun watching this play out. #Ihavetwoquestionsandthenacomment.

As the other plots progressed, the stories settled into a nice sweet spot. Lester is digging deeper and deeper into a hole he can’t climb out of (even if he’s a puss squeezing champion in maybe the most painful Fargo scene yet). The way these stories are slowly wrapping themselves around Lester’s throat (whether he knows it or not) lends a perfect road to his search for protection at the close of this episode. Tazers and machine guns–the old Minnesota way!

In any other show Molly and Gus’s meet would have taken much longer to get to and the colin-hanks-fargo-a-muddy-road-FXphoto exchange an even longer wait. (This show is also much shorter of a run then most.) Fargo has a plethora of everything going for it, from so many angles, that it’s not necessary to stretch anything out for suspense purposes. Molly’s loneliness and sense of duty inform her every behavior, but have also led her to this man and his daughter. After the lunch with her friend, she realizes that her life isn’t what she wanted (especially after her deprecating ‘boyfriend’ comment), but Molly surely doesn’t want what her friend has going. This has led her, in one way or another, to Gus–a version of Lester when things go ‘right’. There’s potential for work and pleasure–or nothing at all.

There’s quite a bit of loneliness spread throughout ‘The Muddy Road’. Hess’ widow, Lester in his home, the hitmen in an fargo-a-muddy-road-allison-tolmanice-fishing cabin, Stavros in his huge house (now sans dog), Gus’ home life, the accountant in the office then dying alone, and Moses in his new land with no companions. This show has finally settled for me and I don’t have any intention of leaving it alone.

NitPick Corner:

  • The lunch meet up with Molly and her friend is reminiscent of the pivotal Marge/Mike Yanagita scene in the hotel bar from the film.
  • Not too much Numbers and Wrench, but they were used effectively enough to excite me for what comes next.
  • Molly is relentless with Lester, but I do love her new tactics. She may have saved Lester from the thugs for the time being, but it’s only a matter of time until he is taken down.Fargo - Episode 1.03 - A Muddy Road - Promotional Photos (2)
  • Hess’ sons probably have made me laugh the most throughout this short season.
  • Do we want to go shipping with Molly and Gus? (Shipping is a term right? That’s what the kids are tweeting these days?)
  • There was a lot of blood from all different types of animals this week! What blood will we see next?!

Keep on Watchin’!


Fargo – The Crocodile’s Dilemma (S1, EP1)

I vividly remember the first time I saw the film version of Fargo. Mesmerized by the acting, aesthetic, story, and gore, I was hooked on Coen brother movies. (Up until that point in my young movie loving life, I didn’t really know the filmmakers outside of Raising Arizona.)

I had never been so engaged by a “detective style” movie that had no real mystery. Whilefargo-fx-tv-series-poster we primarily followed around Frances McDormand’s Marge Gunerson (an Oscar winner for that role), she doesn’t enter the movie until a good chunk of time into the film.  All this time is spent letting the audience know who-done-it already. We watch Marge put the puzzle together, even though we see the finished picture and, as I stated earlier, it’s mesmerizing. The most important scene is a conversation in a hotel restaurant!

So, I needed to give you a quick background check because due to my very high opinion of the film I was highly skeptical of the TV show.  Even with the stellar cast, I was still uneasy about the need to revisit anything related to the 1996 masterpiece. Then I watched the pilot.

af473a33-ed87-4515-a622-8fbe3135e5fb_Fargo_CL_0872_firstlook1Based solely on this extended hour, I am overjoyed to be back in the land of endless snow. Here we are treated to a new story with new characters based in the world and cinema aesthetic that Joel and Ethan Coen created. The gore is most definitely there too. When the calm, but ruthless, killer Lorne Malvo (an excellent Billy Bob Thorton) is stranded in Minnesota, timid Lester Nygaard’s (Martin Freeman) life is flipped upside down. (That’s more or less the basics of it all, but you know how many plot lines there are in any given show.)

From the opening shot to the last, Fargo recreates the same feel of the movie, but still stands on its own.  The performances are excellent, especially Thornton, Freeman (regardless of his in-n-out accent), and Allison Tollman as cop Molly Solverson. (Solverson… Hmmmmm, I wonder if she’ll SOLVE it…) This show has so much potential and I hope it explores that in it’s ten episode run.

While the bloody, well choreographed, life-changing sequence near the end of the episode was what turned my Fargo interest into investment, I was most captivated by all of the conversations. Highlighted by Malvo’s traffic stop with Gus Grimly (Colin Hanks), every Allison-Tolman-in-Fargo-the-TV-series-photo-FXcharacter interaction was always packed with a great sense of character and even mystery.  Tension used for the good of the show is always a good thing.

Drawing parallels to the movie isn’t particularly hard (obviously Lester is supposed to evoke Jerry Lundegaard–even both of their last names have double ‘aa’s!), but it’s the newness that feels right about the show. If it continues this first episode’s trend of feeling, theme, characterization,  and gore it will be another great addition to the current TV canon. We know the who-done-it, now bring on the bloody, wacky road to the finish line! #woodchipper?

Keep on Watchin’!