Fargo

Various chronicles of deception, intrigue and murder in and around frozen Minnesota. Yet all of these tales mysteriously lead back one way or another to Fargo, ND.

Season 3

Roy

Fargo has a lot of polish. All the actors are on point; it will be interesting to see the development of Ewan McGregor playing two characters. The sets are interesting and the cinematography draws me in. The problem so far is that I don't know what I am being drawn into yet. I don't know who to root for. I don't care about what is going on. The only thing that stopped me from being outright bored by Fargo is I can appreciate a show that is put together well. I want to like this show; I hope it lets me.

5.5/10

Matt

I’ve had an on and off relationship with Fargo, I have seen the original film, watched most of season one but as it is I’m pretty new to this anthology series. I have to say, what i've seen so far of Fargo season 3 I like. Ewen Mcgregor’s performance is wonderfully entertaining and his supporting cast has at the very least peaked my curiosity. If your like me then you’ll dig on the dark comedy angel presented here. If episode 2 takes us straight into the story as opposed to this episode’s character introduction heavy feel then I think we’ll have a winner on our hands.

7/10

Tommy

Fargo season 3 starts of very slowly but still has all the trademarks that have defined the series. We have characters resenting others, small business entities coming into situations that are much larger than themselves and we get your sort of weak weedy character that will initiate a murder that will spark a very long drawn out conflict that will grow and facilitate scenes of intense tension. The middle parts of this film were quite ordinary as we are just getting to know all of the characters but the opening scene happening in germany is something that is intriguing to see where it will fight in the grand scheme of things. The ending is also quite visceral but I feel that some viewers may be put off by who slow things appear to move, especially as this season is a lot more vague with where the conflict points will happen.

7/10

Episode Score

65

Roy

I like Irv Blumkin. I guess he is my favourite character so far. I hope he doesn't die. It looks like he is going to die. I also like that wordsmith Varga; he is fascinating to listen to. Henceforth, I will be rooting for that guy. The store clerk looks kinda like a Romulan. I am a bit sad Irv died. I was rather amused by the conversation between Ray and Nikki after she broke into Emmit's house. I still kinda don't care about what is going on or the characters. There was Tetris music while they were killing Irv. The soundtrack said "I offer this simple phrase" right when Ray flipped the bird to Sy; that was a nice touch. I feel like the soundtrack is cinematic in some ways. Really top stuff. I still don't care yet but I am still somehow compelled. Maybe it is the soundtrack. Gogol Bordello for the credits.

5.7/10

Matt

I found myself fall truly in love with the characters by episode 2. There are excellent performances all round but I cannot stress enough how well Ewan Mcgregor is doing. Not only is he pulling off two characters with expert precision but they are both different and engaging performances. The real appeal for me so far as,Tommy mentioned, is the buildup of tension, it’s thrilling and engaging.

7/10

Tommy

The slow ramp up begins and more terrible decisions have been made. Things are becoming more concrete in terms of where conflict can and probably will arise and I am enjoying the ride. I think things are ramping up a bit faster than I remember previous season ramping up as there's already been a murder, the antagonist has pushed firmly into a position that will absolutely cause tension and there have been a number of reckless choices that you can already see the small avalanche forming.

7/10

Episode Score

65

Roy

Why did I watch a whole episode of something we knew from the start would lead nowhere? This episode was so boring. Where was Ewan McGreggor? I have nothing more to say about this episode except that the animation was kinda cute I guess.

1/10

Matt

So this episode had me at a bit off a lose. After introducing solid characters the creators slam on the breaks just as I'm starting to become invested. It even stepped into more of an abstract endeavour with animated sequences. Im not sure how it will affect the future of the series storylines but right now I am confused.

5/10

Tommy

So this episode is actually a departure for the series as it takes place primarily in the past. It also have a bunch of animated bis intercutting parts of the episode to show us the story that is important to the show. As with the first, it is hard to figure out how exactly this is going to tie into the mayhem that will happen later but I feel there is a pay off for what we saw other than to get the main protagonist to where she needs to get to. A lot of emphasis is given to this neato box prop which i absolutely love the design of and i hope that it has a magical payoff later on in the season. I also liked this and really any episode of Fargo where they go outside of Minnesota as it really drives home the polite nature of Minnesotans.

6/10

Episode Score

40

Roy

This and the last episodes feel like they are from completely different shows. The way to my heart is with music and this episode had me from the very beginning. The episode was framed with the fantastic Petya i Volk by Sergei Prokofiev, one of my favourite composers. Each character in Peter and the Wolf are portrayed by particular instruments in the orchestra that characterise them and, in turn, each character in Fargo was aptly likened to a character from Peter and the Wolf. This aspect of the episode kept me captivated and had me considering whether the association of the characters between the two stories was just superficial or whether there was something deeper to divine. There were some very amusing and clever scenes first at the beginning with Ray in the bank and later with Gloria at the corrections office. Overall this episode is right back to where I expected it after the disaster that was the previous episode; the acting is great, the show is very well put together, and the soundtrack is keeping me engaged. Unfortunately I still haven’t been able to connect that much with characters and am not all too interested in what is actually happening. Perhaps next episode they will use more of my favourite music.

6.9/10

Matt

I much prefer that we are back in the present. The technical prowess that is on display in this episode is something to behold. However if you don't have a least a passing interest in musical compositions then you may not get that much out of this episode. It’s always a toss up between pushing the boundaries and bewildering your audience. I think this episode is standing on the fine line.

6/10

Tommy

This episode is much more Fargo, we get intimate with characters and their interactions with others lead to some nice tension. Especially when we have these mundane situations that the weedier characters fumble their way through. So yeah this is much more in line with what the show is about and watching this one, really makes the previous episode feel like filler.

7/10

Episode Score

66

Roy

They did use some more of my favourite music. Beethoven’s Appassionata sonata. Great choice. Ewan McGregor was a standout this episode yet again with a great scene of Ray on a bus arguing over the phone with Emmett driving his car. The way he portrayed the almost obsequious politeness of Minnesotans was so entertaining to watch. This episode introduced a business magnate played by Mary O'Donnell who wants to buy out the Stussy business. I am looking forward to see this character portrayed by such a strong actor; after just one scene it looks like she will be a worthy adversary, perhaps to Varga. The plot line with the policewomen is really starting to get to me now. There was a fun scene with Gloria and Winnie stringing along Ray while he says more and more to incriminate himself only for them to be interrupted by the new police chief who wants them to shut down the investigation. I don’t quite see the point of this police chief character. The police haven’t featured very prominently in the story so far but their investigation has been plodding along slowly. Why have this chief step in to slow it down more? He isn’t a likeable or interesting character, so when he is proven incorrect I am not sure I will even get much schadenfreude. Another part of the episode which could have been improved was in a scene where Sy has set up a meeting with Nikki to deal with the issue of blackmail, Varga’s henchmen show up and beat up Nikki off-screen. This scene would have been a lot more effective if we didn’t see any of Nikki after she was drug off to get pummeled. I just felt it was a missed opportunity given the level of storytelling I have come to expect from Fargo.

7.1/10

Matt

Fargo is predominantly known for its escalation. A small scale crime leads to much more extreme consequences and builds momentum throughout the rest of the season. This season seems to be a little jumpy but this episode see a dramatic speed in the momentum that I have needed. David Thewlis is just wonderful to watch especially when he is reveling in his power plays. I will say though I felt there was a missed opportunity for more dramtic moments especially at the end of the episode.

6/10

Tommy

The police seem to take a back seat in this season but the other characters continue to be excellent and we are beginning to see more direct conflict and the stakes raising further for every character. Third party elements/factions are also revealing themselves and it will be interesting to see how they influence events to come. The orchestral accompaniments for each character continues through this episode which is a nice touch. All in all another good episode of Fargo where the only thing that really lets it down is the police element which is odd as normally Fargo handles that element very well.

7/10

Episode Score

67

Roy

The police in Fargo have started to become useful. It feels like stuff is finally picking up the pace. Ewan McGregor was fantastic in this episode. He really sells the series for me but he was extra good this time. The build up to Ray getting killed was really rather exciting. I was not expecting Ray to die, though. I can’t wait to see how Emmet changes after accidentally killing his brother. I can finally see why Tompson was speaking highly of this show. I just wish it hadn’t taken so long.

7.5/10

Matt

I felt that this episode was the truest yet to the themes that are the staple of the Fargo series. The character death was unexpected but welcome. The sad part is that Fargo continues to still misstep in certain scenes, the ending of this episode comes to mind.

6/10

Tommy

There’s not much more to say about this episode other than it is probably the most Fargo episode of the season. Plenty of scenes with sustained tension. The police element is fairly on point with the more competent characters squaring off. Of course the performances all around were very good. Ewan Mcgregor is the standout in this episode even more than in previous.

7.5/10

Episode Score

70

Roy

Things are really picking up in Fargo. Bout time. Things are happening and I am finally feeling interested with what is going on rather than simply watching as one would an esoteric interpretive dance. I don’t understand, however, what the point is of the new police chief continuing to block the police investigation. It isn’t compelling or entertaining. The reason seems to be only to slow down the plot, which is very disappointing because Fargo can come up with infinitely better things to fill with.

7/10

Matt

Overall a much more positive experience with this episode then the last. All of the characters (expect the police) have some really great moments. Which makes me wonder, why can’t they get the police right? I know it’s a staple of Fargo to have police characters take down the villains but this episode doesn't make it clear why they have been involved in the story so far, in fact that pretty much goes for the entire season.

7/10

Tommy

There were a lot of surprises this episode which i won’t get into other than the fact that they were pleasantly intriguing and feel significant. The pacing of the episode was quick, there are plenty of moments of tension and there was the classic villain vs cop standoff/intimidation. Not quite as well executed as the first or second season but was still good. Things are definitely getting real and I am really feeling the Fargo groove right now.

7/10



7/10

Episode Score

70

Roy

I enjoyed the manhunt in the first part of the episode. These scenes were suitably tense and I like that deaf-mute guy. After that not too much happened. I was confused by what was going on in the bowling alley, but I am sure that will become apparent later on. Watching Emmet deal with his murderous guilt was amusing but it was rather slow. Then the episode ends with Emmet going to the police station to confess. For me this detracts from what the police have slowly and painfully been doing for the whole season. I feel like it will turn out disappointingly.

7.3/10

Matt

So many nods to classic Coen Bros. moments. This episode had me really fan boying out I have to tell you. Giving Niki the majority of the screen time was a smart move. I feel that going forward her character will be the most interesting to follow along with. The moments at the start of the episode where the most compelling for me. The way the attack on Niki is framed is dramatic, tense and violent. It also helps grow the bond between Nikki and her partner naturally as she begins her plans for revenge.

6/10

Tommy

The first third of this episode is really enjoyable to watch and is absolutely trademark Fargo, the composition of shots and build up of tension is just phenomenal. The rest of the episode sort of drags a little bit as we focus more on Emmit dealing with the death of his brother. We see a more… Spiritual element entering the Fargo universe and although it took me off guard I am still unable to figure out if it is detrimental or not. I’ll give it a pass for now as I imagine there will be a pay off for it and the scene that introduces it was quite compelling to watch. Despite the slow-down, the beggining and the performances overall make this a solid episode.

7/10

Episode Score

67

Roy

A problem I was having with Fargo is that I didn’t have any characters I felt I could really get behind. But now Nikki has become a super badass and it is great. The sad part is this is the second last episode. The police story reared its ugly head again to slow the plot in an uninteresting way; I hope an ultimate reason for it will be revealed but I feel Fargo could have dealt with it better throughout the season regardless of however it turns out. Apart from the police it was great stuff all round.

7.2/10

Matt

My predictions came to pass this episode with Nikki becoming the hand of vengeance. I was thoroughly entertained by her plot to screw over Varga. The conversation the pair had when finally face to face was engaging and entertaining. I still had my problems with the police in this episode. They buy Varga’s plot completely without even taking a moment to think about the pieces don't add up and that really bugged me. We also got a connective moment between the “little android” story from episode 3 and Gloria’s life story. I’m not really convinced that the link her is genuine as it felt a little forced to me.

7/10

Tommy

There is some really cool stuff that happened in this episode. Most anything involving Varga is good, especially the stuff surrounding his schemes. We get to see some great character interactions and moments. The episode starts off quite viscerally but mellows out in tone as it goes which facilitates those character interactions. The ending brings back a character that will no doubt cause some serious complications to Varga’s schemes. All of the stuff between Nikki and Varga is great and seems like it is going to get pretty serious in the episodes to come.

7/10

Episode Score

70

Roy

Fargo didn’t end with quite the bang I thought it would. Nikki’s death, while not surprising considering the rest of the show, felt flat. The character whose comeuppance we really wanted to see, Varga’s, was left ambiguous. Some small details from throughout the season were left unexplained. The irritating arc with the police ultimately had no payoff. I can’t fault Fargo on its production or acting, but the story itself was rather unsatisfying.

6.8/10

Matt

Really my only complaint about this episode was the ambiguous ending. I think with the amount of poetic licence that this show employs, that I as a viewer have to put up with, I deserved a more concrete ending to the story. That being said I ultimately liked some of the conclusions in this episode. Nikki’s last hurrah felt natural given the nature of the universe and Emmets fate felt deserved. Gloria’s character is probably most hurt by this episode as once again she had very little to contribute to the overall story and this was perhaps this season's biggest misstep.

6/10

Tommy

I was somewhat disappointed with the ending to this season of Fargo. There were things that weren’t followed up on and things left without payoff. Now a lot of this was probably done intentionally to subvert expectations which some will probably find quite neat. I personally didn't find this to be all that satisfying but I do respect what they creators were going for. The finale still does the Fargo stuff well, the tension leading up to a potential conflict is top notch, the use of visuals and editing to impact the tone and the performances were all things that standout. It just doesn’t hit as satisfying a mark as was expected but still well executed overall.

6.5/10

Episode Score

64

Fargo season 3 is a departure from the series. The creators wanted to go for a season that subverted the expectations of the audience but also of story tropes. There are many things throughout the season that are absolutely signature Fargo but they are gems in the rough. The season as a whole is very well made and executed, with fantastic acting and editing but what is done is not all that satisfying to watch..

Season Score

64

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