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Old 12-17-2015, 08:33 AM
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Default Fargo: All for just a little bitta money

The 2nd season of FX's Fargo just ended, but I think it still deserves a thread, because that was quite a dense, eventful season, and it's tough to dig very deep in the general television thread.

I've got too much stuff on my plate right now to do an extensive post, but the AV Club did a cool writeup of the music choices this season, which had some pretty deep cuts.
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Old 12-17-2015, 08:44 AM
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Yeah, I kept thinking that maybe I should make a thread for it when I was talking about it in the general thread. As discussed in that thread, I had some issues with the season 2 finale and think that season 1 was stronger overall, but I think season 2 had the stronger cast, with some really stand-out performances, and both seasons are still aces, and I can't wait to see what they do with season 3.

I still think Hanzee's epilogue was garbage though.
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Old 12-17-2015, 10:27 AM
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I thought it was a lot thematically stronger than season 1, which was fun but mostly a mash-up of Fargo and No Country with a little bit of Breaking Bad thrown in (a lot of "Look how this small plot element originated!" moments). Look at the episode titles - '70s America was a gigantic absurdist play, the point when the American dream collapsed. They really hammer it in by including Reagan - this is the disorder that he took advantage of with his anti-government, cowboy swagger. It's pretty dark, and really captures the Coens spirit.

I didn't catch that about Hanzee - I'd forgotten that character's name. I guess that's a little clean, but the explanation for the name was so perfect that it doesn't matter much to me.
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Old 12-17-2015, 02:44 PM
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Me and my pops binged a bunch yesterday of season 2. 6 episodes in and I'm like "HOLY SHIT, HOW IS THAT NOT THE PENULTIMATE EPISODE!?!" I'm excited to find out.

Also, I love the use of music in that show. I did not expect "Too Much Paranoias" to kick in (and go well rhythmically with the action on screen) when Dodd beat the shit out of those Kansas gangsters.

I also think the show has amazing casting. I love Bruce Campbell but I was surprised how well he did as Reagan. Yes, he's very funny, but not in the usual way you expect him to be (which is almost the opposite of Nick Offerman who was playing a distillation of every character he's ever played. Not a complaint, by the way), very much downplaying what could have been a caricature. I think even if you read the lines on paper, you could see how he could do that but he does it well. Between this and Bubba Ho-Tep, Bruce has a real talent for playing real world guys with more humanity than you might expect. I laughed so hard at "wait, did we lose that one? No,I... well, whatever happened, it was a hell of a picture!"

Also, whoever played "Donnie" to Nick Offerman's "Walter" needs to play young Sam Rockwell in a Sam Rockwell time travel movie.

I like season 2 a lot so far, but at first I really wasn't as invested in a lot of the characters as I was with season 1, which hooked me instantly. I mean, I still liked it, but Ed and Peggy didn't connect with me as strongly as Lester, probably because we quickly see Lester pushed to the edge by the world while Peggy just seems so in denial that there's not a lot to hang on too. But in episodes 5 and 6 they both end up becoming much more sympathetic than I expected.

Not only am I looking forward to Noah Hawley's upcoming X-Men related series Legion. Pretty ballsy to base it on the X-Men character no one remembers (though presumably it will be similar to Simon Spurrier's X-Men Legacy series.
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Old 12-26-2015, 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted by taosterman View Post
I've got too much stuff on my plate right now to do an extensive post, but the AV Club did a cool writeup of the music choices this season, which had some pretty deep cuts.
I'll come back and comment more, but I wanted to note that it blew my mind when they used a cut from The War of the Worlds. We had that album when I was a kid, and I played the hell out of it. As soon as Richard Burton's narration started, I recognized it instantly and said, "Holy shit!", then had to explain it to Mrs. Match. The timing as the music kicked in was perfect.
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Old 04-21-2017, 12:34 PM
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Hey, this show is back and its still great. A lot of the reviews I've read have been kind of down on it for being a lot like the previous two seasons, but I think that is just kind of how an anthology show is going to work. This is a crime show, and it is generally going to start with an inciting bit of criminal activity. Outside of the fact that all three seasons being with a murder (or murders) they seem pretty different to me. This premiere is mostly setting up dominoes, but they are some great looking dominoes and I can't wait to see them get knocked over.
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Old 04-21-2017, 08:43 PM
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Holy shit, Ewan McGregor. He's never been less recognizable, and those goes for both of the very different roles he is playing. I am just in awe. Every time he's on screen, I'm kind of looking at him sideways. Just look at this shit:



That's witchcraft. Ewan McGregor is a witch.

Also, I'm curious to see what relevance/significance that opening scene might have later, because I am entirely at a loss for the moment for how it could possibly have any.
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Old 04-21-2017, 08:47 PM
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Oooh great news, I really like what I saw from the previous two seasons.

Still unsure if I should start now, or (as I tend to do) wait until all the episodes come out.
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Old 04-27-2017, 03:41 PM
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Haven't seen the second episode yet, but that was a strong first episode. My one complaint is that our lead (or at least the main police officer character) doesn't get a lot to do this episode, so I really don't have a feel for her character yet, but considering this shows track record, I doubt I'll be saying that long. And what little we do get from her is still good stuff.

I'll be honest, I was kind expecting the Lebowski-esque crook to turn out to be the main non-civilian bad guy for the season, someone much less competent than we had seen before but still very dangerous and capable of ruining lives even through his own recklessness and stupidity. So I was a little sad to see him go. Still, his death scene was pretty awesome and despite the fact it was obvious how he was going to die, it was a little more graphic than I expected. In a good, funny way.
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Old 04-27-2017, 07:30 PM
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The second episode was really good. They are building something here about technology, but I'm not sure how this is going to play out. Right now the characters who are bad with technology (poor Irv Blumpkin) are losing out to those who have mastered it. Varga expounds on how he likes Stussy's business because it is not computerized and his guys are introduced to the office as new IT guys. I don't know what this means for Gloria Burgle, who hates computers but also seems to be invisible to or to just disrupt technology. Everythign comes back to technology, at least in the second episode.
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Old 04-27-2017, 09:09 PM
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I'm enjoying this season so far. Feeling out what roles each character will play in the plot, compared to seasons 1 and 2, is like a fun guessing game for me, instead of the played out crap I feel with TWD a lot of the time. And on its own, the story is great, too.
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Old 04-28-2017, 08:51 AM
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I'm still really curious how that old guy's past life as a sci-fi author is going to tie into the rest of this, because next week's preview makes it clear that plot thread is going places.

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Everythign comes back to technology, at least in the second episode.
This is an interesting read, especially given the bizarre clip of one of those frustrating box toys with the hand in it in next week's preview.
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Old 05-06-2017, 07:19 PM
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Episode 3 was something else. It takes a confident show to pretty much abandon everything its set up for two episodes to go gallivanting off halfway across the continent on a wild goose chase that really only involves one cast member. That said, I am all in favor of dropping everything to do some kind of Barton Fink riff for an episode.

I am increasingly coming to believe that Gloria Burgle is not going to solve anything. She is not Marge Gunderson or Molly Solverson. Look at this episode, in which spends the whole thing wasting her time in LA and actual police work is done with computers back in Minnesota. She is the robot from The Planet Wyh, wandering around saying "I can help" and accomplishing exactly nothing.
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Old 05-08-2017, 10:13 PM
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On the other hand, she seems a lot more competent than any of the other police in her area. Doubt it takes her long to pick up the trail and also turn up the pressure. And, everybody who's been big on technology is either a criminal or an asshole, like that MRA cop.
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Old 05-09-2017, 05:20 AM
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And, everybody who's been big on technology is either a criminal or an asshole, like that MRA cop.
Are you referring to the new chief with that last bit? If so, did I miss something? Because he didn't really come off as an asshole to me. He was kind of angry, but he did just find out that the station newly under his command doesn't use computers in the year 2010.

Edit - no you were talking about Mac from Always Sunny. Yeah, I don't know what to make of him, other than Christ, what an asshole.
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Old 05-11-2017, 11:37 AM
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This week's episode shows one of the things I'm liking about this crime story:
The criminals would get away with it if they weren't so easily rattled. That bathroom scene also made RB's point about technology pretty clear.

The new chief definitely seems out of touch to me. I've got a feeling he won't make it, based on the point of his stupid lecture to Gloria.

There's also a real sense of chance/luck/deus ex machina with the ending.
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Old 05-12-2017, 02:21 PM
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Back to our regularly scheduled crime show this week. I think I'm backing off of my take on Gloria not solving things, but not completely. She's poking her nose in the right places, but she really isn't the one putting the pieces together. I still believe she is caught in an evolve or die situation; time is not turning back for her and I don't see this show actually making a case for Luddism.

I also really liked the Peter and Wolf framing device, although it was an imperfect fit. It worked well enough.

The parts we aren't shown in this season seem very important so far. Like how we didn't see what happened to Ennis. Maybe cause of death is a mystery? We also haven't seen what actually went down between the brothers. Will we get to see it for ourselves or will we have to rely on the two brother's separate versions of it? Does is really matter if Emmit actually swindled Ray out of his inheritance?

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That's witchcraft. Ewan McGregor is a witch.
Have you seen this episode, where McGregor plays one brother pretending to be the other brother? He is a witch.
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Old 05-12-2017, 07:44 PM
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Like how we didn't see what happened to Ennis. Maybe cause of death is a mystery?
I thought they said he died because his mouth and nose were glued shut, so he suffocated.

I think Gloria's in a kind of technological purgatory, because her job is in limbo within the police department. Also this week really made Shea Whigham's police chief into a complete moron.
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Old 05-12-2017, 08:02 PM
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I thought they said he died because his mouth and nose were glued shut, so he suffocated.

I think Gloria's in a kind of technological purgatory, because her job is in limbo within the police department. Also this week really made Shea Whigham's police chief into a complete moron.
Yeah, all of this. It makes sense to me.

Also, I feel like we have a duality here as Varga is a man who is trying to remain invisible while Gloria is invisible to technology due to misfortune. I feel like at the end we'll have some irony that Gloria's invisiblity saves here, while Varga not being scene is what may lead to an untimely end.

I feel more confident in the first part since Varga is proud of his ability to watch and listen and when Gloria catches him, it will be likely that from Varga's perspective, this is a nobody coming entirely out of left field
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Old 05-12-2017, 08:29 PM
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I am probably over thinking the throw away line about cause of death. I mostly found it interesting that they chose not to show any of that confrontation. But as neither character involved is going to be talking about it, it likely doesn't matter.

This is why is usually stick to analyzing after rather than trying to predict during.
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Old 05-15-2017, 08:49 AM
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Twist ending: every role is actually Ewan McGregor.

I love how odious/slimy Varga is. The fact that he indulges in excesses but then induces vomiting is just awful and perfect. That breakfast scene was great... although I wish I hadn't been eating at the time. >_<
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Old 05-15-2017, 11:23 AM
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Yeah we were eating dinner and were just like "Why does he have to keep vomiting."

It was interesting to me how the show seemed to bait-and-switch the viewer with the contents of the truck. As soon as the Russian guy came out with his little whip, I was like "oh god the truck is full of sex slaves." Then the protags openly discussed it, and soon enough you see the inside of the truck has...computer equipment? What exactly IS Varga's operation?

I loved the 1970s LA flashbacks.

There's also something interesting going on with cosmic randomness - two characters (the sheriff and the Hollywood con-man) say that there's no meaning to coincidence, that it's dumb to believe events and people are connected. These characters are written so that we hate them. Meanwhile we keep seeing evidence of these tiny coincidences resulting in big problems later - Mobley changes his name to Stussy to stay out of trouble, but he dies because of it. Stuff like that.

This show is good.
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Old 05-18-2017, 12:03 PM
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I have got to stop eating food while I watch this.

Also, I'm sure that I'm missing some kind of reference that would make the wolf mask at the end more significant, but I'm pretty sure that, even if it were not lost on me, I'd find it ham-fisted and stupid.
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Old 05-19-2017, 10:44 AM
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I feel like there's a strong feminist theme going through this season of Fargo, and yet again, if the crooks could stay calm, they'd probably get away with what they're trying to do.

How about Varga revealing he's a nazi? I think it was last episode where he had the speech about living in "the age of the refugee," and now there's his actions and private talks with Emmit.

Also, much as I dislike Chief Whigham (I forgot the actual character's name so I'll just call him that and think about the Simpsons) he's right with what he said about Gloria's story. She can't prove anything yet, so grabbing Ray and putting him in interrogation seems really hasty.
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Old 05-22-2017, 02:43 PM
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There were some great quotes this week that seem to be homing in on one of the season's themes: the nature or importance of truth. "You don't have to like the truth for it to be true." "Are you sure?" and "It never happened." "That doesn't make it any less a fact." Like with the cold open from the first season, what is actually true seems to matter less than what people want to believe. It also comes back to the central conflict that is driving the action of this season. Does it matter if Emmit ripped off Ray for the stamp? Some kind of factual truth of that situation isn't going to change how those characters feel.

It also has another note for the technology, with the IRS showing. It wasn't a real alarm, but a computer alarm that directed him there.

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Also, I'm sure that I'm missing some kind of reference that would make the wolf mask at the end more significant, but I'm pretty sure that, even if it were not lost on me, I'd find it ham-fisted and stupid.
Varga is set up as wolf in very unsubtle ways. I also wonder if the vomiting has something to do with that. A dog returning to its vomit and all that.

Right now this season is not quite on the same level as Season 2's Western was for me, but this is still really good stuff.
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Old 05-24-2017, 08:36 PM
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Tonight's episode:

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Old 05-24-2017, 09:05 PM
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Oh yeah, and then the end is quite a fun cliffhanger.

OK, more actual reactions/observations:

Gloria's lack of fucks given about technology saves her. Now she's at a big advantage against Varga, though I worry about her partner, Winnie.
I feel bad that I don't know his name, but the Asian guy enforcer for Varga seems like he's way too good at his job. I'm also getting tired of Fargo using POC as "badass enforcer bad guys," though I wasn't so bothered by the deaf guy in season 1.

Last edited by Bunk Moreland; 05-27-2017 at 04:03 PM.
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Old 06-01-2017, 11:28 AM
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So is Nicky dead or is she the millipede waiting to take her attacker unaware like on the TV show she was watching in the hotel? I hope the last 3 episodes bring things together. Maybe its just that this is the first season I've actually watched as it aired instead of all together afterwards, but as much as I've enjoyed nearly everything I've seen, this season feels like it is moving really slow and running out of time.

This show dispenses choice quotes like none other. Sy has not been an especially sympathetic character so far, but his "Its the world that's wrong." was still effecting. (God damn it I still don't get affect/effect.) I think its finally settled for him how far in over his head he is.

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I feel bad that I don't know his name, but the Asian guy enforcer for Varga seems like he's way too good at his job. I'm also getting tired of Fargo using POC as "badass enforcer bad guys," though I wasn't so bothered by the deaf guy in season 1.
I see the problem, but when I think about it I tend to find a narrative excuse. A lot of which has to do with the fact that almost everyone on the show is a bad guy. In season 2 that role is what Mike Milligan thought he was, but really the Kitchen brothers did most of the enforcing. And on the other side is Hanzee, who fits it to a T. I really don't know what to make of Hanzee.

This season, the excuse I've come up with for Meemo is that he is a Chinese counterpart to Yuri's Russian, so America's two foreign fears of the late 20th/early 21st century are represented.
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Old 06-01-2017, 01:39 PM
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I don't keep watching for the previews, but that's because I don't want to. Plus I'm catching the 1 AM repeats anyway.

One thing that hit me with this episode: I think Chief Whigham is in on it. It would make the most sense for his behavior, at this point. I'd have to go back and see what was being said about Eden Valley PD and his area, because that might be a clue why not. But I mean, it looks like Eden Valley PD isn't located anywhere near where Chief Whigham's office is.

They keep ramping up the feminism, and I like it. All the named male cops are hapless idiots, or corrupt (I think) while what seems like basic investigative work done by Gloria and Winnie scares all these criminal men. Niki Swango is objectified by the men, who underestimate her intelligence.

Sy is viewed as a problem because he cares about his friend, and isn't showing macho traits, after his early attempts to do that got him in trouble. And he got in trouble there because of a woman (the waitress).

The big three organized crime bad guys are genuinely creepy, not just scary because they're bad guys. All the bad guys here (except Niki) feel like they're representing online male culture in some form, not just political evils.
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Old 06-01-2017, 02:17 PM
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"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."

I don't think Chief .. Whigham is corrupt; I think he is lazy. Intellectually lazy. He had a simple, plausible story for why Lefay killed Ennis; why look into it more? He has a plausible story for Lefay's death, no need to follow up. He's got a perpetrator and a story for Ray's death, his job is done. I misread him early because he was right about it being ridiculous how backwards Eden Prairie was with technology. But he didn't want the computers so he could do his job better, he wants them to make his job easier. He is lazy.

Sy, Emmit and Gloria's partner, all probably generally good men, become incredibly passive every chance they have do something. Sy's response to Varga is to do nothing, or to try to run away and leave someone else (a woman) holding the bag. Even with Ray when push came to shove he was just going to pay him to go away. Gloria's partner, when confronted by Yuri just walks away. It may have saved his life, but it was his job to do otherwise. And Emmit is maybe the most passive character I've ever seen. He is central to every part of this story and so far he has done nothing. He watched his brother bleed out and just stood there.

I lean more towards uncaring and incompetent for the male characters rather than corrupt, but I don't think that changes a lot from your read. We are still left with the good (or goodish) characters being 3 women who are the only ones that see a problem that sitting out there in the open and are belittled for and discouraged from attempting to fix it.
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