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I would like to talk about Fargo (the series) (unmarked spoilers likely)

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elementary my dear baxter
I like the movie Fargo. Didn't get it the first time I watched it but I like it more and more on subsequent viewings. ACAB and all but if I absolutely had to pick a cop to celebrate it would be Marge Gunderson. Followed by Robocop.

I've finished three seasons so far and enjoyed every one of them. I consider the series to basically be Coen Brothers Remix. My favorite game while watching is to determine what character slots people fit into. Like Lorne Malvo is in the same character slot as Anton Chigurh. Emmit Stussy is clearly in a George Clooney character slot. You get the idea.

Martin Freeman blew my mind with his performance in season 1. I think it's amazing how despite all the horrible ruthless evil stuff Malvo did over the course of the season Lester Nygard still managed to be the most despicable villain I've seen in some time. That eighth episode though, blew my fucking mind. I had just finished kind of wistfully thinking that the season could have ended on an unfortunately tragic, but existentially meaningful note at the end of the seventh. I was wildly unprepared for what came next. Absolute rollercoaster.

Kirsten Dunst also really nailed it and caught me by surprise with how sympathetic she ended up being in contrast to Lester, even though her actions led to entirely too many atrocities. Also a season where the eighth episode blew my mind. That shit in the cabin with the worst of the nazi farmers tied to a chair was just, perfection. I honestly was genuinely rooting for Peggy and Ed by that point up until things go south with Hanzee. It feels like if only Lou hadn't shown up at that point there could have been a happier ending for all three of them.

Season three is different. Things don't turn into a bloodbath quite as fast. The main character spends a whole episode solving a completely irrelevant mystery. The villain is absolutely fucking disgusting. How the hell does Evan McGreggor play George Clooney and the guy from Disco Elysium so well that I didn't notice either one was him for the entire first episode? And episode eight once again was once again a great ride, though I didn't feel it hit quite as hard because Mr. Wrench was spoiled for me. Nevertheless I LOVED the sudden incredible partnership he and Nikki formed, and the bowling alley scene where God appears and gives them his car was magnificent.

I got the vibe that some people think the series started going downhill with Season 3 and while I admit it didn't hit me quite as emotionally hard as the other two I still really got into the characters and story and also it has Winnie Lopez, who is hands down Best Girl, Best Character In The Series. I would watch an entire series of her and Gloria solving crimes together. I am heartbroken that in the grand scheme of things, they shared so very little screen time together and yet I treasure every second of that time all the more for it.

I'll probably start the fourth season tonight.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
Season 4 is pretty good. It isn't as strong in many ways but there are some great villains and I think it's tackling interesting stuff about race in America. The last episode also has a fun reveal that ties well into the rest of the series mythos.
 

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elementary my dear baxter
Lester man. Lester Nygard. What sticks with me is with me is how profoundly I consider him to be the villain of Season 1 even with Malvo being such an absolute destructive force of nature.

What's interesting to me is I think Malvo actually wanted to be his friend. I think he saw something in Lester from the start. My read on the elevator scene is that despite Malvo's annoyance in how Lester refuses to just drop it, he respects the gumption. That's why initially he asks for Lester's help in cleaning up the bodies, he was intending to train him to really use that fearless ruthlessness. But then Lester, who is actually still a rotten little coward, hits him on the head instead and runs away, going from potential predator to prey again in Malvo's eyes.

But in the end though, I think Malvo was right about him. All these trained law officers are trying to catch him and he easily outmaneuvers and destroys them every time. But Lester is actually the one who outsmarts him and wounds him bad enough to make him run. Gus didn't kill him, if Malvo didn't have half his leg bitten off he almost certainly would have discovered and killed Gus first. Lester is the one who killed him, and as always, Lester is the one who seals his own doom by doing so.

Because Lester is a piece of fucking shit.
 
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Rascally Badger

El Capitan de la outro espacio
(He/Him)
Thing with Lester is that I was kind of on his side even at the end of the first episode. Yeah, he killed his wife, but she was genuinely horrible. I'm not saying she deserved to die, but I get it. But then its everything else he does.

I think each of the first 3 seasons is a masterpiece in its own right, but while I found 1 & 2 immediately unimpeachable, Season 3 has really grown on me. Season 3 is definitely a show made during the 2016 election, and works in the 'post-truth' times we are living in. I love that it doesn't give the viewer any of the answers. Did one McGregor rip off the other McGregor? Does the truth matter; the one brother believes he was ripped off. I think Nikki has the line "just because it didn't happen doesn't make it any less a fact" and pretty much sums up the season for me. And watching everyone fight with that really works for me.
 

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elementary my dear baxter
Is it weird that the movie I associate the most with Season 3 is No Country For Old Men? There is like, NOTHING in common between the two as far as story or characters go, but somehow I still come away with it with similar existential vibes.

A big thing for me were that I found myself surprisingly empathetic towards Nikki and Ray. Nikki is a dangerous firebrand and Ray is, simply put, an incorrigible asshole, but their love for each other was just so wholesome and pure. But I knew Ray wasn't going to survive the season when they cast him as The Duck in the Peter and the Wolf bit. That's like, the only thing I remember about Peter and the Wolf. It's like, yeah, they are indirectly responsible for the death of a grumpy old man that nobody liked, but also are directly responsible for avenging that old man with vigilante justice, albeit for selfishly motivated reasons. If only the rest of the season didn't happen and they could have run off to be a wholesome bridge playing power couple.

But you know, Ray is just such an asshole. His love for Nikki is the only thing good about him. When he finally gets what he claims to have wanted more than anything else in the world from his brother after all this time he still can't stop being an asshole long enough to not basically get smited by the universe for it.

In the end the real villain of Season 3 is Capitalism. It just shambles around in a disgusting monstrosity of human skin that calls itself VM Varga.
 
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