Fargo, Season 2 Episodes 1 and 2

I’ve been hearing great things about the second season of Fargo since the Television Critics Association summer press tour in August, so I’ve been eagerly awaiting its second season. For those of you who are fans of good television in Australia, it’s going to be airing on SBS at 8:30pm, which is less than 48 hours after it airs in the United States. However if you’re a fan of good television in Australia, you know that Wednesday night is by far the busiest night on the schedule, with fantastic programmes on the ABC (Kitchen Cabinet returns this week), as well as The Good Wife and Madam Secretary on Ten. Luckily SBS upload the episodes to their On Demand service immediately after their broadcast, and they’re available for viewing for two weeks.

So I’d heard all these great things about the second season of Fargo, but after watching the first two episodes, I don’t love it the way I loved the first season. I did however binge watch the first season, which most likely influenced my opinion. I watched Episode 1 on Wednesday night and Episode 2 this morning, and I do like it. I just don’t love it yet. The cast for this season is great: Ted Danson, Patrick Wilson, Cristin Milioti, Kirsten Dunst AND Jesse Plemons. They’re all fantastic, and I love the pairing of Dunst and Plemons as a couple whose marriage has gone stale. Patrick Wilson is wonderful as the young Lou Solverson, and his marriage to Cristin Milioti is incredibly sweet. I love Cristin Milioti and want her to always be employed, but I really hope she doesn’t end up being typecast as the wife with breast cancer. It’s not a trend yet, because it’s only happened twice, but I’m aware that it could become one.

The second season of Fargo is set in 1979, and revolves around Gerhart family, who run the current titular crime syndicate, but are also in danger of being taken over. The crime involves the youngest member of the Gerhart clan, who is best described as ‘Ziggy from The Wire’. Lou and his father-in-law are both called to the crime scene to investigate, and very quickly figure out exactly what has happened, they just don’t know the identities of any of the victims yet. By the end of the second episode they have identified one of the victims as a federal judge from North Dakota, and suddenly the jurisdiction for this particular crime is a bit murkier

One of the things that sets Fargo apart from other shows in my mind is that we know who the criminal is from the season premiere. The fun comes not from trying to solve the mystery, but seeing how the police figure it out (much like The Fall, although that can’t really be described as fun) and the consequences of peoples’ actions. We know from comments that Lou and Gus’ commanding officer made last season that there’s something that happens in Sioux Falls. I don’t know a lot about this particular are of the US, but I know that Sioux Falls is in South Dakota. We have a series of murders that occurred in Minnesota, a crime syndicate in North Dakota, and somehow this all makes its way to South Dakota. I may not love the second season of Fargo just yet, but I’m looking forward to being taken on a journey.

Other thoughts:

  • Molly comes from a family of crime solvers. Her father and grandfather work together on occasion, and her mother finds a key piece of evidence this week.
  • The whole meat grinder thing was supposed to be reminiscent of the wood chipper scene in the original film, right? (I have actually used a wood chipper, and it was suitably scary)
  • After everything they’ve been through, Jesse Plemons and Kirsten Dunst’s marriage may actually be improving.
  • The whole thing with Kirsten Dunst’s boss is weird.
  • I love this show for many reasons, but Jeff Russo’s score is one of the best on television right now.

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