Before you even ask, yes, this will contain a lot of spoilers for the first season of the FX series Fargo. Kiyoshi posted something about the series and I said to myself “Oh, I heard an interview about this show and it seemed slightly interesting.” But then I hadn't heard anyone talking about this show and figured it couldn't be that good. “The Trailer Trap...” floated through my head. What TTT translates to is the fact that I've missed a lot of good things because the trailers for them looked terrible and they turned out to be good. So here is a list of reasons why you should be watching Fargo.
1. Billy Bob Thornton's Performance
Thornton plays Lorne Malvo, a hit-man that is just the most evil son of a bitch on TV. I am used to killers being either loud and crazy or quiet and creepy. This guy is nice. He can spark up a conversation with anyone, joke, and be an all around nice guy. Except for, you know, the parts where he shoots people point blank in the head, slices a dogs throat, and sets a man up to be murdered by a SWAT team. Thornton's portrayal of Malvo is done incredibly well. He plays off of everyone perfectly and deserves all kinds of awards.
2. Deputy Molly Solverson Is Awesome
Allison Tolman plays Deputy Molly and she made me cheer for her. This woman was being treated like a delicate flower by the new sheriff after the murder of her friend and former sheriff. Whenever she found information she was told to leave people alone and stay out of it. She never gave up even when it looked like she did and she ended up being right all along in her suspicions. Even when she was pregnant and they thought they had caught the killer Molly knew that they were wrong and kept a wall of evidence pointing to the real killer. Just with her face and not saying a word she has the ability to express so damned much emotion. She, Allison Tolman, blew my mind.
3. “Is This What You Want?”
This is the question posed to Lester Nygaard as he and Malvo are in a Las Vegas elevator one year after the murder has been solved. Lester is asked “Is this what you want?” two or three times. He finally answers “Yes.” Dead! Three people shot in the face! Those five words ended up changing the lives of a lot of people and got a few cops and an innocent woman murdered. Shit was done but Lester got...cocky? Stupid? Overconfident? I'm not sure. Either way it was a silly thing to do.
4. Lester Nygaard Becomes Televisions Biggest Dick
When this show began I felt so bad for this guy Lester Nygaard played by Martin Freeman. He is just a small insurance salesman whose wife demeans him, constantly compares him to his more successful brother, he is bullied by the same guy who bullied him in school along with his sons, his wife is known as the girl who had sex with everyone back in the day (“She had such soft hands...”). After breaking his nose trying to escape a bully he finally loses it when his wife is putting him down. Thunk! Nails her with a hammer right on the head. So much death ensues. He goes from being a pitiful guy to someone I was dying to see get it. Did I mention that he planted a gun in his nephews backpack?
5. The Most Interesting Team Ever
Russell Harvard as Mr. Wrench and Adam Goldberg as Mr. Numbers were one of the best hit-man teams I have ever seen. They show up to find out what happened to someone and end up wrapped in all the nonsense that comes along with being sucked into Lester's vortex. What makes these two especially awesome is that Mr. Wrench, the redhead, is deaf. He can't hear or speak. They communicate through sign language which bites them in the ass at one point when Lester tasers Mr. Wrench and escapes while Mr. Wrench is digging a hole.
6. A Fox, A Rabbit, And A Cabbage
Keegan-Michael Key plays Bill Budge and Jordan Peele plays Webb Pepper, two FBI agents who head to Fargo. I was surprised to see them pop up on this show at first and worried that it would become too jokey. I was wrong. They were awesome. Their introduction was great. Malvo heads into an office building and slaughters the place and walks right out while these two are in their car right out front since they were supposed to be watching the place. They end up placed in the file room. They play off of each other well and I was hoping that they'd never cross paths with Malvo.
7. “You're Making A Mistake”
Officer Gus Grimly, played by Colin Hanks, is just trying to get along in life. He is treated with no respect by anyone, gets hell for letting Malvo free after having the shit scared out of him, and raise his daughter after the death of his wife. He actually does catch Malvo but after a series of “Are you fucking with me?!” incidents Malvo is set free. You want Grimly to win so bad! When Grimley is proved wrong it is a sick burn.
8. Malvo Has No Fucks To Give
At one point Malvo is confronted by a guy that wants answers. He sits on the toilet the entire time talking to him while taking a dump. He scares a cop into letting him drive away with words. He scares the hell out of a neighborly fella. He eats pie at the restaurant owned by the father of the woman who is searching for him while asking about Lester's whereabouts. He gets his leg caught in a bear trap and using the string from mini-blinds snaps his compound fracture into place before putting on his own splint. This dude is an animal.
9. Damn It, Bill!
Every time this guy was on screen I wanted to slap him. Bob Odenkirk plays Police Chief Bill Oswalt who is over his head in every situation. Hey, here's some evidence. Oh, that can't be true because Bill has known him for years. No way this evidence can be right. You just wanna shake him and scream “Look at everything that is happening around you! This is not a coincidence!” He always has this look of perpetual confusion as if he just walked into a story at the end an has no idea what is going on. At one point I thought that he was so naive that it had to be a lie and that he knew who the killer was. Nope. He was just that damned stubborn.
10. Every Episode Is Good
Even with shows like Game Of Thrones there are three to four episodes that seem wasteful or just not interesting but it is still a great show all around. Fargo did not have one single episode that did not forward the story or make me gasp, laugh, and smile. I did not know that this show was so good and am still surprised that this series is not talked about like GOT or The Walking Dead. After five good episodes in a row I figured it was time for a flashback episode or for the shark to get jumped. It didn't happen. When an episode started with “One year later...” I moaned and not in a good way. Well, I couldn't have been wronger. The writers knew exactly what they were doing but I am so used to being screwed over with shows that started off good and turned to shit that it's a natural reflex now. Do yourself a favor and watch this show.