Saturday, December 19, 2015
SOME THOUGHTS ON THE SECOND SEASON OF FARGO
The penultimate moment for me in the second season is when the character of Mike Milligan, a gangster out of Kansas City expertly and naturally played by Bokeem Woodbine, recites the poem Jabberwocky while on his way to commit violence. For me that perfectly tied together the elements of Fargo, both seasons plus the movie.
These elements are the matter of factedness of the northern midwesterners, the elements of violent crime, the hapless losers - Jerry Lundegaard in the movie, Lester Nygaard in season one, the Blumquists in season two, the solid heroes, the spacey secondary characters (something season two excelled at), the so it goes weird encounters, raining fish and UFO's and of curse the dry humor which occasionally veers into absurdity and slapstick.
Season two was considerably better than season one to me because the narrative flow of two made better sense, felt less bumpy, and featured bigger, more dramatic characters and events. Woodbine's Milligan was the best but I also liked Nick Offerman as a local attorney and the brief appearance by the always brilliant Bruce Campbell as Ronald Reagan.
Fargo also did something very interesting - It resolved most of the mob war storyline in the second to last episode and spent the last episode in sort of a pronounced meditation on life and death. Ted Danson's speech at the end on why he is creating a universal language reminded me very much of Tommy Lee Jones monologue at the end of NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN. I also liked the final fate of WoodbineMilligan which was a nod to the finale of THE SHIELD.
With a formula in hand, we'll see where season three goes especially since it is going to take place timewise following season one. It would be nice to see some variations - perhaps a flawed hero or anti-hero like Walter White.