A True-ish Story of Deaf Assassins, Biblical Plagues, and Cold-Blooded Murders
Another TV series! Being ill has its perks. I’ve had this in my watch list for a while, and it was pretty easy to get through. Ten episodes? Easy.
Really, I’m buying for time in this introduction. I really just want to talk about this mini-series. Let’s not keep you waiting!
LET’S GET THE PLOT DONE…
Lester Nygaard (Martin Freeman) is a low-time insurance salesman in the small, cold town of Bemidji, Minnesota. He’s bullied, insulted by his wife, and probably has a hard time spelling things. Nygaard? Bemidji? It makes my head hurt. Anyway, the arrival of a mysterious man named Lorne Malvo (Billy Bob Thornton) shakes up his life and the town’s quiet demeaner, creating a tangled web of blackmail, murder, and lies, with Deputy Molly Solverson (Allison Tolman) being the only person who seems to be following the right tracks.
I was considering watching the film to do this review, and have a very odd combination of “TV Series vs. Film Pick”. The trouble is, the film seems more of a prequel than a straight-up parallel of the TV series. The events of the miniseries take place in 2006, rather than 1987, so yeah… not quite the same.
While Fargo does have a crazy, twisting plot that makes you question (and rightly so) how realistic the story really is, the characters are the thrusters to this quirky, well-oiled machine. The comedic dialogue oddly sticks out in this crime-drama, and those types of quirks are what makes this series strangely appealing. Why is Dmitri obsessed with telling bad jokes? Why is there so much significance over a washing machine?
I believe some things are put in the series just to add to the randomness, but that works well, because it surprises you when something quite thought-provoking appears. One notable example is Molly’s glove story. I’ll put it at the bottom, but to really interpret it, you’ll have to watch the show! Which I recommend! You should watch it now! (Honestly, I would love you to stop reading now and find a way to watch this show).
Digression aside: the characters! First you have Malvo, who is basically the anti-Christ. He has no remorse and does not fear consequences. It’s scary to see him manipulate people with a certain charm and power; he knows he is evil and decides to nestle himself into the role of the devil. Another person I enjoyed was Bob Odenkirk as Sheriff Oswalt. Yes, it’s the guy who plays Saul Goodman in Breaking Bad, but he has thrown away his sleazy lawyer façade for a Ned Flanders hemophobic (not to be confused with homophobic – that’s not cool) who constantly gets mildly peeved off at Molly Solverson’s case findings. You will laugh with this one.
And now for the Award for Best-Duo-Act-Who-Should-Get-Their-Own-Spin-off-Show: Mr. Numbers and Mr. Wrench. The killer hit-men who talk to each other through ASL: American Sign Language. Yep, one of them is deaf. These guys weren’t as funny as some of the other characters per-say (Lester’s descent to psychopathic tendencies does make you oddly guffaw) but their brother-like chemistry together makes them the most charming duo you’ll ever meet… before they throw you down an ice-fishing hole.
SO I GUESS IN CONCLUSION…
Fargo is bizarre, intense, and thrilling, brimming with unconventional characters and interesting side-plots. Extremely clever and more-so quotable (“Highly irregular is the time I found a human foot in a toaster oven. This is just odd.”) Fargo will leave you breathless and begging for another serving.
Vinci (New thing: quotes at the bottom of a Pick. Because why not?