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Fargo - Season 2 - a new true crime chapter takes us to 1979 Sioux Falls - Mon on FX

I had no idea what they were talking about with the Tripoli stuff at the end. Why would I remember some bit character from a couple of scenes in the first season, y'know? I thought Hanzee was going to move to the actual city in Libya, because he's "done with this life". Didn't realise they were implying he was going to plastic surgery himself into a fat white guy and get killed by Billy Bob until I saw reviews online.

Frankly, a twist that dumb has me rethinking the whole season at this point. I'd assumed there was method to the madness, but knowing the writers could come up with something so silly makes me wonder how much weirdness was weirdness for the sake of weirdness. Fargo is supposed to be absurd, but I don't want to just watch the Anything Goes Because Why Not Zany Funtime Hour.
 
- Onion A|V Club Cue & A: A music supervisor’s “treasure hunt” found the ’70s tunes of Fargo season two
In Cue & A, we raid the record collections of our favorite television shows, including FX’s Fargo, which solidified its reputation as one of TV’s best shows in season two thanks in part to the work of music supervisor Marguerite Phillips.

Fargo went back to its roots in its second season, flashing back to 1979 and focusing on a young Lou Solverson (Patrick Wilson) as he becomes ensnared in a bloody battle between the Gerhardts, a small-town crime family, and the corporatized syndicate horning in on their turf. Marguerite Phillips, who also wrangles music for HBO’s Togetherness, came aboard to source dozens of songs for season two, having little to go on from season one, which contained very little licensed music. Luckily showrunner Noah Hawley had plenty of ideas, many of which were borrowed from Coen brothers films. This interview covers the music from season two, and it discusses major plot points in detail.

Also:
- Washington Post: ‘Fargo’s’ second season captures the arrogance of the American dream
 

pantsmith

Member
So was there an overarching point to the UFO stuff that I missed?

It matches the weirdness, fear and hysteria of both the era and the show's plot. (its also, comically, almost literally a deus ex machina)

It's a very Cohen brother touch to add, no different than the storm at the end of A Serious Man or "real life" emulating the Odyssey in O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Someone else pointed it out perfectly: its just like Mike getting promoted to a corporate position as soon as he leaves the weird pocket of fictional space the show takes place in. Things in Fargo (and the surrounding area) are out of touch with the real world. Thats why the show works.
 
Overall I liked the season. The filmography, the music, the set design and clothing were expertly done. The story flames out a bit towards the end but overall very enjoyable.

I thought the point of the UFO was to show that even with this amazing event happening right above them, they were still so concerned with what they have and wanted that they couldn't stop killing each other. It was bizarre and awesome.

The handling of Hanzee was a bit strange. I didn't really care for it. Mike's ending was great though. Overall I think Season 1 was better, but it was still a great season.
 
Hey Cornballer I'd be curious to hear your thoughts on this season now that it's over
I loved it. The show was firing on all cylinders this season from start to finish. It's one of those rare shows where I was genuinely excited to watch it each week to see how it unfolds. The writing delicately balanced the violent, weird, and humorous events each week, and stretches of the dialogue were superb. This show made me grin as much as anything else this year, but they also put together incredibly tense scenes as well as layering in social commentary. The cast, while lacking the wattage of S1, was wonderful and it was nice to see so many underrated character actors working well here (Dunst! Wilson! Danson! Smart! etc...) along with a few new discoveries (Bokeem Woodbine & Zahn McClarnon in particular).

In terms of production design, they nailed just about everything - the setting, the costumes, the visuals (split screen, fake movies, shot framing), soundtrack, etc... It all worked so well. I do have some minor quibbles including things that I brought up here, but these were very small issues that didn't bother me in the face of a show that was this well constructed. Fargo, the TV anthology, never really seemed like a good idea, and then Season 1 turned out to be a great ride. For the show to return with a more ambitious season season and turn out this well is amazing. I'm looking forward to what's next, and I'll happily rewatch the first two seasons in the meantime.
 

RedStep

Member
Fargo spins such a unique tapestry. Even spoilers don't matter because while the story is great, it's what it does that is so special. You could say "Bear dies in episode 8" and it wouldn't even be a spoiler. The proper response would be "Sure, but how, why, how was it shot, what did they do with it?!". Can't wait for S3, despite my secret hope that they would keep tracking backwards in time to a badass 20's midwest-Boardwalk-Empire-thing... maybe someday.
 
Fargo spins such a unique tapestry. Even spoilers don't matter because while the story is great, it's what it does that is so special. You could say "Bear dies in episode 8" and it wouldn't even be a spoiler. The proper response would be "Sure, but how, why, how was it shot, what did they do with it?!". Can't wait for S3, despite my secret hope that they would keep tracking backwards in time to a badass 20's midwest-Boardwalk-Empire-thing... maybe someday.

they are going to 2010 and looking at "selfie oriented culture" i believe.
 
I loved it. The show was firing on all cylinders this season from start to finish. It's one of those rare shows where I was genuinely excited to watch it each week to see how it unfolds. The writing delicately balanced the violent, weird, and humorous events each week, and stretches of the dialogue were superb. This show made me grin as much as anything else this year, but they also put together incredibly tense scenes as well as layering in social commentary. The cast, while lacking the wattage of S1, was wonderful and it was nice to see so many underrated character actors working well here (Dunst! Wilson! Danson! Smart! etc...) along with a few new discoveries (Bokeem Woodbine & Zahn McClarnon in particular).

In terms of production design, they nailed just about everything - the setting, the costumes, the visuals (split screen, fake movies, shot framing), soundtrack, etc... It all worked so well. I do have some minor quibbles including things that I brought up here, but these were very small issues that didn't bother me in the face of a show that was this well constructed. Fargo, the TV anthology, never really seemed like a good idea, and then Season 1 turned out to be a great ride. For the show to return with a more ambitious season season and turn out this well is amazing. I'm looking forward to what's next, and I'll happily rewatch the first two seasons in the meantime.

Cool, I'm pretty much in the same boat. I definitely had my issues with the final episode, but despite seeing every Coen brothers movie I somehow didn't pick up on many of the more overt references this season, so that didn't bother me as much as some. Despite my bitching about the Tripoli stuff I still found this to be a big step up from season 1 overall, which I also thoroughly enjoyed.
 
"What's your name?"
"Tripoli."
"No, not that name. You're not a City, and neither am I. We're men with names. My name... is Noah. And you?"
"Hanzee."
"Interesting name. I won't forget it."
 
I got a press release about the Blu-ray today.

I finished the season yesterday, by watching the finale. It was good, and definitely satisfying, but it didn't show everything I was expecting it to. That's okay, though, because we didn't need to see
Lou's wife suffer any more, and I'm glad I didn't have to watch that.

I've been a Patrick Wilson fan for years, and enjoy his performances in horror movies, and he deserves a ton of credit here. He was great. I like that he's also a likeable guy in general.

It was also nice to see the Season 1 cast in the dream, see Ted Danson in something good again, and see the end of the Gerhardts' story.

I still don't really like that they brought UFOs into the mix, because it cheapens the show, and I also don't like the whole Tripoli thing. It is not believable.
 

MGHA

Member
I got a press release about the Blu-ray today.

I finished the season yesterday, by watching the finale. It was good, and definitely satisfying, but it didn't show everything I was expecting it to. That's okay, though, because we didn't need to see
Lou's wife suffer any more, and I'm glad I didn't have to watch that.

I've been a Patrick Wilson fan for years, and enjoy his performances in horror movies, and he deserves a ton of credit here. He was great. I like that he's also a likeable guy in general.

It was also nice to see the Season 1 cast in the dream, see Ted Danson in something good again, and see the end of the Gerhardts' story.

I still don't really like that they brought UFOs into the mix, because it cheapens the show, and I also don't like the whole Tripoli thing. It is not believable.

Yeah they ripped that right out of raising arizona, gave me more of a chuckle than anything. Not sure why they did that.
 

Saya

Member
Finished season 2 last night. Best show on TV right now. Loved it overall. Still on the fence about the Hanzee is Moses Tripoli thing though. But it doesn't hurt my enjoyment of the ride. Hanzee is without a doubt one of the most badass characters on television. Loved that guy. He had a small but great cameo in Bone Tomahawk as well if I recall correctly.

I kind of expected a Lorne Malvo cameo or something alluding to him in this season, but I guess I either missed it or it wasn't there?

Also, is the soundtrack available anywhere? The music was amazing.

I'm so ready for season 3.
 

Turin

Banned
I loved it. The show was firing on all cylinders this season from start to finish. It's one of those rare shows where I was genuinely excited to watch it each week to see how it unfolds. The writing delicately balanced the violent, weird, and humorous events each week, and stretches of the dialogue were superb. This show made me grin as much as anything else this year, but they also put together incredibly tense scenes as well as layering in social commentary. The cast, while lacking the wattage of S1, was wonderful and it was nice to see so many underrated character actors working well here (Dunst! Wilson! Danson! Smart! etc...) along with a few new discoveries (Bokeem Woodbine & Zahn McClarnon in particular).

In terms of production design, they nailed just about everything - the setting, the costumes, the visuals (split screen, fake movies, shot framing), soundtrack, etc... It all worked so well. I do have some minor quibbles including things that I brought up here, but these were very small issues that didn't bother me in the face of a show that was this well constructed. Fargo, the TV anthology, never really seemed like a good idea, and then Season 1 turned out to be a great ride. For the show to return with a more ambitious season season and turn out this well is amazing. I'm looking forward to what's next, and I'll happily rewatch the first two seasons in the meantime.

Great post.

I'm certainly not gonna let a very small, albeit very stupid, bit of info sour me on what was probably my favorite season of television this year.
 

Saty

Member
Oh, that was what the 'Tripoli' line was supposed to be me? lol. Neither here or there finale, just ok. Neat flashforwards but the way Betsie talked about them not being true at the end had me suspect they might throw a curve-ball with what we supposedly know and what will happen. Can't say i didn't enjoy Lou shutting Peggy up.

Anyhow, i'm still trying to recover from people trying to downplay the UFO appearance as not a bad, cheap, dues ex machina piece of writing that saved the main character's life.
 

Bowlie

Banned
Hanzee means shadow. His new first name is Moses. Hanzee...Moses. Shadow Moses!

Shadow Moses?

----

Too bad I only found out about this thread after watching the entire season. Loved it, even more than S1; characters like Karl Weathers and Mike Milligan were the things I was most looking forward to in every episode (characters whose actors I'd never paid attention before) due to how charismatic they were.
Does anyone know something about the soundtrack?
 

Saty

Member
You can't seriously believe that they couldn't write the same story without a UFO in it?

Not sure how's that relevant. This isn't about what they could have done but about what they did - and that was using a cheap, lazy, bad piece of writing to save a character from death. Can't get more artificial than that. It doesn't matter if the world was even established to have aliens flying around earth since Ep1 - Bear could have gotten a sudden heart attack and die. He could have been ran down out of the blue by Charlie. He could have been shot by an officer arriving at the scene. Mike could have arrived at the exact moment etc etc. It still would have sucked and be bad, cheap and lazy.

The fact that the writers decided on the UFO only makes the gymnastics displayed by some posters to let it slide, to downplay it, to re-define what's 'dues ex machina' and the like even more hilarious.
 

hokahey

Member
I had no idea what they were talking about with the Tripoli stuff at the end. Why would I remember some bit character from a couple of scenes in the first season, y'know? I thought Hanzee was going to move to the actual city in Libya, because he's "done with this life". Didn't realise they were implying he was going to plastic surgery himself into a fat white guy and get killed by Billy Bob until I saw reviews online.

Frankly, a twist that dumb has me rethinking the whole season at this point. I'd assumed there was method to the madness, but knowing the writers could come up with something so silly makes me wonder how much weirdness was weirdness for the sake of weirdness. Fargo is supposed to be absurd, but I don't want to just watch the Anything Goes Because Why Not Zany Funtime Hour.

I couldn't agree more. The last 2 episodes were a pretty big let down in my book.
 

Stoze

Member
Can't believe they just straight ripped off
The Shield
. This season felt very lackluster compared to the first.

...how did they rip that off? Only thing I can think of is
Mike Milligan ending up at a desk job
, but that's under a vastly different circumstance/context.
 
Hanzee means shadow. His new first name is Moses. Hanzee...Moses. Shadow Moses!

 

Odrion

Banned
Great season, but I like season 1 better. Season 1 had one of my favorite conclusions to a show while this season kinda fucked it all up with the forced connections and scenes that felt like they were filling in time.

When I saw that Tripoli stuff along with Wrench and Numbers all I could think of is George Lucas saying "It's like poetry, it rhymes." Fuuuuuuucck yooooouuuu.
 
So was there an overarching point to the UFO stuff that I missed?
Apparently there were a lot of UFO reports coming from Minnesota in the '70s. I think it's just because the story is told in a 'based on a true story' way and this is what eyewitnesses could have said in that time and place.
 
Just finished season 2 and loved it. Best thing on tv since, well the first series. Great performances from all involved. I was worried about it after loving the first series so much, but I wasn't let down at all. I enjoyed all of the UFO stuff as well. Who cares what it means, it adds an oddness to the whole thing that I thought was great. I'm a big fan of the Coen brothers though, so I guess it didn't really come off as too strange considering some of their films. Can't wait to watch it again.

Okay then.
 
...how did they rip that off? Only thing I can think of is
Mike Milligan ending up at a desk job
, but that's under a vastly different circumstance/context.

It was what my mind immediately went to also. I don't think the circumstances are that different, both characters believe that they have "won" only to discover that their prize is not exactly all it seemed. The message is near identical in both.
 

addik

Member
Watched the finale a few days ago, and I still can't believe it's over. What a great ride it has been. I thoroughly enjoyed this season--all the characters were great, the acting was splendid, editing was on point, etc. I could go on, but I'm sure everyone already said the same praises.

As with you guys, I am still not sold on the UFO appearing. I would argue that, thematically, it makes sense. This season, with all its minority characters (women, native American, African-American) causing chaos and toppling down empires, was about how the minority, who were once "aliens" in their own society, are finally taking charge. The absurdity of the whole situation comes from different intentions and motivations clashing together, causing unintended consequences that seem tragic for the characters, but hilarious in the grand scheme of things. Having an actual UFO spotting distract the last remaining Gerhardt seems like a great thematic punchline that brings home the point.

The problem really is in the narrative side. I wouldn't argue that it's not so much because it's deus ex machina (because it is), but mainly because of how introducing aliens open a whole can of worms. Who are these aliens? How have they affected the events pre and post-Season 2? It feels like they are treading on something that they obviously won't be, and on something that they shouldn't (given that the whole point of Fargo isn't about aliens). Worse yet, considering they've hinted at Malvo being supernatural at Season 1, it makes it seem like the supernatural plays a huge role in Fargo, so in the long run, the "absurdity" of the real events is cheapened out.

Lol, I don't know. Just rambling on. Great season. Lots of love. Hope it gets plenty of Emmys come 2016.
 

Roi

Member
I just watched season 2 again and noticed now even more how often UFO's/aliens are referenced to. The UFO in the battle scene wasn't necessary for me, but I guess it fits in the time and how often people would talk about UFO's landing on earth.
 

hokahey

Member
I am fine with the UFO. It fits just fine with the "shocking true stories!" sort of thing. The forced connections to the first season were terrible. Mike's arc ending with a scene that played for laughs (even if in a clever way) was terrible. The entire final episode was pointless and cast a bad shadow on all preceding episodes.
 

Helmholtz

Member
I am fine with the UFO. It fits just fine with the "shocking true stories!" sort of thing. The forced connections to the first season were terrible. Mike's arc ending with a scene that played for laughs (even if in a clever way) was terrible. The entire final episode was pointless and cast a bad shadow on all preceding episodes.
I'm with you.. the way the season ended honestly made it go from an amazing season to just a great one for me.
 

Red Hood

Banned
Just finished the second season and it's been a very mixed experience. It started slow, maybe even underwhelming, then it grew on me for a few episodes, but afterwards the pacing was so sluggish, and finally the final two episodes were great and good respectively. I will discuss spoilers without tags, so please stop reading if you haven't caught up with all episodes.

My biggest issue with season 2 is that it doesn't seem very consistent in the identity they're trying to show. At first it seemed they were going for the super gritty style (which I found a shame, but it grew on me), then they throw in some season 1 trademarks like over the top humour. Make up your mind. There's also very little thought to the actions of most of the characters, Hanzee specifically. So he turns against the Gerharts, but we don't know why. Instead, a misplaced (but obviously intended) British sounding narrator tells us they don't know for sure; that we don't know for sure. To me this felt like a very lazy way of not wanting to give the narrative further depth. Also, the subtle extraterrestrial easter eggs were funny, but a huge UFO right there for everybody to see? That's just silly and extremely jarring. And then they waive it away with "We're not going to put that in the report, are we?". What's even the fucking point of including something this big, explicit and obvious? They should have kept it at easter eggs.

All in all, the massacre of Sioux Falls (episode 9) and its aftermath (episode 10) are this season's highlights for me, respectively great and good, but other than that this was a disappointing season. Acting and everything was excellent, but I just didn't feel the rest. I hope season 3 goes back to what season 1 did right instead of season 2 that tried so hard to be different, but in the end didn't exactly know how to be different.
 

SummitAve

Banned
Yeah they are either taking into account that they have a season 3 to book end some of this stuff or it was just a less coordinated effort than the first season, especially towards the end.
 
Instead, a misplaced (but obviously intended) British sounding narrator tells us they don't know for sure; that we don't know for sure.

That was Lester Nygaard from season one, Martin Freeman, doing his normal voice. I'm sure there's something to read into it but I don't know what.
 
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