Fargo Season 3 (2017) ★★★★☆
Starring: Ewan McGregor, Carrie Coon, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, David Thewlis, Michael Stuhlbarg, Andy Yu, Olivia Sandoval, Russell Harvard
Humpo Show Rating | 8.5
Stellar performances from cast and fantastic musical scores
Fargo once again impresses in its latest instalment, this time focusing on a feud between the Stussy brothers (both played by Ewan McGregor), the various murders that stack up, and the taking over of Emmit Stussy’s parking lot business by shady character V. M. Varga (David Thewlis).
The one element that the creative team get spot on every season is the main antagonist, we’ve had Billy Bob Thornton, Bokeem Woodbine, Zahn McClarnon, and now we have been treated to David Thewlis’ grotesque and conniving Varga. In the early episodes when his appearances were fleeting, he stole every scene. His arrogance, demeanour and sense of power exuded at every opportunity, and every character cowered a little in his presence. This is particularly true of Emmit and his business associate and friend, Sy. When Varga swans into their office, their is a palpable change in terms of control, and the viewers can sense that things are going to have a turn for the worse for them. Thewlis plays the Varga character wonderfully well. His appearance imbues viewers with a sense of intrigue and foreboding that builds and builds as each episode passes, and of course with Fargo, this sense of foreboding comes to pass in magnificent style.
I would also like to praise Ewan McGregor for his dual-performance of brothers Emmit and Ray and Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Ray’s girlfriend, Nikki Swango. Varga, Emmit, Ray and Nikki were electric on screen, whether they were alone, or with each other. I have already spoken of my appreciation for Thewlis’ Varga, but the others also gave stellar performances, notably McGregor for playing the Stussy brothers who have very differing personalities and lives. But the person that grew throughout the season and became central to the main narrative of the Stussy business takeover was Nikki. Her craftiness and competitiveness were the staples of her character, and both of these traits become more prominent as the latter part of the season takes hold. The final few episodes displayed them perfectly.
The ambiguous ending annoyed me a little giving that I have watched for 8 hours and they leave the audience hanging just so they can inspire debate about whether justice or injustice will come. Given the “I Can Help Robot” I am more inclined to believe the latter will happen. The last 15 minutes seemed to detract from the season with some unnecessary deaths, and the fast forwarding of years. Fargo Season 3 was otherwise a thrilling season with memorable characters, clever plot and fantastic music choices.
The Humpo Show | Richard