“All of it. It’s all True”(Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, 2015). I was initially blown away by how amazing Fargo: Season 1 and kept hearing Season 2 was somehow even better, of course I was skeptical, because if Season 2 was better that’d mean it was better than the Coen Brothers’ classic, the original 1996 Fargo and at times it is. Since it started off kind of slow and followed many of the same beats Fargo: Season 1 hit, I immediately debunked those overblown praises I had been hearing and episode 3, The Myth of Sisyphus stepped up followed by another amazing episode, followed by an even better and somehow Fargo: Season 2 was able to maintain outshine itself episode after episode from episode 3 to episode 9. With each passing episode I even appreciated the first two episodes even better because they felt like perfect set-up for the now perfect pay-0ff. Whilst Fargo: Season 1 follows many of the same beats the film did, Fargo: Season 2 creates a whole new environment with its characters.
This time set in the 70’s yet still connected to the film that takes place in the 90’s and the last season that took place in the 2o00’s, this season revolves one of the most violent chapters in fictional Midwestern crime history. Like in its predecessor, Noah Hawley is able to weave every character, story, and tiny moment in a natural way that keeps the story moving along whilst never feeling forced and propelling immense character-development. As stated in episode 8, The Castle which like the first season’s Buridan’s Ass stands out as yet another exemplary episode of t.v. history, this story revolves around the Blumquists, a young Minnesotan couple that have accidentally got themselves caught in-between a full out war that has erupted between the Fargo Crime Syndicate and the Kansas City Mob. Investigating the whole thing are Lou Solverson and Ted Danson working for Minnesota’s state police and trying to uncover how so many people started dropping dead in what used to be the quiet country now turned war-zone. So, even though this one huge event-like story, if we take a look back you can easily dissect into four components exemplified by a single character, those being: The Hanzee Story, The Blumquists, The Turf-war and The Police’s Perspective, each of these stories artlessly spilling over onto the other the same way all of our characters come to meet the character’s from another component of this enlarged tale of murder in Sioux Falls.
Whereas in season 1 of Fargo Billy Bob Thornton outshone everyone that season, this season feels more leveled with incredible, believable performances. Whether that be Patrick Wilson showcasing the braveness of Patrick Wilson, Ted Danson’s take on a veteran police officer and how it has affected his view on being human, Kirsten Dunst’s extremely complicated character who finds herself perpetually in conflict with her self-being, every member of the Gerhardt family representing why that team never worked well together, Bokeem Woodbine turning in a tremendous performance as Mike Milligan, an 70’s mob conquistador who seeks to prove his true power, and what is probably the best-constructed character of the season, Zahn McClarnon’s Hanzee Dent. And those are just the stand-outs, then you have the Kitchen twins, Mrs. Solverson, another fantastic bit-role from another amazing comedian, and so much more. Like the first season, each of these characters are given a beautifully constructed character-arc to follow, especially Hanzee’s struggle with racial identity and existential crisis that hits him mid-season. There also seems to be a weird fixation with Ronald Reagan and UFO’s during this whole season that might seem out of the blue but ends up working.
In the end, Fargo: Season 2 might is superior to its wonderful past season and even surpasses the greatness of Fargo (1996) at times. It’s an astonishing work of character-work, incredible dark comedy, perfectly placed underlying themes, and simply put, incredible t.v. Please go watch Fargo: Season 2 because its fantastic and approve it wholeheartedly, rating it a 93 out of 100.