Five Reasons You Should be Watching Fargo Season Three

Emmit, Ray, Gloria, Nikki, V.M., Yuri, Meemo - Fargo

This article is what I consider spoiler-lite. I focus on broad themes in Fargo, and the only details I give are very general in the way of illustrative examples.

If you are not already watching Fargo on FX (and why the heck not?), I am here to convince you of the error of your ways and get you to view this amazing show!

Based loosely on the movie of the same name from 1996, Fargo the TV show is similar in style and tone. But, the characters and situations are all new. Currently airing season three, each season is a standalone, so you can watch season three without first having seen the previous two seasons. But, I want to encourage you to watch the first two seasons anyway, if you can, because there are sometimes references to past seasons that make viewing even more fun.

The only people that get a pass from watching this show are those of you who are violence and mayhem adverse, since there is a good amount of that.

Ewan McGregor

Emmit and Ray Stussy - Fargo

Mr. McGregor masterfully plays two different characters in this program – brothers who are different as night and day. Recently the question was posed to me as to how my sibling and I could be so very different politically since we were after all raised in the same home. The answer is obvious to me – we have subsequently had different life experiences and are currently in different social classes.

The same can be said of the Stussy boys. One is a successful businessman with a fancy house and a seemingly good life. The other is a parole officer with an ex-con girlfriend and dreams of scoring big with his fair share of an inheritance he was tricked out of by his older brother.

Interestingly, I read an interview with McGregor where he said that he gained weight in real-life in order to play the younger brother, Ray, in a bathtub scene, and then immediately began losing weight, which was important for playing the older brother, Emmit. He wore Spanx while playing Emmit, until he lost the extra weight, and then began wearing padding while playing Ray. That is dedication!

Ordinary People, Ordinary Situations

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For me, the beauty of this show is the fact it is about ordinary people, doing ordinary things, who get drawn into extraordinary situations through a series of wrong but understandable decisions. Once embroiled, there is no going back and in fact this leads to even more bad decisions, forcing everything to escalate out of control.

The writers are quite skillful at making this all quite believable. Oftentimes I will be watching a TV show and think to myself, “no one would do that!” I’m sure you could come up with examples of this from your own experience. It certainly annoys me! But, when a murder is committed on Fargo, and there are multiple murders, you understand why it happened, and can sympathize with that desperate position which led to the murder.

Twists and Turns

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We have come to expect intricate plots in the dramas we watch and this program delivers in a big way. Fargo’s writers do a wonderful job of interweaving the different characters and their stories, producing surprising and engrossing occurrences. In fact, the unpredictability of the plot is one of the things I adore about Fargo.

And while I think twists make a story more interesting, too many can make a plot overly complex and hard to follow. Fargo, in my opinion, hits the sweet spot. The plots are twisty enough to throw curve balls, but no so twisty as to leave you going, “Huh?” But, please realize, that does not mean there are not “What the…?” moments that can still leave you scratching your head. All the more fun, though, for the long run – be patient and all will be revealed!

Beautifully Drawn Characters

Mary Elizabeth Winstead fargo still car

A key ingredient for the enjoyment of a program and its ultimate success with ratings, is if the audience is able to relate to and care about the characters. On Fargo, this is certainly the case. The writers do a wonderful job of creating engaging characters. They could be your friends, or your co-workers, of your weird uncle for that matter!

For instance, in season three, once drawn in, you want to know more about the Stussy brothers and their dynamic. You are curious about their back story, their father and how the whole inheritance hustle happened!

Then there is Ennis Stussy, apparently unrelated to the brothers, but who knows for sure? He ends up dead which just leads to a whole bunch of seemingly unrelated mysteries slowly being revealed. I can’t wait to see how this all plays out!

One final thought on this subject is that there are also the small character moments that just are very subtle but provide joy nonetheless. In season three, be sure to watch for this with Sort of Police Chief Burgle. She deals with an inexplicable inconvenience in her life that makes me smile.

Outstanding Performances and Cast

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Season three of Fargo has an extraordinary cast. I already mentioned Ewan McGregor, but also featured, among others, are: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Scoot McNairy, Frances Fischer, Francesca Eastwood, Ray Wise, David Thewlis, and Michael Stuhlbarg. This is a short list of the names I recognize quickly, and I am sure you will recognize others if you look at the complete cast list.

And in fact, each season has featured phenomenal actors; not just as the main characters, but also in the supporting roles. For instance, in season one, there were, again among others: Colin Hanks, Allison Tolman, Billy Bob Thornton, and Martin Freeman. And is season two we saw: Kirsten Dunst, Ted Danson, Jean Smart, Jeffrey Donovan, and Michael Hogan. I don’t know about you, but I love it when I see actors I like pop up on something I am watching!


Have you been watching season three of Fargo? Did you watch the first two seasons? Please let me know what you think in the comments section below!