Tuesday, December 15, 2015

"Fargo": Season 2 Concludes (Warning: Contains Spoilers)

This post contains spoilers about the second season of the FX series, "Fargo".  You have been warned.

I have been avidly following the ten week season of the FX Network series "Fargo" and have been enjoying immensely. Like the 1996 movie and the first season of the TV series that preceded it, Season Two was delightfully quirky, quite violent, stylishly done, and extremely well written and well acted.  As the show went on the only debatable point was this:  Was Season Two actually better than the outstanding Season One?

For me, I wavered back and forth on this question, but the question was answered for me in the penultimate episode of the series.  Episode One made it clear that the storyline of this series would be the events leading up to the infamous 1979 "Massacre at Souix Falls", and event that was alluded to in Season One.  Well, that is exactly what happened as story lines involving Lou Solverson and Hank Larsson, the murderous Gerhardt crime family and their killer enforcer Hanzee Dent, the Kansas City mob guys, and, of course, the amazing Ed and Peggy Bloomquist.  It was amazing, compelling, and must-see television, and it built to a crescendo to Episode Nine when all elements converged at a cheap motel in Souix Falls, SD for the historic Massacre.

And it was at this most significant moment that the key plot element was revealed, a moment that turned the tide and tipped the scales in favor of the good guys over the bad guys.  And what was that moment, you ask?  It was the appearance of a flying saucer.  Yes, you read that right.  A FLYING SAUCER!!!  Are you kidding me?  I mean....

It made me think 1990 when I watched a TV mini-series based on the Stephen King novel, "It", and a saw that the root of all the evil doings that took place was laid at the feet of a GIANT SPIDER.  Man, was I pissed for wasting four hours of my life only to lead up to the appearance of a giant spider.  Well, that was almost the same for me when the key plot point of a ten episode series was a freaking flying saucer.   

Well, I will not equate "Fargo" with some Stephen King potboiler, but after eight and three-quarters fantastic episodes, the flying saucer produced a big letdown for me.  The series finale last night wrapped things up with some poignant (Lou's return home to his wife and daughter) and ironic (Mike Milligan's "reward" at the Kansas City Mob headquarters) moments, and how can you not love Ed and Peggy, but for me Season Two ended with a whimper and not a bang.

So the answer to the question, Which Season Was Better?, is an easy one for me.  It was the stories of Molly Solverson, Lester Nygaard, and the wonderfully malevolent Lorne Malvo, as played by Billy Bob Thornton, in Season One.

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