Going postal in Minnesota
One week in, and Noah Hawley’s black comedy crime series Fargo has returned as strong as ever.
Set in Minnesota circa 2010, this third season is focused on the Cain and Abel of Eden Valley, Emmit and Ray Stussy (both played by Ewan McGregor). Emmit is a big shot, while his younger brother Ray is a lowly parole officer. A hasty trade of inheritances when their father died left Ray with a now rusty red Corvette and Emmit with what turned out to be a very valuable stamp collection.
Ray has harboured resentment over this, and when his elder brother refuses to pay for a ring so he can marry his parolee girlfriend Nikki (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), he unwisely coerces another parolee, Maurice LeFay (Scoot McNairy) into stealing back the stamps.
The first episode saw the denouement of that bungled plot: the stepfather of policewoman Gloria Burgle (Carrie Coon) lay dead. And LeFay? Let’s just say: heavy object, high window and some magnificent cinematography.
This second episode begins with Burgle trying to solve the murder of her stepfather, who just happens to share the Stussy surname. (Hilariously, she is invisible to automatic doors.)
At the same time, Emmit and his adviser Sy (Michael Stuhlbarg, Boardwalk Empire) are discovering the considerable strings attached to the dubious business loan they accepted. A Mr VM Varga (David Thewlis) — with his sinister British condescension contrasting with the local “Minnesota nice” — brings an enormous truck into one of the Stussy parking lots, for nefarious ends.
Of course this anthology stands alone, with no prior knowledge required of the preceding two seasons, let alone the original 1996 film.
Worth watching? You betcha. Fargo, Wednesday, 8.30pm, SBS.
Gloria Burgle, played by Carrie Coon, faces the murder of a relative in the new season of Fargo