FX’s Fargo is one of those shows that’s like almost nothing else on television, with many great episodes. It somehow manages to capture the bleak quirkiness of the original film while also embarking on new territory. It reached new heights of storytelling sophistication with its third season, which featured a truly stunning performance from David Thewlis as Varga, a scheming and ruthless businessman.
Despite the fact that it was a very strong season overall, however, there are still some things about it that don’t make a lot of sense and that could have used a little more explanation to help viewers understand what was happening.
10 The Robot
As part of her investigation into her stepfather’s past, Gloria discovers that he was in fact the author of a science fiction novel, the subject of which is a robot that wanders through time. In one of the strangest sequences to ever appear on an already very strange show, quite a large piece of an episode is devoted to showing this in an animated sequence. It’s a strange moment, to be sure, and it doesn’t really seem to add anything substantive to the narrative (but then, the show is full of strange details, so who knows).
9 The Bowling Alley in the Middle of Nowhere
This is one of those shows that really does seem to delight in taking viewers in unexpected directions. For example, near the end of the season the character Nikki finds herself in a bowling alley seemingly in the middle of nowhere, where she has an equally strange conversation with a man she doesn’t know. This raises so many questions that it’s hard to know where to start. Among other things, what, exactly, is a bowling alley doing so far from any other obvious signs of civilization?
8 Why is the Police Department in the Library?
Everyone knows that small towns sometimes have to economize when it comes to space. After all, it’s not like they have a lot of real estate or money to devote to their various departments. Even so, it does seem a bit strange that the small town that is the home of Gloria (the main character) also happens to serve as the town’s library. Even if there isn’t that much crime in such a small town, one would think that they could have found a better place for their police to set up shop.
7 Why Sy Thought It Was a Good Idea to hit Ray’s Car
Sy is one of the season’s breakout characters, due in large part to the great performance of Michael Stuhlbarg. While he seems to be one of those people that’s pretty practical in most aspects of his life and business, he has some notable shortcomings and makes som flawed choices, particularly when it comes to Ray, Emmit’s schlubby twin brother.
In one notable case, he ends up hitting Ray’s car, as well as another person’s. Sure, he was angry, but of all people he should have been able to keep it under control.
6 The Opening Scene
This is one of those shows that really keeps the viewer guessing, always keeping a little bit of information out of sight. Even so, there are still some aspects of the narrative that don’t make sense, even when the entire season is over. This is notably the case with the opening scene, which doesn’t seem to have much connection to anything that comes after. It’s one of those head-scratchers that keeps the viewer wondering until the very end of the season.
5 Who Exactly is Varga?
Another of the great enigmas of this season is the character Varga. David Thewlis deserves a lot of credit for making this season as enjoyable as it was, because he manages to imbue this character with so much menace and cruelty and ruthless intelligence. However, there’s so much that the viewer doesn’t know about Varga, right up until the end of the season, and it’s hard not to wonder whether the writers should have given the audience a bit more information about him and his motivations.
4 Why We Get So Much Background on Ennis
Ennis is Gloria’s stepfather, and he ends up murdered as the result of a poorly-planned burglary. As she attempts to figure out who did this and why, Gloria ends up discovering quite a bit more about this man than she ever thought possible. While it would be understandable for the show to devote at least a little bit of energy to unpacking his mysterious origins, it ultimately starts to feel a bit too drawn-out to be truly compelling.
3 What was Rob McElhenney Doing there?
There are many things that this show does right, and each season has had a truly great cast (though some side characters have been pretty hated). However, there are some choices that are a bit puzzling, including the brief appearance by Rob McElhenney, well-known for being the creator and one of the stars of the hit comedy It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia.
Here, he basically plays a variant of the Mac character and, while his appearance is funny, it ultimately doesn’t seem to go anywhere and leaves a lot more questions than answers.
2 Ray’s Death
It was pretty clear from the beginning of the season that either Emmit or Ray wasn’t going to make it out alive and, as it happens, it was Ray (who wasn’t that likable anyway). The manner of his death, however, didn’t make as much sense as the writers clearly hoped, since he basically has his carotid artery cut by a stray piece of glass. That this piece of glass comes from a stamp that’s been framed is poetically significant, of course, but it’s one of those things that doesn’t seem too plausible in terms of reality.
1 Why Nikki Thought It was Advisable to Shoot a State Trooper
Nikki is another of those great characters in this season, even though, like Ray, some of her decisions leave much to be desired. Perhaps no decision makes less sense than the one where she, for some reason, goes ahead and shoots a state trooper. It’s hard to say why she thought this was in any way a good idea, not least because he ended up fatally shooting her in the process. Some things, it seems, are fated to be mysteries.
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