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Ruiner

Fargo (FX)

106 posts in this topic

55 minutes ago, Mike said:

Talk about a character who had a disappointing final few episodes. This guy was the best on the show early on and then at the end he was just quoting things and saying weird stuff like he was a parody of his early-season self. I know he was your favorite early on too and it's noteworthy that he didn't end up as your #1.

Nope nope nope. I'd say it was in episode seven, they started piling dimensions onto his character and it was so much better if he had just ended up being a smooth-talking, unshakable bad guy. It was that one phone call with his boss that explained his whole character--insecure, having to work extra hard to overcome the color of his skin and impress his employers and move up in the organization. Why he spoke in this overly-educated sounding voice and memorized all this literature to quote and make sure everyone knew he was smart. And then his fate in the final episode was perfect--he won, reveled in his victory and declared himself king, only to be smacked down by reality and sentenced to living in the 80s. I wouldn't be surprised if he went postal after the season ended.

And he only wasn't number one because the competition was so stiff. Peggy blossomed in the second half of the season into a brilliant character and Kirsten Dunst was absolutely the season's MVP and deserves the Emmy she's going to win. It should be taken as high praise that he was honorable mention over Lou, Hanzee, Karl Weathers, Dodd, Ed, and Bear. It took some funky pacing (i.e. barely seeing characters for multiple episodes in a row) to pull it off, but man, this was an ensemble for the ages.

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So I'm not one to doubt that Noah Hawley has cards up his sleeve and won't make any judgments on the season as a whole, but that Das handily the least good season premiere this series has had. I'm not entirely sure what it was--for one, I think the bursts of violence weren't as gripping or shocking as either of the prior premieres, which is made more noticeable when you're expecting shocking violence going in because you've already seen what came before. 

But also, almost the entire episode was spent with the Stussy brothers and they just aren't as interesting (yet) as the villains from either prior season, and their story thus far hasn't been as exciting. But hey, Hawley has 9 more episodes and both of the prior seasons got much better as they went along (albeit off of stronger starts) so let's see what happens. If it does start to feel like he just doesn't have more stories to tell in this world, I do hope they'll leave it be. 

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On 4/20/2017 at 9:17 AM, Ruiner said:

So I'm not one to doubt that Noah Hawley has cards up his sleeve and won't make any judgments on the season as a whole, but that Das handily the least good season premiere this series has had. I'm not entirely sure what it was--for one, I think the bursts of violence weren't as gripping or shocking as either of the prior premieres, which is made more noticeable when you're expecting shocking violence going in because you've already seen what came before. 

But also, almost the entire episode was spent with the Stussy brothers and they just aren't as interesting (yet) as the villains from either prior season, and their story thus far hasn't been as exciting. But hey, Hawley has 9 more episodes and both of the prior seasons got much better as they went along (albeit off of stronger starts) so let's see what happens. If it does start to feel like he just doesn't have more stories to tell in this world, I do hope they'll leave it be. 

I liked the episode a lot more when watching it again with a clearer mind, but I do feel like the air conditioner set piece was pretty contrived and I'm not a huge fan of it, especially when it seems like something that's been teased and positioned as the big crazy act of violence for this season. Nikki immediately thinking the second Maurice left to kill him by pushing the window unit out just seems impractical, especially when factoring in that it's pretty convenient that her unit happened to have a window with an AC unit directly above the entrance for the building. I guess they could correct it by revealing she had already planned that for someone else well in advance, and if the unit hadn't been there she'd have some other booby-trap ready to go, but until that happens, it doesn't sit right with me.

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Guess I'm the only one watching this as it airs this year (understandable, with so much airing at once) but I thought the second episode was better than the premiere, and I'm getting more of a Burn After Reading vibe from it (as opposed to Year 1's Fargo vibe, and Year 2's No Country for Old Men/lots of other stuff vibes).

It's still not close to being as good as last year, but once the twists and turns start coming I can see it blossoming into another great season. I thoroughly enjoyed last night's episode, and was a fan of all the non-Ray characters getting more spotlight (and some depth being lended to Ray, who was really just a sap in the first episode). Ewan McGregor is also growing on me, in both his roles. 

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Heavily flawed season, but pretty great last few episodes and the best ending the series has had to date. I very much appreciate the theme of what constitutes reality in the modern world, and there was a lot of very interesting exploration in that, but for whatever reason (my main theory being Hawley being spread thin between multiple shows) the writing of the plot itself was sloppy to such a degree that it can't be entirely written off as serving the greater theme. Definitely a worthwhile season for the strong points (the thematic part of the writing, the acting, the direction and cinematography, the music) but there were weaknesses that weren't present in the first two seasons (but were present in Legion). 

It's ultimately down to a lack of time invested in details. For instance, in the finale, Stussy drives off in his car that just broke down due to apparent sabotage. He had to drive in his car for the story to work, and it's not as though there are no possibile explanations for why that's possible, but it's a hole that easily could've been filled by the writing with a bit of thought. There were bits like this throughout the season, and too often was the only justification given that "this character is really dumb". 

I really hope Hawley takes his time with his future work, because with more attention to detail I think this could've easily stood alongside season two, but instead, it's more of a mixed bag. 

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