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Ruiner

Fargo (FX)

107 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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I just watched the whole season over the past week or so. I liked it overall but it was still the worst season of this show, by far. I think each subsequent season is getting worse. My thoughts on the good and the bad below. I'm posting in spoiler tags to prevent a wall of text to make it easier to read.

The good...

Spoiler

+ David Thewlis was a fantastic villain

+ I think going into the show the viewer assumes that Carrie Coon was going to get the most screen time as the main good guy and while that is probably the case, I'm glad Mary Elizabeth Winstead essentially turns out to be the main character because she was way more interesting to watch. Also, Winstead is ridiculously beautiful.

+ While sometimes the story felt too over-the-top and action-focused and didn't have that small town feel that you expect from Fargo, overall I was happy with the story.

+ Ewan McGregor was pretty fun to watch and it was a good idea having him play two characters.

+ I was very happy to see DJ Qualls die, as his character is extremely annoying in The Man in the High Castle.

The bad...

Spoiler

 

- I was disappointed with Carrie Coon's character. She basically was there to just move the plot forward. Compared to the pair from season 1 and Patrick Wilson from season 2, she is easily the least memorable main good guy this show has ever had.

- It pissed me off how this story took nine episodes to unfold and then at the end they must've decided they have to force 10 episodes for consistencies sake and so they added the utterly pointless episode 3. Gloria's step-father was simply a corpse that got the wheels in motion for this story. His backstory was totally irrelevant and that episode was a huge waste of time.

- Gloria's son, I don't know if it was the actor or the character, but he was annoying.

- I don't really understand what the point was of the opening of episode 1. This isn't so much as a negative, just that I don't get it.

- The Russian guy who got his ear chopped off and was in the bowling alley, I was totally lost during that scene. Each season has a weird moment and that takes the cake as the weird moment of this season.

- I was also disappointed we didn't actually see the Asian guy die. I hated him and wanted to see him die. It kinda sucked that out of the three main villains, we never really got to see any of them get what they deserved.

- The new police chief was very annoying. It's crappy writing when you have a supposed good guy character who is seemingly hell-bent on making sure the villains get away with it.

- I liked the ending of Inception so those types of endings are okay sometimes but I felt kinda robbed with the season ended and we didn't find out if Varga got away with it.

- Plot holes and weird things...how does the deaf terminator manage to kill all of those people in that building without getting so much as a scratch? Who told Varga that the IRS had the hard drives? My first guess, my only guess, was the president's wife from Independence Day but there's no way she'd know. Seeing as how that text kept the main villain alive, it's way too important to not reveal who sent it. And about that woman...while it makes sense in the end why she'd cover for Emmit, it seems awfully convenient that the person they were going to sell to just so happens to be working for Varga.

 

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