FX’s ‘Fargo’ Wrap-Up: Showrunner Talks Season 2 Plans, Coen Brothers Ending
After only 10 episodes, FX’s ‘Fargo‘ adaptation has come to a snow-fallen close with Tuesday’s season (series?) finale “Morton’s Fork.” Bodies hit the ground, bullets flew and plenty of “you betcha”s abounded, but what does showrunner Noah Hawley have to say about the big ending? And what might we pick up on if FX opts for a second trip to ‘Fargo’ in 2015?
You’re warned of major spoilers for ‘Fargo”s first season finale, “Morton’s Fork,” and the season at large from here on out, but suffice to say, the miniseries ended much more quietly than we expected, with Molly (Allison Tolman), Gus (Colin Hanks) and Greta (Joey King) returning to their normal lives, as Lester (Martin Freeman) floated underneath the frozen deep. Speaking to various outlets, showrunner Noah Hawley clarified that Lester had indeed died in his mind, though he enjoyed the real-world approach that it would never have been any of the main cast that proved Lester’s undoing.
In particular, Hawley pointed to such Coen brothers examples as the original ‘Fargo,’ ‘No Country for Old Men’ and ‘A Serious Man,’ in highlighting that characters have to accept a certain bit of mystery beyond their control, much as the original film’s Marge was never the one to directly catch William H. Macy‘s character Jerry. That said, Hawley also reiterated that despite their producer credits, the Coens only ever gave direct notes on the pilot, leaving the rest of ‘Fargo’ to Hawley’s own designs.
Hawley also didn’t mind leaving a few open ends, as he admitted to enjoying that the Mr. Wrench (Russell Harvard) character was out there somewhere, keeping fans in suspense as to if and when he might pop up again. Similarly, the show’s seventh episode also featured a deleted scene checking in with Stavros Milos (Oliver Platt) burning copies of his book after the bizarre death of his son, though Hawley ultimately decided they liked the iconography of Stavros at the crash site too much to follow up on the character again.
So where does that leave us for season 2, which had already been established to focus on a new set of characters and circumstance, should FX officially decide to order it? Hawley wouldn’t offer much directly, but at least told Vulture that:
I like the idea that somewhere out there there’s a big leather-bound book called The History of True Crime in the Midwest and these are all stories in it. There might on the surface be a connection between the stories but maybe once you get deeper you see something. I like that idea.
In the conversations I’ve had with FX, none of us are interested in doing this again unless we do it as well or better. That’s really on me to sort of figure out if there is another story. Like with writing a novel, there’s a difference in planning a complete story versus starting a series. You’re starting a series, then you have good premise and good characters, and you can see a little bit into the distance and figure the rest out. In doing a complete story, you have to know what the story is. There’s no reason to start it unless you know how it’s going to end.
Well, what do you think? Were you satisfied with the quiet manner in which FX’s ‘Fargo’ wrapped its first season? What would you want to see from a second season, if the network decides to continue the true crime saga?