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Fargo: FX Boss Hoping for Season Four

9 August 2017 8:54 PM, PDT | TVSeriesFinale.com | See recent TVSeriesFinale news »

Will there be another season of Fargo? Recently, FX boss John Landgraf discussed the future of the TV show.Earlier, series creator Noah Hawley revealed he doesn't have an idea yet for a fourth season of the anthology drama. Season three ended earlier this summer and starred Ewan McGregor, Carrie Coon, Michael Stuhlbarg, David Thewlis, Goran Bogdan, Andy Yu, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead.Read More… »

- TVSeriesFinale.com

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‘Fargo’: Will There Be a Season 4 of FX Series?

9 August 2017 11:35 AM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

FX chief John Landgraf weighed in on the potential for “Fargo” Season 4 during the TCA summer press tour on Wednesday.

“We haven’t heard the idea from Noah [Hawley] for what the fourth season would be,” Landgraf said. “What we’ve encouraged Noah to do is think about it and make sure he has an idea he’s excited about.”

“There’s at least some possibility he won’t have have that idea for quite some time,” he continued. “He has a really busy schedule because he’s working actively on the second season of ‘Legion’…and he has a burgeoning feature film career…we’re going to have to share him with our film studio and we’re going to have to figure out how to make that work.”

Season 3 of the series premiered in April of this year, with the new season starring Ewan McGregor as twin brothers Emmit and Ray Stussy. It »

- Joe Otterson

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12 Actresses Absurdly Accused of Being Too Old or Too Fat, From Chloe Grace Moretz to Jennifer Lawrence (Photos)

8 August 2017 4:54 PM, PDT | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

Hollywood has a special knack for making people feel far from perfect and actresses are no exception. Here are 12 gorgeous women who have been told they were either too fat or too old to play a certain role. Maggie GyllenhaalSherrybaby” star, Maggie Gyllenhaal was turned down for a role because she was “too old” to play the love interest for a 55-year-old man. She was 37 at the time. “It was astonishing to me,” the actress told TheWrap. “It made me feel bad, and then it made me feel angry, and then it made me laugh.” Mary Elizabeth Winstead »

- Rasha Ali and Beatrice Verhoeven

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The Best Video Games Based on Movies: ‘Goldeneye,’ ‘Alien: Isolation,’ and More

6 August 2017 2:31 PM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Movies based on video games tend to not be very good, ditto games based on movies. Every so often, however, there are exceptions made all the more satisfying by their rarity. These date back decades, from the Sega Genesis version of “Aladdin” that many a kid played in the early ‘90s to the “Chronicles of Riddick” shooter that was better than the movie itself, and continues to this day.

Moving from the silver screen to the console seems to be easier than the opposite route. Here are the best video games based on movies:

Read More‘Mega Man’: ‘Catfish’ Directors In Talks to Helm Long-Rumored Video Game Adaptation 5) “Shadow of Mordor”

The Two Towers” and “The Return of the King” had a more direct link to the One Trilogy to Rule Them All, but “Shadow of Mordor” offers a far more immersive sense of what it’d be like »

- Michael Nordine

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Why ‘Fargo’ Is the Craftiest Show on TV and Season 3 Is the Best

3 August 2017 2:11 PM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

In Season 3 of the acclaimed “Fargo” FX anthology series, showrunner Noah Hawley continued to play by the Coen brothers’ rules, but got more ambitious and flexible with a present-day crime drama. It’s still about good and evil, only now in cordial Minnesota, with plenty of parables, strong women and weak men. Yet the result was more satisfying in its craftiness and empathy in trying to bring order out of chaos.

And for its efforts, “Fargo” grabbed another 10 craft nominations (cinematography, which it won last year, three for editing, hairstyling, makeup, music score, sound editing, which it also won last year, and mixing). The work seemed more confident and daring, as it focused on various character pairings. It was about mistaken identities, being at the wrong place at the wrong time, and lots of suffering.

As the murders mounted, however, so did the confusion. Sleazy businessman Varga (nominated David Thewlis) prayed on feuding brothers, »

- Bill Desowitz

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50 Overlooked Indie Movies You Must Stream on Netflix

27 July 2017 11:24 AM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Netflix adds new movies almost every day, which only makes it harder to find ones worth watching. That’s where IndieWire comes in. From low-budget American gems to foreign film masterpieces, these are the overlooked independent movies you’ve got to make time for on Netflix. All titles are now available to stream.

Read More: 7 Netflix Original Movies That Are Worth Seeking Out

“6 Years” (2015)

“6 Years” provides a moving snapshot of a troubled relationship. The movie follows a young couple facing the titular anniversary as their future is challenged by various spats and infidelities. With an improvisatory style and two heartbreaking performances from Taissa Farmiga and Ben Rosenfield, “6 Years” imbues its traditional narrative with a fiery edge. Read IndieWire’s review.

“A Woman, A Part“ (2016)

In her feature directorial debut, Elisabeth Subrin confronts industry-wide sexism head on, making it clear that her protagonist’s experiences are not unique and dismantling any »

- Zack Sharf

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Paramount Pushes ‘Cloverfield Movie’ Back to 2018

21 July 2017 9:10 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Paramount and J.J. AbramsBad Robot Productions have moved the science-fiction thriller “2017 Cloverfield Movie” back by more than three months to Feb. 2, 2018, from Oct. 27. The studio has also moved George Clooney’s “Suburbicon” forward a week from Nov. 3 to Oct. 27.

This is now the second delay for the “Cloverfield” threequel, which had been originally titled “God Particle,” after it was pushed back for the first time from its initial Feb. 24, 2017, date.

“The 2017 Cloverfield Movie,” which will most likely be retitled, will become the first title to launch on Feb. 2, just two days before the NFL’s 52nd Super Bowl.

Related

Oren Uziel Discusses Directorial Debut ‘Shimmer Lake,’ ‘God Particle’ Joining ‘Cloverfield

The story, set in the near future, centers on a team of astronauts on a space station making a terrifying discovery that challenges all they know about the fabric of reality, all while desperately trying to fight for their survival.

Nigerian-American »

- Dave McNary

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Emmys 2017: Breaking Down 13 Major Snubs

13 July 2017 10:38 AM, PDT | Rollingstone.com | See recent Rolling Stone news »

With last year's big winner Game of Thrones taking an Emmys' year off and Peak TV continued to Peak, there were more rookies than ever fighting for attention in the awards show's nominations this year – The Crown, Stranger Things, Atlanta, The Handmaid’s Tale. This year, they had no choice but to break some of their bad habits regarding rewarding the same ol' same ol' – and they did some of that. Which doesn't mean there aren't some headslapping snubs in this year's Emmys picks. No Michael McKean for Better Call Saul? »

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Emmy Nominations: My Fearless Predix

12 July 2017 6:01 AM, PDT | TVLine.com | See recent TVLine.com news »

The wait is almost over. Nominations for the 2017 Emmy Awards will be announced Thursday at 11:30 am Et

(watch them live right here on TVLine) and here’s what I can promise you: HBO’s Big Little Lies and FX’s Feud: Bette and Joan will dominate the limited series categories, NBC’s Trump-fueled Saturday Night Live will walk away with one of its largest nomination hauls ever, and the list of egregious snubs will be as long as it will be painful. Beyond that, it’s a total crap shoot.

Just kidding! I already glimpsed the final nominations via »

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Fargo: Cancelled or Renewed for Season Four on FX?

7 July 2017 8:00 PM, PDT | TVSeriesFinale.com | See recent TVSeriesFinale news »

Vulture WatchIs it time for the wood chipper? Has the Fargo TV show been cancelled or renewed for a fourth season on FX? The television vulture is watching all the latest cancellation and renewal news, so this page is the place to track the status of Fargo season four. Bookmark it, or subscribe for the latest updates. Remember, the television vulture is watching your shows. Are you?   What's This TV Show About?An FX crime drama anthology, Fargo stars Ewan McGregor (in a dual role), with Carrie Coon, Michael Stuhlbarg, David Thewlis, Goran Bogdan, Andy Yu, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jim Gaffigan, and Scoot McNairy. Taking place in 2010, the story follows the sibling rivalry between Emmit (McGregor) the “Parking Lot King of Minnesota,” and his younger brother Ray Stussy (McGregor), a pot-bellied parole officer. Although Emmit sees himself as an American success story, Ray is more of a cautionary tale.Read More… »

- TVSeriesFinale.com

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43rd Annual Saturn Awards Winners Include The Walking Dead’s Andrew Lincoln & Jeffrey Dean Morgan

29 June 2017 3:15 PM, PDT | DailyDead | See recent DailyDead news »

A celebration of all things that go bump in the night (and the people who fight those bumps in the night) in the genre world, the 43rd Annual Saturn Awards took place last night in Burbank, and both sides of the "march to war" in The Walking Dead were well-represented.

In addition to winning Best Horror TV Series, The Walking Dead was rewarded with Best Actor on Television (Andrew Lincoln) and Best Guest Star on Television (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). Read on for the full list of winners, which also include Millie Bobby Brown, Riverdale, Westworld, and many more:

Press Release: Burbank, Calif. – June 28, 2016 – The 43rd Annual Saturn Awards celebrated the best and the brightest in genre entertainment tonight, with Lucasfilm/Disney’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story capturing three statuettes in the Film Category, tying with Paramount’s science fiction thriller 10 Cloverfield Lane. One of the entertainment industry’s most highly-anticipated evenings, »

- Derek Anderson

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Welcome to the Academy! Donald Glover, Priyanka Chopra and Others Who Snagged Invites (Photos)

28 June 2017 12:44 PM, PDT | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

Riz Ahmed Monica Bellucci John Cho Priyanka Chopra Warwick Davis Elle Fanning Irrfan Khan Joel Edgerton Tony Leung Naomie Harris Chris Hemsworth Chris Evans Luke Evans Fan Bingbing Tom Felton Rebecca Ferguson Gal Gadot Charlotte Gainsbourg Domhnall Gleeson Zoe Kravitz Rami Malek Janelle Monae Donald Glover Ruth Negga Elizabeth Olsen Amy Poehler Sarah Paulson Leslie Mann Kate McKinnon Sienna Miller Edgar Ramirez Phylicia Rashad Margot Robbie Maya Rudolph Rodrigo Santoro Molly Shannon Kristen Stewart Hailee Steinfeld Wanda Sykes Aaron Taylor Johnson Bd Wong Rebel Wilson Donnie Yen Mary Elizabeth Winstead »

- Ashley Eady and Matt Donnelly

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Was Orphan Black Off Its Clone Game? Another Wayward Sis for Supernatural? Twin Peaks Hint Pays Off? And More Qs

23 June 2017 10:01 AM, PDT | TVLine.com | See recent TVLine.com news »

We’ve got questions, and you’ve (maybe) got answers! With another week of TV gone by, we’re lobbing queries left and right about shows including Orphan Black, Better Call Saul, Supernatural and Pretty Little Liars!

1 | Regarding Reign‘s series-ending time jump, TVLine reader Melissa asks, “21 years later… and they never aged?”

RelatedReign Boss Reveals [Spoiler]’s Tragic Finale Fate: ‘He Did Not Survive’

2 | Was Orphan Black‘s Sarah/M.K. convo a rare instance of clone eyelines not matching up? Or are we being too nitpicky? (They did flawlessly exchange clothes.)

3 | It was only for a fictional Veep episode, »

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Fargo: Season Four? FX Ep Says, "Don't Tell People This Is the End"

22 June 2017 9:39 PM, PDT | TVSeriesFinale.com | See recent TVSeriesFinale news »

Fargo just ended its third season last night, but will there be a fourth season? Creator Noah Hawley spoke with Deadline about the possibility of another season for the FX TV show.Season three of the anthology drama takes place in 2010 and follows the sibling rivalry between Emmit (Ewan McGregor) the “Parking Lot King of Minnesota,” and his younger brother Ray Stussy (also McGregor), a pot-bellied parole officer. The cast also includes Carrie Coon, Michael Stuhlbarg, David Thewlis, Goran Bogdan, Andy Yu, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead.Read More… »

- TVSeriesFinale.com

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Fargo Season 3, Episode 10 Review: Somebody to Love

22 June 2017 10:25 AM, PDT | LRMonline.com | See recent LRM Online news »

I gotta be honest, I wasn't looking forward to the Fargo Season 3 finale. There were a lot of balls up in the air and no clear way to tie off all the dangling plot threads. Last season's finale, with the crazy motel shootout and the sudden spaceship appearance, kind of left a bad taste in my mouth -- don't give me space aliens in my neo-noir, crime drama and then fail to explain it. Unfortunately, as events in this finale play out, prepare to be somewhat disappointed... but in a good way, I guess.

Gloria (Carrie Coon) writes a resignation letter in the cold opening, she's cleaned out her desk and headed for the door when the phone rings. IRS guy, Larue Dollard (Hamish Linklater), has built an epic case of fraud, money laundering, and tax evasion -- some of it actually illegal. Nikki (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) sent the care package to Dollard to take down Emmit. He's papered his conference room walls with the documents, it looks like a big deal but it's really not -- we later learn this is all just a false show of bravado, another red herring in a season of red herrings, and it makes the case (again) that we can't trust our eyes.

Related - Fargo Season 3, Episode 9 Review: Aporia

However, with that single phone call everything changes. Gloria's back... in an IRS team-up! What? Not the sexy, dramatic moment you were hoping for? Ok, then how about Nikki and Mr. Wrench (Russell Harvard) sawing-off shotguns and prepping for a heavy assault inside a dimly lit motel room. That's more like it, amirite?

Varga (David Thewlis) has sequestered Emmit (Ewan McGregor) in his house, playing out this minor subplot's endgame. He's surrounded himself with a platoon of patrolling gunmen, fearful of the Swango and Wrench alliance -- rightly so. Emmit is tired, he just wants it all to be over, and though he makes a desperate play to kill Varga, he predictably fizzles. Emmit's story (and by extension, Ray's story too) is the least interesting of the season; things just happen to Emmit and he does little to stop them. It's not that Emmit is an unsympathetic character, rather it's that he's barely present at all, an ultimately inconsequential plot device. Fargo Season 3 has been all about Varga, Nikki, and Gloria.

Nikki lures Varga and his fireteam to an abandoned storage facility. They head for a third floor rendezvous, which is shot like a horror movie. A grim corridor of death awaits as they exit the elevator -- It's a trap (sorry, my inner Star Wars nerd got loose for a moment)!!! Shockingly, we don't witness the bloody ambush -- creator Noah Hawley is showing restraint? Naturally, Varga makes a hasty exit, sacrificing his own men to save himself. Nikki and Wrench subsequently settle their accounts, and Wrench reluctantly walks away with a pile of cash -- he's proven to be the most loyal and honest broker in this warped season, next to Gloria of course.

And then there's Ruby Goldfarb (Mary McDonnell). I kept wondering what an actress of her stature was doing in such a tiny cameo role? It didn't add up. And now we know why: she was the big boss all along; the least among us rises again. Goldfarb takes over Stussy Enterprises and shows Emmit the door in an epic power play!

Feels like we all need a warm hug in a nice Minnesota quilt, eh?

Alas, Nikki's story ends in tragedy and disgrace. She tracks down Emmit on a lonely stretch of Minnesota highway and levels a shotgun on him... until a state trooper rolls up and things go South. I can't say it makes much sense, Nikki is a smart character, a survivor -- it betrays her intelligence to go out in such a stupid fashion. But she's happier now, I guess, reunited with Ray (if you believe in that kind of thing).

But wait, there's more! Another time jump, and it's five years later. Emmit has reconciled with his family; Sy is... alive; Varga's still in the wind; and the big IRS case resulted in a limp misdemeanor and probation (Emmit's illicit earnings allegedly stashed overseas), until Mr. Wrench proves his loyalty one last time and finally settles Nikki's score with Emmit.

On a more positive note, Gloria has moved on, she's a special agent in the Department of Homeland Security. Varga turns up in a Dhs holding cell, and so we finally get our Gloria vs. Varga faceoff (referring to himself now as Daniel Rand, a software salesman out of Brussels -- Hawley is a Marvel fan too, apparently). We've come full-circle, the ending scene is reminiscent of the season's cold opening in East Germany. The dialog here is sharp and there's a fun back-and-forth tension to the scene, but it doesn't tell us very much. Varga tries to convince Gloria that he is about to go free and she contends that he's headed for federal lockup... we wait for the door behind Gloria to open. Will Varga, Rand, the Devil, or whoever he truly is walk away free or in handcuffs? The clocks ticks down and the lights go dark, roll credits. Hunh?

It's a convoluted, kind of unsatisfying ending... but I gotta give Hawley credit, he avoided the formula. I'm glad the season ended on character rather than spectacle. Season 3 really didn't connect with Seasons 1 and 2, and that's Ok. There's no good way to end any complicated story, particularly one this quirky and oddball. What's actually so surprising about this finale is that it's all about the ladies. Noah Hawley is a progressive! It's not the slam bang ending we were expecting, but dammit, it's the ending we deserved! We wish you well in your future endeavors agent Burgle, it's well-earned.

Grade: B

Was this the ending to Fargo Season 3 that you expected? Let us know in the comments down below!

Don't forget to share this post on your Facebook wall and with your Twitter followers! Just hit the buttons on the top of this page. Lrm Lego Origins, Daredevil's Best Fight, Steve McQueen, and More! -- The Lrm Weekend #LRM_Weekend #DavidKozlowski https://t.co/1T4EZ0Yfo4 about 18 minutes ago »

- David Kozlowski

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‘Fargo’ Season 3 Squandered TV’s Greatest Cast By Trying to Be Every Show At Once

22 June 2017 6:00 AM, PDT | Indiewire Television | See recent Indiewire Television news »

After two seasons worth of magic, “FargoSeason 3 — or Year 3, to use the preferred nomenclature — was finally unable to outrun the specter of Peak TV hovering over its shoulder. Even with one of the greatest TV casts ever assembled, the story of feuding brothers and a nefarious conglomerate slowed the series’ hot streak and brought it back down from the realm of tightly constructed, riveting crime drama into the realm of ordinary.

Wednesday night’s season finale showed why the rest of the previous episodes lacked the distinctive spirit that’s helped make “Fargo” into its own creative entity. The previous two seasons have funneled their experiences through the police officer Solversons at the center: Alison Tolman’s Molly and Patrick Wilson’s Lou both anchored their respective seasons amidst a maelstrom of criminal (and in notable instances, supernatural) activity.

Read More: Noah Hawley on the ‘FargoFinale and Why the Fate of Gloria Burgle Matters More Than You Think

But with a near-unprecedented cast including Ewan McGregor, Carrie Coon, David Thewlis, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Scoot McNairy, Mary McDonnell, Shea Wigham and Michael Stuhlbarg, “Fargo” had that unique but very real problem of juggling an ensemble of actors who were each carrying their own shows within their respective plot lines. Gloria Burgle’s pursuit, the existential quandary of loyalty from Sy, and the classic, biblical blood feud between the two Stussy brothers all seemed like they were vying for supremacy in a show that tried to have it every way.

With all that impressive output in front of the camera, the various adventures that these characters went on seemed too stylistically disparate to be part of a focused season of television. Take Episode 8, “Who Rules the Land of Denial?” as an example. It’s a striking hour of TV, but one that owed its visual and philosophical approach to some of the other biggest TV shows on air right now. Nikki’s kitten-filled encounter in the bowling alley dipped into “Twin Peaks” territory, complete with Ray Wise’s presence. The bloody escape from the prison bus into the woods was practically a dimly lit “Game of Thrones” set-piece, complete with a surprise garroting.

These scenes came in the wake of the overtly Don Hertzfeldt-ian animation sequence from Episode 3 and presaged a “Leftovers”-adjacent piano theme at the end of Episode 9 that would probably make Max Richter do a double take. “Fargo” has always worn its influences on it sleeve, often with an accompanying wink and nod. This season felt like the first time some of the most gorgeous images on TV were in service of a faithful recreation of what’s worked elsewhere, rather than a visionary reinterpretation.

A series that had previously managed to bring together a nuanced look at opposing forces of good and evil managed to play this season fairly straight. By Thewlis’ own admission, V.M. Varga is a character completely without any redeeming qualities. He’s an out-and-out villain from frame one, drab business attire and all. The closest that he comes to any kind of sympathy is his sniveling, tiptoeing towards the elevator after he’s found out he’s under attack in the season finale.

Varga’s two defining characteristics — his rotting teeth and propensity to vomit up his nervous binge eating — were far more literal manifestations of the evil rotting him from inside and out than the show ever burdened its predecessors with. Lorne Malvo and Mike Milligan, previous “Fargo” heavies, were more than just sophisticated bad guys. Their calm demeanor, without much affectation, hinted at the insidious nature of human corruptibility. By placing all its narrative weight on a character who showed so much outward, borderline-cartoonish villainy, Season 3 robbed its central conflict of comparable substance.

And as far as the victim of Varga’s plotting, Emmit Stussy never really moved beyond being a hapless victim, closer to the bumbling cycle of unfortunate circumstances of Jerry Lundegaard from the “Fargo” film than the poisonous, bitter edge that Martin Freeman added to Lester Nygaard. As a result, Ewan McGregor’s double casting never really had the opportunity to move beyond a half-baked treatise on the nature of free will.

One of the reasons “Fargo” succeeded in creating something all its own in preceding installments is that it guided its ambiguities towards a greater purpose. Season 3’s many allegories and literary allusions left little room for interpretation or subversion. Whether listening to Billy Bob Thornton explain the opening of “Peter and the Wolf,” Varga explain Lenin’s appreciation Beethoven, or a series of animated characters float through the Stussy-authored sci-fi universe, each of these came with a blatant, explicit connection to the characters we saw on the screen. In previous seasons, those conclusions would be left to the audience to draw.

The conversation between Gloria and Winnie in Season 3’s penultimate episode also helped to underline this idea. A mystery that our own Ben Travers pointed out fairly early on — Gloria’s invisibility to technology — was made more intriguing by the explanatory distance the show took from it. But in baring her soul to Winnie, there was Gloria expressing all of those concerns out loud in convenient, metaphorical detail. The old “Fargo” would have had her merely stare down the bathroom sink sensor before finally realizing that her circumstances had changed, taking out any references to it in the conversation that came before.

As one final parting confirmation, the show delivered its Season 3 version of a time jump; a transformation that seemed so radical in Season 1 but here seems like a tacked-on afterthought. That audience handholding became even more literal when, without leaving the audience to fill in the blanks, it put the aftermath of the Stussy fortune in direct on-screen text. You could argue that this is a playful, twisted diversion meant to make Emmit’s kitchen assassination all the more shocking. But instead it seemed like a final emphatic exclamation point on the season’s special brand of reinforced cynicism.

Read More: The Coen Brothers’ Rules: 4 Filmmaking Practices That Give ‘Fargo’ Its Cinematic Consistency

All told, this season of “Fargo” was far from without merit. As much as Sy was hamstrung for most of the season, Stuhlbarg still proved that he’s one of the greatest working actors and a worthy addition to the series’ roster of Coen Brothers alumni. The Ray Stussy apartment ambush sequence is one of the best-directed scenes of the year. And the finale’s Mexican standoff was delivered in such a simple and unadorned way that made its consequences all the more tragic.

But even in the artistry of showing the two bodies fall from far away, Nikki’s character farewell underlined how much this version of “Fargo” reveled in making each new development as definitive as possible. A bullet hole to the forehead leaves little room for doubt. “Fargo” is still one of TVs most visceral crime shows, but one thing it didn’t borrow from its fellow 2017 TV shows was to let the mystery be.

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Related stories'Fargo' Review: Season 3 Finale Ends the Debate and Tells Us If We've Been Wasting Our BreathNoah Hawley on the 'Fargo' Finale and Why the Fate of Gloria Burgle Matters More Than You ThinkHow Editors of 'The Crown,' 'American Gods,' and 'This Is Us' Achieved Emotional Power »

- Steve Greene

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‘Fargo’ Season 3 Squandered TV’s Greatest Cast By Trying to Be Every Show At Once

22 June 2017 6:00 AM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

After two seasons worth of magic, “FargoSeason 3 — or Year 3, to use the preferred nomenclature — was finally unable to outrun the specter of Peak TV hovering over its shoulder. Even with one of the greatest TV casts ever assembled, the story of feuding brothers and a nefarious conglomerate slowed the series’ hot streak and brought it back down from the realm of tightly constructed, riveting crime drama into the realm of ordinary.

Wednesday night’s season finale showed why the rest of the previous episodes lacked the distinctive spirit that’s helped make “Fargo” into its own creative entity. The previous two seasons have funneled their experiences through the police officer Solversons at the center: Alison Tolman’s Molly and Patrick Wilson’s Lou both anchored their respective seasons amidst a maelstrom of criminal (and in notable instances, supernatural) activity.

Read More: Noah Hawley on the ‘FargoFinale and Why the Fate of Gloria Burgle Matters More Than You Think

But with a near-unprecedented cast including Ewan McGregor, Carrie Coon, David Thewlis, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Scoot McNairy, Mary McDonnell, Shea Wigham and Michael Stuhlbarg, “Fargo” had that unique but very real problem of juggling an ensemble of actors who were each carrying their own shows within their respective plot lines. Gloria Burgle’s pursuit, the existential quandary of loyalty from Sy, and the classic, biblical blood feud between the two Stussy brothers all seemed like they were vying for supremacy in a show that tried to have it every way.

With all that impressive output in front of the camera, the various adventures that these characters went on seemed too stylistically disparate to be part of a focused season of television. Take Episode 8, “Who Rules the Land of Denial?” as an example. It’s a striking hour of TV, but one that owed its visual and philosophical approach to some of the other biggest TV shows on air right now. Nikki’s kitten-filled encounter in the bowling alley dipped into “Twin Peaks” territory, complete with Ray Wise’s presence. The bloody escape from the prison bus into the woods was practically a dimly lit “Game of Thrones” set-piece, complete with a surprise garroting.

These scenes came in the wake of the overtly Don Hertzfeldt-ian animation sequence from Episode 3 and presaged a “Leftovers”-adjacent piano theme at the end of Episode 9 that would probably make Max Richter do a double take. “Fargo” has always worn its influences on it sleeve, often with an accompanying wink and nod. This season felt like the first time some of the most gorgeous images on TV were in service of a faithful recreation of what’s worked elsewhere, rather than a visionary reinterpretation.

A series that had previously managed to bring together a nuanced look at opposing forces of good and evil managed to play this season fairly straight. By Thewlis’ own admission, V.M. Varga is a character completely without any redeeming qualities. He’s an out-and-out villain from frame one, drab business attire and all. The closest that he comes to any kind of sympathy is his sniveling, tiptoeing towards the elevator after he’s found out he’s under attack in the season finale.

Varga’s two defining characteristics — his rotting teeth and propensity to vomit up his nervous binge eating — were far more literal manifestations of the evil rotting him from inside and out than the show ever burdened its predecessors with. Lorne Malvo and Mike Milligan, previous “Fargo” heavies, were more than just sophisticated bad guys. Their calm demeanor, without much affectation, hinted at the insidious nature of human corruptibility. By placing all its narrative weight on a character who showed so much outward, borderline-cartoonish villainy, Season 3 robbed its central conflict of comparable substance.

And as far as the victim of Varga’s plotting, Emmit Stussy never really moved beyond being a hapless victim, closer to the bumbling cycle of unfortunate circumstances of Jerry Lundegaard from the “Fargo” film than the poisonous, bitter edge that Martin Freeman added to Lester Nygaard. As a result, Ewan McGregor’s double casting never really had the opportunity to move beyond a half-baked treatise on the nature of free will.

One of the reasons “Fargo” succeeded in creating something all its own in preceding installments is that it guided its ambiguities towards a greater purpose. Season 3’s many allegories and literary allusions left little room for interpretation or subversion. Whether listening to Billy Bob Thornton explain the opening of “Peter and the Wolf,” Varga explain Lenin’s appreciation Beethoven, or a series of animated characters float through the Stussy-authored sci-fi universe, each of these came with a blatant, explicit connection to the characters we saw on the screen. In previous seasons, those conclusions would be left to the audience to draw.

The conversation between Gloria and Winnie in Season 3’s penultimate episode also helped to underline this idea. A mystery that our own Ben Travers pointed out fairly early on — Gloria’s invisibility to technology — was made more intriguing by the explanatory distance the show took from it. But in baring her soul to Winnie, there was Gloria expressing all of those concerns out loud in convenient, metaphorical detail. The old “Fargo” would have had her merely stare down the bathroom sink sensor before finally realizing that her circumstances had changed, taking out any references to it in the conversation that came before.

As one final parting confirmation, the show delivered its Season 3 version of a time jump; a transformation that seemed so radical in Season 1 but here seems like a tacked-on afterthought. That audience handholding became even more literal when, without leaving the audience to fill in the blanks, it put the aftermath of the Stussy fortune in direct on-screen text. You could argue that this is a playful, twisted diversion meant to make Emmit’s kitchen assassination all the more shocking. But instead it seemed like a final emphatic exclamation point on the season’s special brand of reinforced cynicism.

Read More: The Coen Brothers’ Rules: 4 Filmmaking Practices That Give ‘Fargo’ Its Cinematic Consistency

All told, this season of “Fargo” was far from without merit. As much as Sy was hamstrung for most of the season, Stuhlbarg still proved that he’s one of the greatest working actors and a worthy addition to the series’ roster of Coen Brothers alumni. The Ray Stussy apartment ambush sequence is one of the best-directed scenes of the year. And the finale’s Mexican standoff was delivered in such a simple and unadorned way that made its consequences all the more tragic.

But even in the artistry of showing the two bodies fall from far away, Nikki’s character farewell underlined how much this version of “Fargo” reveled in making each new development as definitive as possible. A bullet hole to the forehead leaves little room for doubt. “Fargo” is still one of TVs most visceral crime shows, but one thing it didn’t borrow from its fellow 2017 TV shows was to let the mystery be.

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Related stories'Fargo' Review: Season 3 Finale Ends the Debate and Tells Us If We've Been Wasting Our BreathNoah Hawley on the 'Fargo' Finale and Why the Fate of Gloria Burgle Matters More Than You ThinkHow Editors of 'The Crown,' 'American Gods,' and 'This Is Us' Achieved Emotional Power »

- Steve Greene

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Fargo Boss Breaks Down Season 3's Sopranos-Esque Final Scene — Plus: Could This Be the Last Episode Ever?

21 June 2017 8:14 PM, PDT | TVLine.com | See recent TVLine.com news »

Warning: This post contains spoilers for Wednesday’s Fargo Season 3 finale.

Well, it’s not Tony Soprano munching on onion rings in a Jersey diner before the screen cuts to black… but it’s close.

Fargo‘s third season wrapped up on Wednesday with maybe the most ambiguous final scene since that controversial Sopranos series-ender a decade ago: Gloria, now a Homeland Security agent five years later, sits across an interrogation-room table from slippery villain V.M. Varga, vowing to send him away to rot in Rikers while she enjoys a fried Snickers bar at the state fair. Varga disagrees, »

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‘Fargo’ Creator on Finale Cliffhanger, ‘Tragic’ Deaths and Whether There Will Be Season 4

21 June 2017 8:00 PM, PDT | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

(Warning: Spoilers ahead for Wednesday’s Season 3 finale of “Fargo”) “Fargo” wrapped up Season 3 with a highway showdown, an ill-fated trip to the fridge and ultimately, a head-scratching cliffhanger involving a clock on the wall. In Wednesday’s episode of the heralded FX drama series, Nikki Swango (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) came incredibly close to enacting her revenge as she took out V.M. Varga’s (David Thewlis) men and then tracked down Emmit Stussy (Ewan McGregor) on a deserted road. Just as she seemed on the verge of taking his life as penance for killing Ray, fate intervened in the form of a highway patrol. »

- Ryan Gajewski

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Emmys 2017: Supporting Actress, Limited Series or Movie — Our 6 Dream Nominees

20 June 2017 5:56 AM, PDT | TVLine.com | See recent TVLine.com news »

Regina King has become a deservedly dominant force in our latest Dream Emmy race. The American Crime standout has picked up the Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie trophy two years running for her subtle work in ABC’s anthology drama. And she’s gunning for a third this year.

But King faces formidable competition in ’17 — so much so that she didn’t even make our Dream short list this year (suffice it to say that if this category allowed eight nominees, she would’ve landed a spot alongside her similarly, regrettably snubbed-by-us co-star, the terrific Lily Taylor »

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