Following Fargo


By Dhirta Jinabhai

There’s something sinister about strangers, and a small town is about to find out why.

Adapted from the original cult film, Fargo sees new characters follow a new story of manipulation and murder. This time round, a timid insurance salesman named Lester Nygaard is deeply influenced by the words of a ruthless drifter, who happens to be some kind of sociopathic hitman. Soon, Lester finds himself going down a dark path- and he’s taking the whole town with him.

It’s not long before the nice residents of Bemidji, Minnesota are drawn into a murder-mystery drama. Here’s a couple reasons to follow them.

Martin Freeman and Billy Bob Thornton

We already saw Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey team up for True Detective. Now the powers of the series universe bring you Hollywood greats Martin Freeman and Billy Bob Thornton in Fargo.

There’s a chilling chemistry between their characters. The meek Lester Nygaard and the creepy Lorne Malvo (Freeman and Thornton respectively) meet at a point in Lester’s life where he has simply had enough. Good thing he makes a manipulative friend like Lorne, who says encouraging things like, “If you don’t stand up to the boss… you’re just going to get washed away.”


With Lester’s overwhelming timidity and Lorne’s overbearing murderousness, the scene is set for whatever crimes may follow.


The setting

Fargo is set in a small, sleepy town in Minnesota. A state which is supposedly full of people who are unfazed, dry and somewhat slow.

Okay, so we’re stereotyping, but when you approach the scene of a crime and don’t bat an eye when you find a dead deer in the boot of car, it’s a little weird. Especially when you’re the sheriff and it could be a homicide.

FARGO - Pictured: Bob Odenkirk as Bill Oswalt. CR: Chris Large/FX

Minnesota is full of nice, decent people, so when Lorne crashes into town it’s pretty bizarre for these folks when people start dying all over the place. Luckily they have that dry humour to keep things business as usual.

No one’s safe

If you’ve watched shows where your favourite characters are killed off (ahem Game of Thrones) then you know what we mean when we say no one is safe.

From the very first episode it’s clear that Lorne is in town to do “business” but he doesn’t let that get in the way of “taking care” of other things while he’s at it. And with poor, impressionable Lester at his mercy, who knows how many other casualties this show will produce.


Don’t be put off by this though, it makes for gripping television. Besides, there are plenty of characters whose passing won’t exactly be mourned.

Dark and funny

Everyone has had dark thoughts about doing unspeakable things to a high school bully or a nagging wife, and Fargo’s quirk is that it makes these dark fantasies morbidly funny.

When Lorne asks to be handed a package at a shipping store, the clerk complains that the whole request is “highly irregular.” “No,” Lorne replies. “Highly irregular is the time I found a human foot in a toaster oven. This is just odd.”

FARGO - Pictured: Billy Bob Thornton as Lorne Malvo. CR: Chris Large/FX

It’s these types of one-liners that make you laugh awkwardly, before remembering that this sociopath probably isn’t kidding.

Catch the must-see series premiere of Fargo, starting Thursday May 1st at 21:30, exclusively on M-Net.