There's no disputing that Season 3 of FX's critically adored series Fargo was, without question, the worst.
The reason for that?
It had nothing to do with Ewan McGregor's flat-out-brilliant double-duty turn as warring brothers Emmit and Raymond "Ray" Stussy. Or Mary Elizabeth Winstead tapping her inner badass as con-running parolee Nikki Swango. Or Carrie Coon trying to make sense of a world with no moral core as police officer Gloria Burgle. Or David Thewlis proving he's the greatest character since Harry Dean Stanton as the flat-out terrifying V. M. Varga.
No, the main reason season Season 3 of Fargo was so awful for fans was because of what happened as it was concluding. Having given television a series that, impossibly, matches the genius of Breaking Bad, creator Noah Hawley announced that he had nothing left to say.
“I wasn’t sure if there would be a second season,” Hawley said back in 2017, speaking to fan at the ATX Television Festival in Austin, Texas. “I wasn’t sure if there would be a third season. At end of season 1, [FX] said, ‘If you want to leave it there [that would be fine]. There’s only a certain amount of storytelling you can tell in that vein. And I love telling stories in this vein, but I don’t have another one yet. So watch the 10th hour [of season 3] because it might be the last.”
Since then it's largely been radio silence on the Fargo front. Until now.
Hawley has announced that the series will offer up a fourth instalment in 2020. As with each of the previous editions of Fargo, the season will be a self-contained one. Different for Season 4 is that, for the first time, Fargo won't be set in snowy Minnesota. Instead the tale will unfold in 1950's Kansas City, Missouri with the cast including Chris Rock, Jack Huston, Jason Schwartzman, and Ben Whishaw.
Rock will play a family patriarch who has given his youngest son over to his enemy, and who must in turn raise his enemy’s son.
What has us doubly excited is the announcement that the cast will include American DIY visionary Andrew Bird, who started out as playing sideman with the Squirrel Nut Zippers, and has gone on to redefine what's possible with the violin. Few artists in American music have done as admirable a job of having one foot planted in the past while looking to the future.
That Bird was tapped for a role makes sense when one considers the way that Fargo has not only excelled as storytelling, but also showcased the music of gold-star artists that range from Son House and Django Reinhardt to Gorgol Bordello, Heart, and Nathaniel Rateliff & the Nightsweats. And let's not forget the show having the good taste not only to spotlight "Prisencolinensinainciusol" by Adriano Celentano, but also to give the best song you probably never heard a good solid couple of minutes of screen time.
Genius? Indisputably, which explains our crushing disappointment with Hawley's decision to traumatize us after Season 3.