Fargo: “Somebody to Love” Season 3 Finale Review

Photo Credit:http://www.pogdesign.co.uk/cat/Fargo/Season-3/Episode-10

With the way Fargo concluded its third season, it oddly feels like the streak of FX series with complete creative control might’ve finally been broken. “Somebody to Love” is just as gorgeous as the rest of the season, boasting the same great performances and a generally smart finish to the season’s various plot threads. But the problem with season three is that it lacks ambition. Season one was a revelation when it first aired, and season two took things into territory far weirder than many would’ve expected. Season three feels tame by comparison, almost like Fargo for Fargo‘s sake, which makes me think FX put pressure on Noah Hawley to engineer this third outing. Or maybe his focus was too much on Legion, easily one of the best show’s of the year so far (though it is weird to have an auteur like Hawley totally blow us away, as we’ve come to expect, and then at least partially disappoint on another show just months apart).

Regardless of whatever happened behind the scenes this season, if anything, “Somebody to Love” delivered more of what we’ve come to expect from season three, just in a more conclusive format and with lots of blood. The moving parts of the season clash together in genuinely thrilling ways. Emmit finally takes a stand against Varga, only to be knocked out. It’s then Nikki who takes a stab at villain, unleashing practically an all-out war on him. But Varga still escapes, which isn’t satisfying enough for Nikki. So she goes after Emmit, but gets killed by a cop who interrupts their standoff. This string of events is kind of insane, but oddly, Fargo doesn’t take itself up on all the opportunities to relish in the insanity. The events are dramatic—Nikki’s death in particular was tough to swallow—but they don’t pop like things usually do on this show.

The five years later portion of the finale manages to be a little more provocative. Emmit has regained everything he loves, but he still hasn’t faced the proper consequences for his brother’s death. So one of Varga’s men kills him, leaving just the season’s two embodiments of good and evil left alive.

The final scene between Gloria and Varga mirrors the classic chess match in The Seventh Seal, in that its resolution is partially withheld. Both sides envision a situation in which they win, but the episode cuts to black before we get a chance to see who’s right. It’s an odd move in an episode that relishes more in dishing out justice than keeping up with its tone. But a recurring theme of this season has been how outside interference has brought these characters together. Ending with one winning over the other would break that theme.

And yet, there’s something satisfying here. After Varga wormed his way into Emmit’s generally “good” company and infected it, he seemed like a plague that had no cure. But Gloria is his opposite equal. Even sitting across from him, she smiles, steadfast in her views, knowing that somehow things will work out. So long as there’s a Gloria for every Varga, the world can be okay.

And so ends Fargo season three, quite easily the weakest of the trio so far. But this season still had great characters, even if the general plot didn’t serve them as well as it could have. As a finale, “Somebody to Love” isn’t exactly extraordinary, but that kind of fits the mood of the season. That mood did little in terms of creating great television, but there’s still something to admire about a show sticking to its guns. I just hope it gets new ones next season. Finale Grade: B+ / Season Grade: B+

By Matt Dougherty

One Response to Fargo: “Somebody to Love” Season 3 Finale Review

  1. Joe w says:

    That was Mr. Wrench who killed Emmit, not one of Varga’s men. And Varga walks at the end. If he helped Emmit squirrel away $200M, how much money must he have had. Him heading to Rikers is how we’d like the world to work, maybe how it should work. Him walking away is how it does work.

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