Fargo: “The Narrow Escape Problem” Season 3 Episode 4 Review

Photo Credit:http://www.ign.com/articles/2017/05/11/fargo-the-narrow-escape-problem-review

Does Fargo need more special episodes like last week’s “The Law of Non-Contradiction.” We may only be four episode into season three, but there’s a bit of a sense of been there done that with “The Narrow Escape Problem,” in that everything is transpiring just as it feels like it should be. What last week’s deep dive into Gloria accomplished was rich character development led by one of TV’s best actors, Carrie Coon. But that character development came through putting Gloria through things she hadn’t experienced before, the same for which could be said for Fargo viewers, as much of the episode was original to this series, thus making it strikingly fresh through Gloria’s perspective.

For episode four, we’re back in Minnesota, and it feels like Fargo is kind of just going through the motions. Drama-wise, “The Narrow Escape Problem” takes steps to bring the season’s various story threads together. V.M. is worried about Ray’s interference in Emmit’s life, while Gloria is getting closer to full-on investigating the Stussys. So then why does this episode feel so much like homework?

It was obvious these threads needed to come together, and the manner in which they start to here just doesn’t really try to subvert our expectations in any way. That’s fine. McGregor, Thewlis, and Coon make even the most routine Fargo entry delightful and watchable, but season three’s problem, and this pains me to say, might be Noah Hawley. Coming off of the endlessly thoughtful and inventive Legion, it’s time to start wondering if Fargo got put on the back burner in Hawley’s mind. If this is the result of that, then half-baked Hawley is still better than half-baked anyone else. But it’s a shame to have such committed and strong performances in a season that doesn’t boast either of those qualities for itself quite yet. But there’s still time. Until then, any episode with a sequence as entertaining as Ray, dressed as his brother, finding only dog ashes in Emmit’s safety deposit box is at least a partial winner. Grade: B

By Matt Dougherty

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