Red Snow: Episode 1 – The Law of Vacant Places


After an almost eighteen month wait since the end of season two, FX’s Fargo, the spin-off anthology series based on the 1996 Coen Brothers’ black comedy film, returns. The first two seasons were met with critical acclaim for the spectacularly clever writing by series creator Noah Hawley and the consistently great performances by an ensemble cast.

The season three premiere really drives home the overarching themes and character-types. Each season it seems that the show centers upon an unwitting and somewhat incompetent character who commits a murder in the first episode out of either desperation or accident, with Lester Nygaard killing his wife in the season one premiere and Peggy Blumquist running over Ray Gerhardt in the season two premiere, that drives the plot of the rest of the season. This third season is no different.

This season has a reemergence of a mysterious criminal enterprise, as with Malvo’s assassination agency in season one and the Gerhardt-Kansas City blood war in season two.  As well as the morale center of the show character archetype, as with Molly Solverson in season one and her father Lou Solverson in season two. And it is no mistake that all three happen to be in law enforcement, as the show will not stray from the original confines that Hawley created.

What we have yet to see, or at least it hasn’t been obvious is who the charismatic anti-hero will be. They often are a fan favorite, bring along the most quotable lines and best performances; as with Billy Bob Thorton’s portrayal of the hitman Lorne Malvo in season one and Bokeem Woodbine as the Kansas City mob’s enforcer Mike Milligan in season two.

To some, the overarching themes may give off a feeling that we’ve been down a similar path before, but Hawley’s weird and astute writing and world building makes the show must watch television. And if the show’s track record is to be believed, the season will only get better from here.