‘Rhinoceros’ & ‘Did you do this – No, you did it’
Blimey, what a couple of weeks Fargo has had while we’ve been away. If a flaming butcher’s wasn’t enough death and destruction for you, surely the last two episodes of Noah Hawley’s acclaimed series (which has been renewed for a third season) will have proved satisfactory, as the mob war took its most deadly turn yet. Sublime action, enthralling performances and some damn fine looking cinematography made for the best two episodes of the season yet.
The star of the show in sixth episode Rhinoceros was by a country mile Parks and Recreation actor Nick Offerman’s drunk lawyer Karl Weathers. His unrivalled comic acting combined with some of the show’s best dialogue yet marked a return to the kind of humour we had come to expect by the end of last season, and had until now gone without this time around.“Let’s say for the purposes of the cameras that are no doubt watching, that a negative shake side to side shall in this case be a positive affirmation” brought the show’s biggest laugh of the season, until moments later the “defender of the misaccused”’s “obvious death penalty snafu” blew it out of the water. Even the mighty Mike Milligan, with his sinister Jabberwocky recital, was overshadowed by Offerman’s masterful display.
Bokeem Woodbine’s Milligan did however put in one hell of a performance in a duo of episodes that saw his power deplete and employers turn on him, as we learned that it wasn’t just the Gerhardts that had suffered significant damage in this bloody mob war. The aforementioned recital in Rhinoceros, accompanied by the death-by-handshake in the following episode, had Milligan well and truly assert himself as a neo-Jules Winnfield character, perhaps even more unnerving than Samuel L Jackson’s hitman on account of his winning smile and warped sense of courtesy. And, as has been noted in previous Fargo reviews, he has a pair of excellent sideburns.Ed Blomquist took matters into his own hands as he escaped capture and told Milligan of his “lucky day” in an intriguing conclusion to the second of the two episodes, whilst poor Betsy Solverson just continues to break our hearts. Her husband Lou, on the other hand, enjoyed his finest moment yet in a simple exchange with Duluth Police Department’s Ben Schmidt: “You’re a shit cop. You know that, right?”
As has been the case all season Rhinoceros and (the snappily titled) “Did you do this? No, you did it!” looked and sounded stunning, as funky split screens and even funkier music brought them to life. Directors Jeffry Reiner and Keith Gordon can be very happy with their work.
There are plenty of questions yet to be answered as Fargo kept us hooked right to the very end of two thrilling episodes. How on Earth has Ed managed to end up holding all the cards? And just what has Betsy discovered in her dad’s house? With just three episodes of season two to go, this programme is showing no signs of dropping the pace, or quality.
‘Did you do this – No, you did it’ ★★★★