210 - "Palindrome"

245

Comments

  • edited December 2015
    When an episode starts with a foot chase and "War Pigs", you just don't expect the second half to wind down and focus on family drama.

    I don't know when the "epilogue" finale became a thing, but it's kind of messing with how I watch shows.  The Knick season finale is Friday... are they going to come out swinging or reflect on the season in quiet rooms? Damn you epilogue.
    Doctor_Nick
  • I think the Coen brothers' movies often "ramp down" after the climax.
    ElisaDaveyMac
  • I liked it, but, I feel like I needed Hanzee or Mike to kill Mike or Hanzee.  I think you know what I mean.
  • FlashGordonFlashGordon Leeds, UK
    edited December 2015
    I agree with alot of the above comment,

     Really loved the reflective final episode, while it wasn't perfect (UFO, could have done with a bit more resolution..etc) there was a lot to love about this season of Fargo. If anything I wish I had more Gerhardts- Bear primarily, Hanzee, Lou, Mike Milligan story because they did some excellent world building. 

    What really made it for me was the tone and the acting, the period and place which I felt was pitch perfect.
    I guess some might not love the monologues and slow paced finale, but it worked for me ,with just across the board good acting,Bokeem Woodbine, Patrick Wilson, Zahn McClarnon, Angus Sampson, Ted Danson - loved every scene of theirs

    Edit: Forgot to mention-  the call back to No Country For Old Men, when Peggy & Ed were trying to get away , flag down a car and the driver just get's immediately killed by the big bad, Brilliant
    Elisasteph_b
  • edited December 2015
    @Zinzan

    By climax, do you mean the episode climax or season climax? Because both are problematic. 

    Season 1 just handled this soo much better.  That was a knock-down-drag-out finale that ramped down to this very small moment with Molly and her nuclear family on the couch.  The season 2 finale was a weird mix of loose threads from episode 9 and trying to find resolutions for every character.  I think "Loplop" and "The Castle" were clearly better episodes, and that may go back to this epilogue thing.  If you peak in episode 9, you need to be crystal clear about ramping down next episode.  The finale was clear as mud.
  • ElisaElisa Los Angeles
    Mike Milligan begins in the typewriter store and ends with a typewriter in his tiny office.  Classic.
    FlashGordonpavlovsbellkingbee67NikkiPKatieAnfinsen
  • pavlovsbellpavlovsbell Brooklyn, NY
    edited December 2015
    Elisa said:

    Mike Milligan begins in the typewriter store and ends with a typewriter in his tiny office.  Classic.

    That was his revolution, "the action of moving around something in a path that is similar to a circle."  Like Peggy wanting to break out of her figurative prison only to end up in a literal prison, Betsy learning that she has terminal cancer only to find that the "cure" for her cancer will kill her first, Ed dying in a meat locker, etc.  Many characters ended up in horribly ironic or absurd versions of their beginnings.  Kind of like a palindrome but not really.
    AshleyElisaghm3hypergenesbkingbee67LiquidTheoryDaveyMacA_Ron_Hubbardtom_gAdmountand 3 others.
  • AshleyAshley Atlanta, GA
    I thought this was another excellent hour of television. Definitely not how I expected it to end, but what a pleasant surprise. In only ten episodes, I realized I became pretty emotionally attached to a lot of these weirdos. I don't think that was the case last season. Same for these actors. (I had no idea Kirsten Dunst could act!)

    Just read Sepinwall's review, and I completely agreed with it. Stellar season, with an equally fantastic ending. 
    ElisahypergenesbpavlovsbellZinzanUnderwoodsteph_b
  • kingbee67kingbee67 Los Angeles Ca.
    I bet Mike Milligan would feel like an ass if he said a French quote or some poem or asked for a definition, and some answered or cut him with I heard that one.
  • chriskchrisk Indianapolis
    edited December 2015

    I agree with alot of the above comment,


     Really loved the reflective final episode, while it wasn't perfect (UFO, could have done with a bit more resolution..etc) there was a lot to love about this season of Fargo. If anything I wish I had more Gerhardts- Bear primarily, Hanzee, Lou, Mike Milligan story because they did some excellent world building. 

    What really made it for me was the tone and the acting, the period and place which I felt was pitch perfect.
    I guess some might not love the monologues and slow paced finale, but it worked for me ,with just across the board good acting,Bokeem Woodbine, Patrick Wilson, Zahn McClarnon, Angus Sampson, Ted Danson - loved every scene of theirs

    Edit: Forgot to mention-  the call back to No Country For Old Men, when Peggy & Ed were trying to get away , flag down a car and the driver just get's immediately killed by the big bad, Brilliant

    I think the scene with Hanzee seeing Lou in the window and ducking behind the car is straight out of No Country too. Almost shot for shot, up to and including the point where Lou comes around the car. 

    I was glad Hanzee didn't actually pursue them into the grocery. Didn't feel like it made a whole lot of sense for him to go all Michael Myers/Jason on them. 

    Turning him into the boss from Season 1 though? A bridge too far. I don't totally remember the character, but does anyone see him turning into this guy? 


    Not just physically, because that's a hell of a surgeon for back in 1979, but emotionally/behaviorally/mentally? It's more the life Mike Milligan seemed to want.

    I didn't feel Peggy and Lou's conversation in the car worked very well at all. In fact the whole episode needed to land right then, and neither one of them ended up making a cogent point as far as I can tell. They seemed to talk past each other without listening and while that's profound in it's own way, it doesn't feel like where a finale should find it's characters. There should be something of an understanding, even if it's not a happy one. I was hoping Lou was just going to cut her loose (because who gives a damn at this point) and get back to his life. 

    Loved Mike's scene in the office. Not so much his brief adventure in the Gerhard's Nazi Den. 
    FlashGordon
  • Hank invented emoticons?
    DeeElisasteph_b
  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    This was a great season of Fargo. I just want to say that.

    To grow as a show, I feel Hawley needs to throw out the Coen brothers playbook. After all, the Coens certainly do. When this show devolves into paint by numbers pastiche, as I'm going to argue it did especially down the home stretch, it really bogs down. Nods and references and homages are well and good, but honestly the slavish desire to fit about twelve Coen moments in the final two is hours just about scuttled the season for me. Yeah, yeah, I'm suffering a bit from UFO hang over, which I expected, but it's hard not to compare the final three episodes from both seasons and find this one wanting. But maybe that's the consequence of moving away from a quirky crime drama and putting on a theater of the absurd.

    That said, I did like Betsy's dream, and the quiet family moments. Got a bit choked up at Betsy's vision of the future.
    Elisa
  • I loved this finale. The filmmaking, the tone, the performances. All of it was top-notch in my book. I'm still not sure how I feel about the UFO stuff, but it doesn't really affect my enjoyment of the season as a whole. Plus, I liked how Lou and Ben, and later Lou and Hank kind of didn't know how to talk about the UFO stuff and also about the paperwork aspect.

    This back half of the season has been littered with not only references, but whole Coen scenes. Some fit in with the series better than others, but I thought all of them worked really well in this episode. The Raising Arizona dream was great. The No Country chase was well done. I loved the Fargo car ride with Peggy and I thought the Fargo ending with Lou and Betsy was a great way to finish it off. They also straight up used the music from Fargo, the film and I've always loved that score.

    Only thing I wasn't too sure about was the Hanzee getting a new face idea. I do like that he didn't get caught, though.
    ZinzanhypergenesbElisaAdmountsteph_b
  • Just read the Sepinwall wall review and he gives a very good explanation for the purpose of including Hank's monologue about creating a new language and the purpose isn't just about adding to Hank's character but is really tied into larger themes of communication and miscommunication throughout the season. Perhaps a bit on the nose, but I really liked it.

    http://www.hitfix.com/whats-alan-watching/review-fargo-sticks-the-season-2-landing-with-palindrome

    Oh and one last thing; Kirstin Dunst and Jesse Plemons really nailed it this season. Fantastic performances all around, but these two really surprised me with how good they were.
    ZinzanElisa
  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    Honest question: Why or maybe the better question is how do the people who enjoy the shot for shot and line for line callbacks to Coen movies enjoy them? What is your thought process and emotional state when you're watching them?

    I say this as a guy who loved me some breaking bad callbacks, but this is on a whole other level. At some point, doesn't this become a sort of Family Guy for dramas? The Family Guy star wars episode is on in the background as I'm typing this, and I'm thinking, I should enjoy this, but I'm not, it's just too much and a bit too obvious. Fargo isn't that bad, but can you squint a bit and see where I'm coming from?
  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    I didn't think much of Sepinwall's review, funny enough, but there was an intriguing line of comments analyzing the season as a take on corporate America taking over the mom and pops, which has, hell, is nothing new, but the angle I liked is the role that everyday Americans like Ed and Peggy serve in that takeover, and also how unique and powerful individuals such as Mike Milligan are used as tools and then assimilated or destroyed.
    NikkiPJohn_NadaDaveyMac
  • broompersonbroomperson the Iron Islands
    UNDERWHELMED
    NikkiP
  • broompersonbroomperson the Iron Islands
    This episode was like watching an hour of Noah Hawley jerking off.
  • DaveyMacDaveyMac Tokyo
    edited December 2015
    That is a great question, A.Ron, and I'm not sure I can come up with a good answer. For me, the references can be hit or miss. An example miss was the whole line about going crazy up there at the lake. They had the line uttered like three separate times in the episode and it didn't really make sense for Ed to say that line anyway and felt like a callback for callback's sake.

    But for some of the other ones that do work for me, part of my enjoyment is just simple recognition, but I also have to feel like it fits in with the story/tone/themes of what's going on and in the process create something different or new. Like the Fargo car ride. The setting and camera angles are similar and really evokes the film, but what's going on in the scene is totally different. In the film Marge is talking about how all those people died and for what, a little money. Whereas here the prisoner is the one talking and she's trying to explain herself and her frustrations in life, and the scene doesn't really hinge on the reference. It's just a nice little nod that feels of a piece with the Fargo universe, but doesn't rely upon your previous experience with Fargo.

    I have a harder time making an argument for something like the Raising Arizona dream sequence, but for whatever reason it really worked for me.

    I guess, if I felt like Hawley was just making a scene for scene remake of Fargo, I really wouldn't like it at all as I don't think there would be a purpose in that. But I feel like he's doing more of a Tarantino or Kanye West type of thing where he's taking something that he loves and re-working some elements of it and mixing it in with some of his own ideas to create a new story. Like those guys, I also think that you don't need to have seen the previous works to appreciate what he's doing here. It needs to stand on its own and I think it does. It's so hard to find the line though, and I totally get how the references could start to feel gimmicky, pretentious, eye rolly, etc, and I'm just hoping the show never gets to that point with me.

    I totally get your point of view though, and I am slightly worried that he's going to take it too far down the Family Guy path in the future, but I'm pretty satisfied with where they're at with it right now. I'm sure I haven't really given a satisfactory answer to your question here, but it's the best I've got off the top of my head.
    Elisa
  • broompersonbroomperson the Iron Islands
    Honestly the more I sit on this the more pissed off I am. I did not sign up for a post Vietnam allegory on ushering in the modern generation. I hated the Milligan scene at the end. Horribly heavy handed. I felt like Adam Arkin and Noah Hawley jumped thru my tv and started beating me over the head with a slab of bacon with all the fucking office buzz words. I GET IT. But in no way do I believe that is the type of thing that would happen in real life or even in the Fargo universe I thought I knew.


    Honestly the way he told the story this season has been pretentious as fuck. The aliens had no significance to the plot really. None at all. I don't care about theater of the absurd bullshit. I signed up for Fargo not "Hodge-Podge of Homages to a ton of Coen Bros Stuff and Also a Ton of Vietnam Stories That Have No Real Effect on the Plot"




    there's no correlation with all this stuff. None of it makes sense knowing what I knew about season 1. Got no answers about Hanzee. Except a bullshit reference to season 1 where I think we're supposed to infer that he got his age subtracted by 30 years and turned into a fat white guy and is running the Fargo syndicate in 2006? BULLSHIT. Bullshit. Bullshit. Bullshit.



    This finale disgusted me. The season was brilliant at times, but at other times was prententious ass BULLSHIT. Just tell the story. A Fargo story. 10 episodes like the Ed Peggy and Dodd episode is what I want.





  • broompersonbroomperson the Iron Islands
    Apparently season 3 will be set in 2010 and focuses on selfie culture?? What the fuck???
  • DeeDee Adelaide
    Honestly, @A_Ron_Hubbard, I'm such a creepy Coen bros fangirl that the merest hint of an homage will have me giggling like an idiot. The logical side of me can see that maybe Noah Hawley laid it on a bit thick this season, but the Coen geek in me is like yassssssss!
    DaveyMachypergenesbElisapavlovsbellsteph_b
  • DrewDrew indianapolis
    All this salt.

    Finale was great. Season was great. Second best show of the year behind The Americans season 3. Boom.
    DeeAshleyhypergenesbZinzanUnderwoodElisapavlovsbellsteph_bstannisangAshleyOcean
  • DeeDee Adelaide
    I'm with @Drew - loved it.
    hypergenesbElisasteph_b
  • edited December 2015

    1. Got no answers about Hanzee. Except a bullshit reference to season 1 where I think we're supposed to infer that he got his age subtracted by 30 years and turned into a fat white guy and is running the Fargo syndicate in 2006? BULLSHIT. Bullshit. Bullshit. Bullshit.

    What in the reverse Rachel Dolezal heck did his "face guy" do? Did Hanzee go in and request the Michael Jackson?

    With that line about the maid and Dodd's slurs (mongrel, half-breed), they strongly suggest that Hanzee was Otto's illigitimate son. The guy was treated poorly all his life, experienced severe trauma in Vietnam and when he came back he was reduced from Purple Heart hero to the help *by his own blood.* Why intentionally write him as a Native American, give him real, human motivations, but still invest him with this Malvo-like evil in the last two episodes to explain why he killed the Gerharts? I'm not mad about the finale, but I can clearly see that the writers couldn't properly handle a complex story dealing with race. I'm just really puzzled by how Hanzee was handled.
    Elisa
  • edited December 2015
    Drew said:

    All this salt.

    *licks metaphorical salt and vinegar chips*

    Different strokes, folks, etc...
    Elisa
  • hypergenesbhypergenesb Atlanta
    edited December 2015
    x
    Elisa
  • Honest question: Why or maybe the better question is how do the people who enjoy the shot for shot and line for line callbacks to Coen movies enjoy them? What is your thought process and emotional state when you're watching them?

    I say this as a guy who loved me some breaking bad callbacks, but this is on a whole other level. At some point, doesn't this become a sort of Family Guy for dramas? The Family Guy star wars episode is on in the background as I'm typing this, and I'm thinking, I should enjoy this, but I'm not, it's just too much and a bit too obvious. Fargo isn't that bad, but can you squint a bit and see where I'm coming from?

    The majority of the Coen films referenced in Fargo range from 10 to 20+ years old, so I'm sure that nostalgia plays a significant roll. For example, I saw Raising Arizona my senior year in high school, that's close to 30 years ago for me. My friends endlessly quoted this film (and frankly, not that many people knew this movie, so it was "ours"). To see it trotted out as homage/reference/etc in this finale, and delivered by Betsy in the context of this season's story, it felt like a clever plot device and emotively appropriate. The Hawley/Coen remix works for me (most of the time) because of this. Was their a bit too much of it this season? Maybe, but I didn't find it distracting from the story. If anything, like @Dee, it probably made me love it more.

    The brilliance of what Hawley is doing is that if you've never seen the Coen movie referenced, how it plays in the execution still works. If you haven't seen Miller's Crossing, does Simone's trek into the woods still work? If you haven't seen Raising Arizona, did Betsy's dream still work? From talking with my podcast co-host, who's seen neither of those films, it did work effectively. 
    DaveyMacElisaZinzanpavlovsbellsteph_bDeetom_gstannisang
  • ZinzanZinzan ATL
    edited December 2015
    It is funny. Some things work for some, don't work for others, and vice-versa. If you're not feeling a show, nothing will work--call backs, plot twists, etc. and if you're loving a show, you can go along with almost anything.

    I guess because they ran together this season, Fargo and The Leftovers seemed to almost be in competition with one another, with the whole "who won the week?" chatter. But that really should have never been the case. They are both really good shows, possibly great to some.

    For what it's worth, I enjoyed both shows. Most weeks, I felt they both won. I think there are valid criticisms of both finales, but some of us don't want to hear them or just don't care that much.

    In regards to Coen Bros call backs, I never felt they were farce (a la Family Guy Star Wars). If someone didn't recall Raising Arizona, Betsy's I had a Dream scene still works beautifully. If someone hadn't seen Miller's Crossing, the Bear-Simone scene is still beautifully brutal. The Scene where Hanzee sees Lou in the mirror may be a call back to NCfOM, but I didn't remember it, and it still makes sense in the Finale. And now that I do know it, I find it interesting.

    BTW, I don't have the URL in front of me, but there is an article I saw last night entitled something like "Noah Hawley answers 15 questions about the Finale". Worth a read.

    Edit: Just noticed that @hypergenesb made similar comments regarding the call backs as I was originally typing up my post. Great minds think alike. :-)

    Also, here is the article I refer to above, but in googling, it looks like Noah Hawley has done a handful of other interviews in the past 24 hours. I haven't read any of the others yet.


    DaveyMacElisapavlovsbellsteph_bDee
  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    Drew said:

    All this salt.

    Finale was great. Season was great. Second best show of the year behind The Americans season 3. Boom.

    Yeah, I guess give me some rubber boots and an umbrella and call me Morton's.
    NikkiPDrewDaveyMac
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