Fargo: The Crocodile's Dilemma   First Watch 
December 23, 2014 10:59 PM - Season 1, Episode 1 - Subscribe

A manipulative man meets a small town insurance salesman and sets him on a path of destruction.
posted by mathowie (10 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I'm catching up on this show for the first time and WOW what an intro episode. I can't believe how rich of a story they fit in the first hour, with several story lines at once, and not one but three murders. So much deep background on everyone that it was better than the Breaking Bad first episode, which I've always held up as the best first episode of a series I've seen.

I'm not sure about Martin Freeman as a Minnesota native, but he does a good job if you ignore the wavering accent.

Pretty amazing ending of the show, with Freeman's Nygaard having a way out of his marriage, a cover-up for his murder, and a possible insurance payout.

Billy Bob Thornton's character is amazing, reminding me of the bad guy from No Country For Old Men, just super manipulative and menacing and a total badass. Thornton does an amazing job with it.
posted by mathowie at 11:08 PM on December 23, 2014 [2 favorites]

I too found Martin Freeman's accent distractingly wobbly in the first few episodes, but over time either he settled into it or I got used to it. It's a great performance, especially in the back half of the series; he totally vanishes into Lester Nygaard.

It often feels to me like every character Freeman plays is more-or-less Tim-from-The-Office -- his performance as Watson in Sherlock has quite a lot of Office-ey quizzical glances to camera. But here he's playing a completely different role. I don't know if it was the chance to play something out of character, or the presence of Billy Bob Thornton, or simply the quality of the writing; but he upped his game here.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:27 PM on December 23, 2014 [3 favorites]

Also, I thought it did a good job of capturing the essential flavor of the movie without falling into the traps of slavishly imitating it or literally retelling the story. Surprising; miniseries-based-on-a-movie is usually not a good recipe.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:32 PM on December 23, 2014 [6 favorites]

(Marathoning on FXM, aka FX Movie Channel on New Year's Day, FWIW.)
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:38 PM on December 23, 2014 [2 favorites]

So what happens when this discussion loops around to Episode Four, the first post-FanFare episode? We were pretty good (by accident) about not jumping back to old episodes to spoil them, so will they become Essentially First Watch threads and y'all will jump in on the bottom of the discussion or what?
posted by Etrigan at 9:21 AM on December 24, 2014

Etrigan, I was just going to post the next two and leave comments in the existing threads, since those were all first watch by default of being when the show aired live for the first time.
posted by mathowie at 10:56 PM on December 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

Cool. Thanks.

Etrigan awaits the inevitable doublecross.
posted by Etrigan at 6:33 AM on December 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

Finally started in on Fargo and WOW what a start! Glad to know Freeman's accent settles down, as it's distracting. It feels the stage is being set, looking forward to where things will go.
posted by jazon at 7:18 PM on January 11, 2015

The white russian ad on the blackboard in the diner is a cute touch.
posted by tracicle at 1:46 PM on April 17, 2015 [3 favorites]

Finally started watching this last night. Well, the show definitely starts strong! Martin Freeman seemed a puzzling choice to me at first, but as the episode went on I could get beyond it and see just how fantastic he is with Nygaard.

And Thornton's character? Now that's how to play chaotic evil.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 5:06 PM on December 1, 2015

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