Fargo: The Tender Trap
December 21, 2023 4:47 AM - Season 5, Episode 6 - Subscribe

Lorraine calls things off, Gator asks questions, Wayne makes a surprising discovery and Indira offers a new perspective.
posted by fight or flight (8 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Another neat, complex episode. It feels like lots of plot elements are on the move without much overtly happening.

Jennifer Jason Leigh ate it up as always. Loved her putting the heel in to that poor banker, and her moment of humane disgust and horror at the end with Nadine/Dot's file.

It was an interesting and effective choice, imo, to directly contrast those scenes of domestic violence and abuse from Indira's shitty husband going into Roy's casual violence. Both are horrible and I bet that a lot of women out there recognised themselves, to some degree, in Indira. From the reaction I've seen online, more people found themselves viscerally angry at Lars than they did at Roy. Is that because Roy is already a villain and his domestic abuse is expected? Or because we're used to seeing that overt violence and less so the exhausting, demeaning, grinding-down kind of emotional/financial abuse from Lars?

Other neat things:

The title and the name of the strip join is a pretty fun play on words. Tender as in legal tender as in money and debt, or tender as in emotional tenderness as in relationships that trap you. Either way, difficult to escape from.

Wrench's theme as Munch was driving away made me very happy. I still hold out hope that Mr Wrench is going to turn up again and kick some ass, though iirc the series has used the Wrench theme a few times without featuring the man himself, usually at "oh shit, now it gets real" moments.
posted by fight or flight at 4:57 AM on December 21, 2023 [3 favorites]

The "I want a wife" speech is supposedly inspired by Judy Syfers' essay in New York magazine in 1971, launching Gloria Steinem's feminist magazine.

Noah Hawley spoke about being inspired by it in this interview:
How did you land on the premise for the new season of Fargo?

Every time I finish one, I don’t know if there’ll be another. But here, some of it was timing. We wrapped the fourth year of Fargo in August 2020, and I knew I wasn’t going to be able to film Alien until 2023 and it won’t air until 2024. So, I had this window to make a Fargo, and that motivated me to go, “OK, well, what?” I went back to the original film, and it’s such a compelling moral dilemma story, and the characters are so great, but I found myself focused on Bill Macy’s wife. It was such a great performance, but once the bag went over her head, that was it for her. I thought, “What if the bag never goes over the head? What if she’s not kidnappable and there’s a backstory there?”

It opened me up to explore this concept of “the wife.” I found this great New York Magazine piece from the 1970s where this woman wrote this essay called, “I Want a Wife.” She wrote about all the things that she wanted a wife to do for her. I thought that was really fun to play with, as well. And I thought that given that every year the show, for me, is primarily female in identity, because the movie was Marge’s story, when you think about it, that would be a really powerful place to land.
posted by fight or flight at 8:24 AM on December 21, 2023 [12 favorites]

Not sure if I want Indira to take the job or not. Which is to say, I'm not sure how happy or noiry I want the ending to skew.

Tender as in legal tender as in money and debt, or tender as in emotional tenderness as in relationships that trap you

There's also, you know, the pussy level of meaning. Don't tell me Sinatra wasn't thinking about that when he sang it.
posted by fleacircus at 8:33 AM on December 21, 2023 [2 favorites]

I'm hoping Indira can find a way to cut the gordian knot which is to say, lose her husband and his debt, while still maintaining her sense of purpose. She's the only one who actually cares about the victims of crimes, and I don't want her to lose that.
posted by miss-lapin at 6:37 PM on December 21, 2023 [7 favorites]

this one was hard to watch.
posted by lapolla at 4:59 PM on December 22, 2023

Can Mrs Lyons become perhaps the first Fargo character to change their mind?
posted by oldnumberseven at 5:41 PM on December 22, 2023 [7 favorites]

Great episode - maybe the best of the series so far.
posted by Paul Slade at 11:47 PM on December 22, 2023

yea, this episode is coming for sexism hard and I am here for it
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 1:27 PM on December 23, 2023

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