The self-referentialism of Fargo: 10 easter eggs in Season Two so far
WARNING: The following piece reveals plot details of Fargo seasons 1 and 2 and the Fargo feature film.
We’re now just two thrilling episodes into the second season of FX’s Fargo, and are already patting ourselves on the back for noticing a number of easter eggs and graphic matches linking the new season to both season one and the Coen Brothers’ film. Don’t believe us? Prepare to have your mind blown by the comparisons below.
1. A car accident at night.
The first episodes of both Fargo TV seasons see a central character hit a body with their car. In S01E01, Lorne Malvo (Billy Bob Thornton) drives down a highway with a man in his trunk, before hitting a deer and swerving off the road, allowing the captive to escape.
In S02E01 it’s beautician Peggy Blomquist (Kirsten Dunst) who hits a large object, only this time, it’s a human. The ‘victim’ (if we can call him that) is Rye Gerhardt (Keiran Culkin), who is dealt some universal justice after killing three innocent people at a waffle house.
2. Speaking of that waffle house, doesn’t it look awfully like Lou’s Coffee Shop in Season One?
3. Somebody ditches their clothes after a murder.
First we saw Martin Freeman’s Lester Nygaard anxiously bagging up his blood-splattered shirt and pants after hammering his wife’s skull to a messy pulp. In season two, a rather more sympathetic Ed Blomquist (Jesse Plemons) dutifully burns his clothes after cleaning up the remains of Rye Gerhardt.
4. A body is ground up.
Unfortunately for butcher Blomquist, the disposal of Gerhardt’s body isn’t as simple as mopping the floor, and requires a late-night trip to his place of work, for use of the meat grinder. This visual clearly harks back to Carl Showalter (Steve Buscemi)’s demise in a wood chipper in the Fargo feature film.
5. While we’re comparing Gerhardt and Showalter, did anyone else notice the mirror image of this turtle neck/moustache/hairstyle combo?
On top of dressing the same, both characters are volatile drug-users, who rope innocent bystanders into botched murders.
6. These guys aren’t the only döpplegangers we encounter. Check out the similarity between Otto Gerhardt (Rye’s father) and Wade Gustasfon (Jerry Lundegaard’s father-in-law in the film).
Both are apparently stolid voices of reason who are suddenly taken out of the picture, allowing calamity to ensue. Coincidence? We think not.
7. And the matching hairstyles of Police Chief Vern Thurman’s wife and State Trooper Lou Solverson’s wives.
We know that the loving Thurman couple were torn apart by tragedy in Fargo season one, and think it pretty likely that the same could happen to the Solversons this season.
8. Eggs are a popular meal.
In Fargo the movie, pregnant Marge (Frances McDormand)’s husband makes eggs for her before she heads out to investigate the murders at the car crash. In season one of the TV show, Bemidji chief Bill (Bob Odenkirk) declares that he’d rather sit and let the omelette his wife made him digest than have to get up and listen to Molly talk about the murders in town. And in this latest season, Lou’s wife Betsy Solverson (Cristin Milioti) is unable to cook eggs for her father Hank (Ted Danson) as the smell, coupled with the side effects of her chemotherapy treatment, makes her nauseous. We know there are a few familial links between seasons one and two of the TV show, and eggs could well be a symbol of generational ties.
9. Crooks come in pairs.
Not only do the silent Kitchen twins in season two visually remind us of Mr. Numbers and Mr. Wrench from season one; they also communicate non-verbally with one another in a similar fashion to deaf mute Mr. Wrench and his partner.
10. The streets look the same.
Specifically, we can’t help thinking that Ed Blomquist’s butcher shop might even be on the same site as Nygaard Insurance. We all remember the shocking conclusion to S01E09, in which Lester kills his second wife at this site. Could the familiar location give us any clues as to things to come between Ed and Peggy Blomquist?
So… What does it all mean?
In a franchise so acutely detailed and well-rendered as Fargo, it’s likely that these references are no accident. We know that season two is a prequel to season one, set in more or less the same location, and exploring the ‘Sioux Falls massacre’ so frequently referenced by characters Molly Solverson and her father Lou in the original series.
Taken simplistically, the apparent mirror images across the Fargo franchise could offer ideas about the circularity of time and memory, and about successive generations being haunted by the sins of their fathers.
However, we’re confident that these recurring motifs will help to shape the plot of season two in some meaningful way. We’ll be watching with a magnified eye to see where these paths may lead in the episodes to come.
GIFs, screencaps and crackpot theories created by @_allyrussell.
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