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‘Fargo’ continues to be more and more chaotic and unpredictable

‘The Castle’ features betrayals, a massacre and aliens


/ Courtesy of FX The Spectrum

Show: Fargo

Network: FX

Rating: A-

So just as Lou Solverson (Patrick Wilson) is about to be strangled in a motel parking lot by Bear Gerhardt, (Angus Sampson) a flying saucer appears 30 feet above them, shining three bright lights down on the parking lot.

The UFO appearance has been a long time coming.

With hints varying from a subtle bumper sticker to Hank’s secret room filled with presumably alien symbols, the alien subplot has been as confusing as ever and at times threatens to derail the entire season.

It’s a bold decision by creator and head writer Noah Hawley.

With the intricately layered plot and characters in “Fargo,” throwing aliens into the mix seems unnecessary and possibly damaging to an otherwise flawless season.

I cannot come up with a definitive stance on the use of aliens. On the one hand, it’s really strange and as of yet unexplained in anyway. On the other hand, it is a wonderfully unpredictable element in the show.

The flying saucer acts as a deus ex machinain “The Castle.”

Lou is alone at this point, with all other officers dead or dying. But suddenly, the UFO appears, distracting Bear long enough for Lou to shoot him in the head.

The aliens themselves have killed no one directly. Rye Gerhardt is killed in the first episode because he sees the bright lights of an unclear flying saucer and is distracted before Peggy runs him over with her car. Now, another Gerhardt is dead from an otherworldly distraction.

Do the aliens have a plan? Are they fumbling around like an extraterrestrial version of the Blumquists? Is this just cross promotion for “The X-Files”reboot on FX?

“Fargo” has one episode left to clarify or to conceal the meaning of the aliens. Maybe we should all just follow Peggy Blumquist’s (Kirsten Dunst) simplistic sentiment and say “it’s just a flying saucer!”

While the aliens are doing no direct killing of their own, Hanzee Dent (Zahn McClarnon) is doing almost all of the killing on his own.

Martin Freeman, who played the main character in season one of “Fargo,” rejoins as an intermittent narrator, shedding light on Hanzee. He asks why exactly Hanzee decides to turn on the Gerhardts, posing possible theories as to why but simply dismissing them as conjecture.

Hanzee, after stabbing Gerhardt matriarch Floyd (Jean Smart) in the gut, approaches the massacre that he schemed up.

As he shoots both police officers and Gerhardt henchmen, he interestingly does not shoot Bear, leaving him to strangle Lou. Perhaps he left Bear alive because Bear was the only one of the Gerhardts who ever showed much kindness to him. But just like Martin Freeman, we can only guess into Hanzee’s head.

In terms of the gang war, it pretty much seems like the Kansas City Gang wins by default. While the Gerhardts were winning, their inability to deal with the Blumquists has cost them dearly. Every Gerhardt is dead except Charlie, who doesn’t seem to have the stomach for the criminal life anyway.

Mike Milligan (Bokeem Woodbine) quick appearance at the end of the massacre sums it up. He sees the Gerhardts decimated and their leader dead. He is able to basically claim victory thanks to Hanzee’s deceit.

The use of a narrator reading a history book written about the events of “Fargo”while alien onlookers watch and perhaps inadvertently interfere gives a unique context. Not only are historians interested about the events that unfolded in the Midwest, but so too are aliens.

And why not?

“Fargo” is quite simply one of the best and most engrossing shows on TV right now.

Dan McKeon is a contributing arts writer. Arts desk can be reached at arts@ubspectrum.com.


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