Jump to content
Forums forums
PRIMETIMER

solotrek

S01.E01: The Crocodile's Dilemma

Recommended Posts

FX put the first 7 minutes online here. Martin Freeman's accent sounds kind of Scottish? It comes and goes. On the plus side, all the other actors seem to be hitting the Minnesotan pretty well. Other than that, I'm liking the feel of the show.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Anyone going to watch the new series on FX tonight, Fargo? (based on the movie of the same name)

Edited by Valny

Share this post


Link to post

Did anyone else get a Twin Peaks-like vibe? The vast wide shots of the sky, the forest, the weirdness, the non sequiturs. I was almost expecting the Log Lady to wander by...

Share this post


Link to post

I liked it and didn't mind the reminders of the movie.  These characters weren't as OTT (constantly talking about the weather as they did in the movie). So, I'm wondering: how did Lorne get into town after he deserted his car and where did Lorne go after he went into the basement (he'd disappeared from there by the time Lester came down to look for him).  Does it have something to do with him somehow knowing that the patrolman (Hanks) has a daughter? Can he walk through walls?  Can't wait for next Tuesday!

Share this post


Link to post

The Log Lady may wander by yet. This show is just sa-darn tasty. Besides being Twin Peaks-like, it retains the flavor that the Coens put into the movie. There are tender moments, light-hearted silliness, horrific acts and just plain weirdness blending together. I couldn't wait to see what would happen next.

I gasped when Lester hit his wife with the hammer and then beat her with it. I wanted to hate him but that lasted only a few seconds, then I was on his side again. Not saying his wife deserved it but it did shut her up.

I'm going to hell with Lester.

Sorry that Joey from Big Love didn't get to hang around for another episode.

Count me in for every second of this series.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

I really liked it. I caught a couple of Coen Brothers references:

1. Norm's Pizza sign

2. White Russian on the "Special" sign at the restaurant/diner

Did anyone catch any others?

Edited by Accidental Martyr

Share this post


Link to post

It's been a while since I've see the film, but this show definitely had a similar feel to it.  Obvious, different stories and characters too, but Lester definitely reminded me of Jerry/William H. Macy, and I suspect Molly is going to be this version's Marge/Francis McDormand.

I liked it.  I wasn't sure at first, but it grew on me as it went, and I think I was completely sold as soon as all the crazy shit went down (Lester killing Penny, Lorne killing Vern).  While Shawn Doyle did a good job at making Vern likable, I do like that his death will now likely put Molly front and center.  I was a bit worried when it was revealed she was just the deputy, because I was worried we won't get a big female character in this, but now I think we will.

Acting was very good.  Martin Freeman's accent was all over the place, but I can't think of anyone else who can pull off a sad-sack loser, who becomes unhinged, like I think he will.  Never heard of Allison Tolman, but I was really impressed with her.  Always great to see Bob Odenkirk.  Tons of recognizable faces like Doyle, Colin Hanks, Brian Markinson, and Keith Carradine.  

Billy Bob Thornton was solid, although I agree with a post I read on AVClub, that Lorne comes off like if Raylan Givens from Justified was just flat-out evil, as oppose to very dark grey.  Maybe a bit of Anton Chigurh from No Country for Old Men mixed in, as well.

A lot of good, dark humorous moments, as suspected.  Great directing and cinematography too.

At the credits in the end, I noticed that the only "regulars" listed were Billy Bob, Martin, Allison, and Colin, so I guess Lorne, Lester, Molly, and Gus are going to be the big characters on this show.  We didn't get much of Gus tonight, but I'm guessing him backing down to Lorne at the end, will have major implications to the story.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I was intrigued by the idea of a Fargo series, as I love the film. I didn't expect quite as much death in the first episode...but I'm in. I like how it references the film, but is not too spot on about it. Am I going to Hell because I was thrilled that the bully got his come-uppence?

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

I loved everything about it, so much that I watched it twice.  I know I'm going to Hell for this but I laughed out loud when the husband clocked his wife upside the head with the hammer.  The part that really made me laugh was the expression on her face when she abruptly stopped talking.  I thought the actress nailed that scene.  May she run her mouth all she wants to in Heaven.   

There were so many enjoyable and interesting characters (hi Saul!), so I'm looking forward to this every week.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Martin Freeman's "tour of the world"-accent aside, the show was really great. Lorne is such a walking agent of chaos.With all that black, he might as well death himself. Had the last cop not been Colin Hanks, I would have been scared for him.

Why would you have a poster like that fish one in a basement? Is that a Fargo reference, or is it just there to be weird. The show is beautifully shot, almost an homage to the movie itself. It's also hilariously funny without being funny, just like the movie.

The acting is fantastic.

Along with Bates Motel and Hannibal, looks like great shows based on movies are the in thing right now.

Share this post


Link to post

Question. . . I watched last night and I going to have to watch again because it was just so weird and I think I missed some things. .  but is Billy Bob going to show up randomly around different places? Is he an anchor for the mayhem and darkness? And what's up with Billy Bob's bangs? I was mesmerized by them the entire show. 

Share this post


Link to post

I, too was mesmerized by this show.

I have a couple of questions. What happened to Thornton when he went into the basement? Is he magic? What was with the puncture on Lester's palm? I don't remember him injuring his hand. And what did the sheriff brush the snow off of when he was investigating the car off the road?

Share this post


Link to post

I gasped when Lester hit his wife with the hammer and then beat her with it. I wanted to hate him but that lasted only a few seconds, then I was on his side again.

I wasn't.

The movie was a black of comedy of errors brought about by the characters stupidity and greed.

Intentionally killing his wife that way turned Lester Nygaard from Jerry Lundegaard into Gaer Grimsrud, the kidnapper who killed Jerry's wife because she wouldn't shut-up. Gaer Grimsrud was perhaps the only character who was just loathsome without redeeming qualities, comedic or otherwise.

Share this post


Link to post

Billy Bob going to show up randomly around different places? Is he an anchor for the mayhem and darkness?

 

Billy Bob is Loki. The true troublemaker and fomenter (yes, I had to Google how to spell that) of evil deeds. This is going to be fun.

Share this post


Link to post

What was with the puncture on Lester's palm? I don't remember him injuring his hand.

Shrapnel from when Lorne shot Verne.

What happened to Thornton when he went into the basement? Is he magic?

I thought he took a look at what Lester had done from the top of the stairs and walked out the same way he came in. But because the camera was on Lester at that point, it's something that we didn't see.

And what's up with Billy Bob's bangs? I was mesmerized by them the entire show.

A really weird haircut for sure.

Share this post


Link to post

Billy Bob's character reminded me so much of that cranky patient of Bob Newhart as psychologist on The Bob Newhart Show (back in the 70's)...with a little Norman Bates mixed in.

Share this post


Link to post

I loved it.     And when Lester was talking to the bully, I couldn't help but think "I will be so glad to see this guy in the woodchipper."    When Lorne called the son though and pitted him against the other one, that was the moment I knew I was 100% in for this show.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Question. . . I watched last night and I going to have to watch again because it was just so weird and I think I missed some things. .  but is Billy Bob going to show up randomly around different places? Is he an anchor for the mayhem and darkness? And what's up with Billy Bob's bangs? I was mesmerized by them the entire show. 

As far as the bangs, Billy was on Kelly and Michael the other day, and he said he was trying to figure out how to portray the character, and he hit on the idea of bangs as representing innocence, giving an ironic twist to the evil Lorne. They showed the "there be dragons" clip, and it was enough to pique my interest.

Share this post


Link to post

This Minnesotan LOVED it. The accents were toned down, and it had a fun vibe. I was following #BemidjiinFargo and #FargoinFargo (the latter had a viewing party with the actor who owned the insurance company - Tom Musgrave, who is from North Dakota - there). It was nearly universally enjoyed. It is a bummer it wasn't actually filmed locally. Not seeing the iconic Paul and Babe (which is even in the credits of National Lampoon's Vacation) is a big miss.

Martin Freeman is gold in every role he touches. I was worried how he'd manage the accent, but he was much better than Colin Hanks. 

One critique: too many "ah geez"es. This is FX - we do swear up here. Let the Minnesotan characters curse, damnit!

Edited by Dust Bunny
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

This Minnesotan LOVED it. The accents were toned down, and it had a fun vibe. I was following #BemidjiinFargo and #FargoinFargo (the latter had a viewing party with the actor who owned the insurance company - Tom Musgrave, who is from North Dakota - there). It was nearly universally enjoyed. It is a bummer it wasn't actually filmed locally. Not seeing the iconic Paul and Babe (which is even in the credits of National Lampoon's Vacation) is a big miss.

Martin Freeman is gold in every role he touches. I was worried how he'd manage the accent, but he was much better than Colin Hanks. 

One critique: too many "ah geez"es. This is FX - we do swear up here. Let the Minnesotan characters curse, damnit!

A couple of things:

If the police chief in Bemidji was killed, it would be statewide news. All the news stations from the Cities would be camped out for a while.

No one in MN says "Negative Ten", it's "Ten Below".

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Lester killing his wife actually got to me, because, until that point, I sympathized with what he was going through.  Plus, you've got Martin Freeman playing him and Martin Freeman has such a neebish-type face that, had it been any other actor, I doubt I would have felt sorry for him as much as I did.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Even though his wife was a horror there are other ways to get out of a marriage, so I felt sorry for him too, but not to the point where I'm ok with the murder.

(Edit: changed 'was was' to 'wife was.')

Edited by random chance
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Does it have something to do with him somehow knowing that the patrolman (Hanks) has a daughter?

That was just him hearing her voice on the radio on Hanks's belt, no?

Even though his was was a horror there are other ways to get out of a marriage, so I felt sorry for him too, but not to the point where I'm ok with the murder.

Yeah, he's clearly not in an enviable position, but also clearly nowhere near the level of murder being justified. Then again, I don't think he originally meant to do it when he hit her, he was just goaded into it, and then was like "oh well, guess I have to go all-in on this one." Todd VanDerWerff in the AV Club review makes a good point about how this is the snapping point where we switch from identifying with Lester to not at all.

 

I liked it! Agree with Tara/Sarah above that there's a lot of the movie hanging over it that it'll hopefully get out from under it. But actually, the initial Lester/Lorne relationship kept reminding me of Strangers on a Train. Missing the reciprocal murder, obviously, but the just-complaining / takes-you-seriously vibe there felt very similar to me.

Share this post


Link to post

I haven't seen the movie in years. From the posts and other comments on the site, it seems like that may be a good thing.

I didn't have a problem with most of the characters, but I agree with Sarah and Tara's article that Lester's wife was a bit cartoonish. I don't think she needed to be so unlikeable in order for us to identify with Lester. She could easily have been toned down and I don't think it would have detracted from the story. The same could be said for the Sam Hess character. That could be why I didn't exactly buy the moment Lester snapped. I may feel differently if I rewatch.

I was sorry to see the sheriff die. I found it funny that Lorne takes the time to mess with people for very little or no reason.

So overall, while I think it had a few flaws, it held my interest and I want to see where it goes.

Share this post


Link to post

I liked it until Billy Bob killed the sheriff from Big Love. I really like the female deputy. Willing to watch again next week.

Share this post


Link to post

I was intrigued by the idea of a Fargo series, as I love the film. I didn't expect quite as much death in the first episode...but I'm in. I like how it references the film, but is not too spot on about it. Am I going to Hell because I was thrilled that the bully got his come-uppence?

I loved seeing the bully (racist to boot) get his comeuppance too. And I loved when Lorne played that dumbass son. The scene with Lorne and the Duluth cop reminded me of the "call it" gas station scene in "No Country for Old Men."

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Oh, wow.  That was fantastic.  From the theme music and the thomp-thomp-thomp of the dryer that played the tune of impending doom perfectly to the spot-on casting of every character -- all the way down to the most minor ones -- this little universe that is Fargo sucked me right in. 

After a while, I'd even forgotten that it was in a similar universe (not exactly the same, right?) as the movie version.  It felt and looked completely original.  And authentic. 

Billy Bob Thornton's character has been likened to Anton Chigurh.  I totally prefer Malvo to Chigurh.  I would totally have a beer (or two) (or three) with Malvo!

Can't wait to see where else this show is going to take me in the next 9 episodes...  This one totally deserves a re-watch!

Share this post


Link to post

I missed yesterday and tuned in late tonight during the fixing the washer scene where the wife berates him, and I thought I was watching a movie and got hooked into it pretty quickly. Can't believe that's Martin Freeman; just remembering him from the original "The Office." Now have to catch a repeat somewhere to see the whole thing. I liked Billy Bob Thornton's own brand of weirdness for his character; he does get one's attention on screen. Some big names in this series, and what I saw of it looked well done. I agree with the poster who said the show visually looks good, too. Definitely will give this one another go. 

PS- Did they really not show Paul Bunyan and Babe? At all? If it's shot in Alberta, you'd think they could have a small crew take a short trip to Fargo, get some pictures there, since that's the title, and then drive over to Bemidji one afternoon and get some shots of Paul and Babe. That's all I'm saying!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I really enjoyed the visuals and the black comedy and the acting was great. The wife was cartoonish, but I was actually more pulled out of the story by the bully, who I thought was even more cartoonish. He was almost Sue Sylvesterish. However, it was still a lot of fun.

My favorite bit was the deputy tackling the kid with the hockey stick and his mom laughing like a loon when she did it. I also liked the weird little touches like the deputy showing up to the widow's house with the paint for the nursery. Both sad and kinda wtf....like hey your husband is dead, but he got the paint you wanted.....

Share this post


Link to post

Absolutely loving this, even though it sways from believable to overly atmospheric...but hey, it's "Fargo", what did I expect? I am also sorry that the Big Love sherrif (Joey!) is no longer with us; I would've loved for him to be the moral anchor of the show, but he seemed too smart for what was going on (up until he got killed), and there wouldn't have been much of a series left with him in charge.

Joystickenvy, I agree: the bully was way over the top; anyone acting like that in real life would've been arrested long before that. And, Thuganomics is right; there's a big Anton Chigurh vibe going on with Lorne (besides ridiculously bad hair), although I think Lorne has a very interesting backstory while Chigurh had none, except evil walking the earth.

Edited by A Boston Gal

Share this post


Link to post

I was wondering about the hitman hitting for Lester's sake but not for money - I kind of got a Dexter vibe out of it, that Lorne has the need to...um...hit, whether he gets paid or not.  Might as well get rid of the douchebags along the way.

When the sheriff got the call in the middle of the night, I wondered if his wife was going to offer to make him some eggs.

I was surprised that Lester went further with the hammering of his wife after the first hit of the hammer.  It would have seemed more in character to have him think "oops I've really done it now" and left it there, since she was obviously dead at that point.  I thought it was brilliant on his part to knock himself out so as to be portrayed as one of the victims.

Share this post


Link to post

I was surprised that Lester went further with the hammering of his wife after the first hit of the hammer.  It would have seemed more in character to have him think "oops I've really done it now" and left it there, since she was obviously dead at that point.

With the "aw geeze's" added to the extra hammerings, that scene went from very tense and heavy to just dark comedy.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

I was not a huge fan of Fargo, the movie, so I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the pilot. The previews indicate that the next episode will be just as good. The actors so far have given some outstanding performances. Martin Freeman is carrying this series for me so far. I have always thought that he never got enough recognition for his role in the series, Sherlock. I have always thought that Freeman's Watson is the reason that Holmes is not a complete joke. 

I can't get past Lester murdering his wife so brutally and even if I could, I could never forgive him for standing quietly while Lorne snuck up and murdered the sheriff. His poor pregnant wife... 

I like Molly, the female deputy a lot. She grew into the role those few scenes. I want her to make Lester and Lorne pay. 

I hope that Colin Hanks redeems himself for letting Billy Bob drive away, but I think that he did save his life in that moment. However, he will be ready for BIlly Bob in the next time they meet.

Edited by SimoneS

Share this post


Link to post

.

I thought he took a look at what Lester had done from the top of the stairs and walked out the same way he came in. But because the camera was on Lester at that point, it's something that we didn't see.

I had thought of this also, I re-watched the scene and I could swear that I heard him going down the steps. I guess this scene did its job because here we are discussing it over and over. What a great show!

 

 

Share this post


Link to post

I really enjoyed this, but I don't know if Billy Bob is working for me.  He is such a character (weirdo) in real life that its hard for me to find him all that menacing.  His fear of antiques and germs and his borderline anorexia, and now that hair and those teeth, I just don't know.  He comes off as a Boyd Crowder wannabe who is trying real, real hard but can't quite pull it off.  That said, I did like his scene with Colin Hanks, so maybe I just need to warm up to his evilness. 

Share this post


Link to post

 

 

 

.

I thought he took a look at what Lester had done from the top of the stairs and walked out the same way he came in. But because the camera was on Lester at that point, it's something that we didn't see.

I had thought of this also, I re-watched the scene and I could swear that I heard him going down the steps. I guess this scene did its job because here we are discussing it over and over. What a great show!

The parsing has already started, "True Detective"-style.  A good sign of how it's already hooked us.

Edited by A Boston Gal

Share this post


Link to post

Re: Lorne's killing of Sam Hess as having Dexter overtones:

I need to re-watch to check out my theory, but I'm thinking that Lorne did it in his own self interest as a manipulation to get the police onto Lester instead of him (and/or maybe for some even bigger manipulative purpose, lying ahead), and not a Dexter-like thing. He seats himself next to another guy (Lester) at the hospital with a head wound, learns his story and begins "operating". Notice he deliberately, kind of unnecessarily, says the name of Sam Hess so the nurse can hear it. It's the nurse's tip that puts the police onto Lester, as a suspect in both murders: Hess and the guy frozen under the tree. Of course Lorne had a head wound too, on the side visible to the nurse, so I don't know why she couldn't have reported him too. Guess she didn't see it.

As to the blood on the steering wheel ... that could have been DNA tested, immediately absolving lester ... so, that pretty much shoots the theory down. Unless Lorne substituted deer blood for his own ... he'd planned out the scene so carefully. He doesn't seem so stupid as to leave his own blood there. So, who knows ... we'll see.

Edited by Democritus
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

I'm a native Minnesotan (grew up in the Twin Cities burbs) though currently living in Southern Cali. I loved this just as I loved the movie and I'm glad they are not just doing a flat out copy of the film (though of course there are many similarities). The black comedy is great and the acting is fabulous and some of it makes me a bit home sick (mostly the visuals although I believe it was actually filmed primarily in Alberta, Canada). However, as was mentioned by another poster, this is a nit pick of mine as well:

No one in MN says "Negative Ten", it's "Ten Below".

Completely true. Every time I call family and friends back home the weather pretty much always comes up (they know the weather here in San Diego is much better for most of the year yet they still want to hear about it and then remind me of the one reason I'm glad not to be back in MN during the winter). No one has ever said "Negative Ten" or Negative whatever - it's always "ten (or twenty or thirty) below."

I had heard that this was originally planned as a "limited" or "mini" series, but then heard that perhaps it would be a bit like American Horror Story or True Detective and have a new story each season. Anyone know if this is the case or if this is planned to be a regular series if it does well?

In any case, I can't wait to see where this season goes. The characters are great and I love Martin Freeman in just about anything so I can't hate him too much for the things his character did/let happen in this first episode though I probably should.

Edited by Rapunzel
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I am pleased to be a troglodyte now and again.  This is one of those times:  I've never seen the movie Fargo.

Love, love, love BBT's character!  Unabashed and impish evil.  Awesome.  

Were any clues given as to who the naked trunk victim was, or why he was killed?   

I reeeeeeeally want to know who his "boss" is - the dude who answered the phone and asked when he would get to the next assigned town.  (Please don't spoil me.  Just writing out loud here).

The way they constructed the murder of the Chief, I don't see any way he got out of the basement slick as you please.  I like that.  Same for his walking (?) away from the first murder in the woods.  Hmmmm.  If he really is an actual devil, why did the deer accident happen at all?  Just an add-on of another wrongful death (of the deer)?

When he tried to set-up the older brother?  I almost literally cheered!

Now.  To the extent any of this was inspired by actual violence, I hate those crimes.  Maybe I am a fool, or worse, but as I watched this, I approached it as just a stylized work of fiction.  

Share this post


Link to post

I reeeeeeeally want to know who his "boss" is - the dude who answered the phone and asked when he would get to the next assigned town.  (Please don't spoil me.  Just writing out loud here).

BBT doesn't seem to be playing an analog of any movie characters, so I don't think we can spoil you! (Other than critics or whoever who've seen future episodes.)

 

Now.  To the extent any of this was inspired by actual violence, I hate those crimes.  Maybe I am a fool, or worse, but as I watched this, I approached it as just a stylized work of fiction.

That's exactly the way to approach it. The movie said it was based on a true story, but it was 95% made up – there was pretty much just one iconic event that they used. I think the series is the same.

Share this post


Link to post

The movie "Fargo" opens with:

THIS IS A TRUE STORY. The events depicted in this film took place in Minnesota in 1987. At the request of the survivors, the names have been changed. Out of respect for the dead, the rest has been told exactly as it occurred.

The movie is fiction but the Coen brothers cite this case as an influence:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helle_Crafts

The same text that opens the TV series with 1987 changed to 2006 is a nod to the movie.

Edited by Accidental Martyr

Share this post


Link to post

I didn't see the movie either, Lonesome Rhodes.  I only watched the TV show because it got so much buzz that I knew I'd be hearing about it all the time anyway, so I might as well watch it from the start and at least have the advantage of being surprised by the plot twists.  (A strategy developed after the Game of Thrones "Red Wedding" episode.)

Share this post


Link to post

I didn't see the movie either, Lonesome Rhodes.  I only watched the TV show because it got so much buzz that I knew I'd be hearing about it all the time anyway, so I might as well watch it from the start and at least have the advantage of being surprised by the plot twists.  (A strategy developed after the Game of Thrones "Red Wedding" episode.)

Aside from the name of the show, the accents, the dark humor, and the demeanor of some people - there's really no spoilers from watching the movie. It's a really great movie I highly recommend watching.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...

Customize font-size