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Tara Ariano

S03.E03: The Law Of Non-Contradiction

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The robot did end up helping the aliens with the millions of years of data he recorded over his lifetime.

I noticed Ewan McGregor was the voice of the astronaut who programmed the robot and David Thewlis was the voice of the scientist show deactivated him.

I was wondering where they were going with this because we as the viewers know she's following up a false lead but I liked the 70s Hollywood stuff. I liked seeing Francis Fisher. Don't know who the actress playing her younger self was her daughter with Clint Eastwood. She looked like Amanda Seyfried.

This episode was like the "Mike Yanagita scene" from the movie. It's seemingly inconsequential but ends up helping the investigator get some perspective.

Edited by VCRTracking
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12 minutes ago, VCRTracking said:

This episode was like the "Mike Yanagita scene" from the movie. It's seemingly inconsequential but ends up helping the investigator get some perspective.

I always liked him so much!

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On 5/3/2017 at 11:19 PM, knaankos said:

Wasn't Tad way too young in 1975? He was at most 25, which would mean he was only 60 when he died in the current timeframe, when he looked to be about 75-80.

That's exactly my thought! I was sitting there doing math for whole episode...

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7 hours ago, MissBluxom said:

What is the reason for that? It could be any number of things. I doubt that we can know just why they are doing this. Some possibilities may be:

1) Good triumphs over Evil by hook or by crook.

2) People from Minnesota may not appear to be "cool" or "hip" and take drugs or engage in fancy Internet activities. But their slow, methodical plodding combined with their old fashioned American attributes win out in the end. In other words, the show runner wants to show us that plain Minnesota (and other states nearby) folks who are honest and possess the old fashioned qualities that made America great are great people and will win out over skunks and rats.

3) Police do not have to take advantage of the latest trends in order to catch the bad guys. They can triumph merely by using tried and true police methods that have been used for many, many years.

Of course the above three points are just my guesses as to what the writers may be trying to convey to us. They are not very well thought out. But I'm just trying to make the point the writers may be trying to say that good old fashioned values are superior and will win out in the end over new fangled and flashy modern techniques.

First off, by all means, quote away and comment! I learn so much from reading what people post on these forums!

I think past seasons of Fargo have conveyed some of these very same things. The good cop (Mollie, and the first season female lead whose name escapes me), were just plain, old, hard-working cops, and they didn't give up. They triumphed in the end (mostly). But ... they weren't as lost and clueless as Gloria is in the modern world.

Of course, evil also survived in some forms in the prior seasons.

Sometimes I think Fargo is about the inevitability of some things. People can choose different paths, but they always arrive at the same destination. For some it's good, for others it's awful. None of it is fair. That's part of what fascinates me about Fargo. Little decisions lead to bigger decisions and that leads to fate.

All that said, Gloria so far is an order of magnitude dumber than past good "guys." And maybe a bit entitled. Maybe that's it ... millennials are now the center of Fargo, and they are as disappointing there as in real life. If Gloria next asks for a promotion, I'll know that's the answer.

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3 hours ago, Ottis said:

I think past seasons of Fargo have conveyed some of these very same things. The good cop (Mollie, and the first season female lead whose name escapes me), were just plain, old, hard-working cops, and they didn't give up. They triumphed in the end (mostly). But ... they weren't as lost and clueless as Gloria is in the modern world.

Well she seemed to take her husband leaving her for another man relatively well and is still civil with them so she's modern in that sense. She's not a complete luddite. She was going to give her son an XBox for Christmas. For whatever reason she wants to solve things the old fashioned way.

Edited by VCRTracking
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On 5/4/2017 at 5:13 AM, WaltersHair said:

eta: it's called a useless box.

Exactly!  It was a clever metaphor for the whole episode.  The episode was "useless" in the big scheme of things, but just as Gloria kept switching the box on, we kept watching it.  Strangely fascinated by the uselessness of it.  At the end, we liked it so much we take it home with us, even if it's just a useless box (or episode)

I also think it was meant to be a self contained (like the box) episode.  I noticed that the written testimonial phrases at the beginning of the show said that the events took place in Los Angeles.  First time they have done that (I think), even though the cases from the past two seasons had switched locations.  The case in this episode wasn't Ennis/Thadeus, it was solving who had attacked and almost killed the sleazy producer.  Gloria actually says:  "that's what the `accident´ was!".... Case solved!

On 5/5/2017 at 2:58 AM, riverheightsnancy said:

"I can help!" 

Loved the robot. Sad when he shut off. 

Same here!  I think it's a sign of doing something good when the audience feels this way about a cartoon robot in a story within a story of murder and mayhem.

19 hours ago, roughing it said:

I don't think Maurice killed Ennis either. I think Ennis was already dead when Maurice arrived. Just my hunch.

It's certainly food for thought that a show that has never shied away from showing us how its characters die, in extreme detail, wouldn't show us the very first death of the season and the one that gets the wacky set of events rolling for this year.   Kt could very well be that this box we thought was useless, was actually the time when Gloria solved the case of her murdered stepfather (she asked the actress/waiter if she thought sleazy producer sent someone to kill Ennis).

18 hours ago, Milburn Stone said:

He was both.

Like Schroedinger's cat, or the woman who was married and divorced at the same time for a year.

14 hours ago, Nancypants said:

Please someone explain the robot saying " I can HELP!" over and over again!

I think it was created with the purpose of helping, and, since it hadn't been able to help anyone, it was unfulfilled.  When the others came in their spaceship and told it that it had helped (by recording history), then its purpose was fulfilled and it could turn itself off.

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On 2017-5-6 at 7:06 AM, cardigirl said:

Interesting. Maybe, even though he had produced movies, he was also an opportunist (like Nikki) and  a bad man who took advantage of Ennis. 

OR. The waitress didn't tell Gloria the true story....

still enjoyed the episode. 

I think it more likely that Zimmerman was a real producer but he only ever made shitty no-budget movies that made no money. Which is why he needed to con people like Tad.

And really, Tad had nothing to go to the police with. So far as Zimmerman could prove he was working on the movie, the fact that said movie never materialized was not proof of fraud. 

If every producer from a movie that never got made was prosecuted for fraud by his investors half of Hollywood would be in jail. 

Edited by AzureOwl
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Gloria is Minsky. She just wants to help, even when beset by bandits and liars. She will make it intact through the apocalypse around her. And when she finally understands how Thaddeus Mobley became Ennis Stussy, she is finally able to turn off her switch in that regard. Her mission accomplished, perhaps she can find a small peace.

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15 hours ago, VCRTracking said:

This episode was like the "Mike Yanagita scene" from the movie. It's seemingly inconsequential but ends up helping the investigator get some perspective.

 

This exact point was the basis of the NY Times recap of this episode:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/03/arts/television/fargo-recap-the-law-of-non-contradiction.html?rref=collection%2Fspotlightcollection%2Ftv-recaps

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5 hours ago, WearyTraveler said:

Exactly!  It was a clever metaphor for the whole episode.  The episode was "useless" in the big scheme of things, but just as Gloria kept switching the box on, we kept watching it.  Strangely fascinated by the uselessness of it.  At the end, we liked it so much we take it home with us, even if it's just a useless box (or episode)

I love this. I actually did enjoy this episode despite my grumbling on these forums. In a weird way it gave me hope that the rest of the season will be better than the first two episodes. 

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2 hours ago, festivus said:

I love this. I actually did enjoy this episode despite my grumbling on these forums. In a weird way it gave me hope that the rest of the season will be better than the first two episodes. 

After reading the latest posts on this episode, I'm beginning to realize that this season's Fargo is starting to get interesting. I was impatient during the LA trip, frustrated.  But now I realize that it was more of a "pause" in the story (which was needed to explain who Ennis really was and how he came to be).   Looking forward to the next episode (and will try to better tolerate Sy's awful OTT accent & speaking style).

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9 minutes ago, annzeepark914 said:

will try to better tolerate Sy's awful OTT accent

I'll take Sy's OTT Minnesota accent over Ewan McGregor's barely-even-trying Scottish accent.

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As people have mentioned Thaddeus did seem very young in the flashbacks in 1975 to be so old in 2010. Looking it up, Thomas Mann, the actor who plays young Thaddeus is 25 so he would 60 in the "present" of this season.  However as someone else pointed out, alcoholism does age a person faster. William Holden in this video was two weeks away from his 60th birthday in this clip of him presenting with Barbara Stanwyck at the 1978 Oscars.

*The clip is also worth watching from a moving, heartwarming off script between the two old stars and to see the original Star Wars win for best sound and special effects.

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10 hours ago, clb1016 said:

Some good comments on the NY Times recap included:

Quote

The robot only wanted to help, but the aliens who take over the planet just flip that switch. The robot's end fate is similar to what Gloria faces as the Fargo Police Chief. 

And:

Quote

I'm not sure about the specific significance, but I noticed that when the android MNSKY turned itself off, inside its skull was a green glow and a toggle switch like the one on the box. When MNSKY turned itself off, the glow went from green to red -- like the light in the box.

—Wikipedia (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Useless_machine) indicates that the box (originally invented by the scientist Minsky mentioned upthread) was a common toy in the 60s, so perhaps the one in the room had been there for 30 years since Thadeus Mobley abandoned it in the 70s, and that it had been his original inspiration for the robot MNSKY. I know that it is highly unlikely that it would have been there that long, but maybe it was deemed too worthless for even a junkie to try to sell it.

Edited by shapeshifter · Reason: clarity
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Was anyone thinking that Ray Wise left the box there? All I know is something weird is usually going on when that guy shows up! If his random meetings with Gloria really were just random meetings, then I don't really know what to do with that. ;)

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On 5/6/2017 at 7:28 PM, shapeshifter said:

I'd have to rewatch, but I think the poor little guy never got a chance to help anyone.

Come to think of it, I doubt the producer ever helped anyone's career, despite his offers to do so.

I felt that robot resonated more with Gloria. For me at least. The world keeps changing around him, while all he wants to do is help. 

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So... small town folk go to the big bad city an get variously ripped off, robbed or lose an arm. Would be nice if our heroic Sheriff actually asked permission before taking off for LA (even if It was on her own dime) - disappearing without explanation is a good way to lose your job, particularly when the county is looking for an excuse to get rid of you anyway. Granted she DID discover the "Stussy" connection (would have been nice if that had happened deliberately rather than by blind luck) so I suspect the gears of justice will grind inexorably toward justice - it's just a question of what the collateral damage will be.

On ‎04‎/‎05‎/‎2017 at 1:08 PM, ghoulina said:

I was glad to see that Gloria got an uplift at the end, with the discovery of the fingerprints

Almost as if there is something to those COM-PEW-TOR thingies after all!

On ‎05‎/‎05‎/‎2017 at 6:47 AM, J-Man said:

it's nice to see that Thing from "The Addams Family" is still getting work

Uncredited though!

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I enjoyed this more than the first two, just found it interesting plus the bonus of no parking lot or teeth storyline. 

I enjoyed the convo about facebook, bc I am pretty much like Gloria in that regard. Dont like it, don't use it. I haven't in yrs, long before it was an issue politically.

Anyway. I like the robot story, but yeah sad. Still not sure on the season overall.

Edited by cleo
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On 5/5/2017 at 5:09 PM, tennisgurl said:

It also reminded me a lot of Barton Fink, another Coen Brothers piece about a writers coming to the seedier parts of LA and being chewed up and spit out. The noir feeling was very similar.

The LA of this episode totally reminded me of The Dude's version of LA to the point where I wondered if Gloria might decide to go bowling at some. 

I actually liked this episode. Although I did wonder why Gloria's boss was so pissed off. Didn't he tell her to take some time off since her step dad was killed.

Also I loved how in one of the flashbacks they used a split screen. An awesome call back to the 70's-ness of season 2.

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