‘Fargo: The Castle’ – The Season’s Penultimate Episode is the Best So Far

If the first season of Fargo was a constant and violent cat-and-mouse chase, the second one thus far has also been a chase, albeit more of a slow build. Episode nine, “The Castle,” is definitely one of the top episodes of the season. In another one of the many kooky intros the show has given us this season, a certain British individual from the first season becomes our narrator as we’re made privy to the contents of a book called  “The History of True Crime in the Midwest”, summing up the events of the season so far that have led to what has become known as the “Sioux Falls Massacre.”

This episode has the perfect blend of humor, suspense and action. From the first season, it’s obvious showrunner Noah Hawley has created a love letter not only to the Coens’ homonymous 1996 feature, but their whole filmography. If the first season was paying homage to No Country for Old Men, and A Serious Man, this season could have been directly called No Fargo for Old Men. Lorne Malvo was Fargo’s Anton Chigurgh (or even its Leonard Smalls),  and the Midwest has been shown to be just as brutal as the Southwestern border as The Coens and Cormac McCarthy saw it. It’s no longer just one personification of evil, but dozens of men and families in the crosshairs. This is Hawley’s Miller’s Crossing. The climactic motel shootout brings to mind one of No Country for Old Men’s pivotal and most memorable scenes. But could it be said the sequence here was an improvement? Throughout the last nine episodes we have come to know well all of the characters involved, and love them or hate them, we know what they’re after and what’s at stake for each of them. They’re not just mere shadows put there to kill the protagonist, but fully developed flesh and bone characters.

With just one episode left, so many of the pieces are left in place for an ending that seems obligatory and obvious. But that’s just how suspense works. We have a strong idea of how it will all wrap-up, but Hawley and his crew has made us care so much we want the best for the characters. I expect the next season will wrap things up just as neatly as the first, but perhaps in a more believable way. But believable isn’t a word that has much stock in the world of Fargo where we know aliens are watching just as we are, so I’m sure there’s still at least a few surprises left in one of 2015’s best shows.

If you want to catch up with the second season of Fargo, you can buy the episodes from Amazon right here.

Oscar Moreno
Oscar Moreno
Mexican. Writer. Filmmaker. Lover of good laughs and good food.