If you haven't seen the end of Fargo and want to be surprised, go away. Spoilers abound. Just saying the name of a character is a spoiler. If you want to be spoiled, and you're the sort of person who's been scouring the internet for "Force Awakens" scripts so you know everything that happens before you see it, I don't understand you. Anyway, the extraordinary second season wrapped up last night. As is the case with Prestige Cable Dramas, the penultimate ep was the exciting one. The last ep usually lets the air out, either in a gentle sigh or a whoopee-cushion razz. In the case of Fargo, it was the latter. Perfect ending. Emmus all around, and special extra-strength Emmy to Ted Danson for that last scene.
Ed has learned some disquieting things about his wife since she pulled into the garage with Rye Gerhardt stuck in her windshield, but this scene is not about her immorality. It’s about a more common form of irreconcilable differences, the kind that happens when two people don’t want the same things from life. Ed, for lack of a better term, has “Fargo” values: He wants a home, a family, a small business downtown. Peggy wants something more.
. Peggy wants something different. To say she wants something more suggests there's something insufficient about home / family / small business. Her "more" is a vapid sense of "self-actualization" that fills her empty head with perfumed steam. At the end in the squad car, her response to Lou's story about what a man will do for his family is a litany of pop-psych twaddle - which the Times reviewer characterizes thus:
. . . . that doesn’t make Peggy’s counter on women like herself any less true. She’s not a monster for wanting to wriggle out from under the role that had been assigned to her. Trying to do it all — to “be a wife, be a mother, be a self-made career woman” — isn’t possible in her mind, and a place like Luverne seems particularly inhospitable to the women who defy convention. Given Peggy’s poor choices and fevered delusions, she’s perhaps not the best spokeswoman for her gender, but Mr. Hawley (and Kirsten Dunst, who’s done inspired work all season) valiantly fights the uphill battle anyway. And nearly to a draw.
Really? She'd know anything about the difficulties of being a mother with a job? She's just swapped scripts. Out with the actualizing, in with the victimizing. She's the victim, ya know.
Now, some nit-picky stuff. The AV Club had a picture handed out from FX; let's look at the details.
Suggs brand Gurketsalat. Not a brand I remember. If you search "Fargo season 2" and Suggs, nothing will come up - except the name of a character we never meet, Big Jim Suggs. Another clue:
Good luck finding anything about that. More luck at the Rushmore gas station, where you see some familiar products:
That's a fresh Old Dutch box, but they're self-consciously retro these days, so it all works out. I wonder if it's a reference to the Reagan subplot, such as it. As for Leinies - had it made to South Dakota in 1979?
Anyway. AV Club had the best recaps, and I look forward to seeing what they'll say about Season 3. You want to spend time with the S2 characters again - but when you think about it, maybe not. Leave it as it was, which was damned near perfect.