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Week by Week TV: Fargo Series 3 Episodes 6 & 7

Fargo is an award-winning drama inspired by the 1996 film of the same name. The show, now on its third series, was created by Noah Hawley and currently stars Ewan McGregor, Carrie Coon and David Thewlis. It airs on Channel 4 at 10pm every Wednesday.

This is a continuing review. Follow the links to read the reviews of Episode 1Episode 2Episodes 3 & 4 and Episode Five.

Well, I suppose I can stop complaining now because things are finally happening. Varga is getting his hands dirty, Gloria and her new buddy are pushing on, and I won’t spoil what else has happened. But for me, it’s too little too late.

Episode 6 was welcome relief from the inactivity of the series’ first half. It felt like we were reaching the levels of tension we should’ve been at three episodes ago. The most satisfying scene was when Varga intercepted the conversation between Emmit and the officers, at last revealing himself to someone outside the business and putting himself in a place of vulnerability which opens up more plot possibilities. Yay!

And, of course, there was ‘the big scene’. It was fine, but it didn’t make me feel anything. This show has previously managed to walk the very thin line of having heightened characters who are entertaining to watch and making us feel for them when things don’t go to plan. My comparitive disengagement with this new series means I just don’t care as much about the characters, because I don’t feel that the writers are putting enough effort into making me care.

 There are characters who I naturally care about – Gloria and Winnie – because of the actors’ performances and chemistry on screen. I would happily watch a series all about the pair’s adventures. Only they’re still being grumbled at by Shea Wigham, their far-too-obvious plot obstacle who’s so frustratingly macho that it feels like we’re back in the ’70s. In Episode 7, Gloria does start to get her voice heard, but it’s been a long waiting game for the audience.

Another character who has always been successful is Nikki. In Episode 7, she gets time to shine when we are allowed to see her vulnerabilities. We get this with Sy as well, a character I’m increasingly drawn to because he’s trying to do everything he can in his situation but his ideas of how the world works have been so challenged that he feels out of his depth. Moments like those at the end of Episode 7 are the ones we’ve been wanting for so long, but have been made to wait way too long for.

All in all, things are looking up. We’re on the move at last. But, oddly, it feels as though all the strings are coming together and we’re approaching the end. It may well turn out that this is really six episodes-worth of story stretched over ten – that’s certainly the notion I’m getting. We shall have to wait and see what the last few instalments have in store. Please join me next week for another episode of Fargo series three!

Fargo Series 3 Episode 6 and 7 are available to catch up on All4. Image source: pogdesign.co.uk