In 2010, St. Cloud probation officerRay Stussy and his parolee girlfriend Nikki Swango dream of a better, wealthier life. To achieve this, they attempt to steal a valuable vintage stamp from Ray's more successful older brother, Emmit, the self-proclaimed "Parking Lot King of Minnesota". However, their plans backfire, and the couple soon has to hide its involvement in two deaths, including the stepfather of former Eden Valleypolice chiefGloria Burgle. Meanwhile, Emmit wishes to pay back a shady company he borrowed money from two years ago, but the mysterious company and its employees, led by V. M. Varga and Yuri Gurka, have other plans.
The fourth season stars Chris Rock, who plays the head of a crime syndicate made up of black migrants fleeing the Jim Crow South who have a contentious relationship with the Kansas City mafia. It is set in 1950 Kansas City, Missouri. The season was set to premiere on April 19, 2020, but has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cast and characters
Billy Bob Thornton as Lorne Malvo
Allison Tolman as Deputy Molly Solverson
Colin Hanks as Officer Gus Grimly
Martin Freeman as Lester Nygaard
Kirsten Dunst as Peggy Blumquist
Patrick Wilson as State Trooper Lou Solverson
Jesse Plemons as Ed Blumquist
Jean Smart as Floyd Gerhardt
Ted Danson as Sheriff Hank Larsson
Ewan McGregor as Emmit and Ray Stussy
Carrie Coon as Gloria Burgle
Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Nikki Swango
Goran Bogdan as Yuri Gurka
David Thewlis as V. M. Varga
Chris Rock as Loy Cannon
Francesco Acquaroli as Ebal Violante
Andrew Bird as Thurman Smutney
Gaetano Bruno as Constant Calamita
Jessie Buckley as Oraetta Mayflower
Emyri Crutchfield as Ethelrida Pearl Smutney
Salvatore Esposito as Gaetano Fadda
Jeremie Harris as Leon Bittle
Jack Huston as Odis Weff
Amber Midthunder as Swanee Capps
Jason Schwartzman as Josto Fadda
Glynn Turman as Doctor Senator
Ben Whishaw as Rabbi Milligan
Anji White as Dibrell Smutney
Corey Hendrix as Omie Sparkman
Matthew Elam as Lemuel
Timothy Olyphant as Dick "Deafy" Wickware
Karen Aldridge as Zelmare Roulette
In 2012, it was announced that FX, with the Coen brothers as executive producers, was developing a new television series based on the 1996 Academy Award-winning film Fargo. It was later announced that adaptation would be a 10-episode limited series. On August 2, 2013, it was announced that Billy Bob Thornton had signed on to star in the series. On September 27, 2013, Martin Freeman also signed on to star. On October 3, 2013, it was announced that Colin Hanks was cast in the role of Duluth police officer Gus Grimly. Production began in late 2013 with filming taking place in and around Calgary, Alberta. The series is set in the same fictional universe as the film, in which events took place in 1987 between Minneapolis and Brainerd, Minnesota. The first season features the buried ransom money from the film in a minor subplot. Additionally, a number of references are made connecting the series to the film. Following the series renewal in July 2014, creator Noah Hawley revealed that the second season would take place in 1979 and focus on Sioux Falls, South Dakota, as referenced by Lou Solverson and others in the first season. The ten episodes are set in Luverne, Minnesota, Fargo, North Dakota, and Sioux Falls. Hawley agreed that this takes place before the events of the film, but he believes all the stories connect: "I like the idea that somewhere out there is a big, leather-bound book that's the history of true crime in the Midwest, and the movie was Chapter 4, Season 1 was Chapter 9 and this is Chapter 2," he said. "You can turn the pages of this book, and you just find this collection of stories.... But I like the idea that these things are connected somehow, whether it's linearly or literally or thematically. That's what we play around with." This book was realized in season 2, episode 9, "The Castle". Production on the second season began in Calgary on January 19, 2015, and completed on May 20, 2015. The first teaser for the second season was released on June 17, 2015. Production on season 3 began in January 2017 in Calgary, Alberta.
"This is a true story"
As with the original film, each episode begins with the superimposed text: As with the film, this claim is untrue. Showrunner Noah Hawley continued to use the Coens' device, saying it allowed him to "tell a story in a new way". Hawley has played with the realism of the story further; responding to queries about Charlie Gerhardt, a character from season 2, he stated "If he’s out there, I’d like to get a letter from him someday, telling me how he turned out." At the 2017 ATX Television Festival in Austin, Texas, Hawley further discussed the "true story" series tag: "So what does that even mean—the words 'true story'?" he said. "I really wanted to deconstruct that this year." He recalled one of the lines spoken by Sy Feltz, Michael Stuhlbarg's character: "'The world is wrong—it looks like my world but everything is different.' That's what we're exploring this year."
The first season received acclaim from television critics, and received a Metacritic score of 85 out of 100 based on 40 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim". The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 97% "certified fresh" critics rating with an average rating of 8.48 out of 10 based on 57 reviews. The website consensus reads: "Based on the film of the same name in atmosphere, style, and location only, Fargo presents more quirky characters and a new storyline that is expertly executed with dark humor and odd twists." IGN reviewer Roth Cornet gave the first season a 9.7 out of 10 score, praising the casting, its thematic ties to the movie, and the writing. The A.V. Club named it the sixth best TV series of 2014.
The second season has been met with overwhelming acclaim from television critics. It received a Metacritic score of 96 based on 33 reviews, which indicates "universal acclaim". Rotten Tomatoes reported a 100% "certified fresh" rating with an average rating of 9.12 out of 10 based on 58 reviews, with the site's consensus, "Season two of Fargo retains all the elements that made the series an award-winning hit, successfully delivering another stellar saga powered by fascinating characters, cheeky cynicism, and just a touch of the absurd."
The third season has received acclaim similar to the first two seasons from critics. On Metacritic, it has a score of 89 out of 100 based on 32 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim". On Rotten Tomatoes, it has a 93% rating with an average score of 8.51 out of 10 based on 65 reviews. The site's critical consensus reads: "Thanks in part to a memorable dual performance from Ewan McGregor, Fargo mostly maintains the sly wit and off-kilter sensibility it displayed in its first two seasons."
On April 15, 2014, the series made its debut on FX and FXX in Canada; the remaining episodes were shown on FXX. The next day, it premiered in the UK on Channel 4. On May 1, 2014, it premiered on SBS One in Australia, and on SoHo in New Zealand.