FX finally announced Monday afternoon that the breakout show Fargo would return for a second season. Writer Noah Hawley's bold re-imagining of Joel and Ethan Coen's brilliant 1996 film struck a chord with both audiences and critics alike this year. The first season of Fargo garnered 18 Emmy nominations, the most for a single program in the network's history according to FX's CEO John Landgraf.
The show's stars each earned an Emmy nod for their roles, including Martin Freeman as the hen-pecked husband-turned-murderer Lester Nygaard, Billy Bob Thornton as the sadistic and suave hitman Lorne Malvo, Colin Hanks as the bumbling officer Gus Grimly, and Allison Tolman as the ambitious deputy Molly Solverson. Tolman quickly became a fan-favorite, and Fargo marks her major acting debut on television.
The show also got nominations for outstanding miniseries, writing for a miniseries (Hawley), and director for a miniseries (with nods going to the directors of episodes "The Crocodile's Dilemma" and "Buridan's Ass," Adam Bernstein and Colin Bucksey respectively).
Like FX's hit show American Horror Story, Fargo is unlike traditional television dramas in that each season is just one facet of an anthology of unrelated stories and characters based in a specific world. However, Fargo might not take the American Horror Story route of recasting principal cast members in different roles each season.
FX revealed that there will be an "all-new cast of characters" that will be part of the latest criminal adventure in the Fargo universe -- in a new time period. What does that mean? Our money was on the second season following that Sioux Falls incident that folks kept dropping hints about last season that Lou said left bodies stacked two stories high.
With a new cast of characters, that does leave room for season one's performers to come back in different roles, but everyone's been mum about potentially moving forward with Fargo so far. Looks like we'll have to wait until next season to know exactly where Hawley's taking us in that frozen, desolate tundra.
We chatted with Fargo's stars Tolman and Hanks at the end of season one and they were enthusiastic, but tight-lipped about what -- if anything -- they knew about where the show was headed.
"I can say without giving any spoilers that if we have a second season or a second installment in the anthology, they've talked about skipping around in time either backwards or forwards, so we could be back or we could not be back," said Tolman. "We're not certain about anything: if they're going to do another season, when it would start, what it would entail, if we would be in it. We just kind of are in the dark as much as anyone else."
"If [Noah Hawley] calls saying, 'Hey do you want to come back?' I'd be there in a heartbeat," said Hanks.
We've learned that writer Noah Hawley has announced the time and place of next season's plot... along with a familiar character.
Turns out our guess at the end of Fargo's first season was correct. We'll be going back in time before the Coen's Fargo to 1979 when Lou Solverson was a recent Vietnam veteran adjusting to life with his four-year-old daughter Molly -- right before that gruesome attack we've heard so many vague stories about. The newest season will take place in Luverne, Sioux Falls, and -- yes, of course -- Fargo, with Hawley drawing inspiration for the story from the Coens' Miller's Crossing and The Man Who Wasn't There.
"It was the best of America vs. the worst of America. There was a sense this war had come home with people. Lou fought in Vietnam, came home and thought he'd left the war behind and here it is. It's domestic now," Hawley revealed at the Television Critics Association summer press tour.
Sadly, it sounds like Allison Tolman and the gang won't be reprising their roles or pulling an American Horror Story and playing new characters -- the show will truly be getting a new cast. Here's to hoping we fall for them as much as we did this season.
Weren't able to watch the show when it aired this past spring? Here's our complete episodic recap of the series, from start to finish:
Fargo episode 1: "The Crocodile's Dilemma" Fargo episode 2: "The Rooster Prince" Fargo episode 3: "A Muddy Road" Fargo episode 4: "Eating the Blame" Fargo episode 5: "The Six Ungraspables" Fargo episode 6: "Buridan's Ass" Fargo episode 7: "Who Shaves the Barber?" Fargo episode 8: "The Heap" Fargo episode 9: "A Fox, a Rabbit, and a Cabbage" Fargo episode 10: "Morton's Fork"
Where and when do you think the new season of Fargo will take viewers? Leave your guesses in the comments below.