DVD Review: Fargo: Season Three

By , Contributor
The complete Year Three of FX's award-winning series Fargo is now available on DVD (no Blu-ray version this time around). Those who haven't watched the first or second seasons, take heart—Fargo is a show that begins and completes a new story (with a new cast) each time out. This year the strong writing and acting continues, enlivened by a dual-role by Ewan McGregor that has justly been winning accolades.

McGregor plays brothers Emmit and Ray Stussy and he deftly creates two completely different, completely believable characters. Emmit's a rich, respected, and overall decent businessman. Ray is down on his luck—a probation officer with a chip on his shoulder over the division of their late father's estate. Parolee Nikki (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) manages to convince Ray that he should rob Emmit to take what he believes to be rightfully his (a rare and valuable stamp).

Along the way Minnesota's Eden Valley Police Chief Gloria Burgle (Carrie Coon) gets unwittingly involved after her stepfather is murdered. He's cursed with the unfortunate surname Stussy. Ray's hired thief gets tragically confused and kills Ennis Stussy (Scott Hylands), believing that Ennis is actually Emmit. And Emmit's got problems of his own when he gets mixed up in business dealings with creepy, surly V.M. Varga (David Thewlis). Both Coon and Thewlis turn in nuanced (and in Thewlis' cases, disgusting) work.

In fact, the acting is uniformly excellent throughout Fargo: Year Three's ten episodes—the best thing about the series. The storytelling spirals a bit out of control as a number of increasingly tangential elements are introduced. By the end, there's an air of pointlessness surrounding many of the story arcs. But the central examination of extreme sibling rivalry between Emmit and Ray Stussy (thanks largely to McGregor's bravura, award-winning work) makes it compelling and worth watching.

Fox's Fargo: Year Three DVD contains a series of short featurettes that provide a combined "Inside Look" running a half-hour.
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Chaz Lipp is a Las Vegas-based musician and freelance writer. His new jazz album 'Good Merlin' is now available.

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