Fargo, Noah Hawley’s bold television experiment, is quickly coming to an end. The penultimate episode of the series aired last night, which means we’re just six short days away from the conclusion to Lorne Malvo’s reign of chaos over the towns of Bemidji, Minnesota, and Fargo, North Dakota. How the show will wrap up is anyone’s guess, but the answers to the various questions are more important than ever, considering we’re not getting another season with these characters.
Now, that’s not to say that Fargo won’t be renewed, and with its strong critical reception and ratings, it very well could be. However, the story of Malvo, Lester Nygaard, Gus Grimly, and Molly Solverson was always meant to have a 10-episode arc, contained within a miniseries format.
When Hawley last spoke about future seasons, he seemed cautiously optimistic about the prospects, but was unsure of what the plans might be. In a new interview with Collider, he seems a bit happier now that the first season is drawing to a close, and talks a bit about writing the show with an ending in mind:
“I have some thoughts on what we could do that I think would be really great. My feeling is that all the pieces that we put in motion are paying off, and I’m really happy with that. I don’t want to just have an idea for how it starts. I need to have an idea for how it ends because it starts and ends in the same season. You can’t fake it until you make it. You have to start out knowing exactly where you’re going.”
As far as what a second season of Fargo would look like, Hawley suggests that they could take the same approach as they did with the first season and try to tell a new story with similarly minor connections to what came before:
“It would look like a new movie, really. I really liked that when FX said, “We want to do Fargo. We’re wondering if you can do it without any of the characters from the movie.” I liked the idea that it was just a story that felt like that story, but actually had no connection to it. And then, as you get deeper into it, you found that there was a connection, and that Stavros found the money that [Steve] Buscemi buried at the end of the film.
You realize that, “Wait a minute, this story is tangentially connected to the movie.” I think that’s really fun. So, if we were to do it again, you would see a new movie with new characters, but one might have some connection, either to the first season or to the original movie, just hopefully not in a way that you can predict or expect.”
As expertly self-contained as this first season has been, Hawley has definitely laid some foundation for additional stories that could be told within this same world. For instance, we could get a prequel series focusing on the tragic “Sioux Falls” events that Lou Solverson keeps hinting at. Or, since this show takes place in 2006, jump ahead to the present day and tell a new story about someone else who finds the money that Stavros Milos re-buried. The possibilities are simply endless.
With no word yet on whether or not we’ll actually see a second season, we’ll just file this away as wishful thinking for now. Even if we don’t get another season of Fargo, I’m happy we got this one, and can’t wait to see how things shake out next Tuesday night.