A Deliberate Coen Brothers Homage

    Date:

    [Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers for Fargo, Season 5 Episode 1, “The Tragedy of the Commons.”]

    Fargo the series has always dwelled in the same universe as the Coen brothers film which inspired it. But in Year 5, creator Noah Hawley paid tribute to one of the original movie’s most iconic moments — with a twist. “It’s such an homage to the film,” star Juno Temple tells Consequence. “And I was thrilled to be a part of that.”

    The tragedies of the 1996 film include the haunting kidnapping of housewife Jean Lundegaard (Kristin Rudrüd), who’s attacked in her home by masked men. What’s so chilling about the sequence, as executed, is the startling mundanity of it: One minute, she’s just sitting on the couch with her knitting, and the next she’s spotted a stranger on her porch, through the glass doors, and the peril is all too real.

    In the season premiere of Fargo, meanwhile, housewife Dot Lyon (Temple) is experiencing a similar quiet day when she, too, spots men outside her door, who have come to take her away. However, unlike Jean Lundegaard, Dot has a complicated backstory which means that in some way, she’s been preparing for something like this for a while — and she’s ready to fight back, knitting needles in hand. It’s a deliberate acknowledgment to what came before, and speaking with Consequence, Hawley says that taking on the sequence was the culmination of, in his words, “10 years of riffing on the movie Fargo.”

    “It’s an uncanny feeling,” he continues. “We didn’t copy the house exactly, but those elements of where the sofa was and the TV and the porch on the side, and the windows and the stairs — all of that in order, so that we could recreate some of those shots and that feeling.”

    The results resonated with Temple, who says that “there were moments where you’d walk into the space and be like, ‘Oh my God, the kitchen’s like the same. What’s happening? Oh my God.’ Which was exciting.”

    Fargo Season 5 Episode 1 Juno Temple Jennifer Jason Leigh

    Fargo (FX)



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