Ah, jeez, here I go again, getting hooked on the wackiest, weirdest spectacle of mirthful suspense that TV has to offer. No two seasons of Fargo are alike, except for their unpredictable inventiveness. Series creator Noah Hawley continues to flavor crime drama with humor and a taste for the bizarre, assembling another remarkable cast for a funky fable of survival in the chilly Midwest.
Trading her British accent for a nasal Minnesota chirp, Ted Lasso’s marvelous Juno Temple is ferociously endearing as Dot Lyon, a happy housewife whose unhappy past rears up, unleashing the Lyon’s inner tiger. She’ll go to any length, however violent, to protect her daughter and gentle soul of a husband from the man who wants her back: North Dakota Sheriff Roy Tillman (Jon Hamm), a brutal evangelist of chauvinism who triggers a chain of bloody chaos when he tries to have Dot kidnapped.
His goons, including a towering and vengeful boogeyman (Sam Spruell) who’d be right at home on Twin Peaks, have never met someone quite as relentlessly resourceful as Dot, who booby-traps her home as if it were a crafts project. “She’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing, that one,” says her frosty mother-in-law Lorraine (Jennifer Jason Leigh) with grudging admiration.
Roy may be scary with his abusive Marlboro Man-on-acid persona, well played by Hamm, tapping into an even darker side than his billionaire baddie on The Morning Show. But it’s Leigh, imperious and cruelly dismissive, who’s the real fright as Lorraine, a corporate debt collector unforgiving of weakness.
She doesn’t trust Dot but also won’t underestimate her — especially once Dot growls to her face, “If you want to tussle with me, you’d better sleep with both eyes open. Because nobody takes what’s mine and lives.”
Every time Dot fights back against her adversaries, you betcha there will be slapstick mayhem. And as always in Fargo, there’s a colorful gallery of memorably quirky supporting characters who’ll be lucky to make it out alive. Favorites include New Girl’s Lamorne Morris as a noble state trooper, Stranger Things’ Joe Keery as Roy’s cluelessly cocky son, David Rysdahl as Dot’s adoringly mousy husband, and Dave Foley (with an eye patch) as Lorraine’s loyal lawyer, who tells a suspicious officer, “With all due respect, we’ve got our own reality.”
Fargo, Season 5 Premiere (two episodes), Tuesday, November 21, 10/9c and 11:19/10:19c, FX