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Fargo
My take on Nikki was that her mission from God was to punish Evil. She mistook that for Emmit, because she was after revenge rather than God’s mission. Her actual target was Varga, and she was divinely empowered to fulfill that. When she strayed from that mission, she was cast off, and evil continues to thrive.
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That was my read as well. That's why she couldn't remember the words when she was confronting Emmit.
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Very good! I like that reading very much.
"I'd rather have hope...than nothing at all."
-Illyana Rasputin, X-Men: Omega #1

"But the public, knowing what it wanted, spinning happily, let the comic books survive."
-Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

Twitter: @BartLBishop
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My take on Nikki is that the combination of her lover's murder and having a far more competent partner enabled her to step up her game considerably. And that Varga did not expect any serious (i.e. competent and actually smart) opposition there.

I find your lack of enthusiasm for S2 unacceptable!
"Nooj's true feelings on any given subject are unknown and unknowable. He is the butterfly flapping its wings in Peking. He is chaos and destruction and you shall never see his true form." - Merriweather

My Steam ID: yizashigreyspear
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I like season 2!
"I'd rather have hope...than nothing at all."
-Illyana Rasputin, X-Men: Omega #1

"But the public, knowing what it wanted, spinning happily, let the comic books survive."
-Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

Twitter: @BartLBishop
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[Image: giphy.gif]
"Nooj's true feelings on any given subject are unknown and unknowable. He is the butterfly flapping its wings in Peking. He is chaos and destruction and you shall never see his true form." - Merriweather

My Steam ID: yizashigreyspear
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Don’t put that evil on me, MM!

Get back to the Justice League thread, shit’s going down.
"I'd rather have hope...than nothing at all."
-Illyana Rasputin, X-Men: Omega #1

"But the public, knowing what it wanted, spinning happily, let the comic books survive."
-Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

Twitter: @BartLBishop
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I'm already there, bubi!
"Nooj's true feelings on any given subject are unknown and unknowable. He is the butterfly flapping its wings in Peking. He is chaos and destruction and you shall never see his true form." - Merriweather

My Steam ID: yizashigreyspear
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(06-26-2018, 05:24 PM)bart Wrote: But yeah, lot of fun, glad I watched it. Man Mary Elizabeth Winstead is woooooooooooooohhhhhhhh hubba hubba.

You said it. 

**Did you like the deus ex UFO?
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I will give credit for S3 finally opening my eyes to the hubba hubba-ness of MEW.
"Nooj's true feelings on any given subject are unknown and unknowable. He is the butterfly flapping its wings in Peking. He is chaos and destruction and you shall never see his true form." - Merriweather

My Steam ID: yizashigreyspear
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Well, you being you MM, Mary Elizabeth Winstead was probably too young for your sensibilities. Just in the last few years, with 10 Cloverfield Lane and Fargo, has she crossed over into her glorious 30s.

So what's the consensus on the ending? Does Varga go to jail? We had a good discussion about ambiguity in movies, specifically Inception, over in the Film Critic thread the other day and I'm wondering if this is a Schrodinger's (there is no answer) of if context clues give it away. Because Varga seems to be stressing while Gloria has a pretty confident smile.

I'm a cautiously optimistic guy, so I lean toward Gloria.
"I'd rather have hope...than nothing at all."
-Illyana Rasputin, X-Men: Omega #1

"But the public, knowing what it wanted, spinning happily, let the comic books survive."
-Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

Twitter: @BartLBishop
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You're completely correct about MEW.

My assumption about the ending is that Varga is going to jail.
"Nooj's true feelings on any given subject are unknown and unknowable. He is the butterfly flapping its wings in Peking. He is chaos and destruction and you shall never see his true form." - Merriweather

My Steam ID: yizashigreyspear
Reply
I'm really interested in what Boone has said about the show being the first pop culture treatise on the Trump Era.

Care to parse that out a bit, Mr. Daniels?
"I'd rather have hope...than nothing at all."
-Illyana Rasputin, X-Men: Omega #1

"But the public, knowing what it wanted, spinning happily, let the comic books survive."
-Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

Twitter: @BartLBishop
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(06-27-2018, 07:43 AM)MichaelM Wrote: My assumption about the ending is that Varga is going to jail.

Much like the Inception ending, I think it explicitly does not give you an answer. 

I kinda think it’s effectively the same as having David Thewlis look to the camera and say ‘Well, what do you think happens?’ I don’t think it totally works.
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(06-27-2018, 09:21 AM)arjen rudd Wrote:
(06-27-2018, 07:43 AM)MichaelM Wrote: My assumption about the ending is that Varga is going to jail.

Much like the Inception ending, I think it explicitly does not give you an answer. 

I kinda think it’s effectively the same as having David Thewlis look to the camera and say ‘Well, what do you think happens?’ I don’t think it totally works.

Well, it gets back to what I was saying before about the Coen's philosophy that there are repercussions on earth for our actions. The show up to this point has backed this up, and this season did too for the most part (going as far as having Yuri facing divine Jewish vengeance almost 25 years after killing Jacob Ungerleider's wife...girlfriend? I'm still a bit hazy on that). 

But the ending leaving things nihilistic means Varga can break out of that. Somehow he's free of repercussions. And going back to the opening scene of the season, with the East Berlin official insisting that Ungerleider committed the crime because the facts, on paper, show it and any violation of that would be to say the state is wrong, that certainly ties in to the ending but in ways that are either contradictory or over my head. 

Because if the message of the season is that technology can rewrite reality and even the past, well, the Russians were already doing that in 1988 per the opening, before cellphones and photoshop, etc. And that sort of power is shown by the show to not be without consequences, as Yuri's sins eventually catch up to him. 

But somehow Varga escapes consequences because of digitalization?
"I'd rather have hope...than nothing at all."
-Illyana Rasputin, X-Men: Omega #1

"But the public, knowing what it wanted, spinning happily, let the comic books survive."
-Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

Twitter: @BartLBishop
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(06-27-2018, 09:27 AM)bartleby_scriven Wrote:
(06-27-2018, 09:21 AM)arjen rudd Wrote:
(06-27-2018, 07:43 AM)MichaelM Wrote: My assumption about the ending is that Varga is going to jail.

Much like the Inception ending, I think it explicitly does not give you an answer. 

I kinda think it’s effectively the same as having David Thewlis look to the camera and say ‘Well, what do you think happens?’ I don’t think it totally works.

Well, it gets back to what I was saying before about the Coen's philosophy that there are repercussions on earth for our actions. The show up to this point has backed this up, and this season did too for the most part (going as far as having Yuri facing divine Jewish vengeance almost 25 years after killing Jacob Ungerleider's wife...girlfriend? I'm still a bit hazy on that). 

But the ending leaving things nihilistic means Varga can break out of that. Somehow he's free of repercussions. And going back to the opening scene of the season, with the East Berlin official insisting that Ungerleider committed the crime because the facts, on paper, show it and any violation of that would be to say the state is wrong, that certainly ties in to the ending but in ways that are either contradictory or over my head. 

Because if the message of the season is that technology can rewrite reality and even the past, well, the Russians were already doing that in 1988 per the opening, before cellphones and photoshop, etc. And that sort of power is shown by the show to not be without consequences, as Yuri's sins eventually catch up to him. 

But somehow Varga escapes consequences because of digitalization?

I think you’re almost there as far as reconciling the two. Yuri getting his comeuppance shows that even if Varga doesn’t get arrested then and there, he’ll get his someday. He can hide behind the technology forever, but the ‘divine presence’ that empowered Nikki to go after him is still there and can’t be fooled by the technological tricks he relies on. He can’t hide forever.
Superlaser speaks for me from now on.

-Bart
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Or he escapes because that’s just how the world is wired. Which it isn’t often, with the Coens, but is sometimes the Coens, like with Chigurh. 

To me, the ending is basically asking how you see the world. Do you believe in a moral arithmetic to the universe? Or is it just fucked, and the bad guys will probably win? In trying to parse the story’s twists for an answer, what way have you leaned? It’s not unlike the Sopranos ending, in that it’s asking you how you want the story to end, and why.
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Ah, very good Superlaser.

You’re a keeper.
"I'd rather have hope...than nothing at all."
-Illyana Rasputin, X-Men: Omega #1

"But the public, knowing what it wanted, spinning happily, let the comic books survive."
-Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

Twitter: @BartLBishop
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(06-27-2018, 09:38 AM)arjen rudd Wrote: Or he escapes because that’s just how the world is wired. Which it isn’t often, with the Coens, but is sometimes the Coens, like with Chigurh. 

To me, the ending is basically asking how you see the world. Do you believe in a moral arithmetic to the universe? Or is it just fucked, and the bad guys will probably win? In trying to parse the story’s twists for an answer, what way have you leaned? It’s not unlike the Sopranos ending, in that it’s asking you how you want the story to end, and why.

Pretty much my take on the ending as well.  Kudos to both actors for absolutely nailing those final moments in terms of projecting the right auras of victory and uncertainty at the same time.
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(06-27-2018, 09:38 AM)arjen rudd Wrote: Or he escapes because that’s just how the world is wired. Which it isn’t often, with the Coens, but is sometimes the Coens, like with Chigurh. 

To me, the ending is basically asking how you see the world. Do you believe in a moral arithmetic to the universe? Or is it just fucked, and the bad guys will probably win? In trying to parse the story’s twists for an answer, what way have you leaned? It’s not unlike the Sopranos ending, in that it’s asking you how you want the story to end, and why.

I do agree with the second part.  How you interpret Ray Wise is key here.  Are you inclined to accept an actual supernatural presence or is this just a dramatization of Nikki's mental state?
Superlaser speaks for me from now on.

-Bart
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(06-27-2018, 09:38 AM)arjen rudd Wrote: Or he escapes because that’s just how the world is wired. Which it isn’t often, with the Coens, but is sometimes the Coens, like with Chigurh. 

To me, the ending is basically asking how you see the world. Do you believe in a moral arithmetic to the universe? Or is it just fucked, and the bad guys will probably win? In trying to parse the story’s twists for an answer, what way have you leaned? It’s not unlike the Sopranos ending, in that it’s asking you how you want the story to end, and why.

But Chigurh does face consequences. He spends the entire movie abiding by a code that is "fair" and allows him the illusion of control. But immediately after stringently sticking with this code, he gets into a car crash. That's the universe letting him know it's all random chaos and there can be no control. Chigurh ends No Country for Old Men shook, as the young people say these days.

(06-27-2018, 09:45 AM)superlaser Wrote:
(06-27-2018, 09:38 AM)arjen rudd Wrote: Or he escapes because that’s just how the world is wired. Which it isn’t often, with the Coens, but is sometimes the Coens, like with Chigurh. 

To me, the ending is basically asking how you see the world. Do you believe in a moral arithmetic to the universe? Or is it just fucked, and the bad guys will probably win? In trying to parse the story’s twists for an answer, what way have you leaned? It’s not unlike the Sopranos ending, in that it’s asking you how you want the story to end, and why.

I do agree with the second part.  How you interpret Ray Wise is key here.  Are you inclined to accept an actual supernatural presence or is this just a dramatization of Nikki's mental state?

Yuri sees Marrane, as well. So it can't be in Nikki's head.
"I'd rather have hope...than nothing at all."
-Illyana Rasputin, X-Men: Omega #1

"But the public, knowing what it wanted, spinning happily, let the comic books survive."
-Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

Twitter: @BartLBishop
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I mostly think they got to a point where neither ending was particularly strong, and they ended up splitting the difference. This was essentially why I rated season three lowest of the group, it valued philosophical quandaries over storytelling.
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I was onboard with how the show balanced subtext and text for the most part, all except for Gloria not being detected by sensors.

The lack of subtlety there just didn't sit right with me. And I'm usually all about being on-the-nose.
"I'd rather have hope...than nothing at all."
-Illyana Rasputin, X-Men: Omega #1

"But the public, knowing what it wanted, spinning happily, let the comic books survive."
-Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

Twitter: @BartLBishop
Reply
Varga is dead or in jail. Just take a look at Malvo, he also thought he was the smartest guy in the room and he had it all sown up. Gus threw a wrench into all of that. Nikki brought Varga down a few pegs and I would like to believe that Gloria finishes him off.
I think these screen captures and giant (Dildi? Is there a plural?) are just the next step in the JJ Abrams online adventure series. Very slyly played, Bitches Leave.-Tom Fuchs
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(06-27-2018, 07:39 AM)bartleby_scriven Wrote: Well, you being you MM, Mary Elizabeth Winstead was probably too young for your sensibilities. Just in the last few years, with 10 Cloverfield Lane and Fargo, has she crossed over into her glorious 30s.

So what's the consensus on the ending? Does Varga go to jail? We had a good discussion about ambiguity in movies, specifically Inception, over in the Film Critic thread the other day and I'm wondering if this is a Schrodinger's (there is no answer) of if context clues give it away. Because Varga seems to be stressing while Gloria has a pretty confident smile.

I'm a cautiously optimistic guy, so I lean toward Gloria.

Oh, is it a wall o'text you're asking for?

Okay, but I only got 19 of them.

S2E1
S2E2
S2E3
S2E4
S2E5
S2E6
S2E7
S2E8
S2E9
S2E10

S3E01
S3E02
S3E03
S3E05
S3E06
S3E07
S3E08
S3E09
S3E10
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Schwartz you gorgeous son of a bitch.

I know what my lunchtime reading is for the next few days.
"I'd rather have hope...than nothing at all."
-Illyana Rasputin, X-Men: Omega #1

"But the public, knowing what it wanted, spinning happily, let the comic books survive."
-Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

Twitter: @BartLBishop
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(06-27-2018, 06:34 PM)bartleby_scriven Wrote: Schwartz you gorgeous son of a bitch.

I know what my lunchtime reading is for the next few days.


And the deus ex UFO?

Weigh in.
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Schwartz! I read your review of the first episode of season 2!

It's funny you talk about Marge, Molly and Betsy not being "bra-burning" types since I think that's precisely Nikki's personality. The women in Fargo are always strong, but generally they're not treated as being overly aware of their femininity. Gloria, in particular, completely lacks the ability to flirt.

I also appreciate you mentioning Peggy being the one to break bad, since Lester is essentially Walter White (minus the genius) in the first season.

I'll keep reading them! It's been busy at work and at home this week.
"I'd rather have hope...than nothing at all."
-Illyana Rasputin, X-Men: Omega #1

"But the public, knowing what it wanted, spinning happily, let the comic books survive."
-Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

Twitter: @BartLBishop
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(06-27-2018, 07:02 PM)Overlord Wrote:
(06-27-2018, 06:34 PM)bartleby_scriven Wrote: Schwartz you gorgeous son of a bitch.

I know what my lunchtime reading is for the next few days.


And the deus ex UFO?

Weigh in.

Does it qualify as a deus ex if it doesn't actually solve anything?  I mean, I realize it distracted Bear long enough for Lou to shoot him, but Bear could have just as easily been distracted by something else.
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(06-28-2018, 03:29 PM)bartleby_scriven Wrote: Schwartz! I read your review of the first episode of season 2!

It's funny you talk about Marge, Molly and Betsy not being "bra-burning" types since I think that's precisely Nikki's personality. The women in Fargo are always strong, but generally they're not treated as being overly aware of their femininity. Gloria, in particular, completely lacks the ability to flirt.

 Well, when that comment was written, Hawley hadn’t even conceived Nikki or Gloria as characters. So it certainly didn’t have any of S3 informing it, but I think Nikki is a fantastic character that has at least one very interesting facet that I completely missed in those recaps.  But to start with I’d say that she exist in an entirely different vein of Fargo character than Marge, Molly, or Betsy. Those three may all be women, but Lou and Hank belong much more in their category than she does.
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I'll second Bart: your write-ups for these were great, Schwartz.
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Thirded. I don't comment about them much because, like Bart's detailed analytic posts, I don't feel like I have much more to contribute. Y'all are some smart folks and I appreciate the write ups.
"Nooj's true feelings on any given subject are unknown and unknowable. He is the butterfly flapping its wings in Peking. He is chaos and destruction and you shall never see his true form." - Merriweather

My Steam ID: yizashigreyspear
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Schwartz! Your discussion of the Nemesis concept with the Coens, and their inspiration in Greek mythology, in your write-up on the third episode of season 2 is great stuff!
"I'd rather have hope...than nothing at all."
-Illyana Rasputin, X-Men: Omega #1

"But the public, knowing what it wanted, spinning happily, let the comic books survive."
-Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

Twitter: @BartLBishop
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(06-29-2018, 01:42 PM)bartleby_scriven Wrote: Schwartz! Your discussion of the Nemesis concept with the Coens, and their inspiration in Greek mythology, in your write-up on the third episode of season 2 is great stuff!

Thanks!  I do feel like I totally missed out on the most interesting connection to that in S3.  Because while Yuri and Meemo (and....yup, DJ Qualls) fill that role rather directly for much of the season, the home stretch flips that on its head, with Nikki taking on that aspect and the villains becoming the prey.  It is maybe enough to sway me to the optimistic interpretation of the ending, since so much of that is dramatizing that Evil is not as bulletproof as they want you to believe.
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Sounds good - 

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