Thursday, December 10, 2015

EXTRATERRESTRIAL MEMES: Shocking Close Encounter On TV Series Fargo - Star And Showrunner Explains What It All Means?!

UFO appears in a scene from Fargo. FX
Spoiler warning: The following two Q&amp reports contains major plot details from “Fargo” Season 2, Episode 9, titled “The Castle.”

December 10, 2015 -  HOLLYWOOD - There’s just one episode left to go in season two of “Fargo,” and tonight’s penultimate installment turned out to be a bloodbath for the Gerhardt clan. (R.I.P. Floyd and Bear.) We also might have seen the last of stand-up sheriff Hank Larsson (Ted Danson), while his terminally ill daughter, Betsy Solverson (Cristin Milioti), took a turn for the worse back at home.

State trooper Lou Solverson (Patrick Wilson) — Hank’s son-in-law and Betsy’s husband — was at the center of all the action, and at the episode’s close he was in hot pursuit of former Gerhardt henchman Hanzee (Zahn McClarnon) and crime spree couple Peggy (Kirsten Dunst) and Ed Blumquist (Jesse Plemons).

Variety spoke with Wilson about Lou’s eventful episode, which included a touching exchange with Hank, a brutal face off with Bear, and the return of that mysterious UFO.

We don’t know if Hank pulls through or not, but it doesn’t look good. What was it like playing that moment with Ted Danson after Hank was shot, and Lou tells him he’ll see him “at Sunday dinner”?

The thing about these guys is there’s just an understanding — you see it from the first episode, that’s their way of communicating. That’s about what Lou’s gonna give you and that’s about what Hank’s gonna give you. It’s beautifully understated because the situation is so visceral and apparent. As an actor I love playing the opposite — if you need to stay somewhere, act like you’re leaving — and that’s kind of what that scene is. You want to say all these things and you end up talking about Sunday dinner. I think that’s probably the reality of a lot of people, but certainly the people we’ve created. We were almost done at that point, so it was hard. It’s hard to let go of these guys. I love Lou, I miss Lou. And I miss Hank.

Lou has an epic brawl with Bear Gerhardt. Did that take extra time to plan out?

I love that stuff. We talked over what we were doing, had a good stunt coordinator. I thought it was a great ending there too. I got to work more with Angus [Sampson] on this show than I did in two movies [“Insidious” and “Insidious: Chapter Two”]. He’s such a great guy and it was lovely to see him get a really meaty part, and meet his demise. I remember looking at these speedloaders — it’s what you have in your belt that holds your whole cylinder. They just have a revolver, and it’s “How quick can you get it out, punch it in and lock and load?” It’s such old school, very practical, weaponry. It hasn’t changed much from the six-shooter. I remember very specifically thinking, “I just need to get the speedloader right for all the old school cops who had this gun.” Those are the things you think about, “Am I loading my gun correctly?”

And in the midst of that fight with Bear, the UFO comes back. What does Lou make of that?

Lou’s a very practical guy. He seizes the moment and shoots Bear — he’s taking the task at hand. I don’t think he gives [the UFO] too much credence, until the next episode. At that moment he doesn’t have time to question it.

What about after Bear is shot and Lou lies back and stares at the UFO?

I remember thinking, “Am I dead?” There are those fleeting moments. “Do I walk to the light?” I think we’re more in that land. It’s the closest he’s gotten to death. I don’t think he’s too caught up in people from outer space at that point. We’ll address it in the way you can imagine Lou would address something.

Kirsten Dunst has that great line, “It’s just a flying saucer.”

That’s the kind of thing with this show. “Sure man, there’s a UFO. Why not?” They’ve seen everything else.

Did you embrace that feeling when you first read about the UFOs or did you ask (showrunner) Noah Hawley for an explanation?

In typical Noah fashion, you ask him about it and he’s like, “I don’t know, what do you think?” He’s not like, “Well, what it represents is…” I think that, yes, there’s this obsession with a phenomenon that seemed to be happening, and it was also the rise of “Close Encounters.” There was definitely a social awareness. But I remember when I read in episode one when it appears, I thought it was fantastic because it’s just so strange. There are just no answers to so much of this. And you’re not gonna get an answer. I think people like Peggy would go, “What? It’s a flying saucer.” Then again, she’s “touched” — which is my favorite line.

Speaking of Peggy, Lou made it clear in this episode he feels it’s his responsibility to protect her and Ed. Why do you think that is?

To me, it’s a mirror image of his family life and watching what Betsy’s going through. I think deep down he knows he’s not going to win that battle, and dammit if he’s not going to win this one. I feel like he’s got to save someone. It’s heartbreaking if you think about it. He’s desperate to save his wife and family and he knows he may not. He very strongly believes in the moral code. And yes he feels horrible for these people and he knows that they’ve lied to him repeatedly. But he also knows that Ed stood up for his wife when many lesser men would’ve ducked and dodged and ran. For all of Ed’s faults, that is a guy who deeply loves that woman and did everything he could to keep that relationship. I think Lou really admires that in a strange way. He can’t stand it, it’s making his life miserable, and obviously they’re in way over their head. But there’s an effort, and it may be a subconscious effort, of “I’m going to help someone.”

- Variety.

UFO appears in a scene from Fargo. FX

Noah Hawley, Fargo showrunner, talks tonight's motel massacre and that jaw-dropping moment.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: You finally paid off the UFO teases with, yes, a massive hovering UFO. What are you prepared to tell us about this?

Noah Hawley
: I haven’t prepared anything. There are going to be people who will smack the TV and go, “Come on!” and that’s a great reaction. Everybody is entitled to their reaction. I like to say that everything in there is because it actually happened in the world of our “true story,” and in this case there was a UFO. I haven’t seen or heard any of the responses yet, so I’d be responding to phantoms.

In addition to Fargo being “based on a true story,” can you say what was your inspiration for including the UFO in the first place?

The Coen Bros. sometimes put something in because it’s funny, but that doesn’t mean it’s meant to be comic. … There’s a couple things that felt right about it. One is that it plays very well into the conspiracy-minded 1979 era where it’s post-Watergate, you had Close Encounters and Star WarsThere was a Minnesota UFO encounter [in 1979] involving a state trooper. It was certainly in the air at the time. Alternately in the Coens’ The Man Who Wasn’t There they had a [running UFO thread]; certainly it was more ’50s inspired, but it was part of the cinematic language of their movie. So it felt like it worked for the time period and worked for the filmmakers, and is a way of saying “accept the mystery” — which is a staple of the Coen Bros. philosophy in their films. And I thought it was funny. But obviously it affects the story in a very real way. It’s not just a background element.

I’m just picturing you in the writers room at some point going: “You know what? I’m going to put a UFO in this season, and just see if I can pull that off.” Because I know you like to challenge yourself and see how far you can push it, and you had to think that if you could creatively pull it off, it would be pretty impressive. 

An executive from MGM came to take us all to lunch before the season and they said, “Can you tell us anything about this season?” and I said, “Yeah, we’re going to make three fictional Ronald Reagan movies and there’s a UFO.” There was a long beat and they said, “So can you tell us anything about this season?” Nobody expected Fargo to be about any of those things in the second year. Ultimately what I think is exciting about a fake true crime story is that in actual history there’s a lot that we understand and there’s a lot of it we’ll never understand. The Zapruder film captured the JFK assassination, and we still don’t know what happened. It’s not just that truth is stranger than fiction, it’s that what we call truth is a small part of the historic picture. There are so many elements that usually get weeded out of the story so you can have a simpler narrative.

What was FX’s reaction?

Nobody said, “Don’t do it.” Look, there was a lot of conversation as we were prepping to shoot. “Can we see some pre-visualization? What’s really going on with the UFO? Is it really a UFO or is it a weather balloon?” So going into that, they find that balloon in the second hour. There were some people [at the network] who wanted the UFO to be shot in a way so that it could have actually been a balloon. My feeling was always, “No, it’s a UFO. It is what it is.” We put a lot of references to it, maybe too many references. But it pays off, obviously.

I was impressed that in the moments leading up to that, you managed to generate so much suspense over the fate of the only character that we know is going to survive, Lou Solverson (Patrick Wilson; a character that was also in the first season set in 2006). I worried about him, and then this happened. Then afterward you have Peggy (Kirsten Dunst) with that great dismissive line. It’s almost like you don’t know how to feel and need to process it. 

At the end of the day, Peggy’s line sums it up — “It’s just a flying saucer Ed, we need to go.” I like your “I don’t know, I need to think about it” reaction. So much storytelling, especially on television, is a spoon-fed experience with clarity of all things. You’re going to have to see the end of the story and look back at it and ask how you feel about the deus ex machina of a UFO saving Lou Sovlerson’s life and what would happen if it hadn’t. I think those elements in a story are really exciting because we’re so unused to having them. We usually separate our genres more neatly. To suddenly have a genre element come into a dramatic story is exciting.

What do you want to say about next week’s finale?

I really don’t want to give anything away. We have Peggy out there, Hanzee in pursuit, and Lou after them. And how are we going to wrap it up, and what’s the takeaway going to be? I feel like last year we ended very strongly; we had a complete arc for the characters, and it ended in a neat way. We can’t repeat ourselves, but I’d like to be somebody who’s good at ending things. I see Fargo as a tragedy with a happy ending, and those elements have to be there. And just because that the story is over doesn’t mean these characters aren’t still going on. My hope is that at the end of the 10 hours you’ll want to go back and watch it again.

- EW.

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