Will 'Fargo' Have a Season 2? As We Near The Finale, FX Series Has That Mini-Series Feel To It

With our beloved and plucky detective Molly Solverson's life hanging in the balance going into Fargo 's next episode, we know there's plenty of drama left in store for us on FX's darkly comic crime caper. But how much, exactly? How many episodes are left in the season? And will there be another one? The recent explosion of quality programming on television has also resulted in an explosion of different formats: series; mini-series; "event" programming (a la the return of 24 ); 22-episode seasons; 13-episode seasons; 8-episode seasons; single seasons split across two years; anthologies with the same cast; anthologies with different casts... So you'd be forgiven for not being quite sure which category Fargo falls into. As Molly herself would say: "Uff da!" [UPDATE: Deadline reports that Fargo will return Oct. 12.]

Tuesday's Fargo episode "Who Shaves The Barber?" is the seventh out of ten. So after Tuesday, we'll be heading into the home stretch of the final three episodes. There are tons of questions left to be answered before the season wraps up: Will Molly survive the bullet accidentally fired at her in a snowstorm by Gus? Will Lester Nygaard be brought to justice for his wife's murder? Will Lorne Malvo get away with his evil master plan? And, most puzzlingly, why did dozens of fish inexplicably rain from the sky at the end of last week's episode?

But the real mystery lingering over the world of Fargo is whether or not it will be returning for a second season. FX itself doesn't seem to know the answer to this question — despite critical acclaim and respectable ratings, they have yet to renew the show for a second season. But even though Season 2 isn't a certainty yet, it is a possibility. Fargo creator Noah Hawley conceived of at least two years of Minnesotan shenanigans when he pitched the show to FX — in fact, Hawley signed a two-year deal with the network last month, which is a good sign for another season, if not a guarantee.

What would a second year of this show look like? That's an excellent question, but we do know one thing: Don't expect to see the misadventures of Lester Nygaard stretched out over another season. Hawley has been clear from the outset that any hypothetical future seasons would feature a new story and new characters, just like American Horror Story (which also airs on FX).

But would it retain the same cast, like Ryan Murphy's spooky show? Or would it pull a True Detective and deliver a new story in a new location with new characters played by an entirely new cast? That's unconfirmed at this point, but while recycling the same cast works in the campy, overly-stylized world of AHS, Fargo takes place in a much more grounded universe (that raining fish thing is actually possible in nature, we checked). So don't necessarily expect to see Billy Bob Thornton and Martin Freeman again in their roles even if the show does get a second-season pickup. Although it's possible that Molly Solverson will be sticking around (which bodes well for her chances of surviving that gunshot).

During the show's TCA 2014 winter press tour panel, Hawley stated that every season of Fargo would "focus on a difference facet of the 'small townness' and 'innocence' of the town," and that he chose to forgo a procedural "case-of-the-week" format for the sake of Molly Solverson's sanity. "That would make [her] deal with so much darkness that she would be on [CBS'] 'Criminal Minds,'" Hawley said. So will Molly be the linchpin that ties the disparate seasons of Fargo together? Unclear at this point, although we love the determined deputy, so we certainly wouldn't mind.

If FX does renew Fargo for a second season, and if that season is as successful (or more so) than the first, is there a possibility that we could be watching this "Minnesota nice" series for years to come? Sure, but don't expect it to become the next Grey's Anatomy and run for 10-plus seasons. As Hawley himself said on the topic, "I could probably see my way clear in doing a third, but I don’t really know past that if it’s worth doing or whether it’s just good to move on to the next thing." While we're currently excited about the idea of more Fargo, it's encouraging to see a showrunner stick to his artistic guns and not try to stretch a series out past its prime just for the sake of more airtime. Hawley knows that you can have too much of a good thing — so savor the juicy goodness of Fargo while it lasts.

Images: FX (3)