Listen up, Fargo fans: I've got good news and bad news for you. The good news is, we're getting Fargo Season 2 and a second helping of FX's most irreverently comedic crime show; plus, it's shaping up to be just as good — if not even better — than the first. The bad news is, Fargo being an anthology show, we won't be seeing any of Season 1's stellar cast members back for another go-'round, which means actress Allison Tolman won't be in Fargo Season 2.
Among the aspects of the series that drew such fervent acclaim — including how expertly creator Noah Hawley captured the tone of the Coen Brothers and that he managed to bring Billy Bob Thornton to television — Tolman's breakout role as Deputy Molly Solverson was high on everybody's list. She was even nominated for a Golden Globe and an Emmy for her performance, dontcha know! For a show marketed with such high-profile male names (Thornton, Martin Freeman, Oliver Platt, etc.), it was surprising to realize how Season 1 of Fargo was really just the story of one woman, and how her tenacious can-do attitude brought an end to the machinations of some evil men. It's hard to imagine, then, how Season 2 will fare without Tolman's warm presence.
Hawley loved Deputy Solverson as much as his loyal audience, but he admits that continuing to follow Molly's Minnesotan misadventures would not fit with the tone of the show, which is as realistic as possible:
We’re saying it’s a true story, which it isn’t, but it’s following a certain true story logic, and it would strain credulity I think to have the continuing adventures of Molly and Gus with [a new storyline of] ‘What crazy Coen Brother case are they going to catch next time?’
But just because Tolman won't be reprising her role doesn't mean we won't see Molly in any form. Season 2 is flashing back to 1979 and following Molly's dad Lou Solverson as the young cop gets caught in a turf war between "a local crime gang and a major Mob syndicate." This new time period means we may still be seeing Molly... just not as the woman we came to know and love. If Molly was a newborn in 1979, she would have been 27 during the events of Season 1, which seems about right.
But don't despair — just because Tolman won't be appearing on Fargo anymore doesn't mean she's gone for good. She had a two-episode arc on FOX's The Mindy Project as a romance novelist named Abby; she appeared in the HBO film Hello Ladies as Kate; she'll next appear in the 2015 comedy Fresno alongside such hilarious women as Aubrey Plaza (Parks And Recreation), Judy Greer (Married), Natasha Lyonne (Orange Is The New Black), Molly Shannon (Getting On), Clea DuVall (American Horror Story), and Jessica St. Clair (Playing House); and then she's set to star in the comedic holiday horror movie Krampus.
But first, watch Tolman vie for the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Miniseries or TV Movie, where she is ironically competing against Frances McDormand for her role in the HBO miniseries Olive Kitteridge. (McDormand, of course, is most famous for her Oscar-winning portrayal of Deputy Marge Gunderson in the Coen Brothers' original 1996 film Fargo.) Which Deputy will emerge victorious? Tune in to the 72nd Annual Golden Globes on Sunday, Jan. 11 to find out!
Images: Patrick McElhenney; Chris Large/FX